I Want to Be Alone

Bob Goldman on

Ask the typical employee what they most want from their jobs ...

Go ahead; do it. I'll wait right here.

Chances are, the most frequent answer you received was something along the lines of "the sense of satisfaction that comes with working hard to help people solve problems that make their lives better."

In other words, they want "money. Lots and lots of money."

Ask me what I want from a job and you'll get an altogether different answer.

I want to be left alone.


I'm an introvert, and there are plenty more like me. You don't know this important factoid because we introverts are stealth employees -- or try to be. Our goal is to never be asked a question, never stand up in a meeting and never have to talk to our co-workers, our managers and, most of all, that nosy parker, Dennis, from IT.

To an introvert, the best thing a manager can say about you is "the name's not familiar. Do they work here?"

All of which proves what your mother told you: "To be successful is wonderful. To be anonymous is even better."

Ethan Hauser is a self-confessed introvert and the author of "The Plight of the Office Introvert," a recent article in The New York Times.


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