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Suitable careers for an introvert physicist?

  1. Sep 20, 2012 #1
    Hello guys,

    The time has come where I have to step out in to the dog eat dog world after university to look for a job but unfortunately I have a few problems which I fear will hinder my chances..

    I am an introvert...I always prefer working alone rather in groups even though I have team work experience during my group projects. Don't know why, but it has been in my nature since I was a child...

    I am also really anti-social...When most people went out partying I always stayed home either studying or doing other stuff like research...

    I also lack leadership skills because I hardly ever participated in clubs or societies as I always concentrated heavily on my studies.

    These three problems I fear will hinder my chances in most industry sectors.

    I have tried various group workshops but they still don't seem to help as my inherent nature is embedded...its what I am..

    So what career opportunities are really suitable for a person like me?

    I know some here will state that I will just have to get over it and just apply to jobs, but another thing is that I do not know where I want to apply and what I want to do!

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2012 #2
    I advice you to have an academic career.
  4. Sep 20, 2012 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Hey Brynjolf and welcome to the forums.

    I have a few comments about your situation, but the main point I'd like to emphasize is that you don't have to be an outgoing party type, overly charismatic, super socialite to work with people.

    In terms of your comment for leadership, being club or society president isn't a requirement for leadership: leadership is about being responsible for your own actions, sticking to your values, and going out of your way to help and develop others.

    Having a nice title and wearing a suit is something that any idiot can do: the suit doesn't make the man (or woman). If you can stick to your values, and live your life according to those values where you take an interest to help and develop other people, then you are already a leader: a real leader and you may be surprised to know that a lot of these real leaders are unknown, only by the people they directly affect and the "other" ones are just empty shells.

    You should realize that working with other people doesn't mean you have to be some super-charismatic likeable, popular, humorous person: if you do your job and do it well and have respect for other people, and do what you can, then that is enough.

    But you have to be aware of the people that take advantage of people like you, and they are always out there: you get people that basically piggy-back on people that actually have something to offer and then maneouvre themselves into a position to get most of the credit: don't let other people do this. You may have to get confrontational (and I know this is something you would probably dread given your above post), but be aware of it and don't take crap.

    Another thing is that there are lots of different kinds of people and if you have bad experiences in the past but still have a desire to meet like minded people, then you should keep at it. If you really have no desire, then that's ok too but most people in some way or another do have a desire to be around other people.

    One final thing: you say you like to be introverted, but have you ever got up in front of people you don't know and talked about something that you really like? Have you ever met or spoken to people where you have been so surprised that you have a great time or learnt something that you never ever expected to learn?

    If you haven't done the above, then you may be surprised to know that the person you didn't speak to may have given you something that completely changes you, or you may have started a discussion where both you and the people you communicate to both get mutual benefit out of.

    Realize that there are tonnes of people just like you who don't like to party all the time and drink, and do all the things you think is associated with being other people: you get all kinds of people that do all kinds of things together in all kinds of capacities and socializing is not by any means restricted to clubbing and partying in the way you imagine it to be.
  5. Sep 21, 2012 #4
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