The Help Files: Introvert Special

quiet peopleEverytime I turn around, I find another post about introverts to read. I guess there must be a lot more of us introverts than I thought. Good thing!

Extroverts seem to get all the attention. All the press. They have the boss’s ear. They tend to land the flashy promotions and jobs. Why? It’s a matter of perception. They are perceived to have value, sometimes more value than you do, mostly because they tell you so.

Extroverts tell you what they’re doing, what they’re planning, and how things are going. If there is a special project at work, the extrovert will say out loud, “I can do that!” The boss needs to ask the introvert if they can do it, and with the harried boss’s plate already too full, they take the easy and fastest way They give the special project to the loudest one–the extrovert. We introverts tend to lose out in that area.

This edition of the  Help Files is here to help us out a little bit. By us, I mean, “We the quiet.” The introverts. We can use a small push to toot our own horns (just a little) and earn ourselves some well-deserved attention.

Why extroverts earn more

Sure you’re quiet, and you do a great job. Your cubicle neighbor Bob, does the same thing you do, but endlessly blathers on about everything. Problem is, he makes more money than you. How do you know? Because he tells you. Everything. Including what his last raise was and what he’s pulling down now. Everyone needs to earn a living, but why does Bob, whose chatter is just a bit much first thing on a Monday morning, have to make more than you do? You are, to be honest, slightly irked. Read Susan Cain’s post to find out why extroverts make more money and, more importantly, what introverts can do about it.

Best careers for introverts and extroverts

Whether you are just beginning your career, or have decided you need to change careers, you would do well to figure out what job suits your personality. You don’t want to jump into a job only to discover that you are actually unhappy and need to leave. Then it’s too late. Business 2 Community has a great infographic to help both extroverts and introverts figure out the perfect career paths.

Job-Search tips for introverts

If you’re a quiet person who tends to keep to himself, being introverted can be difficult in a world that talks all day, every day. Things get worse if you find yourself looking for another job. Resumes are one thing. Cover letters are another. Because you can write these at home in solitude. Interviews though, you face with dread. Panel interviews are worse. In these, any number of possibly hostile people look you over with the goal of to spotting your flaws. The “lunch” interview? More terrible still. You can’t eat what you want for fear of making a mess. And what about talking with your mouth full? Landmines aplenty. Fear not, because Dice.com has a few tips to help you out.

Achieve networking success for introverts

Even if you are an introvert, you know how to deal with people. However, you like to handle them one at a time, with rest in between. But what about networking? Does the thought of meeting people and making small talk fill you with misgivings about the whole “people” thing? US News knows where you’re coming from and posted an article with tips just for you.

Things introverts do to mess up their careers

Everyone screws up, including introverts. However, let’s try to NOT mess up our jobs, shall we? Blowing your career aspirations might stem from a range of problems. Problem number one is…SURPRISE!…is underdeveloped social skills. Didn’t take Einstein to figure that one out. The Introvert Whisperer has some guidance for you.

Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com. Follow me on Twitter: @craigcardimon. Connect with me on LinkedIn here. Put me in your Google+ circles. I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.

Craig Cardimon

Craig Cardimon wears many hats and loves all of them -- technical communicator, content curator, and freelance copywriter. In his not-so-copious spare time, he reads, writes, runs on the local trail, and watches way too much "retro" TV.

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