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May 23, 2022 Category: Human Resources (5 minutes read)

Being an Introvert As an HR Professional

Being an Introvert As an HR Professional

According to research, one-third to one-half of people are introverts. This means that they get their energy from being alone and not in a group. This can make it difficult to move up the ladder in a career that focuses on helping others.

I reached out to HR professionals across the country who identify as introverts, many of them solo practitioners, for tips on how to excel in their HR careers. 

These are their top tips:

1. Practice and prepare.

People who are introverts like to think things over before speaking. Practice before you speak in a large meeting or interview to make sure you are prepared.

Gretchen Woods is the HR manager at The Wenatchee World. She says that she found it easier to manage her introverted career in HR by taking the time to research and prepare for meetings with employees, civic events, and presentations.

2. Join forces.

It is good to brief colleagues about what you plan to say before key events. Woods is the HR specialist in a small organization with approximately 100 employees. He says, "When I have an idea or suggestion to share in meetings, I will find allies both in the staff and management beforehand." They help me amplify my message if they don't respond quickly enough.

3. Keep following up.

Despite the many benefits of planning and having allies, introverts often realize they haven't shared everything they wanted at an event or meeting. Or they cannot come up with new ideas or feedback once they've had time to reflect.

It's important to remember that you can always let your voice be heard in these situations. Eileen Gabaldon, SHRM CP, an HR manager at Harris, Finley & Bogle P.C., says, "If I feel awkward [at a conference] and don’t speak up, but have an idea, or solution, I handle it later that same day." Fort Worth, Texas. "I will approach the person and tell them, "After the meeting, this is what I thought of." Then, I'll lay out my plan one-on-one with the person. This way, I can contribute and manage my introverted side.

4. Be open.

People find that being open about their introverted nature helps relieve some of the pressure and allows others to expect them to engage with them immediately. Julie Worden, an HR department member and self-described "hardcore introvert", uses this strategy often to navigate new situations. She was the finance and office manager at K Strategies Group in Dallas, with 12 employees.

She says, "I quickly realized that I had to get to know people to do well as an HR professional." This was especially true when she worked with reserved people. It can be very helpful for introverts to share their insights. In addition, it encourages others to talk about themselves. Worden says, "Fortunately, my tribe made it possible for me to have a support network at work."

5. Get in touch with your peers

Worden realized that to be successful in her profession, and she had to be present. So Worden joined the local Society for Human Resource Management and created its department of one group. It is now thriving.

Introverts can use social media to connect and share resources but on their terms. You can also use traditional online platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to find other HR professionals interested in the same things. For example, SHRMConnect, a members-only online community that supports HR professionals, hosts a strong discussion forum that allows them to exchange advice.

It is a good idea for introverts and shy people to arrive early when attending networking events and parties in person. This will allow you to avoid being the only person in a room. In addition, you'll be more inclined to have a one-on-1 conversation with an early arrival, which is often preferable for introverts.

6. Listen to others.

Many introverts are good listeners, which is a great asset for HR professionals and a way to connect with others.

Stan Bowman, a Shepherd Oil Company LLC HR manager in Blackwell, Okla., says, "I observe people and learn about their interests," adding that "my goal always is to find common ground." Once that is established, we can have a meaningful conversation that benefits us.

Trust is built by eye contact. Gabaldon states that I must be approachable in my HR work at the firm. "When an employee of the firm has a concern and walks into my office," Gabaldon says, "I turn off my phone and keep my eyes on them, not a screen."

Share Caldwell (SHRM-CP), vice president of human resources for VA Desert Pacific Federal Credit Union Los Angeles, found a course in effective communication very helpful. She says, "I wanted to learn how to communicate effectively with people in a way that works for them." "Listen Like a Leader" was the next class that I took to best serve our employees and members.

7. Embrace your inner extrovert.

Don't be too attached to labels. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist who invented the terms "introvert" and "extrovert", believed that most people are a combination of both. It all depends on what the situation is.

Each personality type also has its strengths and weaknesses. For example, an introverted HR leader can handle a difficult one-on-one conversation, while the extroverted HR leader excels at managing a project team. They can also learn from one another.

Why Introvert Jobs are hard to find

Introverts will have difficulty finding work. Their personality makes it difficult for them to interact with others consistently with standard employment performance. This could limit the employment opportunities for introverts to a few.

Human Resources as an Introvert’s Employment Choice

Introverts will look for employment that can meet their needs without requiring them to submit socially. Human Resources is the kind of job that emphasizes non-social-interaction-based workflow.

A Human Resources job will likely involve managing the company's staff efficiency and ergonomics and stats, payroll, and other administrative duties. A human resource is a great tool for anyone looking to make a career out of it, no matter how introverted.

Futures as a Career for Introverts

Because of the high number of introverts being diagnosed, it could be crucial to ensure that the job market for introverts is strong. Human Resources is close to being the ideal career path for introverts.

This position allows you to finally achieve the recognition and respect you deserve without sacrificing any of your natural tendencies. Management of company payrolls, statistics, and ergonomics can be a quiet and therapeutic job that involves fewer people and less interaction. This allows introverts the freedom to achieve their career goals without having to venture into the social waters of the office.