Don’t Underestimate the Introverts: How They Can Be Assets in a Workplace

The media has a lot of influence on endorsing stereotypes. Growing up, we’ve seen enough coming-of-age movies to know that those who prefer reading alone in the library are considered losers, while others who actively engage themselves in groups are named the cool kids. It’s quite uncomfortable to learn that these made-up fictions aren’t, in fact, all that much different from the reality we live in. Our society does tend to favour those who are well-spoken and expressive; you’d more likely get the job you desire, and businesses would prefer working with you. On the other hand, if you were to Google “introverts at work”, results like Strategies for Introverts to Excel in the Workplace or How to Survive and Thrive as an Introvert at Work would show up – as if being introverted is a disadvantage and a flaw that needs touching up.

90% of the Time, these “Losers” are also the Protagonists in the Movie

It’s easy to assume that being shy and being introverted are the same. However, misconceptions over these personality traits have often impaired hiring or business decisions. Just last week on our previous article, we discussed the significance to avoid subconscious bias during hiring and to instead consider a candidate objectively through one’s skills, motivations, and personality.

Introverts can be secret powerhouses in your company, once you see them as an asset and understand their nature. As a recruiter or supervisor, it is important to give them the same opportunity and chance to shine like others. Below is a list of qualities you may likely see in an introverted person:

  • They tend to be more observant and detail-oriented
  • They’re likely self-learners and self-motivated
  • They typically put more thought and planning into their work prior to action

The strengths of an introvert often go unnoticed in hiring, especially when job interviews are more likely to prize social ability over solid skills alone. To get the truth, pre-employment assessments were designed to help uncover skills, interests, and characteristics in a candidate that you may not immediately recognize from a face-to-face encounter.

Finding the Right Fit is like Matching Puzzle Pieces

Now, does that mean you should consider an introvert for every position in the company? Assigning a sales position to an introvert will seem as daunting to them as throwing someone into the ocean who doesn’t know how to swim. Good hiring decisions should begin with determining the skills, interests and personality traits required for the position. Afterwards, finding the right candidate to align with the benchmark you created will be as easy as matching puzzle pieces together. Piece of cake!

For many introverts, finding a meaningful and satisfying career may seem like an impossible quest. Remember, just as everyone is different, each position also calls for different qualities. You don’t have to be extroverted to excel at your job. Introverts have just as much to contribute and should not be underestimated. Rather than telling someone to step out of their comfort zone, why not embrace their strengths instead?