I am always amazed and entertained when my friends and I discuss my personality type. I am definitely an introvert 85% of my life in both personal and professional settings. I prefer a quiet space to handle any tasks I may have and I can also survive with little-to-no human interaction for extended periods of time and feel fine about it.
However, as it is almost close to impossible to avoid others while working in an office, all introverts must form some sort of plan of protection to continue as a functioning introvert in a not-so-introvert friendly environment, such as your job.
I had a great chuckle once I came across an August article on HuffingtonPost entitled “An Introvert’s Guide To Surviving (and Thriving) In The Workplace” because the introvert behaviors describe me to a T. I think small talk amongst co-workers is a waste of time, meetings are unnecessary most of the time–as I feel l could be getting real work done and when I am at my desk, my focus is so on point, I rarely raise my head to notice my surroundings. Though I have developed a groove that works well for me, most of the behaviors and qualities I have adapted as an introvert are not always conducive when working in a typical office.
The article offered up these golden suggestions for introverts to survive in the office:
1) Find spaces for quiet and solitude.
2) Make a daily ritual of checking in with co-workers.
3) Avoid meetings when possible.
4) Don’t be afraid to lead.
5) Take time to rest and renew.
As I am learning I can’t survive totally being holed up in an office with the door shut all of the time, or wearing headphones throughout the entire day to avoid conversation with co-workers, these tips are definite options in adjusting to both surviving and thriving in an extrovert world.
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.
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