Leadership

Here's a major way introverts can score a promotion

If you consider yourself an introvert and want to move up in your career, it's important to foster one-on-one relationships with those at the office.

That's according to Susan Cain, the best-selling author of "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking," who also happens to be one of the most popular TED Talks speakers of all time with over 17 million views.

Cain says that in a culture that values being outgoing and uninhibited it can be difficult to be an introvert, particularly in the workplace.

But Cain says that one of an introvert's many skills lies in their interactions with others on a personal level. To have a successful career, introverted employees should make use of this ability to one-day snag senior level roles.

607477409
Getty Images

In her famous 2012 TED Talks presentation, titled "The Power of Introverts," Cain discusses the many talents and abilities introverts possess. Five years later, her views are much the same.

"In a lot of the conversations around promotions, people talk about being passed over because of race or gender bias, which are valid," Cain tells CNBC Make It. "But you rarely hear about personality dynamics."

In fact, although introverted types are often more careful, retrospective and less likely to take huge risks, says Cain, they are regularly passed over for promotions to leadership positions.

The author and self-proclaimed introvert suggests that fellow introverts looking to move up in the workplace should first identify their ambitions for a leadership position.

Once they've come to terms with the type of role they want to take on, they should be proactive in reaching out to their boss and discussing their three or five-year career plan.

Cain says that having this person-to-person meeting expressing a desire to take on leadership roles is especially important for introverts.

"What happens sometimes is that people assume a quiet person is less ambitious, which is not at all true," she says. By taking the initiative to express career goals with their boss, introverts can take the guess work out of the equation.

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are friends and leading voices promoting philanthropy.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are friends and leading voices promoting philanthropy.

Cain adds that some of the most effective leaders of our time have been introverts, such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. She says leaders like Rosa Parks and Gandhi were also described as having an introverted personality type.

"Quiet, more reflective temperaments have really influenced the world," she says, "so workplaces should adapt to harness the talents of introverts."

Introverted employees seeking promotions can also stand out in the workplace by looking for strategic ways to share their expertise, says Cain. A couple examples include writing a company blog or hosting a speaking session on a topic on which they're knowledgeable.

"Oftentimes, these quick public forays can do more for your career than hundreds of hours sitting alone at work," Cain says.

However, she adds that many introverted leaders are very skilled at building one-on-one relationships behind the scenes. "They move up one deep connection at a time to get ahead," she says.

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook.

See also:

4 ways managers can keep introverted and extroverted employees from clashing

4 ways famous introverts Bill Gates and Warren Buffett can help you be a better boss

The No. 1 advantage Mark Zuckerberg and other introverts have over extroverts