Job Hunting as an Introvert in the Eyes of an Introvert:
Let’s just say, it ain’t easy. Currently, I am employed, but the issue right now is I would love to advance my career by seeing what else is out there for me. It’s early on in my career and I intend to take many opportunities. However, the economy isn’t helping. And the amount of people searching for jobs is overwhelming, making every single job posting extremely competitive, nearly impossible to even get your foot in the door to simply get an interview. Now, all you get is 300 applications filled and emails written, absolutely no responses, and an extreme frustration that makes you practically burst a blood vessel. Often times, we may feel stuck. I, for one, feel stuck in my career. I would like to move forward, but because of the limitations of the economy today, I am stuck. Now don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful that I even have a job, but day after day, I feel like I need to do something to push my goals further and further. After being with the same company for 2 years, I’d say it’s time to try new things. But, I’m at a standstill.
So what do you do? Sometimes I wonder if extroverts have it easier finding jobs. Often times, I get frustrated with myself: Why can’t I just call the company up and try to win them with my ‘dazzling’ personality? …I bet if I went to more social networking events, I would have a job by now…I bet they won’t respond because I’m at the end of the line, end of the pack. All the Alphas and Firecrackers are way ahead of me already with this…I’m going to blow it in this interview because they’ll see I’m not a big talker, every interview I go to they are always looking for a lot of ‘charisma,’ why can’t I be like that around strangers? and so on and so forth. What’s the most frustrating thing about all this is that you just never know what the reason is behind all of it. Why you weren’t the one who was picked out of the bunch. I wonder though, is it harder for introverts? Because we tend to do what is needed, and allow others to take their time deciding? Am I too passive or do I need to bust through the doors and scream out ‘HERE I AM! HIRE ME! ME ME ME!’ Is that rude, or would that be considered bold and desirable? I am never really comfortable with shamelessly promoting myself, and I never know whether or not what is too much or too little.
It requires a lot of energy to find a job. I also have some issues with interviews. First, I am excited about the interview, but then next, like 24 hours before the interview, I begin to have thoughts of worry. With practice, I am able to give a ‘good performance’ at an interview, but I am always left wondering if I smiled enough, gave enough enticing eye contact, how my body language was, how my voice sounded (did I stumble? stutter? Did I sound enthused enough?), if I talked enough about myself or did I not talk enough? All of this and more can leave me ABSOLUTELY EXHAUSTED! Trying to keep track of all of these things, on top of trying to say the right things, is a job within itself.
What I find interesting, however, is that in Susan Cain’s book “Quiet,” she explains that there is a “free trait theory,” which explains that some introverts will take on a ‘false persona’ or to do something that feels uncomfortable to them for something that is extremely important to them. For example, an introverted professor will present speeches day after day with great power because he has a passion for teaching. For me, sometimes the free trait theory works for my career. I know I want to advance my career. And sometimes, only way to do that is to suck it up, put on a pseudo-extrovert persona for a little while and go to a networking event, or really wow someone in an interview. Whenever I don’t feel like doing something because of my nerves, I just tell myself that this is for my career, and say it to myself over and over again. After a while, I get used to the networking events and interviews and I get into the swing of things.
Right now, I’m in a slump, but I know I’ll be able to pick myself up! Good luck job hunting!