Introverts pose some unique employment problems
Carl Jung, the famed psychologist, coined the terms extrovert and introvert. Extrovert describes those individuals whose psychic energy flows inward, gained from other people. The introverts’ psychic energy flows outward, gained from solitude.
As most introverts know, today’s service-based economy that emphasizes serving the public or working in teams is not geared toward such a unique personality type; therefore, job satisfaction is hard to find.
Characteristics of the Introvert
If an employer were to post a job opening requiring an introverted personality, it might read something like this:
- Must not be a team player
- Must work best in a quiet environment
- Must live in their head for the majority of the
- Must not be a multi-tasker
- Must like to work in solitude
- Must not co-mingle with other staff members
Of course, that is irony but should such an ad appear in the classified section of any newspaper, 25% of the population would show up for an interview the next morning before the doors opened. It would be a dream job for an introvert.
Introverts love to read, work on hobbies, garden, and they love their pets. A vacation to an introvert is reading all day long on the beach or going to a spiritual retreat.
Employment poses a unique set of problems for an introverted personality. Most job descriptions ask for multi-tasking team players. So what is an introvert to do?
The Introverts Employment Search
The best place for an introvert to start job searching is in a book titled: “200 Best Jobs for Introverts” by TheEditors@Jist and Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D. Based on the latest government data, the authors categorize six introverted personality types and then list the jobs for which they are most suited.
The six introverted personalities developed by John Holland is used in the Self-Directed Search (SDS)
- Realistic- Jobs involve working with plants, animals, wood, tools, and machinery
- Investigative- Jobs that require extensive thinking, searching for facts, and figuring out problems mentally.
- Artistic- Jobs working with forms, designs, and patterns. The work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Social- Jobs that involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people.
- Enterprising- Jobs that involve starting up and carrying out projects. May require leading people and making decisions. May require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional- Jobs that involve following set procedures and routines. May include working with data and details more than with ideas.
After identifying the personality type, the job hunter can look under each category and find the 20 jobs with that introverted characteristic. For instance, the 20 jobs with the most solitary work list postal service mail carrier, astronomer, and fine artists (including painters, sculptors, and illustrators) as the top three jobs.
Most introverts already know who they are but haven’t thought about how that impacts their career choice. For those who aren’t sure what personality type they fall under, a fun, free, and accurate quiz may be found at the following website:
“The Keirsey Temperament Sorter-II (KTS-II) is the world’s most widely used personality instrument. Since 1978, it has been used by more than 40 million people worldwide to understand themselves better, their friends, family, and co-workers.” Keirsey Temperament Quiz.
Americans are very much molded by popular culture. Sometimes an individual doesn’t fit the mold. Knowing this when venturing out into the job market can save the job seeker a lot of time and lead to a rewarding career.
As Diane (not her real name), a career teacher, ut it:
“In junior high school, I took a career assessment test, and it indicated that one of the jobs I’d be suited for was a uck driver. That was the early 1960’s, and no girl in her right mind would be caught driving a truck. My friends and I got a good laugh out of that one. Over the years, I took other career assessment tests, and truck drivers continued to come up, and my amusement continued. I went to college, became a teacher, and was miserable having to be “on” all the time. I would have preferred to have been in my head. It wasn’t until recently it hit me: I have always loved getting in my car and driving for miles. Sometimes I feel like hopping in the car on the spur of the moment and driving clear across the country. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees!”
Every introvert would do well to understand who they are before applying for college or searching for employment. Today’s service-based economy that requires serving the public or working in teams is not the right fit for an introvert. The introverted individual possesses strengths such as focus and patience and getting work completed promptly.
They also keep company with some very accomplished individuals: Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, Michael Jordan, Katherine Hepburn, Jane Goodall, Sir Isaac Newton, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Warren Buffet, o name a few.