Stress Relief for Introverts in Career Transition

[Updated April 27, 2014]

As a career and business coach who specializes in helping introverts, you can imagine the trepidation I hear about networking, writing about oneself on LinkedIn, starting a new business, and feeling heard at work.

For clarity, introverts are NOT at a disadvantage when it comes to career transition or starting a business, but they might feel more stressed by it.

My primary work struggle related to introversion was in valuing and speaking up about my talents and accomplishments. With a lot of help, including communication classes and a coach, I finally hit my stride with speaking confidently, authentically, and thoughtfully. It’s funny to look back because my communication now feels so easy and so “me.”

I’ve gathered a few resources that might help ease the stress of the career or business transition for other introverts.

STEP 1: Learn About Introversion

When you understand it, you’ll find it’s much easier to rise above the common fears. Here is a good starting place:

  • Being Introverted Is a GOOD Thing!
    An overview of introversion and the prejudice against it. You’ll find links to more learning resources, and an introvert quiz from here.

STEP 2: Learn About Introvert Advantages and Challenges at Work

Introverts have many advantages when it comes to the skills needed for finding and excelling at work. For instance, introverts are often naturally good at creating meaningful conversations and writing thoughtfully. Both of these are critical for networking and workplace communications.

On the flip side, introverts often struggle to speak up about their accomplishments for fear of bragging. Actually they struggle to see their accomplishments at all. (Perfectionism is common among introverts.)

Introverts also worry about having the perfect thing to say. They can get caught in analysis paralysis — because introverts love to think, think, think, …and think again.

As you can tell, the challenges are all based on worries and fears and not facts. Learning about what’s actually going on can help quiet those fears. Good places to learn:

STEP 3: Find Understanding Support

You’ve heard all the “get over it” advice and “get out there networking” tips. Ugh. Instead, find a team of authentic support, whether from understanding friends, a thoughtful support group (such as a self-employed introverts group), or a coach for introverts.

If you need a résumé or website copy, consider hiring a résumé writer or web copywriter who is empathetic to your challenges. You need someone who can draw out your accomplishments and nudge you a little when you claim you haven’t done that much. And someone who can stop you when you go into analysis paralysis. (I recommend Gentle Job Search for introvert-friendly resume writing and Copy Cate for copywriting for introverts.)

For tribal camaraderie, join The Introvert Clubhouse, a free private group I facilitate on Facebook.

What’s Your Career Transition Story?

Where do you feel challenged in your work transition?

How is introversion helping you in your work?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below. Or asking yourself those questions quietly at home is also encouraged.

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  • great information shared .
    step wise approach to define the things .
    help full in getting release from tension.

  • Weyakin

    Something that helps me is that I like being challenged. Challenges give me something to strive for and feel motivated about. Networking is a challenge for me sometimes. I learned through your workshop to use networking techniques that fit within my sphere of comfort. But, from there, it also gave me the courage to go outside of my comfort zone. It’s a new challenge for me to push into! And while it’s scary at first, knowing that I’ll come out a stronger person with something to gain from it helps me.

    • It warms my heart to hear you talking about what you’re applying from my
      workshop that you attended a year ago. Thank you for sharing that.

      That’s a great idea to use the challenge aspect as part of the fun! Why else
      would puzzles be so popular if we didn’t love a good challenge? Thanks for
      that perspective.

  • Jerry Brower

    Very encouraging words for the introvert.  I guess it is a matter of understanding our strengths and utilizing them in the business scenario.  We don’t need to be the “life of the party” or the ”center of attention” in order to get what we need from the networking or business experience.  We just need to know how to use the tools we already have.  [deleted link]

  • Pingback: The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career | best job hunting guide()

  • arps

    Hats off to you mam!! 

  • arps

    kindly suggest some means to overcome awkwardness in my nature.i am unable to open up to anyone and it takes me great time & pain to make friends because of my dumb nature 

    • The best starting place is to read at least the first two things under Step 1 in this post. Getting some education is the best starting place. Those things will give you ideas for how to start small.

  • aed

    It has been part of our living already to suffer stress due
    to heavy loads of works that we do every day. Even though that we are doing our
    different jobs, but we should take time also to have even a little rest because
    it is not good for our body be stressed.