There are many career-oriented introverts out there. Willing to put their career first and their needs last in order to land the next job/promotion. Often this means pretending to be an extrovert.
Engage in small talk or make a grand speech? As long as it makes me look good in front of the boss! Attend every networking event? I can’t miss the opportunity to meet important people in my field!
“Making it” in your career is all about sacrifice, right?
Yes, your career may require sacrifice. But pretending you’re an extrovert is not sustainable. It’s okay to do it every now and then. But there will always be a new project you want to lead or another promotion. And you will burn out.
You can get out of your comfort zone & grow while still being considerate of your needs.
Here are my top 10 time management tips for career-oriented introverts that help you work smarter, not harder. As I said in the self-care version of this post: “To me, time management for introverts means making time work for you. Being aware of when your energy levels are at their peak (and at their lowest) is key for time management.”
1. Plan focus blocks of “mindful” activities, like studying or working on projects, before social events — this ensures your energy levels are at their peak for optimal focus
2. Be in solitude before an important event that requires focus (exam, quiz, meeting, interview, work, etc.), you’ll save energy & avoid getting flustered by other people
3. Schedule a job interview on a day you don’t plan to socialize & at a time you have the most energy (for me, it’s 1.5-2 hours after I wake up)
4. Set aside one day to have all your weekly meetings, especially if you get social anxiety — you don’t want to get anxious every day if you can prevent it
5. If you need to make a speech or presentation, ask to go first. If you wait too long, your energy will be low from being around others & it’ll be harder to fight anxiety/nerves
6. Arrive at least 20 min early before you make a speech/presentation or attend a networking event — you’ll give yourself enough time to take in the environment instead of getting overwhelmed by a room full of people
7. You don’t have to attend every networking event. If you feel like you’re missing out on opportunities, plan to go to the next conference & use it as a networking binge
8. There will always be a social event after every meeting/networking event. That’s just how extroverts unwind. It’s okay if your version of unwinding means skipping out on the social event. You’ll thank yourself later
9. If you hate networking events, join an organization that aligns with your career goals & aim for a leadership position (big or small, whatever you can handle) for 3 reasons: 1) You’ll incorporate networking into your schedule by working with others that have similar career goals 2) You’ll learn more about your strengths & weaknesses through working in a team 3) A leadership position on your resume shows you’re adaptable & willing to get out of your comfort zone
10. Keep a small journal (I use the Day One app) & schedule at least 5 min. of daily reflection at work/school during your break and also after you get home. Quickly jot down: 1) how you feel 2) your energy level 3) any significant event (a win or a setback) & how you reacted. Getting this out on paper will help you from getting stuck in reflection mode. You’ll keep track of how your career affects you, so you can focus on how to make it work for you.
- Time Management Tips for Introverts: Self-Care
- The Key to Successful Networking for Introverts: 7 Reasons to Attend A Conference
- How to Not Be A Pushover: A Guide for Introverts
Comment below if you found this helpful! I’d also love to hear any time management tips that have worked for you!