This post is written by our 2021 communications intern, Maria Alonso.
Throughout college I switched majors a few times. I went from Biology (don’t ask me why, to this day I am unsure of what sparked my interest in this subject) to English and then finally Communications. As someone who is super introverted I did not know whether the decision to change my major to communications would backfire, but I was willing to give it a try.
My first communication classes were very interesting. Two of the classes that made me fall in love with the major were organizational and internal communication. Yet when it came to analyzing the major as a whole, I realized a lot of the classes required for that major were… communication (shocker! I know!). I instantly regretted switching majors. Nonetheless, as I transferred to the CSU system, I decided I would give it a try there and if I did not like it, then I would switch back to English.
It was one key professor—Dr. Han—who helped me fall in love with communications. That same year I discovered the concentration in public relations. Although I found it a bit challenging because it required a lot of social interaction and group collaboration, I decided to pursue this specific major and concentration because I absolutely loved the art of storytelling (mixed with ever-evolving technology and society). I loved examining trends and the habits of consumers so much that I was determined to “change” who I was (an introvert) for the sake of excelling in the field.
In this Entrepreneurship article, the author discusses how the powers of introverts in the workplace are overlooked. Oftentimes we equate being extroverted and talkative with something positive, and therefore society identifies those who possess such abilities as “better.”
But we are here to change that! Right? Below are some of the tips that have helped me move from seeing my introverted nature as a stumbling block into recognizing it as an asset when it came to my love for communications.
1. Embrace Your Introversion
It’s okay to be introverted. There is nothing wrong with you. This just means your social battery runs lower at a faster time than extroverts. You can still pursue and excel in communications.
2. Focus on Your Strengths
For me, my strengths are writing and multi-cultural fluency. By focusing on my strengths, I am able to challenge myself daily and make a difference in what I am working on to reach my career-focused goals. Also, think of how a team’s composition of several strengths and personalities helps strengthen the team as a whole. It would backfire if everyone brought the same exact ideas every single time. At the very least, creativity would suffer.
3. Stay up to Date
Now that you’re in communications, you have to play the part to keep up with media and industry trends. The good news is that doing so is more of a solo activity which is great for us introverts. Set aside a block of time each day (or every other day) to catch up on the news and learn about new and emerging best practices. As an introvert, I love reading and being on my phone and this is a perfect combo that aids me in my career.
4. Take Breaks When You Need Them
Charge up your social battery and take a break! Think of it as preventative care for your mind. You want to make sure you don’t overstimulate yourself into stress or overwhelm. I often carve out time for breaks whether that be a nice walk around the block or visiting my favorite coffee shop.
5. Communicate Your Boundaries
Be vocal about how you’re doing and set boundaries. This also means learning how to say no if you feel overwhelmed. Don’t say yes to everything, it might lead to burnout and negative consequences.
Do you have any tips on how to succeed as an introvert at a workplace? We would love to hear them!