The Introvert’s Guide to Speaking Up in Meetings

For many introverts, the idea of speaking up in a meeting can be challenging. Unlike extroverts who get their energy from being around other people, introverts feel best alone or in small groups of people they know well. However, participating in meetings is a key part of career development and something that is required in almost any position introverts will apply to, from paid and unpaid internships to entry-level jobs.

Luckily, even if you’re a deep introvert, there are several things you can do to make your voice heard during meetings and to make being in a meeting (surrounded by people) enjoyable for you.

Prepare something to say

Introverts generally prefer to assess the situation and the group dynamic before speaking, integrating this information into what they say. They’re also more likely to spend a lot of time thinking before they speak and can sometimes miss opportunities to talk in situations where things move quickly.

A great strategy for counteracting the fast pace of most meetings is to prepare a few key points in advance and mention at least one of these during the meeting. This will not only make it easier to speak up but will also ensure that you’re adding value to the conversation.

Pro Tip: Email the meeting organizer ahead of time and ask for the agenda. This will help you structure your thinking and also ensure that you’re addressing the main points of the meeting.

Speak up early

As anyone who’s been in a group setting or class discussion knows, the conversation can shift gears rapidly. By speaking up at the beginning of the meeting, you can establish your presence early on, while the conversation is still structured and not too fast-paced. Having made an impact in the meeting, you can then take additional time to decide whether you want to say anything else. This is also a great chance for you to guide the conversation and make it happen on your own terms.

Pro Tip: If you’re feeling unsure about how to speak up, try observing those who usually take the lead. Make note of what they say and how they say it, then adapt it to fit your style.

Follow up after the meeting

Even with pages of notes and a full meeting agenda, chances are that there will be a few things you want to think about more carefully before you share your opinion. That’s absolutely fine and, in fact, it’s where introverts can really shine.

As Susan Cain, leading introvert expert, explains in her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, having time to think through things on your own often leads to better ideas. If you do have something to add after the meeting, don’t be afraid to share this with the team by sending out an email with ideas and action points. This will likely keep the conversation going and result in some great outcomes for everyone.

Contrary to popular belief, introverts and extroverts are not at odds with each other. In fact, the two personality types are two sides of the same coin and often balance each other out, especially in professional settings. Although you may not feel as comfortable speaking up in a meeting as some of your more extroverted coworkers, by using these tips you can make an impact while staying true to who you are.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 10 Tips on the Perfect Cover Letter and find answers to common interview questions such as What Are Your Hobbies?

Common Tools for Social Media Managers

If you’ve already found out tips on how to become a social media manager from Birchbox’s Juliette Dallas-Feeney, you know that working with social media involves more than just a knack for posting funny memes. It also requires an understanding of the social media landscape and an analytical mind. Whether you’re applying for a paid or unpaid internship or an entry-level job, there are several tools that can help you measure stats accurately and consistently in the fast-moving world of social media. These tools can also help you maximize engagement across different channels and get the best results for your campaigns.

If you’re thinking about applying for a social media role, familiarizing yourself with these tools will help you demonstrate knowledge of the field during the interview.

Here are some of the most common tools you’ll need when entering this field.

1. Google Analytics

One of the best and easiest ways to track the performance of your social campaigns is Google Analytics. This free analytics service is easy to integrate into any website and offers comprehensive reporting for website traffic, including audience insights and geographic breakdowns of where your traffic is coming from.

Why it’s important: Social media managers use Google Analytics to keep track of which pieces of content are performing well on various social channels and how those channels are driving traffic to their websites. The service (which has a paid component with even more in-depth insights) is one the best ways to stay up-to-date on how your site and social media accounts are performing, making it easy to test different strategies and track results.

2. Hootsuite

One of the most established tools for social media management, Hootsuite makes it easy to create, schedule and track social posts across different platforms. Hootsuite is most commonly used with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn although it has the ability to connect with a total of 35 social networks. This makes it a one-stop shop for social media management, letting you manage all of your accounts in one place.

