User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9

  1. #1
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    MBTI
    ENTJ
    Posts
    3,272

    Default dealing with university work culture

    I've had a 6-month job in a university and I've been invited to a interview for another one. Having dealt with various university professors in the past, a picture is starting to emerge.

    There's a really big proportion of people who like to minimize any interaction with other people. Many are reluctant to share information. Great number of people avoid teamwork. People generally don't help each other a lot. Everyone expects the best of everyone else, and they are generally annoyed at the sight of anything but a stellar performance. There's very little guidance, coaching or anything of the sort. People are expected to learn their job on their own. There's a great deal of freedom and independence.

    Part of me likes this culture, part of me doesn't. I can understand the introverted approach to communication. It is really boring to explain simple stuff over and over again. In an institution of higher education, most research staff would probably want to focus on their own research rather than help lazy students and lazy assistants with some questions about simple textbook stuff.

    I've also started a teaching job at a business school, and I haven't noticed similar phenomena in their work culture. They got a big emphasis on verbal communications skills whereas the university doesn't.

    I've thought of how to adapt to this university culture. Probably it would be best for me to prepare for my job well enough so I won't have so much of those inconvenient questions. Thoughts?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    686

    Default

    They want you to self-learn, the way they've all self learnt. Just pretend you're doing that and you'll be fine.

  3. #3
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    MBTI
    ENTJ
    Posts
    3,272

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chthonic View Post
    They want you to self-learn, the way they've all self learnt. Just pretend you're doing that and you'll be fine.
    This seems reasonable. Is there more to it?

    I'm starting to think that people don't care as long as things are running smoothly. Some call this .. if I remember correctly.. satisifiability. If it wasn't satisfiability, it was something similar. Well. Satisfiability seems to be some kind of logical condition. How about I tell it in my own words? The theory goes that people are generally willing to expend energy until they are satisfied with their situation, but after that, people are less willing to use energy on making improvements.

    If I apply this knowledge to workplace relations, I should tell that people are content if there aren't any major problems. I should then probably go about my business without trying too many improvements or anything of the sort. What's the idiom for this? Not rocking the boat?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    686

    Default

    Yes you've got it. More than anything in any workplace environment people want their nice stable little world to stay that way. They dont want someone coming in and trying to change everything. As far as they are concerned it's up to you to adjust. As long as you are meeting your personal performance criteria and leaving everyone else to do their thing you will receive good performance reviews. Hard for you because you are an ENTJ and naturally want to get in there and fix stuff. Don't fix what ain't broken.

    Introverts (I am one) like to do things on their own timetable and especially dislike constant interruption of their thinking space, unless its a scheduled meeting or something. My guess is, these people just want you to come to your desk/cubicle/office, tap away on your keyboard all day, send off the reports or whatever it is you send off and go home at the end of the day.

  5. #5
    Permabanned
    Join Date
    May 2014
    MBTI
    N/A
    Socionics
    EIE Ni
    Posts
    3,380

    Default

    Just think about the kind of people who gravitate towards an academic life for a moment. They are likely to be introverts of some sort and therefore don't feel a need for much communication; preferring to quietly work away on whatever project they are undertaking. This being said, most staff I've come across are happy to give you some help if you have questions. If you are new just voice your concerns and ask. It is awkward but better than doing nothing

    I feel for you though, because I have the same issues with the lack of structure - I'm a student still, but tend to just a lot of new information thrown at me in a disorganized way and be expected to make sense of everything rather than have the principles explained, and incremental tasks given. I don't need excessive fluff/BS, give me some blueprints and theory; then I can apply and create. I am in the music department btw.

  6. #6
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    5w6 sp/sx
    Posts
    17,582

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kullervo View Post
    Just think about the kind of people who gravitate towards an academic life for a moment. They are likely to be introverts of some sort and therefore don't feel a need for much communication; preferring to quietly work away on whatever project they are undertaking. This being said, most staff I've come across are happy to give you some help if you have questions. If you are new just voice your concerns and ask. It is awkward but better than doing nothing.
    I have worked in research most of my career, and have found this to be the case. My workplace is not academic, though I collaborate with several universities. I have never had a request for help refused, for myself or on behalf of one of my students. Of course, as one of those introverts, I tend not simply to show up at someone's desk, but rather will email first to set up an appointment, and to verify that they are the right person to see.

