In the workplace, part of having a successful career often comes down to personal branding. While stepping outside of your comfort zone can be scary, it’s important to take some risks and forge connections with others in the industry. This can be really tough for introverts who often crave alone time and tend to be shy. If you’re an introvert, you may have searched for ways to promote yourself without being annoying.
Personal branding can be really intimidating when finding yourself in a professional world where you’re forced to work alongside extroverts who are usually very sociable. The workforce does not have to be overwhelming for those who are not comfortable spending a lot of time around others building their personal brand.
Here are six tips to help introverts make their way down the path to personal-branding success:
1. Don’t be shy to talk about your accomplishments.
Oftentimes, introverts fail to get well-deserved recognition because they don’t promote themselves or bring attention to themselves. Many people don’t know the ways to brag about your accomplishments without coming across as arrogant. It’s not smart, though, to rely exclusively on others to talk about your accomplishments. Letting them go unnoticed may get in the way of promotions in the workplace. Take the time to decide just what you want to say about your accomplishments to make sure you receive credit where credit is due.
2. Work hard to forge strong relationships.
It’s typical that introverts seek a mentor to help them find success, especially because introverts may not know who, when and how to ask for referrals. Forging strong relationships with people who are more likely to speak up on your behalf can be valuable when you need a person to vouch for your skills and abilities.
3. Share your ideas.
You don’t have to turn into Chatty Cathy, but feel free to open your mouth and talk about a new idea or opinion you have. Doing so is a way to help ensure a boss or manager will be aware of your contribution to the organization. If this is a struggle for you, mentally lay out what you plan to say prior to saying it.
4. Do not over-analyze your performance.
It is common that introverts are hard on themselves because they tend to become really self-conscious when in the limelight. Don’t beat yourself up over your “mistakes.” Instead, concentrate on your successes.
5. Rehearse before situations that make you nervous.
If you have a presentation around the corner, practice for it. Utilize a mirror or entrust in the help of a friend to make yourself more comfortable. The more times you do something, the less foreign it becomes.
Related: Your Brand Is About the Feels
6. Always have a plan.
If you have networking events on your calendar, take a moment to lay out a plan. Have a few conversation starters in mind, such as comments about things many people can easily discuss, like current events or movies. Small talk flows more naturally for people when you find things you have in common.
Introverts often say they feel more comfortable communicating online instead of in-person. Personal branding is important, and introverts should make sure to take advantage of the various online networks for young professionals, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, to gain more contacts in a less stress environment. The professional world can seem daunting to introverts, but any person out there can learn proper networking skills to boost their personal brand.