Jennifer Wilber works as an ESL instructor, substitute teacher, and freelance writer. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and English.
10 Reasons Not to Overlook Introverted Applicants
All too often introverts get a bad rap in the workplace. They are seen as too shy, quiet, sensitive, and aloof to excel in an office environment that requires teamwork and communication skills. These stereotypes of introverts hurt not only introverted job seekers, but the companies who overlook them as well. Because introverts tend to be independent, creative, and productive by nature, they have personality traits that make them valuable and indispensable additions to any workplace. If you are looking for team members to add valuable new insight and increased productivity to your company, you should seek out candidates with introverted personality types.
1. Introverts Are Independent
Introverts tend to prefer to work independently. While introverts can work together in a team setting just as well as extroverts, they thrive when they are able to work on a task independently. They prefer to learn new tasks on their own and they learn best by doing. Unlike more extroverted employees, introverts don’t need much hand-holding when it comes to learning new work-related skills. Introverts are self-starters who prefer to get down to work, rather than waiting for other team members to take the initiative to get started first. If you are looking for an employee who is a self-starter and doesn’t need too much guidance to get started on new projects, an introverted candidate is your best bet!
2. Most Introverts Are Creative by Nature
Introverts think outside the box. Because introverts spend more time reflecting and processing information than their extroverted counterparts, introverts find it easier to look at problems from different angles and offer up novel and innovative solutions that may be overlooked by your extroverted team members. Introverts see the world differently from extroverts, so they will be able to offer new insights in tackling any problem your company may face or in creating new products or marketing strategies. If your company does business in a creative field, you definitely need plenty of introverts on your team.
3. Introverts Think Before They Speak
Introverts are often stereotyped as quiet and aloof. While introverts may not be the most talkative team members, when they do speak up, it is wise to listen to what they have to say. While extroverts tend to be uncomfortable with silence, filling any silence with the first thing that comes to their mind, regardless of the value it adds to the conversation, introverts prefer to wait until they have something of value to contribute. This means that introverts spend more of their workday problem-solving and innovating, rather than wasting company time on idle chit-chat.
4. Introverts Think in the Long Term
Introverts tend to be less distracted by immediate rewards than their extroverted counterparts, according to Laurie Helgoe, author of INTROVERT POWER: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength and clinical psychologist and professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. In an interview with Daily Mail, Helgoe went on to say:
“[Introverts] are also content to work on projects that require long stretches of solitude. For these reasons, introverts seem better able to resist distractions and carry out long-range plans – the ones that reap rewards farther down the line.
Introverts value long-term solutions, not just the immediate rewards. This trait makes introverted employees an indispensable part of your team.
5. Introverts Make Excellent Leaders
Despite conventional wisdom, introverts can also be more effective leaders than extroverts in many situations. In leadership roles, introverts have a unique ability to bring out the creativity in the employees they lead. Introverts can bring out the initiative in employees who tend to be more proactive. Clinical psychologist Laurie Helgoe states in a recent interview:
“[R]ecent evidence reveals that introverts are better than extroverts at leading proactive employees. It seems that introverts are better at supporting and channeling the initiative and creativity of employees, while extroverts lead better when employees are more passive.”
Introverts have a unique ability to bring out the best in your entire team, especially when they hold leadership roles in your company.
6. Introverts Are Excellent Listeners
Because introverts are more reflective by nature, they tend to listen to what their coworkers have to say regarding the current project and carefully consider their coworkers ideas before adding in their own input. While extroverts tend to listen just enough to respond with their own contributions, introverts are more likely to value their coworkers’ ideas just as much as their own. Because introverts are great listeners, having introverted team members in your office can boost overall communication within and between departments and increase your company’s productivity.
7. Introverts Usually Don’t Play Office Politics
Introverts usually aren’t interested in playing office politics. While your more extroverted employees are busy playing mind games, your introverted employees are more concerned with focusing on the job at hand. Introverts prefer to get ahead in the workplace using their own work ethic and innovating, rather than through less honest means involving office politics. Introverts value efficiency and transparency within the workplace, and don’t have time for interpersonal drama or office politics. Introverts are generally honest and thoughtful, and don’t play into power play tactics employed by many extroverted employees.
8. Introverts Tend to Be More Humble
Introverts are usually more humble than extroverts. They tend to be able to see situations from other people’s perspectives easily and are usually willing to admit to their own mistakes and failures. Introverts are able to learn from their mistakes and move forward. Introverts generally won’t try to hide their mistakes, which could lead to bigger problems down the road. Instead, they see failure as a learning opportunity and use what they learned to improve their skills in the workplace. Introverts are less likely to crave glorification, though you should still give them the recognition they deserve for a job well done.
9. Introverts Don’t Need to Be the Center of Attention
While many extroverts feel the need to be the center of attention in the workplace, introverts are more interested in getting the job done. Introverts don’t let their egos get in the way of their productivity at work. They are willing to give credit where credit is due, rather than trying to take credit for other team members’ accomplishments. Introverts are passionate about their ideas and about creating new things for the sake of innovation, not because they are seeking attention or recognition. Introverts are willing to take other team members ideas into consideration instead of only pushing for their own ideas without listening to the ideas of others.
10. Introverts Tend to Be More Productive at Work
Introverts are dependable and able to focus on solitary projects for long stretches of time. They prefer to get down to work and focus on the task at hand, without spending company time making small-talk or gossiping with fellow employees. Introverts have a unique ability to find creative solutions to problems that may be overlooked by other team members. Introverts pride themselves on a job well done and tend to be efficient workers.
Introverts Are Valuable Additions to Your Team
Though there are many misconceptions about introverts in the workplace, introverts can make for the best employees. By including people with many different personality traits, including introverts, on your team, you can increase productivity and make your company even more successful. Introverts provide creative insights and add immense value to your team.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2018 Jennifer Wilber
Anamika Patel from India on June 28, 2018:
Nice article, i love the thought of @Jennifer because she choose a really interesting topic. I can also relate this content with my personality as well. But the one thing which i feel that it is very important for introvert person to take step in their work and should try to participate in office activities as well except office politics.
Travel Chef from Manila on June 27, 2018:
I totally agree with all of these reasons because I am also an introvert. I think the downside of an introvert working in an office setting is the politics happening around inside the office. Since introverts tend to be quite, some supervisors find them conceited individuals.