Why it’s important: Hootsuite allows you to schedule and analyze your social posts as well as create custom reports that you can use to track campaign performance. In addition to making it easy to see all of your social accounts in one place, the tool also acts a social-listening device, offering you real-time information on trending topics that you can leverage to boost engagement.

3. Facebook Insights

A great tool for any social media manager, Facebook Insights makes it easy to measure things like reach, engagement, clicks and shares. The interface also lets you generate reports for individual time periods so that you can get an accurate idea of trends for a specific month or quarter. As an added bonus, Insights shows you pages similar to yours, making it easy to capitalize on new social trends in your specific field.

Why it’s important: Since Facebook is the single-highest traffic driver for websites across almost every industry, social media managers rely on Facebook insights to understand how audiences are engaging with their content and create strategies for maximizing the impact of their campaigns.

4. Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Manager is one of the most important tools in any social media manager’s toolbox. This service makes it easy to create, run and track ads on Facebook, ensuring maximum engagement with your target audience.

Why it’s important: Social media managers use Facebook Ads Manager to increase engagement and boost traffic to the company’s website. This can be done by boosting existing posts or creating sponsored ones to engage new users and increase visibility. Best of all, Facebook offers tools to manage spending and track ad performance.

4. Buffer

Like Hootsuite, Buffer is a social media tool that allows you to schedule, publish and analyze posts on multiple social platforms at once. Another freemium service (that offers additional services for a premium fee), this is a wonderful alternative to Hootsuite, offering increased flexibility with scheduling and the ability to manage your social channels from one place. Buffer also has an innovative creative tool that lets you turn quotes into images, driving more engagement to your posts.

Why it’s important: Every expert has their preferred tools and some social media managers prefer Buffer’s interface and analytics tracking platform to the one offered by Hootsuite. The only way to know which one is right for you is to try both and see what fits your needs.

Pro Tip: Since different companies use different scheduling and tracking tools, having in-depth knowledge of several social media management services is likely to impress hiring managers and get you noticed as a serious candidate.

5. TweetDeck

While Hootsuite and Buffer offer a multi-channel solution for social media management, TweetDeck offers a specialist solution specifically for Twitter. This is an awesome tool if you’re focused on your brand’s Twitter presence since it allows you track trends, measure engagement and post from multiple Twitter accounts at once.

Why it’s important: Owned directly by Twitter, TweetDeck offers a seamless way to manage Twitter accounts on a large scale while also providing the most accurate analytics for this channel.

6. Canva

Over the course of the past two years, images have become increasingly important on social media. Posts with images currently drive 94% more traffic than posts without images. As a result, many social media managers are finding themselves learning graphic design with services like Canva.

Why it’s important: Canva takes the guesswork out of creating great graphics by offering templates that are easy to customize and share. It’s also a wonderful first step to learning more complicated design programs like Photoshop and InDesign. Added bonus: Knowing the basics of design will give you an edge over other candidates.

Working in social media involves a unique blend creativity and metrics-driven strategy. In order to maximize the impact of your campaigns, and land a job of your own, it helps to have the best tools at your disposal.


Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Take an Exit Interview and find answers to common interview questions such as What Are Your Weaknesses?

How to Grow Your Professional Network

Growing your professional network as a student or recent grad is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re setting yourself up for long-term professional success. What’s the best way to do this? By reaching out to people in your personal network and connecting with alumni of your college or university who are working in a field you’d like to work in.

Here are some things to keep in mind when growing your professional network.

1. Reach out to people within your social and alumni networks

Although you may not have much (or any) professional experience, you likely already know plenty of people who can be part of your professional network. The key is to identify them. The best way to do this is by taking some time to make a list of everyone in your social and academic circles. When compiling your list, include everyone from family friends to professors and peers, and don’t limit yourself to a specific industry. Instead, focus on making your list as broad and inclusive as possible to ensure that you’re building a strong network. Once you have your list, identify 2-3 people who can help you develop your career goals. Then, reach out to them and ask to set up a time to chat (either in person or over the phone), and use your time to talk to them about your career goals and to get their advice on steps you can take to achieve them.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to reach out to people within your school’s alumni network. Many alumni are actively involved with mentoring students and recent grads from their alma maters and even those who aren’t are likely to be flattered that you reached out to ask for their advice.

2. Stay in touch with co-workers and managers from previous jobs and internships

Once you have some professional experience under your belt (such as an internship or part-time job), make it a priority to stay in touch with former managers and co-workers. This will ensure that you’re building long-lasting relationships and leaving the door open for new opportunities that may arise in the future. The best way to do this is by reaching out a couple of months after the internship has ended to let your former manager know how you’re doing and to ask them about any updates on their end.

Pro Tip: Be specific. Instead of sending a vague email asking how they’re doing, ask about the outcome of a project you worked on together or about a trip they were planning to take. This will show them that you’re interested in establishing a genuine relationship and that you care about the work you produced while you were with the organization.

3. Make use of your social media accounts

Although social media is more often seen as a personal space rather than a professional one, using it as a networking tool is a great way to connect with people in an organic way while showing off a bit of your personality. This can be as simple as “liking” the Facebook page of a particular brand you admire or tweeting at an influencer about something they’re working on. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to be respectful in your interactions and to put your best foot forward.

4. Be genuine and helpful in your interactions

When done right, networking can be a powerful tool for advancing your career and creating the kinds of relationships that will stick with you throughout your professional life. And if you want to ensure that those relationships are authentic and long lasting, it’s important to approach networking opportunities with a genuine interest in getting to know the other person and being as helpful to them as possible. By demonstrating your desire to create a strong professional bond, you’re likely to develop the kinds of relationships that will be mutually beneficial to everyone involved.

Although growing your professional network might seem a bit intimidating at first, by approaching it in a thoughtful and strategic way, you’ll be able to set yourself up for long-term success.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Be a Team Player and find answers to common interview questions such as What Are Your Strengths?

6 Ways to Impress Your Boss

Whether it’s a paid or unpaid internship, an entry-level job or a part-time job, there are several things you can do to impress your new boss right off the bat. Following these steps will help you learn your job quickly and make a positive impression on everyone at the company.

Here’s a guide of what you should do in your first month on the job.

1. Set up meetings with team members

Make a point of setting up individual meetings with your co-workers so that you fully understand their roles and how their positions interact with yours. No need to make them formal — these can even be walks or coffee chats. Be proactive and focus on learning everything there is to know about the company. Once you get a firm grasp of the inner workings of the organization, your value becomes much greater and so do your chances of impressing your boss.

Added bonus: Your co-workers will appreciate that you took the time to get to know them and that you’re taking an interest in their work.

2. Ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is a key part of the learning process and your manager will be expecting you to do so. Asking questions not only shows your interest in the company but also your commitment to learning and growing with the organization. Challenge yourself to ask at least one question about any new task you’re given. This will help you learn new things more quickly and speed up your transition into the new role.

3. Try to own at least one big project

Being proactive about getting involved in company projects is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to the role and to show your manager that you’re enthusiastic about the opportunities available to you. Focus on a particular challenge the company is trying to overcome or an innovative idea that they haven’t had time to execute. Volunteer to take on the project and bring it to fruition. This will show your boss that you’re serious about making a difference and adding value to the organization.

4. Be a team player

Collaborating with your co-workers is another wonderful way to demonstrate value. Offer to help your team members with projects that are a good fit for your skill set and try to anticipate challenges that you might be able to address. Being a team player will give your boss a better sense of how you handle tasks and show them that you’re committed to the role.

5. Send weekly progress reports

Sending weekly reports is a great way of showing that you’re organized and focused on results. Be sure to send this over email at the end of the week and include everything you completed that week as well as outlining the things that you still need to learn and areas where you hope to improve. This will show your manager that you’re self-aware and able to proactively assess your own performance. It will also give him/her insight into where they can be most helpful in your onboarding.

