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Is there a place in the workforce for the quiet employee?

1762 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Linnie48
I hear my parents and even my coworkers in the past say that social skills are a must, and I should at least try to socialize with coworkers. The coworkers I've cared to befriend are the ones where I've liked their personality and had common interests. But if I talk to them and discover we don't, then I just don't see the point.

In a fast food job I probably should've made more of an effort as I was surrounded by people my age. Now I'm in a "real job" and there is no one near me that I even care to socialize with. There are 2 guys my age in the break room that I'll try to have causal conversation with because they seem nice. The other 2 guys who sit near me around my age I cannot stand, especially the one who I actually did try to talk to during down time. They are calling the architects idiots all the time, complaining a lot, kind of know it alls. My supervisor is the same way and I don't think he likes me, though to be fair, my work ethic could use a lot of improvement. Everyone else is far older than me.

I recently got a comment that I should be more engaged which is true in some ways. I need to ask for help more instead of messing around and experimenting with the program on company time. I usually just stay quiet unless I run into someone in the break room where I will ask politely about their day. I know I have an attitude problem, but I don't like these people. I don't like hearing them constantly talk about how our clients are idiots and complain about the revisions they make. That's what being a designer is. Seems the quiet employee that just wants to be there for their time and then go home is seen as a problem, even though we don't bother anyone. What are your alls experiences with being the quiet one? Is there a place where this is seen as neutral or even good?

I also think my slight shyness is costing me job interviews. I am trying to hard to get out of this job (not hard enough though) and I usually make it to the second interview, then will never hear back
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There is definitely a place for quiet employees. Workers come in different varieties and if you are able to show value to the company, that is what matters. You don't have to be buddy buddy with co-workers, but just extending common courtesy should be enough (hello, how was your weekend, blah blah). I think where social skills are necessary is networking. You definitely need to be social to meet people in the field, keep in touch, etc. in order to build the industry relationships in case you wanted to be considered for a promotion or new job. That is what I find overwhelming.
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