Glory Days of the Introverted

My wife and I have been studying our personalities over the years. It is quite apparent that she is an extroverted powerhouse. I’m not the quiet type, but I’m mild-mannered for sure. Does the one personality type stand more of a chance of success in a modern career than the other? I don’t think so. Sometimes there have been very unequal opportunities for extroverts and introverts, but at the moment, the scales are fairly balanced. Gary Vaynerchuk at Medium:

We are in the glory days of the introverted entrepreneur. Because of technology, there are so many ways to build a company now, talk to people and make connections in the business world; all without leaving your desk.

I support this belief. Introverts aren’t necessarily shy people that want to spend all of their days in their hobbits holes reading books and ignoring the doorbell. 1 I’m an introvert that’s grown accustom to a high amount of social activity. The Internet has made it much easier for me to stomach 24/7 activity, and even excel in ways that many extroverts do not.

Of special note, listening to podcasts has changed much of my thinking about day-to-day communication. There’s an art and skill level that some people naturally have in making conversation, or telling a story. Some have it and others don’t, for a variety of reasons. What’s key to someone’s ability to speak and come across intelligently often hinges on their self-aware empowerment. People that are in charge of a conversation feel at ease speaking for 90 minutes at a time on a show. People that feel belittled don’t care to say much at all.

And the skills that an introvert needs to help his or her career don’t necessitate that they behave like an extrovert on any level. You don’t have to be energized by surrounding yourself with enthusiastic type A people. What you need is to feel at ease making simple and good conversation via any tool — like say Tweets or text messages — or in any given environment — like say a busy coffeehouse.

Don’t fake it. Bet on your strengths. If you need to sit down all day at your desk and focus, do that. If that is working for you, make it happen that way. But never think that you need to be louder, more outgoing, a bigger personality; like yours truly for instance. This is a tremendous time for you to be building a company, and the ball is in your court.

Agreed. We were once told that we all needed to express the same social skills. Not true. Our talents vary for good reason. We all have something unique to create. If we were all more alike, either extroverted or introverted, then we’d all find it difficult to accomplish every job that needs to be done.

  1. I know many extroverts that are shy. Everyone is on a sliding scale of introverted and extroverted activity. Shyness affects anyone that’s too self-conscious when they’re out of their element in an awkward social activity.

Joe Darnell

Joe is a UI and graphic designer with prior experience as the creative director for three media-based businesses. Joe’s passionate about web design and graphic design with about 15 years of experience in the media industry. Additionally, Joe is the host of the Top Brew and Techtonic podasts, both featured on iTunes.