Although starting a new job comes with stress and anxiety for everyone, it can be especially difficult for those who are more introverted than others.
The good news is that when you know how to adjust to a new job as an introvert, the experience is no longer miserable, it actually becomes quite enjoyable. It’s extremely important to remember that there are a lot of awesome things that come with being an introvert and being an introvert is nothing to be ashamed about. Although you may feel some pressure to be a little more extroverted than you normally are, always remember that the most important thing is to always just be yourself. Always do what feels comfortable and right to you.
No matter what kind of job you have, all workplaces require a variety of personalities to function well. Balance within a work environment is crucial for the overall success of any organization or company. It’s very possible that you were hired because of your introvertedness. There is no reason for the extra pressure we may place on ourselves to be someone else for fear that being ourselves is somehow wrong. With that in mind, there are always ways we can be more prepared in our first couple of weeks at a new job to make ourselves as comfortable as possible, especially if we feel a lot of stress about the social pressure and level of interaction that tends to accompany a new workplace.
1. Reasonable expectations are the keys to your success.
It may seem like our culture has a tendency to favor the extroverts of the world. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert– in fact, introverts tend to bring a lot to the table that should be celebrated. There is absolutely no reason to set yourself up with unreasonable expectations that you aren’t comfortable doing every day. For instance, if you know that going out to drinks after work is simply too much social interaction for one day for you, it’s absolutely OK to acknowledge that, and not participate. No matter how much the people pleaser within all of us will struggle with accepting this fact, it’s imperative to overcome it for your emotional success at a new workplace.
2. Find common interests with co-workers.
No matter how introverted you may be, or the amount of nerves coursing through your body when you encounter new social situations, making conversation with your coworkers has huge benefits for you in the long run. Now, I’m not suggesting you need to be Chatty Cathy and have conversations all day, or have those deep, epic conversations with people you just met. What I am suggesting is to try and greet everyone with a simple “hello” and “goodbye” each day. Don’t forget that when you are at a new workplace you don’t really know people’s names or positions. So why not try and learn them? Just getting that little bit of information will show that you care about being part of a team and may encourage others to start conversations with you. By getting into the habit of allowing yourself to get comfortable with small talk, your day is likely to go by a lot quicker and can make the everyday interactions around the workplace a bit less stressful.
3. Be an early bird.
If you dread when your alarm clock buzzes and hit snooze five times until finally getting out of your bed, it might feel extremely difficult to change. But trust me, being a morning person has amazing benefits. Getting to the office early is important for myriad of reasons but it’s especially important for those of us who need some quiet time to ourselves. Before others get there you allow yourself some space where you are can get comfortable in your new surroundings and gain the energy necessary to successfully work with others. By giving yourself this quiet time, you are likely to reduce your work stress and the overwhelm that comes with a new position.
4. Learn to enjoy the commute.
Everyone loves to complain when it comes to their commutes to and from work. But time spent commuting to and from work adds up, so why not make it fun. Why not try taking that time to focus on yourself? When you’re starting at a new workplace, it’s completely normal, if not natural, to feel like you’re solely focused on your new job. However, you may actually be sabatoging your own success. Instead of worrying about learning all the new things about your new position during your commute, try to focus on getting in touch with yourself. Introverts naturally crave time spent (over) analyzing our emotions, so why not have your commute be a time where you get to do something you absolutely love. For instance, I love to rock out to all my favorite songs during my commute. But you can always listen to an audio version of your favorite novel, or listen to your favorite podcast. Whatever you choose make sure you love it. By giving yourself this time to focus on just yourself as an individual separate from your job title, you allow yourself to be human. This exercise will recharge your batteries before going into and returning from work.
5. Be yourself.
When you’re the newbie on the job, it’s extremely easy to feel like you have to just be quiet and go with the flow of everyone around you, without actually thinking. But while it’s absolutely important to follow the rules of your superiors, it’s important to remember to never lose yourself in your job. Always remember that you were hired for a reason, your skills are a valuable asset to the team. They already like you. So if you have any suggestions or ideas that might help, don’t be afraid to share them. its terribly easy to feel intimidated when you start a new position. But always remember that your skills and achievements were acknowledged at the hiring stage. You’re here, you are fully capable of doing a great job. So avoid trying to be someone who you think your boss wants you to be, just be yourself, it’ll take you a lot farther.
New jobs are exciting, stressful and overwhelming. Maybe this is your first real job after college, or you’ve been working for a while but this is your first job in a field you actually want to be in or maybe you’ve made it to the big leagues and are starting a new position at the top. Whatever your particular situation, being an introvert and starting a new job comes with a ton of emotions and anxiety. Always remember that you are fully capable and smart enough to excel in your new job.
Now, I’d love to hear from all of you. How do you handle job transitions? Please share your experiences below. As always I love reading all your comments and feedback.