    You can strike a happy medium between "rocking the boat" and simply fitting in by quietly setting the example of how you think people should work. By that I mean make those appointments when you need help, acknowledge the help you have received, and offer it to others when you can. You might be surprised how many people follow your lead. If the introverts in your workplace are anything like me, what they resent is not interruption, but needless, unproductive interruption/distraction.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  7. #7
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    MBTI
    ENTJ
    Posts
    3,272

    Default

    I will have to tell that the (first) major idea that struck me from this thread was chtonic's idea about people's stable world. All of my professional works have been in projects, not in jobs with "infinite" time limits. Project people (like me) usually have changing jobs, at times high salaries, at times no salaries. In part the university culture is more about development, surely because their professional framework is going to last a long time. Partly they're not that excited about anything, because .. they are gonna last a long time. So, part of our workplace cultural differences comes from project culture vs institutional culture.

    I've just digested with ch said but I've appreciated the input from all of you. Silent, Coriolis. I just need time to think through it.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    MBTI
    ENFJ
    Enneagram
    1w2 sp/so
    Socionics
    EIE Fe
    Posts
    7,984

    Default

    Welcome to the world of academia. This is how it is and how it will always be.

    I'm a grad student so I'm in the trenches of what it is. Like any profession/work environment, there is a culture to it, and this is just how academia functions. You either learn to adapt to it, find a niche within sans adapting that works, or you end up leaving. It doesn't make some of the ways in which academia functions good or right, but it's pretty impossible to change it. As pointed out, extroverts tend to have a bit more of a challenging time within academia (in particular the sciences- of which I am in).

    I'm a talker, always have been. The way I deal with others who are less likely to do is I talk anyway, and continue to do so unless I am told to go away for whatever reason. I also generally avoid those who don't so that way I get what I need. Again, it's really all about adapting and making it into something that works well for you. You'll definitely have to be proactive. This is sort of where the "self taught" aspect of academia comes from, because you're going to have to do it anyway even if everything is given to you. Some take it far beyond what would be helpful. I have one professor here who wants to eliminate coursework all together in the department (it will never happen obviously) for grad students, as he feels everyone should do nothing but self teach. Which is kind of ironic because he's a great instructor.

    Either way, the pattern you see is what you will see everywhere. Sometimes it works fantastic, sometimes is a miscommunication nightmare (if you see the latter get the hell out cause you'll never fix it).
    MBTI: ExxJ tetramer
    Functions: Fe > Te > Ni > Se > Si > Ti > Fi > Ne
    Enneagram: 1w2 - 3w4 - 6w5 (The Taskmaster) | sp/so
    Socionics: β-E dimer | -
    Big 5: slOaI
    Temperament: Choleric/Melancholic
    Alignment: Lawful Neutral
    External Perception: Nohari and Johari


  9. #9
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    MBTI
    ENTJ
    Enneagram
    7w8
    Socionics
    ENTj
    Posts
    5,908

    Default

    I've worked for 2 years in this setting and I decided not to renew my contract. What I personally found extremely difficult is how you're expected to cooperate with your colleagues but ultimately everyone wants to be right. So I found myself to be either in the position of always giving in, or having to spend a lot of time convincing colleagues (could have partially been a cultural clash, but I don't think so).
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 370
    Last Post: 02-07-2016, 09:54 PM
  2. How do intuitives...deal with most work?
    By Cellmold in forum Academics and Careers
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 12-22-2012, 12:55 AM
  3. Homophobic ENTJ at work. How do I deal with it?
    By braziljoe in forum Academics and Careers
    Replies: 67
    Last Post: 07-30-2012, 09:24 PM
  4. [E8] How do you deal with an aggressive 8 in the work place?
    By knight in forum Enneatypes
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 07-24-2012, 09:20 PM
  5. [MBTItm] Dealing with (N)TJ work environments
    By Scott N Denver in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 05-18-2009, 10:46 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO