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Answerman - Do You Have To Be Outgoing To Work In The Industry?




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R. Kasahara
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 19 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:05 pm Reply with quote
Now I want to read a Nihilist Arby's version of an Answerman column.
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meggu



Joined: 11 Nov 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:23 pm Reply with quote
(former) coordinator in the industry here. Not speaking on the VO side of things, just on the production side. still work in VO tho

"do you have to be outgoing to work in the industry?"

No, but don't be a butt and you'll be fine. Don't be too overbearing and you'll be fine. Sincerity goes a long way, as does positivity. This applies to any job, really.
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Greed1914
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:34 pm Reply with quote
meggu wrote:
(former) coordinator in the industry here. Not speaking on the VO side of things, just on the production side. still work in VO tho

"do you have to be outgoing to work in the industry?"

No, but don't be a butt and you'll be fine. Don't be too overbearing and you'll be fine.
Sincerity goes a long way, as does positivity.


Speaking as a very introverted person, I can at least verify that these things help. Picking up social cues and basic politeness helps immensely when trying to get through the day.
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MiloTheFirst



Joined: 10 Dec 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:42 pm Reply with quote
to be honest for any job the bottom line is "no, you don't have to be extroverted but being one (or being very good at faking it) higher your chances of landing the job", then wether faking it is sustainable is another issue. wether it is an accountant, a programmer or a a janitor no one wants to take the risk of hiring some one that might (or not) prove difficult to play well with others (not that it is a deal breaker, just a point against it). there is no such thing as a solitary employee position, poeple that work all by themselves without interaction to neither customers nor other staff are very rare, even freelancers have to be adept at charming their clients and gettign along with their in-house staff

to be clear, being introvert doesn equal being socially inept, but precisely because it implies tending to keep things for oneself to the eyes of the employer it looks like a bet. it isn't only about wether you are naturally confortable at being pleasant to strangers (which some jobs undeniably require you to in order not to implode) but wether the employye will be able to fit in with the rest of the staff without causing friction.

so my advice as a fellow introvert is to not fall in that trap of "my job doesn't require me to deal with customers, I just have to be good at my craft and they will hire me", get practicing on those hospitality skills if you even want to pass the interview
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meggu



Joined: 11 Nov 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:51 pm Reply with quote
social cues especially. Body language. Being diplomatic. This can be learned by anyone and with time, regardless if you're introverted or extroverted.
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DerekL1963
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Joined: 14 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:30 pm Reply with quote
R. Kasahara wrote:
Now I want to read a Nihilist Arby's version of an Answerman column.


This has to happen!
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tasukete



Joined: 30 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:49 pm Reply with quote
There's a big difference between introversion and having social skills. They're almost unrelated, other than that being an extrovert gives you more practice. But practice is the key word: these are skills that can be learned.

I score close to 0 on most measures of extroversion, so it has always been easy to blame "introversion" for my deficiencies. This is a cop-out, though, and it makes it difficult to be competent at having a job or a family. Fortunately, as with many skills, it only takes moderate effort to get moderate results. And that mostly requires just caring about it.

Introverts can be polite. Introverts can be kind. Introverts can put others before themselves. Introverts can be persuasive. Introverts can be fun and make people feel good! If you're bad at doing these things even when the situation warrants, it's not because you're an introvert. It's something else. I can't tell you what that is, for you. But blaming introversion, as I did, is a misdiagnosis.

Here's an example: try going into a job interview with a mindset of, "How can I make this person's day better?" This was a game-changer for me. People are less impressed by what you say than by who you are.
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Dr. Wily



Joined: 09 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:07 pm Reply with quote
R. Kasahara wrote:
Now I want to read a Nihilist Arby's version of an Answerman column.


"Becoming a voice actor is ultimately meaningless, half the fans will never listen to your dub track, and the other half will say it's worse than the subs. Eat Arby's."
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Sakagami Tomoyo



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
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Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:48 pm Reply with quote
Speaking as an introvert working in retail...

There are plenty of jobs that would appear to require an extrovert, but can be adequately performed by an introvert who is able to be social. As noted, it's something that some effort has to be put into, it can't be kept up indefinitely, and some time alone (or around people but not really engaging with them) afterwards is needed.

And part of it's the terms it's on, and it being a comfortable, familiar scenario. For instance, I could never do cold calling, door-to-door, standing on a street corner calling out to people, or any of the "I go to them" type jobs, but being at the counter where people come to me with this to buy or to ask about that is absolutely fine, up to and including having a great long chat with someone I've never met before. I imagine it's similar for the introverted voice talent; people come to them at their table, they smile and say "hi", autograph the photo, have a quick chat, etc, then at the end of the day go back to the hotel room to relax and recover.

