How to Flourish at Work as an Introvert (and Unwind After Work Hours!)

Updated by Shawnna Stiver

It’s no secret that when it comes to work environments, extroversion typically gets rewarded positively. Yet, author Susan Cain’s recent book _ QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking {:target=" blank"} points out that introverts make up one-third to one-half of the U.S. population.

Does this sound familiar? At the end of a long day meetings can leave you feeling drained and lacking mental energy. When you pick up the phone to make a call, you hope for voicemail on the other end. Water cooler small talk feels forced and unnatural. And rather than join your coworkers at happy hour, you’d rather have alone time at home on the couch with your dog. If all of these scenarios sound like you, you may be an introvert.

And contrary to what people think, introversion doesn’t mean you’re antisocial, lazy or shy. In fact, some of the best leaders are introverts. Personality traits of introverts can be strengths both professionally and personally. In work environments that reward extroverts, it can be hard to find your voice. But it’s not impossible. Here’s how you can flourish at work as an introvert and some ways to unwind after those long days.