6. Ask for feedback

Setting up a meeting with your boss is a big win. This will help you understand their expectations so that you can ensure you’re meeting them. Come prepared with three questions to ask and take notes during the meeting. Your questions can include things like: What keeps you at night? What do you expect of me? How will my performance be measured? At the next meeting, outline the steps you’ve taken to address your manager’s comments and show that you’re proactive about meeting their expectations.

Whether it’s your first job or your fifth, starting a new job will have you thinking about how to impress your boss. By following these steps, you’ll be sure to nail your first few weeks at the job and make a positive and lasting impression.


Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 3 Ways to be More Productive at Work and find answers to common interview questions such as Why Do You Want to Work Here?.

How to Handle Feedback at Work

Whether you’re just starting your first internship or already settled into a full-time job, constructive feedback is something you’re likely to encounter sooner rather than later. Why do employers give feedback? It’s to ensure that you know what’s expected of you and to show that they care about your work and want to help you be successful in your position.

Here are some things you can do to make the process of receiving feedback as effective as possible.

Ask for feedback

Taking initiative and asking for feedback is a great way to show your employer that you’re committed to doing a good job and passionate about finding ways to improve. The best way to do this is to set up a one-on-one meeting with your manager and ask them for feedback on specific things you’re working on. For example, if you’re in charge of creating a presentation deck for a certain project, you can walk them through the presentation and get their advice on what you can do to make the presentation as effective as possible.

Pro Tip: Asking for concrete feedback on specific things is a great way to maximize the advice you’re receiving. Don’t just say, “Is there anything I could be doing better?” Instead, focus on a task you’re working on and ask a direct question such as, “Am I taking the right approach here?” This will give your manager a chance to provide detailed feedback while also setting the tone for them to provide more general feedback when needed.

Take time to process the feedback you receive

For most of us, the prospect of receiving feedback makes us feel somewhat defensive and our initial impulse might be a “fight or flight” response to being criticized. However, by retraining our brain to think of feedback as helpful, we can overcome this impulse and find productive ways of incorporating it into our work. The best way to do this is by taking some time to process the feedback before responding to it. Instead of addressing it immediately, thank the person and take some time to think about what they’ve said. Once you’ve done that, you can respond and address specific points that you’d like to clarify or expand on.

Pro Tip: The key to keeping an open mind in this situation is to realize that the person giving you feedback has only one goal: to help you improve. By making this your focus, you can ensure that you’re receptive to their advice and that you act on the information you receive.

Agree on action items

Since feedback is designed to help you improve, having a concrete way to implement it is really important. In order to do this, make sure to walk away from the meeting with a concrete list of next steps. For example, going back to the presentation example, if your manager has asked that you add additional slides or metrics to the deck, be sure to outline what those slides or metrics will look like and come up with a timeline for when you will implement the changes.

Try it out

Once you’ve outlined your next steps, it’s time to apply the feedback. The key to doing this successfully is to focus on each step carefully and to take into account both the overarching and detailed points of the feedback you received. However, it’s also okay to push back on elements that don’t feel right to you. For example, if you implement a change to the presentation deck and you feel like it doesn’t add any real value, it’s okay to say so and to brainstorm other things you can do instead.

When handled in an open-minded and receptive way, constructive feedback can be a powerful tool that will help you succeed in your role and develop new skills along the way.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Become a Confident Public Speaker and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

How to Give Feedback to Your Manager

Giving and receiving feedback in a professional context might seem a bit intimidating at first. If that feedback is aimed at your manager, it’s likely to be even more intimidating. How can you ensure that you’re not offending your manager while also giving them feedback intended to improve your relationship and their work?

Here are some steps to follow when giving your manager feedback.

Establish a positive relationship with your manager

One of the keys to giving feedback (in any context) is ensuring that you have a relationship with the person beforehand. Since feedback is meant to help the person on the receiving end, knowing them and their work is a key factor in being able to deliver the kind of thoughtful observations that will help them improve. In order to establish this relationship with your manager, it’s important to build trust by taking initiative in your role and by asking for feedback yourself and acting on it. This will go a long way toward showing your manager that you value the relationship and that you’re providing them with feedback designed to improve on an already positive working relationship.