Also to note is musicians, there's plenty of introverts there. There are musicians who are so amazingly skilled they could be stars in their own right, but they strictly work as session musicians; they show up at the studio, get recorded playing whatever it is they've been hired to, go home. Even a number of rock stars; they go on stage in costume and/or adopt stage personas so it's not really "themselves" they're putting out there.
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mewpudding101



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:04 pm Reply with quote
Hi~!
Current member of the anime/game industry here in Japan.

Personally, I was an extremely shy person who HATED talking to people. But after finding the interesting parts of the industry, I started WANTING to talk to more and more people. That's how my network grew and grew. People now think of me as the party queen, or something.

But the reality is, I'm still an introvert with no energy. lol

All during the week I meet members of the industry for dinner or go to parties, but when it's the weekend? My introvert battery is so low that I just stay in my room the entire day, sleeping a lot of the social stress off.

When you work in the industry--especially the Japanese side, never really worked on the western side that much--a LOT of it is about who you know. And, unless you're a prodigy given special treatment (winner of an award, writer of a best-selling manga right off the bat, etc) you need to network in most jobs in order to move ahead. I've worked as a voice actress, a translator, an anime journalist, and a PR person, and I can tell you that every single one of these jobs requires working with people AND having a good attitude. No one wants to give a chance to a sourpuss. Being observant is also a plus. Pay attention to what people are saying, take that information, and use it in future situations to your advantage. As everyone is saying, it's less about if you're an extrovert or introvert, and more about being a decent person and studying social cues. It's effort. Literally anyone can do it (unsociable nerd from high school speaking).

Is it in impossible if you're an introvert? No, and I'm proof of that. It's just a matter of if you can manage your energy, and, as Justin said, turn the switch on and off. I've gained the ability to go from silent and stone-faced at the office to the most chipper and happy person alive at dinner parties. It's just about how much energy you allot for each task.

But yeah, with someone going into their seventh year in the Japanese anime/game industry, I can't express enough how important dealing with people is here. Gosh darn do I wish I knew that when I first joined this business. So, I impart my wisdom to you.

(but yeah, accountants have a pretty set career path, so uh, no need to try and network there)
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DerekL1963
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Joined: 14 Jan 2015
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Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:43 pm Reply with quote
mewpudding101 wrote:
(but yeah, accountants have a pretty set career path, so uh, no need to try and network there)


Speaking as the husband of an accountant, that depends on where you works as an accountant... Even if you work in corporate, you have to network and be something of a people person to get ahead. (Not to mention dealing with your internal clients.) If you work as a public accountant, you most certainly *do* have to network - where do you think new accounts come from? (It's not just about advertising, especially in this day and age when the Yellow Pages are dead as a doorknob.) And you have to be a people person, or at least be able to simulate being one during office hours, to deal with clients.

One of the reasons my lovely bride shifted from public to corporate accounting (other than tax season) was to minimize the number of people she had to deal with on a daily basis as she's not a people person and is introverted. (Which has made a couple of people miss the iron fist inside the velvet glove...)
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mewpudding101



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:35 pm Reply with quote
DerekL1963 wrote:
mewpudding101 wrote:
(but yeah, accountants have a pretty set career path, so uh, no need to try and network there)


Speaking as the husband of an accountant, that depends on where you works as an accountant... Even if you work in corporate, you have to network and be something of a people person to get ahead.


Interesting! I stand corrected.
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Brand



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 1011
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:15 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, I also consider myself an introvert but can do pretty well at social events like conventions. Would I want to socialize like that all the time? Hell no. But for a few days I certainly can sustain it.

I like the battery concept for introverts and extroverts. An introvert needs to be alone to recharge while an extrovert needs to socialize to recharge. So, being an introvert doesn't necessarily mean being shy. And as stated social skills can be learned. I had terrible social skills growing up and in my early 20s I forced myself to work on them. I'll never be the master of small talk but I can get through most situations without a problem. Even some of my friends are surprised when I say I am an introvert but I so need that alone time.

So, yeah a convention can be a bit much, I just take it easy for a couple of days afterwards.
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PurpleWarrior13



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:45 pm Reply with quote
I'm an outgoing introvert. If I'm around someone I know and am comfortable with, then I won't shut up for a while. If I'm around someone I don't know so well, am in a huge group of people, or have been around someone for a while, then I keep to myself. I crave alone time at home, and it's one reason I'm a night owl. My co-workers will tell you that I'm usually very quiet unless they have a long shift with me. I hate dealing with strangers at my job, and usually resort to just speaking in a very neutral voice. I hate having to fake a positive attitude.

I've seen some voice actors that are shyer than most and avoid going to conventions. Cynthia Cranz once did an interview with 91.8 The Fan where she said she didn't do one for over a decade because of her social anxiety. I've seen other VAs that are notably more quiet at conventions and not as articulate as most. It's perfectly normal, and it's cool they're brave enough to go out and do one. I'm sure I could do one if I was famous, but it would take a bit of will-power and some recovering time.
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