Yes, I’m an extrovert in IT. It’s a very weird combination. It makes for some interesting meetings and it has quite a large affect on my personal and social life.
To quote the dictionary, an extrovert is “an outgoing person; a person concerned primarily with the physical and social environment rather than with the self.” It does pretty much sum me up. I like my surroundings, I like people around me, I don’t spend a lot of time ‘contemplating my navel’ (as my mother liked to put it). I speak a lot, I *try* to listen (and I am getting better at it), and I generally enjoy a good argument or debate, provided I’m not losing!
Being an extrovert in IT makes me somewhat of a minority. IT does tend to attract the more introverted people, probably because the idea of communing with a machine for 8-10 hours a day really does appeal to them. The problem is, IT is a service industry. While a large portion of the job is communing with a machine to work out what’s broken, an equally large portion is communicating with customers, stakeholders, colleagues and other people in regards to issues, resolutions, time frames, projects, meetings, etc. There are A LOT (not
And I am totally down with that. The communicating. Not the people. That would be gross. Ew, I can’t believe you thought that!
Anyway, moving right along…
I enjoy speaking to people – as an extrovert, I get most of my energy, my motivation, my ideas from simply being around others, being able to talk, bounce ideas, have someone tell me I’m wrong, tell someone *they’re* wrong. It can be great fun and I do enjoy it. However, I’m an extrovert in IT. There’s a reason I got into IT. I most certainly appreciate my own time and my own space.
Being extroverted doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be around people ALL. THE. TIME. If I was to be around a bunch of people for every minute of every day for an extended period of time? They would all be either dead or seriously injured from me beating them to death with my shoes (it would depend on my shoe of choice at the time as to how long this would take). I enjoy quiet time, down time, sitting-alone-in-the-dark time. I enjoy those moment where I’ve got my headphones on and no one is bothering me and I can just focus on what’s going on inside my extremely crazy, loud, over-the-top head.
I’m not a big fan of pigeon holes. I admit to being an extrovert – I’ve taken the Myers Briggs test and I’m almost as far “extroverted” as you can get. Which is pretty scary, when I think about it. But that doesn’t define who I am entirely. Yes, I’m extroverted, that doesn’t mean I enjoy complete random strangers hugging me because they felt like it (or even people I know, for that matter – I mean, personal space, people!) I hear the phrase “But you’re an extrovert, you should love this stuff!” said quite frequently. Some of the time it’s true. Some of the time it’s not. There’s a lot of variation in regards to someone extroversion.
For example – I’m not a public speaker. I cannot speak in front of lots of people. And by lots, I mean more than about 3. I get sweaty, I speak really fast, I fumble, it’s just not pretty. But as an extrovert, I’m supposed to love this shit. Yeah…not me. Sorry. I get public anxiety when there are too many people. I find that strange, considering I don’t, at least consciously, see them as a threat. But my subconscious does, for some reason. I’m a weird and complicated person who can’t just be classified because *most* of the time I get my energy from others.
The main reason behind this post is to show those who are introvert (and even those who are extroverted) that it doesn’t entirely define you. And if you’re labelled as introverted or extrovert and someone basis their opinions on you because of that…well, they’re an idiot.