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What the Hell Is Up with Introverts?

15159253I’m an introvert — like, hardcore. I like people and I like socializing — but at the end of the day, I need to get away from all you people and have some “me” time. I also internalize a lot of my thoughts — I don’t need to let the world know about every idea that goes through my head. If I have something to say, I will find you and talk to you. If not, I’ll be at my desk, working or watching cat videos. If you need to tell me something, stop by and chat. I won’t bite.

Working at an agency can be a little weird for an introvert. Being a copy editor, I have one of the most introvert-friendly jobs in the company. However, at The Starr Conspiracy, if you want the ball, you have to go out there and grab it. Introverts have a tendency to linger on the sidelines and watch the action — not because we’re passive, but because we like to take information in and process it at our own pace. We’re also not always comfortable putting ourselves out there before we’re ready, but sitting on the sidelines for too long is not going to help you thrive in an agency environment, no matter what your role is.

According to this article in The New York Times, introverts comprise about 20 percent of the population. They also constitute an equal portion of the animal kingdom. “Rovers” are the fearless hunters who don’t pause in the face of danger — they’re extroverts, while “sitters” — the animal kingdom’s equivalent of introverts — are the heedful, stay-on-the-sidelines types who are more cautious in perilous situations. Rovers bring home the bacon, while sitters keep the species alive.

This cautious “sitter” temperament is vital in the chaotic world of marketing. At The Starr Conspiracy, it’s the copy editor’s job to force everyone to slow down and take a second look at their work. When so many ideas and words and concepts are being thrown about and work is moving through the shop so quickly, it’s important to have an objective party who can pause, take everything in and give everyone’s work a critical eye before it’s presented to the client. It’s us “sitter” types who keep you reckless extroverts in line.

Extroverts are important in marketing — they speak their mind when us introverts are still trying to pick out the right words to say — but it’s also important to throw a few introverts into the mix. We’re patient, we’re focused and we’ll quietly let you know if your “brilliant” idea needs some work. Oh, and we’re creative, too — we’re just not going to walk up to your desk and tell you about it.

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