Starting on a new job can be a rather scary experience. Not for the extroverts for sure, but definitely for the introverts. I mean, it’s a new environment, you have to pick up things from scratch, and you have to above all else… make new friends and talk to new people (including your bosses and your bosses’ bosses). “What if I don’t do well at the job?” “What if I don’t pass the probation?” The self-doubts that echoes in your mind are almost deafening.
This week marks my first week at a new job. Not that it is my first job, but as an introvert, starting on a new job can be quite a daunting experience. And I am sure many introverts will concur. But you know what? You are a champion. Here are 7 things every introvert needs to know while starting out on his first job. This article goes out to all the introverts; the dreamers, the Jedi masters and the people who secretly wish they can make the world a better place.
#1. You beat your competitors to get the job
I was heading home when I received a call from one of the companies that interviewed me. They told me that they would like to offer me the job and asked if I would like to take it up and come in the following month. I told them I needed time to consider. They then told me that I am their “first choice”.
If you’re about to commence on your new job at an MNC or SME, realise this. You are your company’s first choice. More often than not, introverts tend to give themselves less credit than they should. But you must know that you are not the only applicant for the position you are currently in. For mainstream positions like marketing, HR, sales and finance, there were probably more than a dozen potential candidates shortlisted after rounds of interviews. Prior to that, there were probably hundreds of applicants or more who applied for the job. But from that huge pool of applicants…. You got the job!
That calls for a celebration! Unless you applied for some
rare weird ass job that no one applies for, or you applied for a queer position with the longest job title like ‘Director, Head of CEEMA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa) and Latin America Equity Focus, Institutional Client Group – Fundamental Equity, Corporate & Institutional Banking – Global Markets,Deutsche Bank AG’ (2008 longest job title).
#2. Your employer sees your potential
The reason why you got the job and the other confident and smart-looking candidate who sat beside you at the waiting room didn’t? Your employers and superiors probably see your raw, hidden potential or the value you can bring to the company. Is it your deep analytic skills? Is it your management skills? Or your ability to work with minimal supervision? Could it be your uncanny ability to crunch numbers? Or your ability to write like Shakespeare? It could even be that your employer likes your character and demeanour!
The bottom line is, your talents and potential contribution is invaluable, and your employer sees your potential. So go on, give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.
#3. You can do better than you think you can
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
– Marianne Williamson
When Marianne wrote this, she must had been referring to us introverts, I’m certain. You my friend, are greater than great. You can excel at the job beyond your self doubts and wildest imaginations. You will make it!
#4. Your colleagues would like to know you and help you
Okay, this one is a little tricky because it really varies from company to company. Some companies are buried up to their neck when it comes to office politics. But I would like to think that most aren’t, at least not the company you’re joining. So far, most of the colleagues that I met in my jobs are nice and do not mean any harm. As introverts, we are often very comfortable in our own skin, having our meals alone, travelling alone, drinking coffee and having cake alone (Yes!). Taking that huge step to get to know new people or even ask for help can be rather intimidating.
But, know that many of your colleagues would like to know you better and be your friend. They would also like to help you settle into your job and render you help when necessary. Take a step of faith. Say hi. Ask for help if you need help with activating your email (I know). Who knows, an amicable friendship may blossom from there.
#5. You bring much value to the company
Many of the world’s greatest minds and history makers are introverts. Think Albert Einstein, Mahaatma Gandhi, Warren Buffet, Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling, Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Steve Wozniak and of course, Steven Spielberg! Bubbling is their mind full of ideas that have the potential to take the world by storm just as it has for the past centuries.
I can’t help but think that the world would be less bright and less brilliant without introverts. Think of a world without Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Harry Potter, e=mc2 and theory of relativity, slavery abolishment, Google and ET the movie. And you know what? You are associated with this class of people.
#6. Your emotional make-up gives you an unfair advantage
Ever had people teasing you for being difficult to understand, or that you are ‘too sensitive’? Take a longer time to respond because of a longer thought process? Well what do you know, that could very well be your advantage! Being sensitive allows introverts to read the atmosphere in the boardroom ahead of anyone else. That ‘sixth sense’ or intuition gives you a heads up, creating some lead time as to how you should respond in your body language and choice of words. You play a pivotal role in diffusing the situation in an intense meeting room atmosphere.
Introverts often have high empathy too, making them great employees in the lifestyle industry. Think about all the disastrous PR crises that took national headlines in recent years. An introvert would not have make that boo-boo.
Being difficult to understand isn’t so bad either. Again, Facebook, Microsoft or Apple would not have existed if people who were ‘difficult to understand’ did not exist. And of course, longer thought process gives you adequate time to think through what you should say to your client and your boss instead of being like that straight-shooter colleague who’s always saying the most inappropriate things at the meeting.
#7. You will do well at the job.
After all is said and done, I just want to tell all fellow introverts, “You will do well at the job”. Scrap that. Let me rephrase. “You will do exceedingly well at the job.” Now repeat that to yourself, out loud. In 1994, Japanese researcher, Masaru Emoto performed a series of experiments and observations on water and the physical effect that words, prayers, music and environment have on the crystalline structure of water.
Emoto then hired photographers to photograph the water crystals in their before and after state. The water crystals were beautiful and gorgeous when they were showered with loving words, peaceful music and prayer but deformed when they were exposed to hateful words and loud, unpleasant music. The average human is made up of 60% water. Now, quickly start thinking of positive words to say to yourself! Positive (and negative) thinking verbalised out loud is like giving yourself a self-fulfilling prophecy.
All in all, introverts are very important to every company, big and small. You can’t have a company filled with extroverts. It would be far too noisy and far too little work done (Opps!). So, if you are an introvert about to start on your new job, or are already working, remember this 7 things. Now go conquer the world!