TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Has your introversion/ extroversion shaped your choice of career?

I would like to know if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert.

Did your introversion or extroversion affect your choice of career?

How has your introversion or extroversion led to obstacles/ helped you in your career of choice?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 16 2013: Still struggling with your question, Anne. There is a little bit of a contradiction in it, because if someone were truly introverted, we would expect that they wouldn't answer your question at all, wouldn't we? As soon as someone says "I'm an introvert," we might say they're a little extroverted to even communicate it.

    On the broader question of you choosing a career, doesn't it seem like the extroverted people get more of the rewards in life? For instance, I'm extroverted, and I've gotten some good rewards. I've gotten to work in front of the camera with many movie stars, some of the world's most famous people. I've gotten to speak on the radio many times, sometimes my voice goes out across the country. I have pretty good money in my pocket.

    If you wanted to emphasize your extroverted side a little more, with the idea that the career of an extrovert might be more rewarding, think of what you do in your more extroverted moments. Do you go to the park? Get together with friends and talk? Go to the movies, or the beach? All these things can become careers, for example you can work for a parks department, work in some profession where you help people meet others (like matchmaker), run a movie theater, work as a lifeguard on the beach. Just an idea.
    • Anne N

      • +1
      Jan 17 2013: Hmm, well Greg, almost everyone is introverted and extroverted. When people say that they are "introverts" or "extroverts", they usually mean that they are more introverted or more extroverted. A person who is more introverted can want to answer questions. In fact, people who are more introverted can communicate with others as well as a someone who is more extroverted. The difference is that people who are more introverted prefer talking to small groups of friends and "recharge" through alone time. Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts have been called "famous introverts".

      Personally, I don't think that more extroverted people get more rewards in life. Rather, the type of rewards a more introverted and a more extroverted person want may be different.However, I feel that regardless of whether people are introverted or extroverted, everyone aims for different goals and rewards.

      I agree with your suggestion, though. If I, or anyone else who is more of an introvert, wanted to emphasise our extroverted sides and make them into a career, we could consider what we do when we are feeling more extroverted.
      • thumb
        Jan 18 2013: I wonder if we're talking about the cliched "style" of extroversion/introversion, or the real substance of it? For example, someone may walk into a party and start shaking hands with everyone, talking for a few minutes with many different people, and we'd say they're extroverted. Another person may walk in, find one person to talk to, and go to a corner and talk for an hour. Some might say that person is introverted. I wouldn't. I think you can be quietly extroverted, that is, outward-directed, wanting to communicate, and just careful about who you communicate with.

        I would still have to think that the communicative person is the more successful one, because they get to gather more ideas from other people, learn more about life and how to handle life, get more love, friends. I still would think that the really introverted person is a negative person. I'd like to go into a prison and see what percentage is introverted. Of course we all spend some time alone and need to process our experiences.

        I'd have to guess that Julia and Meryl are rather extroverted, or communicative. Having worked in this business a lot, I know that there's no way to get work unless you are willing to communicate, to reach out. In fact, the product itself is all about communication. A movie is not a solid good like a pair of shoes, it is all about communication, emotion and conveying emotion.

        Anne, I really like how you start conversations and keep getting back to people and offering thoughtful ideas and questions. I wonder if you could use this in your career? Teacher is a job that comes to mind. Or a host on the radio. Here in the U.S. we have a lot of "talk radio," where hosts will talk on the air, have guests, and also take many calls over the phone from the audience sitting at home, where members of the audience get to be on the air. Very likely you could be a host. Do you have "talk radio" in Singapore? What is it like?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.