“Extroverted individuals are the most successful in their professional careers.” You have no idea how much this has affected me personally and professionally. Yes, I’m a soft and quiet person. On a typical evening, I would rather be left alone, read a book, write, left alone in my thoughts or cook my favourite meal than going partying, clubbing or being in a room full of people.
Throughout my life, I’ve been hearing the same thing, ‘Akhila speak up more’, ‘Akhila, why are you not talking to other people and just sitting there in one corner alone’, ‘With your introverted character, I don’t think you will be successful professionally’. Thus, my first career option wasn’t into marketing. I was searching for options that included least human interaction and being left alone in my zone.
But, I ended up having a lot of interest and curiosity towards marketing. In fact, my final year dissertation was all about consumer behaviour and marketing. Being constantly reminded that being shy, quiet and having a soft character won’t help you in a work environment gave me the fear of not only working in a corporate environment but also making the tough decision of being an aspiring marketer.
2020 isn’t that much of a great year (I personally wish we could skip this year) but it’s also the times where we all hear ‘Accept for who you are, be confident for who you are and you are awesome just the way you are!’. I’m not into all this self-love stuff, one big reason for that might be because of my high level of insecurities of being an introvert and my character. But after watching Susan Cain’s TED Talk which covers the topic ‘The Power of Introverts’, I sighed a relief and let me say to you, I’m slowly starting to gain confidence and feel happy for who I am.
In Susan Cain TED Talk she says our classrooms, society and workplaces are built on only promoting an extrovert environment and I do think it is true. I was also surprised to know that Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Kirk Hammett and Bill Gates are all famous individuals who have left a mark in history despite being an introvert. These famous individuals are all introverted leaders but they do have one thing in common, they are able to manage their people by listening to their thoughts, ideas, suggestions and feedback thus obtaining better outcomes.
Moving on, I don’t know about you guys but I feel like there’s a misconception that marketing is best suitable for people possessing excellent communication skills and exhibiting enthusiasm to others. Basically for extroverted individuals. However, in ever changing times where marketing is more consumer-focused, introverted marketers can do much better than ever before. Today, brands consider customers to be the most valuable asset rather than a company’s product/service to generate revenues. Hence, introverted marketers can play a major role here by listening and building deeper relationships with customers. They can then get some form of inspiration to uniquely sell the product/service in a market filled with similar products/services.
I’m not here to say that extroverts are not the best in marketing or they can’t be the best leaders. But, it’s time to accept and promote each individual for who they are. Introverts have their own pros and cons, but when they are put into situations where they can excel, they make quite a positive impact.
Alright that’s it. Time to go recharge, phew!