Tips to get a college job as an Introvert
Tips to get a college job as an Introvert
The college experience can be a challenge for introverts as it puts people outside of their comfort zone in so many ways. However, the college experience is key to prepping people for what comes after, as you enter the workforce. However, working closely with other people, especially in business settings, can be taxing for those who consider themselves introverts. Here is a list of tips for introverts seeking a job both in college and after college.
Know what you can and can’t do. Don’t feel like you have to say yes to every opportunity, especially ones you know will drain your energy, such as test preparation. Prioritize time to recharge as well as jobs that allow you that space to be alone. If you are interested in an opportunity that involves you putting yourself out there a lot, see if there’s a way you could split your time between social engagement and quiet work. An example might be in sales - see if there’s a way that you could spend part of your day in active sales and the rest of the day in support of other administrative tasks. Value and prioritize your needs as an introvert and you will avoid feeling tired and exhausted by your work and will minimize your chance for burnout.
Consider working from home
There is a wealth of opportunities for college graduates and college students to work from home. Having the comfort of an environment you control might allow you to step out of your comfort zone in other ways. While you might not be comfortable as a coach or training working in person, perhaps having the safety of working behind a screen might allow you to give opportunities such as these a try. Working from home also gives you more flexibility to set your own hours and give yourself the time you need to recharge. This is a great opportunity for introverts that are especially drained by the day-to-day office interactions other in-person jobs might offer. But know that this is also a trade-off - working from home might give you the time and space to work at your comfort level, but carefully consider these opportunities compared to in-person opportunities, especially if working is one of the few areas you get social interaction.
Connect with other introverts
Seeking out mentors is always valuable advice, especially when beginning a career. While it is helpful to connect with folks whether they are introverts or extroverts, it’s especially important to find mentors that are introverts. Other introverts will understand your needs and disposition and will prove an important source of knowledge as you embark on your job hunt. Introverts will know what jobs have worked for them in the past and be able to share their suggestions with you as well. Networking with other introverts will also help you seek out similar opportunities or be introduced to potential opportunities for a job as well. Meeting other introverts might be as easy as joining a club in college or connecting in classes. Outside of school, consider social media as a place to search out other introverts and connect.
Take advantage of technology
As more and more options for connection move online like social media, email, and texting, take advantage of the flexibility these platforms afford introverts. Rather than worry about calling or meeting people in person to ask about job opportunities, you can search for jobs through job websites and then connect via email to see if the opportunity is right for you. You can also use job searches to narrow down how much social interaction jobs require and whether you’ll be working as part of a team or not. Utilize this ability to connect outside of a face-to-face to do your research before applying for a job.
Engage with familiar faces.
Networking is such a buzzword when it comes to job searching and business school. But networking doesn’t have to happen with a mixer or actively going out and cold calling people to find connections. You can use the network you already have to see what opportunities are out there. Consider connecting with family members, friends, past coworkers, or people you went to high school with to see if your existing network includes opportunities. People in this network will know you and be able to recommend much more tailored opportunities to you.
Finally, the most important thing is to remember there is nothing wrong with being introverted.
While getting a job seems like it is all about putting yourself out there, know that being outgoing isn’t the only valuable skill set. In fact, outgoing personalities can sometimes mask a lack of preparation or skill that introverts might have the edge over extroverts on.
Being more reserved can be an asset because it frees you up to work and have expertise in other skill areas. For many jobs, it’s these skills that matter - how well you can do your actual job versus how well you can convince someone you could do the job.