TED Conversations

Anne N

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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?

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    Jan 17 2013: I am more of an introvert. I can communicate certain ideas, but I would be lost as a salesman. I work in community theater as a lighting designer. I could not do the job of the producer where you have to be constantly on the phone soliciting other people to do things. I work well alone or in small groups. When the group gets too big, I get uneasy.

    My career choice found me. I joined the navy and was prompted to enter the nuclear power field because of my intellect and technical skills. I was asked if I wanted to become an officer. I turned it down because it would mean that I couldn't work with tools. Trying to tell someone how to fix something and not being able to fix it myself would have been overly frustrating.
    when I left, I found a job (or rather it found me through the unemployment office letter) working for a city owned utility. I worked my way up to control room supervisor. When asked if I wanted to move up to manager staff position, I knew that it would pose the same problem as becoming an officer, so I stayed where I was.

    I would be lost as a politician or any job that requires constant interaction with other agencies. I couldn't do the job of a police officer where you would have to invade the privacy of others.

    Contrary to what Greg says, TED allows you the isolation of not being in the room with a bunch of people. You are free to communicate your ideas when you feel up to it, and have the option to take a break at your leisure. If you don't like what someone else says, you have the time to think about it first. You also have the choice to choose the topic you engage in, and don't have to dread being dragged into a boring conversation, or a topic that you don't feel comfortable with.

    My introversion allows me to spend time building, fixing, researching things without interruption. That is what I find most relaxing.
    • Anne N

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      Jan 20 2013: Thank you for such a well written answer, Roy! I can see from your point of view in all these scenarios as an introvert myself. I suppose it would be a fair assumption to say that introversion has shaped your career in the sense that opportunities have presented themselves to you but your qualities as a more introverted person have helped you in or prevented you from taking these opportunities. Personally, I feel that as an introverted person, we can perform well in jobs that require higher degrees of extroversion. However, it might take a longer time to be comfortable in the job and unless it is a job that the introvert is passionate about, he or she might burn out after a while.
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        Jan 20 2013: You seem to have a good assessment of it. I could have taken the jobs offered to me, but I doubt that I would have been happy in them, even if I was successful. I was aware enough to know that my happiness was not based on money.

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