Tuesday, May 04, 2010

On social interaction and work

I've been wondering recently about how my choice of occupation affects me beyond issues of finance and time. I am a computer geek by day - a software engineer. I spend most of my time in front of a computer programming, and testing my code. I've worked for three different companies now and the work has been varied to a degree and the responseabilities have been different.

Where I an now I (currently) have the least amount of managing other people and via reflects on the amount of interaction with my colleagues. However in general I work on projects by myself and apart from the occasional question and planning meeting there isn't a lot of conversation happening. Some of that is the people I work with (my previous job had a lot more chatter) but my wife has commented in the past how deathly quite it is (particularly compared to an English teacher's office).

That sort of quiet occasional social interaction is also my preference. I prefer a quiet night in with my wife and the computer rather than going out a being sociable with people I only know a little. I know I'm an intravert and so I don't get recharged by social activity. But would I be different if I was in a job that was much more based around people interaction?

The example I was thinking of when having there thoughts was being a doctor. When the time for choosing university courses came up a couple of people told me that I'd make a good doctor. They were basing that off my friendly personable nature however I have a bit of an aversion to blood - I won't watch those real medical shows. Would having a job that involved interacting with other mean I'd be needing more social interaction?

I certainly can't turn back the clock now (7 plus years of more study is not going to happen) so all I can really do is speculate. It is probably another chicken and egg problem my personality could have affected my carrieer choice or my job could have influenced my personality. As with all thing related to human behaviour it really can't be broken down into a binary equation and in all likelyhood it is probably more affected by my family and friends than anything else!

I really can't answer I'm just throwing this out to the ether.