How to excel at work as an extrovert

According to the latest data from SEEK, personality type (introvert / extrovert) is one of the top three forms of diversity that people personally feel are important for the workplace. It’s commonly felt that extroverts are perfectly suited to social workplaces. After all, they’re generally outgoing, socially confident people who are energised by the company of others.

But whilst it’s true that extroverts - just like any other personality type - have many strengths they can bring to the workplace, they too can face their own unique challenges. With that in mind, here are some career-boosting tips for extroverts.

Choose a social role

We tend to focus on what our interests are when we’re choosing careers, but it’s also worth paying attention to your personality type.

If you’re an extrovert, you gain energy from being around others (and are drained by being alone), so you’re best to avoid roles where you’ll need to work independently for long periods of time. Instead, you’ll likely flourish in a role that allows you to interact frequently with others. For example, more people-focussed roles - such as in customer service, human resources or project management - will utilise your people skills and aptitude for teamwork.

Extroverts are also said to be more satisfied with roles that offer more short term, performance-based rewards, so sales or other roles that offer bonuses or commissions could also bode well. 

Man smiling at lady in office environment, modern office, laptop

Share the spotlight

Meetings present great opportunities for extroverts to showcase their skills and contribute at work, as they tend to create and process ideas by talking them out ‘on the spot’. 

However, whether consciously or not, sometimes extroverts can get so energised and talk so much in meetings that their quieter colleagues can feel overshadowed. 

In these situations it’s important to remember those around you, and ensure everyone has a chance to be heard. People respect those with ideas, but even more so those who know how to share the floor. So if you’re managing the meeting, try structuring it to ensure every member has a chance to be heard.

Also, send out an agenda in advance, so those who are not as comfortable contributing ‘off the cuff’ have time to prepare valuable input.

Showcase your skills

The typical strengths of an extrovert are well documented.

Networking? No worries, thanks to your penchant for interacting with both strangers and colleagues alike with relative ease.

Given extroverts are invigorated by social interactions; this can make stakeholder engagement and management (a key skill in today’s workplace) just that bit easier.

And - in a world characterised by change - an extrovert’s typical ability to process and apply new information quickly, coupled with their appetite for new experiences, will stand them in good stead. 

Harness that energy

An extrovert can be typified by a visible energy and enthusiasm for teamwork. So if you really want to boost your career by utilising your natural talents, why not look into leadership opportunities? 

There are plenty of courses that could help you develop this further. Taking one on could open up opportunities you might not have even considered and provide a path to exciting new roles, by simply leveraging your natural way of operating within the workplace. 

As you can see, extroverts have a range of skills welcome in any workplace. It’s just a matter of choosing the right time and way to showcase these capabilities - and then taking them to the top!

Source: Independent research conducted by Survey Sampling International (SSI) on behalf of SEEK. Interviewing 4800 Australians annually with data being weighted to be nationally representative of age, gender, location, employment status and income (based on ABS).