Ask for permission to give feedback

Before giving your manager any feedback, it’s important to ensure that they’re receptive to it and that the timing is right. You can do this by asking them if you can share some thoughts on an existing project or if they are providing you with feedback on something and you’d like to expand the conversation, you can offer them some feedback in return.

The best way to ask for permission by framing the question as something that would be helpful to you as their employee. For example, when giving feedback related to a particular project, you can say something like, “What would be really helpful to me would be to have some concrete steps in place for this next phase.” This will show your manager that your feedback is ultimately related to delivering the best results possible and will help them understand how they can help you do that.

Depersonalize the feedback

Another key component of giving your manager feedback is to make it impersonal. Rather than saying something like, “I don’t like it when you do XYZ,” you can say something like, “Something that’s worked for me very well in the past with previous managers has been XYZ.” This will shift the focus away from anything personal and onto your professional relationship.

Write it out

Once you have a clear idea of what you want to say, it’s important to write it out and refine your delivery. This is a great way to ensure that your feedback is both effective and sensitively. After you have an initial draft, take another look at it and practice saying it as you would to your manager. If something doesn’t sound quite right, refine it and try again. By the second or third draft, you’ll likely have it just right and you’ll be ready to discuss it with your manager.

Although giving your manager feedback might seem a bit stressful, by focusing on how you can improve your working relationship and how you can help them help you, you’ll be able to deliver the kind of feedback that managers appreciate and that makes the whole team stronger.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Get a Mentor at Work and find answers to common interview questions such as Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

How to Answer an Employee Feedback Questionnaire

With many companies turning feedback into an ongoing process, feedback platforms are increasingly being used to find out what employees think about their roles and about the company in general. If you’ve never given formal feedback before, you might be wondering what to expect from this process and how you can make the most of the feedback you provide. A great way to start is by knowing what questions to anticipate and preparing to answer those questions as honestly and effectively as possible.

Here are the questions you’re most likely to encounter on an employee feedback questionnaire.

1. Do you feel challenged in your role?

When an employer asks this question, it’s because they want to know that you’re feeling stimulated by your role and that you’re not bored by the day-to-day tasks involved. The key to answering it effectively is to be honest about whether or not you find the role challenging and to back this up with examples of specific things you find challenging (or too easy).

2. Do you feel you know where to find help when you need it?

This question is designed to ensure that you know what support is available to you at any given time and to assess how comfortable you are seeking out that help. The best way to answer it is by explaining the steps you take whenever a problem comes up. If you tend to tackle problems on your own because you’re not sure where to find help, be sure to mention that and explain what resources you’d like to have instead.

3. What’s your preferred working style?

Focusing on your personal work style, this question aims to understand you better as both a person and an employee. For example, if you’re someone who works best in a quiet environment, your employer will be able to use the information you provide in the feedback form to adapt your working environment to your needs. This will help you do your job more easily while also ensuring that you’re able to meet the goals the company sets for you.

4. What would you say is the biggest issue you experience on a regular basis at work?

Being able to tell your employer about a challenge you face on a regular basis is extremely important. This will allow them to address the problem directly while making your day-to-day work experience much more pleasant. The best way to answer this question is by being as honest as possible about the problem while providing concrete examples of how it affects your work. For example, if you’re not able to meet productivity goals because you’re constantly working through technical issues, this is a great time to mention that.

5. What is one practical step we could take to help make your job easier?

Finally, one of the most helpful things you can tell your employer is how they can make your job easier. This can be anything from moving your desk to changing your goals. Whatever it is, it should be be something that will have a big impact on your work and your morale.

Giving your employer feedback is a great way to ensure that the company is able to support you in your role while also being aware of any challenges you might be facing. By answering these questions honestly and keeping the focus on actionable steps, you’ll be able to help your employer create a positive working environment for you and for the company.

* This article was written in partnership with the team at Impraise.