This is a guest post by Dr. W. You can find out more about him at the end of the post.
In 2010 and 2011 I noticed there were a few students asking for help on how to cope as an introvert in a seemingly extroverted environment. An environment that seems to only value constant socializing and networking. An environment that seems to sometimes shun inner-thought and looks down on those who need some down-time after a long day being around people. While also needing some time to process– in their way –the vast amount of information provided each day.
When I decided to become a student [again]in 2011 I had the same worries – but only for a short while. Because at the end of the day your teachers, lecturers and professors don’t really care that much how active you are with socializing. What they care about that you do what they expect of you and that you [hopefully]pass their course.
However, in some professions networking can be important – but it’s not always the be all end all that lands you the job you want.
Because the way you carry yourself, how you act, will lead you to the job that will suit you. Think about it. If you pretend to be an extrovert, going around being one of the most social people on campus, that will create a path which will lead you to a job that demands a person like that.
This is something I’ve experienced working as a freelance journalist. The way I act and how I write has started to create a path. A path I didn’t expect to go down, but a path a do enjoy.
If you like gossip, then go for it! Go write for a tabloid magazine and pretend you’re a journalist. But if you hate gossip with a passion– like yours truly –then don’t do it! Especially don’t do it because everyone else says you should do it!
What I experienced and did as a student in 2011 was to show up at class, pick up my assignments and do what was expected of me as a student. Socializing came second. And you will experience the same myth when you start working. Extroverts who can’t relax their lips for five seconds will try to make you believe that if you don’t socialize you will not last long. Most of the time your boss don’t care how much you socialize or how many friends you have. As long as you meet your deadline– and don’t creep people out –your boss will keep you employed.
While some of those who claim that socializing is the be all end all will drift from person to person and from job to job. Because at the end of the day, they are too busy being social while people like you are picking up their slack and acquiring working skills.
However, do what is required of you as a person, as a student or as an employee to do the best work possible.
Don’t become too stubborn in your ways though. I also hate public speaking with a passion, but most of the oral presentations I did in 2011 I received top marks. How did I do it? I followed one of my teacher’s advice – fake it!
Dr. W (not that kind of doctor) has always stood up for who he is — an INTJ. The Doc started blogging in 2004, but decided to up the ante by becoming a freelance journalist in 2010. His biggest influence is Hunter S. Thompson, the father of Gonzo journalism. Most of what he writes is based on his own experiences; and he prefers to season his stories with facts, rather than assumptions.