1-Sentence-Summary: The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide will teach those who have a hard time talking to people how to gain confidence in navigating the workplace from job interview to office relationships.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
Does the thought of having to socialize at a networking event give you anxiety? Do you have trouble speaking up and adding to the conversation when you’re in a group setting? Or maybe when it comes to your annual employee evaluation you find yourself too modest to talk about the great things you’ve done this year and you let a well-deserved raise slip through your fingers.
If you can relate to any of these situations, you are probably an introvert.
Introverts possess many great qualities, such as great listening and observational skills and a more reflective nature. But when it comes to the competitive environment of today’s workplace, their reservation and modesty can put them at a disadvantage against their more outspoken peers.
But don’t worry introverts! The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide: From Landing a Job, to Surviving, Thriving, and Moving on Up is an invaluable guide to navigating the workplace as an introvert and using your natural qualities to your competitive advantage.
Jane Finkle has been a career consultant for over two decades and helps people reach their full professional potential. She gives practical, supportive advice on how to do everything from networking and interviewing to ensuring you thrive as an introvert at your job.
Here are the 3 biggest lessons I’ve learned from this book:
- Use your resume as a way to get past your tendency to be reserved and boost your job outlook.
- Job interviews may intimidate you, but preparing before you go in to utilize some simple techniques will ease your nerves.
- Extroverts dominate the workplace, but using your observational skills and emotional intelligence can help you stand out.
Here’s to the success of introverted employees everywhere! Let’s begin!
Lesson 1: Your resume can help you overcome your natural modesty and really show your skills.
So maybe boasting about yourself isn’t your favorite thing to do. But when it comes to getting a job, you need to brag to be seen through all the other applicants. One way to overcome your modesty is to have an awesome resume that makes your skill set shine. Did you know recruiters spend only around six seconds looking at your resume? If that’s all the time you’re going to get, make sure it stands out.
Because you’re an introvert, talking about yourself will make you uncomfortable, but this is a big problem if you need to get noticed. When putting together your resume, think of all solutions, programs, or streamlined processes you have been a part of. It’s important to note a tangible result for these achievements, such as projects you completed under budget or sales targets you exceeded.
The author suggests using the Scope-Contribution-Outcome method. For each achievement demonstrate the breadth (“Scope), what you did (“Contribution”), and the results (“Outcome”). Make each achievement short and easy to absorb, as well as clearly articulated. It might make you uncomfortable to flaunt your achievements on paper, but this is the only way to get noticed and get in that interview room.
Lesson 2: Prepare for job interviews well by practicing the right techniques to annihilate your anxiety.
So you got the interview, now what? The introvert in you might freeze up when asked about yourself, because like I mentioned before, it’s probably not in your nature. So how can you help from freezing up when you’re presented with a personal question?
Before the interview conduct a self-assessment. Think about your personality and what your talents are. Write down and memorize a handful of adjectives that describe you positively so you will be ready to answer these questions without hesitation.
When you’re faced with the actual interview, make sure not to leave out important information. The SMART technique will help you do this. Tell them your Situation, what Motivated you to apply, the Actions you’ve taken in other jobs that make you a good fit, the Results of those actions, and the Transformation that was brought about by those results.
This will lay out all of the vital information that explains why you’re a good fit.
It’s normal if you feel anxious before the interview. One way to manage the nerves is by what psychologists call the “The Performer” pose. The trick is to come early to the interview and find a bathroom. In the stall, throw your arms into a “V” and hold it for two minutes. This power pose will help you get into a winning state of mind.
Lastly, don’t forget the importance of good posture and eye contact.
Lesson 3: As an introvert, you’re naturally good at understanding emotions and making good observations, use that to your advantage!
Surprisingly, 46 percent of all new employees fail within a year and a half of the new job. Most of these failures are a result of poor interpersonal skills. If you want to avoid being part of this, make sure to take initiative in the workplace.
Something you have to your advantage is your natural observation skills. Use this natural talent to build a relationship with your manager. Observe, and find ways to get to know them and get to know their responsibilities so you can help.
Also, get to know your coworkers and build relationships with them. Make sure to be grateful for any help they might give you and be a good listener, which should be easy for you. Try connecting with them on social media to have conversation starters.
The majority of your coworkers will likely be extroverts, so it’s important to find ways to stand out.
One way is to use your observational skills so that you can find problems in your company that you can fix or bring up to management. Maybe you’ve noticed the company wastes a lot of paper when documents are transferred. You can use your natural observational skills to bring attention to problems you see and take initiative to improve your workplace.
This will help you get noticed as the valuable employee you are.
The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide Review
As an introvert most of the time, I really enjoyed the ideas in The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide. There were a few things I feel could have been a little more in-depth, and some of the assumptions it made about introverts were questionable. But if you have a hard time talking to people at work, this book is going to help you a lot.
Who would I recommend The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide summary to?
The 48-year-old engineer who has great ideas but struggles to speak up in meetings, the 24-year-old recent graduate that’s terrified of job interviews, and any shy person who wants to improve their career opportunities.