By: Stephanie Small
Published: January 4, 2013
Information according to the Meyers-Briggs Foundation Website
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, based on the work of C.G. Jung, holds personality types are based on psychological preferences. One set of preferences assessed in the MBTI are the dichotomies “introversion/extraversion”.
Everyone is an introvert some of the time and an extrovert at other times. Understanding which state is dominant for you may help identify the environments in which you are likely to thrive. This awareness can help you make informed decisions about higher education and your career path.
What is an Extrovert?
Extroverts enjoy – and draw energy from – being out in the world. They have a wide range of friends and acquaintances, and are at ease in groups. Extroverts gain insight into their problems by talking them out. They become excited about putting things into action, but sometimes they don’t stop and reflect enough first.
Extroverts are naturally drawn to work environments in which they can interact with many people. They thrive in fast-paced settings in which action and socializing are prioritized. Working as part of a team will likely suit them better than working independently or in a very small office. Certain fields might be more likely to offer these types of settings including public relations, marketing, and investment banking. Most industries have room for extroverts. For example, an extrovert who wants to teach may feel more comfortable in a classroom of rowdy students at a school with a strongly bonded staff that goes to happy hour together each Friday. This same extrovert might not thrive in a university setting in which most of his or her time is spent in an office, conducting research and grading papers.
What is an Introvert?
Introverts have vivid inner worlds, gain energy from their inner experience, and are often more comfortable in their imagination than in reality. They prefer to socialize with one or two people rather than in crowds, and enjoy solitude. Sometimes they get too caught up in their head, and forget to check whether reality is matching their fantasy. They may also have a pattern of neglecting to take action in a timely manner.
Introverts often work best in environments that allow for solitude, or at least plenty of quiet. Their ideal setting will encourage plenty of reflection and discussion of ideas and theory. They need their own space, and time to think and consider options before acting. Careers allotting plenty of “alone time” and mental challenge may include writers, software engineers, accountants, and graphic designers. As in the case of extroverts, most fields have room for introverts. It’s crucial to assess the actual setting. Introverts might not enjoy working in a room crammed full of people, with phones ringing constantly and music blaring. Instead an introvert may perform their best work in a peaceful office environment where they have an occasional meeting with a few like-minded co-workers?
Remember, neither personality type should be considered more desirable, introverts and extroverts have equally important roles in society.