The ‘nerd’ takeover

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With the advancement of technology comes many perks and privileges, but also consequences and liabilities. The innovations that came with this advancement finally had to knock on the doors of the world of business. The ongoing changes in today’s world and importance of automated, online processes also alter the way employers think and who they favor / want to hire.

The popular wisdom is that people who are successful can easily build relationships, promote and sell their own brand, give fabulous presentations and excel in a face-to-face situation. All of which describe an extrovert personality. However, as years go by and technology brings more innovations, the prospect of a successful businessman changes as well. Historically, a company needed both introverts and extroverts, to run their business smoothly. The introverts usually being responsible for numbers like engineers or analysts, while extroverts being responsible for sales and the front line positions, where a face-to-face skill are necessary. Today, the work done by the extroverts becomes less important and in a huge part replaced by automated systems and artificial intelligence.

It has been proven and pointed out that the only way a company can survive and make profit is to be innovative and constantly make changes to stay on top of the nowadays customer. It has also been identified that extroverts fall in this aspect to their less flashy colleagues – introverts.

Today, many face-to-face processes are becoming automated and as a result, extroverts lose their importance for the success of the company. For instance, sales as we know, going from door to door or meeting with potential customers are almost extinct. Now, we buy and sell things online, we do not communicate over the phone or in person, instead we send out emails, and messages via more innovative and more convenient mediums. Where extrovert skills used to be crucial, today it’s the introverts that take over. Inside selling (as it is called) relies heavy on research and requires an ability to come up with innovative solutions to already existing problems, all of which favor introverts. This change applies even to marketing. In the past, it revolved around meetings, presentations, hosting big shows or events, in which extroverts are second to none. Today, marketing became data driven and automated, as every activity can easily be measured. Nowadays marketers are becoming more like engineers and analysts, as everything is about numbers and measuring them. Once again, these are the traits of an introvert, not an extrovert.

Taking a look at the highest roles within company, we see changes as well. Presidents, managers, team-leaders used to have to attend meetings and run processes day after day. They used to have to excel in many face-to-face activities, but this is no longer the case. Instead, now many companies become international, with multiple branches and facilities spread all around the globe. Today’s management attends less and less meetings and instead excel in online forms of communication. Once again, this is good news for all the introverts.

One of the greatest examples would be Steve Jobs. His presentations for Apple were being watched by millions of people around the world, but Steve Jobs was never a people person, he was a quiet, hard-working businessman who wanted to bring change.  As a matter of fact, there are more successful people like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates who are also perfect examples of how valued introverts are in today’s world.

In the world of constant flow of data, the world where everything is online, where all the processes have become automated, the world of information, which became more valuable than anything else one can wonder if being an introvert is finally going to pay off? If being an extrovert is no longer favored by employers? There is no definitive answer to these questions, but one thing is sure, the world is changing, the world of business is changing and with the way it is going right now, being good with numbers and technology is and will be more important that possessing good interpersonal skills.

As a short message to all the introverts out there – keep dreaming and keep your hopes up, because the world is changing and what used to be a burden may now become a true blessing.

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