New Year’s Resolution #9 for Introverts: Advocate for Yourself

by | Mar 13, 2024

So, I know it’s March, and you’re probably thinking it’s too late for making New Year’s resolutions. I say it’s never too late to make a plan for how you can be more successful in the year ahead. And committing to how you can advocate for yourself in ways that tap into your introverted strengths – rather than the typical “extraverted promotion” that makes us want to crawl under the table – is one you don’t want to miss. This is New Year’s resolution #9 for introverts.

(Check out my previous posts on the 10 powerful New Year’s resolutions that can catapult introverts toward success in 2024, including: the importance of self-reflecting to identify your unique gifts as an introvert (Resolution #1), the art of setting clear goals for the year ahead (Resolution #2), how to network as an introvert to build connections strategically (Resolution #3), leveraging your uniquely strong listening skills as a way to have your voice heard (Resolution #4), cultivating your thought leadership (Resolution #5), mastering the art of meeting preparation (Resolution #6), embracing stretch assignments (Resolution #7), and building your personal brand (Resolution #8).

For many introverts (including me), the idea of self-promotion can feel uncomfortable or even unnatural. We often prefer to let our work speak for itself, assuming that others will recognize our contributions without us having to draw attention to them. But given the fact that “staying under the radar” is often our comfy place, this is less likely to happen – giving us a competitive disadvantage when it comes to promotions, raises, and other recognition.

How to advocate for yourself as an introvert

So, how can introverts embrace the concept of self-advocacy while staying true to their authentic selves? Let’s explore some strategies and techniques that can help you become a bold advocate for yourself:

  1. Know your worth: Before you can effectively communicate your achievements, you must first recognize and internalize your own value. Take some time for self-reflection to identify your strengths, accomplishments, and the unique contributions you bring to your role and your team. Remember, you have valuable insights, skills, and perspectives to offer. Acknowledge and own them.
  2. Practice self-promotion with purpose: Self-promotion doesn’t have to feel boastful or insincere. Think of it as a way to authentically share your successes and contributions with others. When communicating your achievements, focus on the impact your work has had on your team and the organization as a whole. Frame your accomplishments in ways that highlight the value you’ve added and the problems you’ve solved.
  3. Develop a personal brand: As we explored in New Year’s resolution #8, just as companies have brands that communicate their values and identity, individuals can develop their own personal brands to convey who they are and what they stand for professionally. Consider what sets you apart from others in your field and how you want to be perceived by colleagues, supervisors, and industry peers. Your personal brand should reflect your strengths, values, and professional goals, and it can serve as a foundation for your self-advocacy efforts.
  4. Build a portfolio of achievements: Keep a record of your accomplishments, projects, and successes throughout your career, including in your current job. This can include tangible outcomes, such as metrics or results, as well as qualitative achievements, such as positive feedback from clients or colleagues. Having a portfolio of your “wins” allows you to easily reference and communicate your value when advocating for yourself in performance reviews, job interviews, or networking opportunities.
  5. Practice assertive communication: Assertive communication is a key skill for introverts to master when advocating for themselves. Assertiveness involves expressing your thoughts, feelings, and needs in a clear, confident, and respectful manner, without being aggressive or passive. Practice assertive communication techniques, such as using “I” statements, maintaining eye contact, and speaking with conviction, to effectively convey your achievements and advocate for your professional goals.
  6. Seek opportunities to showcase your expertise: Look for opportunities to demonstrate your expertise and showcase your achievements within your organization and industry. This could include volunteering for high-profile projects, presenting at conferences or events, writing articles or blog posts on topics related to your field, or participating in professional networking groups. By proactively seeking out opportunities to share your knowledge and accomplishments, you can increase your visibility and establish yourself as a trusted authority in your field. (Read more about how to establish your thought leadership as an introvert.)
  7. Cultivate relationships with advocates and allies: Building relationships with advocates and allies who can support and promote your achievements is crucial for you as an introvert to navigate the world of self-advocacy. Identify mentors, sponsors, or colleagues who believe in your abilities and are willing to advocate on your behalf. Cultivate these relationships through genuine connections, mutual support, and reciprocity.
  8. Embrace feedback and constructive criticism: Feedback is a valuable tool for growth and development, and introverts can benefit from seeking out feedback from trusted colleagues, mentors, and supervisors. Approach feedback with an open mind and a willingness to learn and improve. Use constructive criticism as an opportunity to identify areas for growth and refinement and incorporate feedback into your self-advocacy strategy moving forward.
  9. Celebrate your achievements: Finally, don’t forget to celebrate your achievements along the way. Acknowledge and celebrate your successes, no matter how big or small, and take pride in your accomplishments. These celebrations not only boost your confidence and morale, but also reinforce your commitment to self-advocacy and professional growth.

Mastering the art of self-advocacy – not the way the extraverts do it, but true to your authentically introverted self – is critical to advancing professionally and getting the recognition you deserve. Remember, it’s not about being boastful or self-centered; it’s about confidently and authentically sharing your gifts and contributions with others. Own your awesomeness. You’ve earned it.

To learn more about resources that can support introverted professionals to get the recognition they deserve and triumph at work, click here.