A techie is asocial. If not that, he is an introvert. And why is that? Noted psychologist Dr Laurie Helgoe says it’s because the work of IT professionals suits the introverts best. For instance, they mostly sit before a computer and not people. They interface more with technology than people. They are mostly hooked to cubicles. And hence they are happy in their own worlds.
So where’s the problem? Well, quite a few times, organizations want people to be team players and introversion doesn’t help. What is ironic is that IT culture promotes introversion indirectly and expects people to be with others. The fact remains that quite a few number of extroverts are also IT professionals. Does that mean they prosper more in their jobs? Absolutely not. Research has shown that a great team is a mix of both introverts and extroverts. And getting a label of ‘introvert’ is not harmful at all. It’s a personality type and no introvert must try to change that.
Introverts have a distinct advantage. Since they don’t usually seek out the approval of the people, they are focused on their tasks. The fact that they are introverts doesn’t mean they are not good in communication. Whenever required to speak, introverts turn out to be very good communicators too. The idea is to change the perception of people around them about them.
One good thing about IT industry is you will not go unnoticed if you are good at your work. Your work speaks for yourself. So introverts must never feel insecure about their counterparts for their networking skills. In a typical IT set-up, an introvert can do networking online if not face to face. He has an equal chance of influencing people through his networking. All he probably needs to learn is a few points of courtesies to show at the right places. Other than that, he is good enough to compete with extroverts.
Introverts must keep in mind that they don’t need to talk to every person in their company. They just need to be cordial with people who are directly related to their work, team or project. For the rest of the staff, they can get by with some basic courtesy.
Dr Helgoe says that introverts do not have the opposite qualities that the extroverts have. For example, extroverts are described as energetic. This doesn’t mean introverts are lethargic. The whole perception that extroverts have a quality and introverts have the lack of it, is false. An introvert is also an energetic person, he or she just doesn’t share the excitement with others.
The bottom line is introverts must never feel that they have to be extroverts to get ahead in their careers. IT world may be brutally professional but that is also something which goes in favour of introverts. They will always be rewarded for their focus and accuracy. They need to learn to enjoy their introversion and instead of trying to copy the extroverts, they must adapt to change and be open to learning.