On pretty much all tests out there, I heavily score as INTJ in the Myer-Briggs system. Some tests even suggest slight Asperger, combined with what I suspect is a healthy dose of OCD. I don't have a problem with either of these, in particular I don't suffer from them outside the workplace in the same sense as one would suffer from a disease, apart from the non-understanding and occasional head shaking I get from people around me who don't know what makes me tick.
However, it has become an increasing problem in my workplace. My employer is a large tech company, and I am a software engineer. As an introvert SE, I have my style of doing things and getting things done. But I feel that my employer, specifically my boss do not accommodate me even the slightest. Examples:
- I prefer to work in "the zone". I.e. no chit-chat, no distractions etc. Some people made it a habit to have conversations around my desk. Loud conversations that went on for 20 or 30 minutes, most of the time not even work-related. This impacted my ability to get things gone, as a result I was taking my work home and worked overnight and on the weekends (yes, a mistake, I know). My boss noticed, and after telling him the reason, the response was something to the effect of "We want people to chat, that's our new thing now. This is how are collaborative etc." I did not contest that, I focused on the impact on my work. I expected him to bring this up with the relevant people so these conversations would stop, or at least be moved to a meeting room or the tea room. Instead, his "help" clichéfully consisted of "put on headphones". My argument that I cannot blast music in my ears all day long, and even just having headphones on causes me to develop headache (they exercise pressure on the head) was met with "deal with it".
- Each year, my performance review never revolves around my achievements or accomplishments. It is always about my "social" skills. I don't know where I stand goal-wise, since the best I can get is "you're doing well", but each time my boss waffles on about "you need to be more active" etc. Ironically I am the most active communicator (I need to be to get things done, this is not a one-man gig), but my boss doesn't see it because it's not "loud" enough, for the lack of a better word. I.e. I get the impression that he wants me to be like the above-mentioned gabbers. Suffice it to say that it is completely demotivating when you get officially told that you need to be another person in order to match your boss' expectations.
- Related to that, conversations about career prospects are equally demotivating that I stopped having them. "You need to get people talk about you." is a slap in the face after everything that I have done. My boss basically says "I don't care what and how much you get done. If it's is not visible, I won't promote you." But he also won't give me high-visibility projects. I have a very hard time advertising my work and my projects to other people. It's just not me. He promoted a number of social butterflies in the past years, but of course he won't admit that it's because they are more socially "acceptable". Instead, he emphasizes their contributions, and has no regards for mine. The goals that he instead sets for me (which are not even SMART) are intangible and detrimental to what I actually am.
TL;DR: I feel sabotaged by my boss due to my personality and his expectations of what my personality should be like.
How can I cope with this? It becomes unbearable. I like what I'm doing. I can identify with the product and the company. But I have a hard time just being me in that workplace within daily routine, not to speak about imagining having a career in any way. It's demotivating and demoralizing to be shown every day that you're not a good fit. What can I do to grow a thick skin to at least ignore this constant disregard for introverts in a workplace that promotes extrovertism?
Please no "change jobs" advice. I noticed that this site is quick to jump to that solution, but it is not a cure because one never knows whether it's better or worse at the next job. Of course, one could ask in the interview "do you promote introverts; because I am one and also want to have a career", but that'd be an awkward interview...