As an introvert living in the never sleeping city of New York, I feel pressure to overexert myself to forward my career. My natural rhythm of life creates slow mornings, productive afternoons and evenings surrounded by family and food. But the demands of building a career can transform this ideal day into social and professional overstimulation.
The pace of New York is invigorating, it is fast, evolving and electric. You can find opportunities through the vast network of hard working and motivated individuals who make up this city. Finding these opportunities can mean attending events to meet people, supporting friends’s events, socializing to build relationships while promoting your work, creating your work and maintaining a social media presence. As an introvert, all the stimulation and socialization can exhaust my resources. I need to step out of the hustle in order to recharge. But anxiety creeps in, will stepping out of the hustle mean I will miss an opportunity? Will my career falter because I am one of the few who need to recharge alone instead of attending another event?
In a word: No.
I recently discovered the term “quiet persistence”. It is the idea that one can be influential by utilizing their natural strengths of a steady work ethic and a slow pace of life. I first came across this in Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. Cain uses the lives of Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi as examples of quiet persistence. They had quiet power and unyielding convictions which influenced extraordinary change in the world by living simply, quietly and slowly.
In our hyper extroverted society where the loudest and most social gets the prize, it is comforting to know that I can build my career by being who I am. I can stay home to recharge knowing my career won’t be ruined. I can trust my slow rhythm to build the career I want.
I highly recommend Cain’s Quiet to understand how you can use your quiet inner strengths.
Be quiet. Be persistent. Be you!
Follow up reads:
The Quiet Revolution
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You