Throughout my life, I’ve been the quiet one. Up until recently, being the quiet one was a big problem. I looked at myself as socially awkward and more engaging over text—the wallflower type—and I became dear friends with fabulously extroverted women who shone brighter than I ever thought I could.
I now find myself, however, identifying as a proud introvert who truly values my down time but genuinely sees my capacity to navigate the world in my own way—without boxing myself into pre-conceived ideas of what I can and cannot do. It’s a limitless and abundant way of living, and much of my newfound confidence comes from recognizing that I didn’t have to play into stereotypes of what would or wouldn’t work for my quiet self.
It was my job as a recruiter that helped me see this. My job requires me to talk to strangers all day long. It’s exhausting, and yes, it drains my energy, but when I get the pleasure of connecting individuals who are passionate and accomplished with roles that really bring out the best in them, it’s the biggest energy booster I could ever ask for.
Being an introvert who is in a position to talk to people for a living certainly requires a tenacity and desire to consistently live outside my proverbial comfort zone. I feel anxiety when I see back-to-back calls booked in my calendar. I am not the person effortlessly routing a networking event striking up conversations with strangers, and I’m so beat after each work day that I’m usually in bed or curled up in front of mindless television before 10 p.m. each night. I am, however, the person that loves connecting one on one. I may even be that person who strikes up a conversation with you on an airplane or charms you to the core and gets you really excited about the company I represent.
I truly believe that my strengths as a recruiter come from my introversion. I’m a natural observer—always the curious question-asker—and I listen well enough to pick up on cues that others may not notice. If you really break it down, the seemingly extroverted nature of my work is ironically a natural fit for an introvert.
I stumbled into this role by a fateful accident. But the path to becoming successful has been in part due to my self-awareness and a desire to overcome my own insecurities and, let’s be honest, in part due to my drive to prove that I could do what most would never imagine I was capable of. It’s taken planning, preparation, practice, and living by the “fake it till you make it” mantra each and every day. Because once you realize your voice is impeccable and important, anything is possible.