The last two months have been super busy and frustrating to me. The usual. So little time to write. However, two topics I have previously written about have intersected and I need to write about it. The two are the "I" (introvert) personality type and my job search.
I have been looking for a new job for about nine months now. Sorting through all the crap on the internet and dealing with headhunters is not fun, but I've turned it into a game just to keep me sane. This week I finally got the gold ring -- an offer for a job I actually want. It's a good job and a good company. I went under the electron microscope to get it.
Three separate interviews. With other managers and HR people. Finally a video interview with their CFO in Europe. Discussions about my DISC rating and how I would interact with different DISC types. They checked my references. They checked my credit. They ran a full background check.
This week I went to the company's location where I would be working to meet with the local president and the rest of the management team. I had tours, dinner, meetings, etc over 24 hours before the offer was made.
Here is the interesting part. On the second day I went to the final meeting in the president's office to get the offer. The conversation shifts back to discussion of personality types.
"After spending a little more time with you over the last day, you come across as kind of "I", he said, "Are you sure you're up for this job?"
I wanted to scream at him. Being "I" does not make you less competent!!!! It means I bring different strengths to the workplace.
The fact is that many managers view "I" people as less aggressive and assertive, and therefore less suited for a management position. This may be true for some I's. It also may be true for some E's.
Every time I go on one of these interviews I learn something. I've learned that I need to work harder at coming across less "I" and perhaps more aggressive in order to win more jobs.
In the end I got the offer. But for a few minutes I thought he was going to tell me he changed his mind.
The fact is that I have a solid track record over the last fifteen years of getting the right answer, completing major projects, being the go-to person when something needs to get done, never having ugly HR situations, and hardly any turnover of my team. I am a thoughtful listener who makes sure everyone is included and gets their fair share of the credit. The only criticism I consistently get is that I'm too direct and push too hard sometimes.
I know I'm more effective than some of the self-centered "E"s I've worked for.
I feel there's a workplace bias against I's and this week it's really bothered me.