Introversion As a Superpower
If you know me personally and are reading this, you’re probably surprised at my claim that I am an introvert. Often, people mistake my bubbly personality and easy-going nature as signs of extroversion. In reality, I am much more introverted than I am extroverted. So how have I been progressing in my career? An industry where extroverts thrive (or have a more significant advantage). I thought it would be a good idea to write a small blog sharing my experience in communications as an introvert and how I’ve made it work in my favor.
Know Your Strengths
I knew from day one that throwing myself into networking events, gatherings, or publishing houses wasn’t my cup of tea. So I had to focus on adding value in other places. I find myself to be an “idea generator” in my case. Regardless of industry, scale, or budget, I’ve learned to generate ideas left and right. I attribute this to my love of online culture and being a consumer of books, movies, shows, and video games.
Work Around Your “Weaknesses”
As I mentioned earlier, socializing isn’t my biggest strength. I freeze if my phone rings. If you work in communications, you can’t exactly avoid communicating with others, and you have to face that fear somehow. What worked for me is that instead of trying to be a social butterfly connected with dozens of people, I hand-picked a few and connected with them on a deep and personal level. For me, it’s easier to talk to someone if we have a relationship beyond just the work stuff, as I find maintaining shallow relationships extremely draining.
Turn The “Weakness” Into Strength
I have been using quotation marks around weaknesses for a reason. I don’t see these traits that are traditionally thought of as weaknesses as such. I prefer to look at the positive side of them. You don’t like socializing at events? Then you have more time to observe, learn, and absorb more information about whatever it is you’re attending. Do you have a five-track mind? Great, learn how to multitask and finish five things at once. Tend to retract into your own bubble a lot? Use that time to reflect and brainstorm. Too self-critical? Learn from those criticisms to ensure you cover everything in the future. Do you daydream a lot? Use that wild imagination of yours to dream up outstanding campaigns and leave the extroverts to do all the work 😉.
Do you feel like you’re an introvert? Do you feel that it helps you do your job better, or does it hinder you? I’d love to hear from you!
By Tarek Hakim, Communications Consultant, Active DMC