Introvert, Extrovert, or Somewhere In Between?

by Robert Musterer   Ulticareer  | Advice  | New perspective  | Life lesson  | 

I’ve seen several questions posed on social media sites related to what types of careers are best suited for introverts. I’ve responded to some of them, and would like to use this blog to further expand upon my thoughts. First and foremost, throw these damn labels away! They serve no meaningful purpose and unnecessarily restrict what options you’ll consider.

In terms of restrictions, I’ve seen numerous responses that fall into the trap of using the all too easy answer of focusing on careers that emphasize working alone. But this is short sighted. There are numerous problems with trying to say what type of job best fits an introvert, or an extrovert for that matter. Carl Jung created these terms back in 1920. Yet he viewed these as two extremes, with the majority of people being somewhere in between. Yet in common usage, people tend to say someone is either an introvert or an extrovert. I did a simple search and found a wide range of reported proportions of the population that fall into these two categories. These reported ranges vary so much as to call into question the very legitimacy of the use of these labels.

Even if we give countenance to these labels, careers that appeal to introverts are quite varied, so there are no one or two jobs best suited for introverts. Even jobs that are typically viewed as the province of extroverts can be performed by motivated introverts. Keep in mind that such traits are not set in stone. As we age and as our experiences mold us, so called introverts can and often do become more extroverted. My advice is to focus less on perceived restrictions and focus more on what you want to accomplish in life. This isn’t to say that you must know exactly what you want to accomplish, because that too may evolve and change over time. I always encourage people to start with the end in mind.

Imagine it is your funeral (sad to say but none of us get out of this alive.) What do you want people to say about you and how you lived your life? What do you want to be remembered for? Now think about what you can start doing today to make that a reality. This simple exercise (okay maybe not as simple as it sounds, but it is worthwhile) requires serious self-reflection. This act of reflection provides insights into what you value most. With this information in hand, now reconsider career options that will allow you to contribute to and develop in the areas you value. Pursuing a career that aligns with your values is one of the best ways to develop a rewarding and satisfied life.

Most people struggle with such questions about what type of career to pursue. There are so many options, many of which we may not even be aware of. It is to help people answer the age-old question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” that is the mission of UltiCareer. Please join us in helping people understand the reality of what various jobs are really like, by sharing your career related stories and insights at UltiCareer.

Together we can provide a truly valuable resource for all to use.

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