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How to rise as an introvert in the tech industry

Woman working on her own in an office with laptop, introvert concept

ARTICLE SUMMARY

Florence Weber-Zuanigh addresses the challenge introverts often face in workplaces, particularly in industries like tech, which tend to favor extroverted behaviors.

WHEN LOOKING AT ORGANISATIONS, IT’S SAFE TO SAY MOST, IF NOT ALL, WORKPLACES WERE MADE FOR EXTROVERTS. THE TECH INDUSTRY IS NO EXCEPTION.

You have to be willing to be really visible and vocal for the right people to know about your achievements and ambitions. So how can you rise in your sector when you are an introvert?

Florence Weber-Zuanigh is a certified CPPC and ICF empowerment coach

In this article, Florence Weber-Zuanigh addresses the challenge introverts often face in workplaces, particularly in industries like tech, which tend to favor extroverted behaviors. Florence emphasises that introverts can navigate their career paths successfully without changing their fundamental nature, by understanding what strategies work best for them.

Florence Weber-Zuanigh is a certified CPPC and ICF empowerment coach who works with women (both cis and trans) and non-binary people in both group coaching and workshops to help them find their introverted path, reach body positivity/neutrality, get focused, and achieve their goals. She is also the founder of Diversity in the Boardroom and works with businesses to help them foster supportive, inclusive work environments through diversity and inclusion initiatives.

IT IS NOT ABOUT CHANGING WHO YOU ARE BUT LEARNING WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND HOW TO APPLY IT IN THE CONTEXT OF YOUR CAREER.

First and foremost, you have to be crystal clear about your own goals and aspirations. I am not talking about having a rough idea of what you want but being really detailed about it. You can think about your absolute ideal job, dream company and team. It doesn’t mean you will be able to go for it right away, but if you know where you want to go it is easier to take intentional steps towards it.

Now that you have a very clear vision for your career, you can put some kind of timeline to it. If this is where you want to land in 5 years or 10 years, then where do you need to be at for the halfway mark ? Where do you need to be in a year ? Where do you need to be in 6 months ?

If your current job aligns with that path, then it’s time to have a chat with your boss. 1 to 1 chats tend to be more comfortable as an introvert. You can even pick a place you’d prefer to have that chat. Would you rather do it if/when you’re working remotely or in the office ? If in the office, would you be more comfortable in the meeting room or the cafe/canteen ?

Make sure you set up the chat so it doesn’t feel as daunting.

You can be as honest about your aspirations as you want to be, it’s even easier if you already know how your role within the organisation needs to evolve. It doesn’t have to be a complete change, it can be increasing responsibilities here or there, asking to start delegating that other thing that doesn’t align with your future.

While it’s not always easy to open up in that way, and it can depend A LOT on your boss too, if they know they are in a better position to help and support you.

However, let’s not put all our eggs in one basket. You can check whether your organisation already has some kind of mentorship program in place or even see if there is someone who you’d like to mentor you within the organisation. It would usually be someone who isn’t within your immediate team so it is easier to guide you as they don’t have a personal interest for you to stay focused on certain tasks. It also means that there is at least one other senior person within the company who knows about your career goals and could support you where they can.

As an introvert, it can be really frustrating when you see promotions pass you by within your company when you feel you deserve that specific role.

So keep an open mind about jumping ship too.

In the interview process, you usually have many opportunities to talk in detail about yourself and where you want to go. I know “daunting again”, especially with someone you don’t know. BUT it also means the people recruiting are listening and it might be quicker to get to the role you want at that point in time rather than wait internally for something to become available and your boss advocating for you.

Make sure to review your own timeline and amend it if necessary, your goals are likely to change and so will your path. Maybe some even better opportunities are going to come your way.

You don’t have to put all your good work on display for all to see, but you can always decide when it is time to share with the relevant people. Keep in mind that you are creating the opportunities.

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