People are roughly divided into two categories – extrovert and introvert.
Most of us are in the middle, or depends on situations. Take myself as an example, I enjoy hanging out with people and not afraid of talking to passengers on the street. When I did man-on-the-street interviews for product development, I felt more excited than scared. However, I do need the time I spend with myself or talk deeply with close friends, which make me peaceful. Also, if I have to choose, I prefer the latter.
I believed many people have already watched Susan Cain’s speed ‘The power of introverts’ on TED.
Her story reminds me my experience. When I was 15, I didn’t apply for a trip with the other classmates since I had been to most of the places with closer friends and I didn’t find the point to spend my money again. Then my teacher called my parent saying that I’m unsociable and needed to respect the majority.
I didn’t understand why our education tells us ‘being yourself’, but when you are being yourself, people judge you because the criteria of ‘being yourself’ is different from theirs. Of course, I’m not saying participating in groups is not important. We are human – a kind of social animal. We are part of our society once we born, and it’s always great to cooperate with one another, communicate and learn more from each other.
I totally agree with her: “When it comes to creativity and leadership, we need introverts doing what they do best”
We do need our space, especially when we need creativity. When you turn off your rational thoughts, finally your brain gets some spaces for your unstructured, inspiring ideas, which you may not realise while they are hidden in your subconscious mind.
There is also a really good article written by Meredith Fineman ‘Being an Entrepreneur When You’re Not Extroverted’
I did question myself: ‘am I suitable for the role of a marketer or advertiser?’
In my brain, they are always that confident and they could always talk to a stranger like a friend. As well as their customers. (probably also the most important part) And yes, in the beginning of the semester, I was worried when I missed any event, just because I didn’t want to be left behind.
When I attended social events and looked at the speaker, I was always thinking: ‘No, I will never be the one who speaks like that ’.
Okay. This blog is a not about complaining how hard to be in this world as an introvert.
During past few months, I realised that actually we introverts can participate in activities happily and comfortably, as a marketer. (My position in my start-up is marketing director) For me, the key is, do not pretend that I am an extrovert, just be sincere – as what we do to our friends. ‘Being yourself’ sounds a cliché, and in fact, it is a cliché. However, when you are being yourself, people who have the same values are able to find you.
Nowadays, we are encouraged to be extrovert, outgoing, talkative or hospitable. Of course, they are great personalities and they are often associated with ‘success’.
But remember, there is no ‘best’ or ‘worst’, but only the ‘most suitable’ way for you.
After talking with many marketers and advertisers, I happily realised: There are SO MANY introverts in this industry, and they are doing an amazing job!
Also, I found a great article about some tips to make you more comfortable in social situations. ‘Tips from Famous Introverts: You Don’t Need to Be an Extrovert to Be Successful’ by Janice Chaka. I do sometimes do that when I meet new people, and it’s a nature way to start a conversation with them.
So, being sincere, being yourself, and finding a good balance.
This is what I experienced from past few months, and I believe this values will make me more comfortable in the future－as an introvert marketer.