For The Introvert At Heart: Surviving The Exuberant Creative Industry
Crowded places and small talk instead. Constantly meeting strangers and selling your craft. Going to events and working in groups…
We chose a field that demands creativity and that’s what we do best. But there’s no denying that in order to reach our goals we’ll have to forgo our introverted tendencies and mix in with the outgoing crowd. Sometimes the thought is overwhelming enough to make us question our career choice.
Here are 4 tips that might alleviate that stress:
Cause and effect
If you do this now, how will it affect your career later?
Creative Success 101 teaches us that, in this industry, knowing people gets you jobs. Sadly, it’s true. This means having to endure long hours of energy-draining conversations and endless repetitions of what you do, have done, and want to do with your life.
It’s important to keep in mind that you never know who you will meet or how that person can change your career. At the end of the day, if you’re really serious about being successful (whatever your idea of success is), you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and be strategic.
Sure, it’ll be a long evening which you could have used to relax at home. But getting that person’s contact details will link you with their contacts, and their contacts, and so on. It will expand your work and increase your chances of exposure. You might also find that one person with the same interests and objectives as you, and start a whole new creative journey.
Serendipity. It’s possible.
You are not alone
Why in the world did you choose a career that demands you talk to people if you prefer to be solitary?
Because talking to people will get you into the career you want. Talking to people will make you realise that you’re not the only introvert with an ironic dilemma.
The problem here is that many confuse introversion with shyness, and this is not the case. Emma Watson, Audrey Hepburn, Roy Rogers, Albert Einstein… All are self-proclaimed introverts who achieved phenomenal success and the huge public profile that comes with it. In fact, according to studies by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist, some of the most creative people are introverts, as introverts enjoy solitude and solitude catalyses innovation.
Your work is awesome
…and somebody out there will love it, but they don’t have a way to know about it unless you push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Go to those auditions.
Go to those networking events.
Send out those portfolios and contact those publishers.
Go. Go. GO!
Art is vital to our society. That is why you should view those tedious social gatherings as a step closer to finding that one person who connects with your art. In doing so, you will not only gain exposure and motivation, but also learn to deal with those wearisome “extrovert” needs of the industry (or at least make them more sufferable).
If all else fails, fake it ’til you make it!
That ol’ cliché. But according to Drake Baer, it actually works. This doesn’t mean rocking up and pretending to be the next Victor Hugo (though you might be), but it means that positive thoughts will translate into the way others see you.
This will make social events much easier to handle because people will be much more relaxed and open, and possibly more willing to hear what it is you have to offer.
The important thing is to remember that you knew perfectly well what you were getting into when you decided to be an artist. The second most important thing is to acknowledge that an evening socialising with strangers is a small price to pay to get into your ideal job.
Xiomara Meyer is a drama and creative writing graduate with an interest in psychology and the slightly bizarre. Samples of her work can be found here.
Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for marketing internship roles and giving out graduate careers advice. To browse graduate jobs and graduate jobs Manchester, visit their website.