TikToker Liz Jane (@thelizjane), a “funemployed” Toronto-based marketer, said that before being laid off, she received a recurring piece of advice in her performance review. However, she says the advice didn’t have anything to do with her performance whatsoever.
In fact, Jane said she didn’t receive anything but good feedback and that the review, overall, went swimmingly. However, her boss wanted her to be more outspoken at work, which Jane found difficult to implement in her day-to-day work activities. She, just like many other folks who commented on her viral clip, thinks it’s a waste of time to talk if she has nothing to contribute to the discussion.
“Feedback I’ve been getting on every single performance review in my career, every single one. And that feedback is: you should talk more. You should talk more in meetings. You should express your opinion more. You should be more assertive,” she says. “But I also don’t wanna talk if I have nothing to contribute, you know? And it’s not like I don’t have an opinion on things. I do. It’s just not something that comes naturally to me and even when I feel like I am talking in a meeting, it’s like never enough.”
In a caption for the video, Jane added that she was laid off from her position and that the clip was a recording from her drafts folder.
Her clip raises several questions: namely about the dynamics of office culture and whether or not they favor extroverts, and if businesses should strike a balance between more outspoken versus reserved employees.
Jane’s gripes in dealing with the expectation that she should be a chatty Cathy or just overall being more vocal at her job is a grievance that numerous folks have expressed at their respective places of employment.
One worker claimed that his boss fired him for “not engaging” enough with other employees after just three weeks on the job. He says that there weren’t any issues, like Jane, when it came to his job performance, but that his “shyness” was seen as a weakness that ultimately led him to get canned.
Harvard Business Review published a piece that highlights how extroverts are usually rewarded more at their respective jobs, going so far as to say that the “modern workplace is built for extroverts” and that “extroverts are paid more, promoted faster, and rated more positively by their colleagues and managers.”
The outlet then analyzed the effects of asking introverts to act in a more extroverted manner and then gauging their energy levels. Harvard’s findings, combined with other research monitoring the same phenomena, suggested that while more reserved persons may benefit from a momentary boost in dopamine levels for an hour after being more talkative with their co-workers, these levels ultimately sank below their normal levels of operation when they performed their job in their natural, introverted states.
@thelizjane from the drafts 👀 pre-layoff obvs #performancefeedback #funemployed ♬ original sound – liz jane | work/life/balance
This ultimately suggests that asking introverts to be more vocal about what they ate over the weekend on Monday morning could have long-term effects on their productivity.
And while extroverts may reap larger rewards from their company’s corporate coffers, some contend that introverts are invaluable to business operations and that there are clear-cut instances where an introverted personality is much better than those of extroverts.
“The idea behind performance reviews is to ensure you have the tools to grow, whether genuine or not. A silent person is not going to lead a team,” one person commented on Jane’s TikTok, stating that the discussion Jane had with her manager wasn’t conducive to her developing her talents further to contribute more to the company.
Someone else said they would’ve paid no mind to a manager’s suggestion that they should talk more while on the job, as they weren’t interested in offering up empty words. “I choose to ignore this advice at this point in my career,” they said. “I’m not going to talk more just to talk.”
Jane echoed in the comments section that she felt extroverts are usually perceived more favorably in the workplace. “People who speak more are more likely to be considered leaders,” she wrote.
Another TikToker said they heeded their former boss’ advice to speak up more and it ultimately ended up just causing them more problems at their job.
“My ex boss use to tell me that all the time,” they shared. “And the minute I started expressing my opinions everyone started to call me problematic.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Jane via email for further information.