Empowering the Freelance Economy

How could your personality impact your success?

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Discover how your introversion or extroversion could be shaping your freelance career. Learn to leverage your strengths, overcome challenges, and tailor your work life for optimal productivity and fulfilment.

What do Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama, Gareth Southgate, and JK Rowling have in common? They are all remarkably successful individuals who identify as introverts. Contrary to popular belief, introversion can be a significant asset in the workplace, especially for freelancers.

Renowned psychologist Carl Jung’s research on introversion and extroversion provides valuable insights for freelancers to get the most out of their work life. Jung, for example, defined introverts as individuals who draw energy from their inner world of thoughts and feelings, while extroverts gain energy from external stimuli and social interactions. This distinction is not a binary but a spectrum, with most people exhibiting a blend of both traits.

Can being an introvert hold you back at work?

Carol Stewart, the founder of Abounding Solutions and author of “Quietly Visible,” explains what it can mean to be an introvert: “It doesn’t mean that you are shy or socially aloof. Rather that, as an introverted person, I seek energy internally, whereas extroverted people source energy from those around them.”

Stewart, a self-proclaimed introvert, once felt embarrassed about her personality type. However, she later realised that many of her introverted traits were actually superpowers: being a good listener, forming close relationships, enjoying time alone, and thinking before speaking or acting.

Spotting your personality

To identify your dominant trait in your freelance work, consider the following:

Energy levels: Do you feel energised after a day of client meetings (extrovert) or drained (introvert)?

Work environment: Do you prefer a quiet home office (introvert) or a bustling co-working space (extrovert)?

Communication Style: Do you favour in-depth emails and written communication (introvert) or phone calls and video conferences (extrovert)?

Networking: Do you thrive at industry events and networking opportunities (extrovert) or find them overwhelming (introvert)?

Using your traits to your advantage

Introverts: Leverage your deep thinking and focus for complex projects. Market your excellent writing and communication skills for content creation or editing roles. Create a peaceful work environment to make the most of productivity.

Extroverts: Use your networking and interpersonal skills for client acquisition and relationship building. Consider project management or consulting roles where your communication skills shine. Seek out collaborative workspaces to spark creativity.

Tips for both personalities

Introverts: Schedule regular breaks for solitude and reflection. Practice networking skills in low-pressure environments.

Extroverts: Dedicate time for deep work and focused tasks. Hone your writing skills for clear communication.

Understanding your introversion or extroversion tendencies is not about labelling yourself but empowering yourself. By embracing your personality, freelancers can tailor their work lives for success and fulfilment. Remember, there’s no right or wrong; it’s about finding what works best for you.

As Stewart reminds us, “Once [I] understood that introversion is not a deficiency and started to own [it], [I] realised that many of [my] introverted traits…were incredibly powerful.”

Embrace your “shadow” to fulfil your potential

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