Missy Yarbrough On Being An Ambivert In Corporate

Ambivert in Corporate Culture

This week I caught up with Missy Yarbrough for a second interview. We covered topics such as creativity, finding creative outlets, and being an ambivert in corporate culture.

Check out Missy’s previous interview and the YouTube video.

Would you describe yourself as an introvert or extrovert?

Ambivert. This is a person who can shift between an introvert and extrovert. They can express themselves in certain situations, and recharge when needed. It depends on what I need to do. If it is something that requires a lot of “me” time, then I can retreat into my hermet world. I also have the capacity to socialize and connect with people.

When did you realize that you were this way?

In the past couple of years, I have noticed from my friends, who are truly introverts, it takes them a lot to get out and be with people. After they are done with social interaction, it takes them a day or two to disengage.

When I reflected on myself, I felt that I have moments like that, but I do require interaction with people.

How did you view creativity?

I have always been drawn to anime. The way it approaches storytelling is so different from what we see with Western norms. Anime may seem slower, but it focuses on drawing us into a different world.

This outlet leads to exploring other books and video games. I got exposure to other people’s approaches. Over time, I realized that with the creative process it is ok to fail over and over again.

What are your creative outlets?

At first, I was into photo manipulation where I created personalized graphics for people. Currently, I am into photography.

Specifically, I work with women in intimate spaces. Some might call it Boudoir photography. Tracing back to my interest in anime. There is a lot of women doing cosplay and a lot of men doing the photography. That felt like a significant imbalance where the women might not have felt the most comfortable.

I am approaching this work as a woman photographing women. Can this help women feel more comfortable in front of the camera? Sometimes you would be surprised as to what part of their character comes out.

What is a “creative” in the tech industry?

Going back to the idea of failure. We are allowed to have failure in our process. If you think of other areas like accounting or medicine, I would not want those professionals to be wrong. If we have to accept failure, I would want it to be minimal.

For us, a creative field could be designers, photographers, entrepreneurs, etc. Entrepreneurs especially need to fail a lot to find a strategy for their business. There is no formula.

As a Product Designer, how are your needs as an ambivert met or not at work

It is challenging to know when to speak and when to listen. There are so many conversations going on. I have to figure out when to learn and when to be a domain expert. In a corporate setting, I can balance out both sides.

When I started, I was a “heavy” introvert, it took me a while to become this person. So for new people, I highly suggest that you face what naturally feels uncomfortable for you.

Read more about creativity here.

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Matt Eng

UX Research Team Lead at IBM Design. Based in Austin,TX. Worked with clients such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ogilvy, RBC, Deloitte, Whirlpool, Polycom, Symantec, and Pebble. Matt teaches, mentors, and speaks about design, creativity, and fostering stronger connections within teams.

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