3 things you need to know about personality type and your career

Image: Flickr, PopTech

In today’s diverse work world, it’s important to know as much as possible about yourself and your strengths — and that includes knowing your personality type.

Are you an ambitious ENTJ? A grounded-in-reality ESFJ? An analytical INTP? A recent study of the 16 Briggs Myers personality types in the workplace by my team at Truity suggests that if you haven’t yet explored your personality type, you may be missing key information that can help you reach your potential.

We surveyed 25,759 people about their career success, their earnings, their happiness at work and the roles they play in their organization in order to find out how personality type shapes career development.

When we dug through the results, we found strong evidence indicating that certain personality types have higher earnings, are more likely to manage large teams and report higher job satisfaction. These results suggest that understanding how your personality type shapes your professional life can provide useful insight into your earning potential, your career path and your happiness at work.

Here are some of the study highlights that demonstrate just how important your personality can be to your success.

1. Thinking-Judging types make more than their counterparts, especially if they’re Extraverts

Thinking-Judging (TJ) personality types make up the top four spots when it comes to average yearly income. On average, TJs make between $52,000 and $77,000. The top two earners, extraverted ESTJs and ENTJs, out-earn the third and fourth earners (introverted ISTJs and INTJs) by almost $20,000. When we broke our data down by gender, TJs shined even brighter: Female ENTJs earned an average income of $80,000, and male ESTJs earned a whopping $95,000.

So, what’s the deal? Why do these personality types earn more? We suggest it’s a combination of factors. TJ types may be more competitive and driven by money, leading them to choose careers with high-earning potential. On the other side of the equation, employers looking to fill high-earning leadership positions often look for candidates with these personality traits.

Most organizations expect to hire leaders with a strong sense of organization, the ability to plan strategically and the skills necessary to manage a team. Extraverted TJs tend to show strengths in these areas, suggesting they are more likely to be recognized as candidates with leadership potential.

2. Extraverts manage larger teams, especially if they’re TJs

Extraverts manage larger teams than Introverts, according to our data. On average, extraverts manage 4.5 employees while introverts only manage 2.8. When we looked into which personality types managed the most employees, it wasn’t surprising to find ESTJs and ENTJs leading the pack, and ISFPs, ISTPs and INTPs bringing up the rear. This lends support to the idea that extraverts and TJs often earn more because they are more likely to advance through the ranks of an organization.

3. Despite making more money and managing more people, TJs are not the happiest at work

Lest you think that TJs have it all, take note: We found that TJs are not the highest in job satisfaction. One might guess that more money and more responsibility would lead to more happiness, but our data brings to mind the famous Notorious B.I.G. lyric, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.”

Our hunch is that thinkers earn more because they prioritize individual success and are often driven by income and other accolades like parking spots and nifty titles. This is what helps them shoot to the top of organizations, but the rewards of money and power may not provide a deep sense of satisfaction at work.

Feelers, on the other hand, seek positions and organizations that reflect their personal values. They are motivated by how their work makes them feel, not by what it provides financially, and aren’t interested in stepping on toes so they can rise to the top. Feelers likely spend less time chasing bonuses and promotions and instead get their satisfaction from doing meaningful work. This leads to a sense of deeper purpose and more happiness in the office.

What else does personality type tell us?

Which type do you think is most likely to become self-employed (by a huge margin)? And can you guess which type was most likely to be found taking time away from work to stay home with their children? To learn more about personality type and income, job satisfaction and lots more, access Truity’s full report to learn more about your personality type and how it could be influencing your path to success.

What personality type are you? Have you noticed how it affects your career? Tell us in the comments.

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