First things first: introversion and shyness are not the same thing, although they sometimes occur in the same person. A true introvert, regardless of whether or not they’re also somewhat bashful, is a person who draws energy from being alone and expends it by being with others. For obvious reasons, this makes some aspects of professional life somewhat difficult — for example, it’s hard to negotiate salary, when even everyday social interactions make you feel like you’re running low on gas.
However, it’s totally possible to get what you deserve, salary-wise, even if you’d prefer to spend your workdays actually working, instead of having possibly confrontational conversations with management. Data gathered for PayScale’s Salary Negotiation Guide shows that 75 percent of people who ask for more money get some kind of raise. The odds are in your favor. The key is to use your strengths:
- Research and prepare.
Salary negotiations are not the time to wing it, even for extroverts. No matter how charming you are at parties, meetings like these require preparation. Fortunately, as an introvert, you probably aren’t tempted to coast on social graces.
Instead, preparation is probably more your speed, thanks to your ability to focus and your self-starting nature. That comes in handy when you’re going into a conversation that’s a little more complicated that the usual office chitchat. (And if you’re looking for resources, PayScale’s free Salary Survey will generate a salary report that can help you set an appropriate range for your request.)
- Keep it one-on-one.
Your manager might be the social butterfly of the organization, but that doesn’t mean that he or she wants to be surprised with a request for a raise. Because you may feel drained by social interactions, you’re more likely to feel comfortable setting up a one-on-one meeting with your manager — a situation that will benefit you both by allowing you to concentrate on the topic at hand.
- Don’t be afraid to be quiet.
Sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing at all. People who chatter away when they’re nervous run the risk of looking as anxious as they feel … or like they’ll be easy to persuade to take a lower number than their range. If you’re comfortable being quiet, embrace that. Let your manager do more of the talking, and you might find yourself coming out with more than you bargained for. At the very least, you won’t get in your own way.
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