Pushing past introversion to succeed in an extroverted field

By: Nicole Raymond

Public relations is a field that often demands practitioners to be friendly and extroverted, which is why I was a bit confused when my counselor at career services said the university’s PR program would be a great fit for me and my personality. I’m a hardcore introvert. I would much rather stay inside my house with a good book or my favorite Netflix original TV show than go anywhere or hangout with anyone. I need alone time to recharge and relieve my stress.

Despite my hesitation toward PR, I did some more research and decided it was something I was interested in and declared it as my major. As I started going through the classes, I fell in love with all things PR. I’ve always liked school, but I loved going to my PR classes and doing the homework. As much as I was enjoying school, there was one problem—I’m still an introvert.

Being an introvert in a mostly extroverted field has its challenges, but if you are driven, you can face each challenge and become an even better professional. One thing that really helped me step out of my shell was getting involved with people who have similar interests to mine. For example, I joined PRSSA and made a point to emerge myself in the organization and make friends with other members. Being around like-minded people, and talking and learning about things that scare you help to combat the introvert and unleash the extrovert within.

Another factor that helped me break through my introverted shell was my internship. Again, I was surrounded by people who did the same type of things that I did or wanted to do. I had people to look up to and turn to when I needed help. I was constantly working with my peers and bosses to create all types of PR documentation. This collaboration gave me the confidence and support I needed to make it out of the introverted cocoon. Of course, being an introvert in PR isn’t all bad, but having a good balance is important.

Finding the extrovert within wasn’t easy and I’m by no means finished searching, however, this doesn’t mean I now enjoy leaving my house or attending any event that has over three people I don’t know. I will never like that, but I made a decision that I wanted to be better. So, when needed, I push the introvert down and allowed the extrovert to take center stage, which has allowed me to succeed in my personal and professional life.

Nicole Raymond is senior majoring in public relations and double minoring in marketing and communications. This is her first year serving on EMU PRSSA’s E-board as VP of External Relations. Nicole is a wife, aunt, daughter, sister and friend. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @nicoleraymond74.

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