Sometimes it can be tough being an introvert. Not only are introverts a sorely misunderstood breed but they are also unfortunately living in an extroverts' world.
So much of getting ahead is about 'putting yourself out there', 'networking' and 'arguing with Ted from downstairs' but none of these things play to the strengths of the introvert. If you just want to be left alone to work quietly in the corner, then most offices simply aren't conducive to that.
Being an introvert doesn't mean you're shy of course. As an introvert yourself you will likely know that. Rather it just means that you don't particularly enjoy spending lots of time around other people who just seem to drain your energy. Sure, you may be shy as well, but predominantly you're just 'not a people person'. And that's fine.
Here's how to make it also fine when you're at work.
1. Tell Your Boss
So many introverts feel as though they have to 'pretend' to be extroverts and do everything in their power to fit in and be outgoing. Eugh.
In reality though there is no reason to feel like being an introvert isn't good enough. In fact introverts tend to be highly creative and very independent workers. Tell your boss this and make sure they understand where your strengths lie. That way they can ensure they are getting the most out of you rather than trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
2. Get Some Quiet Time
Introverts have heightened sensitivity and some theorize that this means they require less stimulation in order to be happy. In other words, they experience life with the volume turned up which is why they find people so grating.
When you understand this, you realize the important role of energy in being an introvert. As long as you take regular breaks on your own to recharge your batteries you should be okay.
3. Find Other Introverts
Introverts aren't really unsocial, they just get tired out by social situations. If you're an introvert then, you'll probably recognize how nice it can be to enjoy 'quiet company'. That means having someone there with you even though you aren't actually interacting with them in any way.
If you find other introverts then you can do this together and you'll find that both of you feel much more relaxed as a result. Introverts aren't that rare, you should find there are others like you in your organization.
4. Work From Home
If your workplace offers the option to work from home then you should accept this with relish. Now you can spend a couple of days a week working in your pajamas with a cup of tea. Then when you do go back into work, you'll feel much more recharged and energetic.
5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
As much as being an introvert is an asset and in no way 'wrong', the most successful people are nevertheless those who are adaptable and able to thrive in any situation. Make sure you get out of your comfort zone occasionally then as that way you'll learn more and more how to act like an extrovert when it's required so that you can offer the best of both to your employers.