Karen Wickre, Silicon Valley veteran and author of “Taking the Work Out of Networking,” says there are a few things introverts can “bring to the party” when it comes to the business world.
With 30 years of experience in the tech industry, including nine years at Google (GOOG) and five years at Twitter (TWTR), she’s been able to embrace her own introverted personality to succeed in a corporate setting.
“Introverts have a good sense of observation about people, how they behave and what makes them tick,” Wickre said. Their genuine sense of curiosity about others, their ability to listen, and keen observation skills can create enduring reliable connections.
Introverts are generally known to be thoughtful and self-reflective. And those are characteristics “that really help in teams, collaboration, and building relationships in companies, as well as making context with people that will stick,” Wickre said.
‘You want people who are team players’
Wickre explained that employers don’t hire people “strictly” to complement each other, so introverts aren’t simply seeking out extroverts to surround themselves with.
“I think most companies would be wary of someone who’s a super extrovert who wants all the attention and glory,” she said. “That doesn’t work in most companies. You want people who are team players to some degree, which I would argue puts us on the introvert-ambivert side of things.”
As an introvert, if she walks into a conference for the first time, Wickre said that she doesn’t feel as though she has to meet everyone at the event. Instead, she sees if there is anyone in the room she may know and then settles for two to three encounters that may lead to a “that’s interesting, can I follow up with you?” kind of conversation.
“Don’t do it all in the moment,” she said. “Just for later.”
For introverts trying to negotiate their salary, a useful strategy is to “think carefully about what I have done, what I have accomplished, what have I achieved,” Wickre said.
“Really documenting those things on your own to the extent that you can have a less formal, less performance evaluation-type conversation where it can be more personal, the better. I know that’s not always possible but it is good that it’s a 1-to-1 instead of a group thing, because introverts like 1-to-1.”
Adriana is an associate editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @adrianambells.
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