5 signs you are playing small at work as an introvert8 min read

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You started working at your job a year or even 2 years ago. You have not been promoted yet and even worse, your boss/manager barely notices you.

Being an introvert doesn’t mean quiet H24. I really want you to understand that it’s not your quietness that you have to accept, but really the whole personality trait: introversion (being thoughtful before talking, not enjoying small talk and so on.)

Being quiet is great but if you are quiet even when you SHOULD be raising your hand to speak, then that’s where it goes beyond introversion and it goes into the field of lack of self-confidence and shyness.

You feel like nobody will listen to you, and that even if they do, you have nothing that interesting to say. Well, I want you to understand that: You are a thoughtful, professional and brilliant professional, you are enough! You don’t believe me? Ask yourself and write down all of your wins: big or small. Do you believe me now?

If you are wary to speak up, it just means you are afraid of something: your abilities or what others may think about you or both (for the perfect combo).

Here are 5 signs you are playing small at work!

Sign 1: You have been in your company for over a year or 2, but never asked for a promotion.


I did choose an arbitrary number but if you have been at your job above the average time it takes to get a first promotion (do your research after you arrive in that company), it means that either:

A. You didn’t do your best at your job

I doubt that part since you are reading this article. You are committed to your career and truly care about the quality of your job and wish to become a leader in your field.

B. You do an amazing job but the talkative, salesy colleague got the promotion instead

You surely have that one colleague that is “a communication genius” (either an introvert or an extrovert by the way). It’s usually an extrovert who naturally knows how to communicate with managers and higher-ups. You didn’t work on your communication skills because you thought that was an introversion thing (huge misconception about introversion read the article here), you failed, he won.

This is typically the consequence of not understanding company politics, team players dynamics and communication skills. If you combine those 3 key elements with your amazingly done projects, you are well on your way to a promotion.

Sign 2: You never speak up in meetings


Are you the one that is ALWAYS sitting quietly in a corner in a meeting? I want you to ask yourself that question.

Are you quiet because you feel like there is no point in giving your ideas because it will be a time-waster?¬†Or, do you stay quiet because you are AFRAID of saying “dumb” ideas (there are no bad ideas by the way) or questions?

If you are in the second case, that’s a sign that you are playing small. Being an introvert doesn’t mean unassertive even though Google says so … Poor daddy Google time to retire you xD

I am 100% sure that your brilliant mind had great ideas, but your conscience, and most importantly you subconscious shut them down!

Sign 3: The only times you have done a presentation was because you were forced to.


Have you done a presentation last month? if not, then ask to do one!

I don’t care if it introduces your puppy (no I am kidding please don’t do that, that is cute though). Seriously, take the risk and present your ideas. Firstly because few of your colleagues would do that, Secondly it shows that you know how to communicate professionally, you are confident and have the quality of a potential leader (hello promotion!).

Sign 4: You stay at a “team member level” when you could actually lead a team.


Talking about leadership and managing a team. Have you declined or even not applied for a promotion by fear of having to manage a team? Ask yourself that question. if the answer is yes, you are playing small!

Sign 5: You are staying at your job because it pays the bills, you are good at it even though you go back home exhausted every day.


The most important sign that you are playing small is that you just stay at your job because it pays your bills. You have no passion, you hate your boss, your colleagues, the location, everything, yet you have been working there for 3 years, your CV is called Dinosaurus – 1000 before Christ and your linked profile look like a bald puppy!

Do yourself a favor, you won’t find any passion if you do nothing! Try new things, go traveling, meet new people, make your life exciting again and most importantly ask for help either locally or online for the CV, or anything else. You can use the money you are earning at that boring job to pay for a CV service if that helps you.


It’s your turn! Tell me in the comments below – after reading that article in which way do you feel you are playing small at work? Is there any other sign I didn’t include in this article?

Mama Sow
Owner of Introvertblossom.com and Youtuber

Mama Sow

Owner of Introvertblossom.com and Youtuber

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