Let’s look at extroverts. There’s a lot more to personality profiles than whether someone is an “I” or an “E,” as Myers-Briggs might suggest to the casual user. Talent professionals get this and know it’s vital to drill down with MBTI and other assessments.
Still, extroversion and introversion are key traits that are important to framing up a good employee match for certain jobs. And recently, we were asked by a reporter from the career site The Muse to talk about extroverts. Since they do outnumber introverts in our society, it’s worth exploring extroversion as it relates to job satisfaction.
What is an extrovert?
People who prefer extraversion focus on the outer world of people and activity. They direct their energy and attention outward and receive energy from interacting with people and from acting. In other words, extroverts are typically outgoing, talkative, action-oriented and not afraid to take risks. Socially, they’re, life of the party people.
What do we get right and wrong about extroverts?
One common misconception about extroverts in the workplace is that they make better leaders. While extroverts can be great leaders, there is more to leadership than simply being extroverted. On the other hand, extroverts can be perceived as being wishy washy, lacking focus, talking off the top of their heads, since that is how most of them process thoughts. Others may conclude that this is the decision they have made when in actuality they are just thinking out loud and have not come to a decision yet. This can cause the misconception that extroverts can’t make up their mind or maybe can’t be trusted in some ways.
Are some jobs better for extroverts?
Different jobs require different behavioral traits, for the job to feel like a “natural fit.” Therefore, there are certain roles, from a behavioral perspective, that require extroverted behaviors while other roles are better suited for introverts. While there are additional factors that will help determine success in a role, the more a person chooses roles that align with their behavioral strengths, the higher the likelihood they will perform at a higher level and choose to stay in the role longer.
Extroverts should look for roles that require frequent interaction with a variety of different people. Ideally, roles that allow someone to tackle problems, in a faster-paced environment, and avoid jobs that tend to be more routine by nature.
Typically, extroverts are active and like to move more quickly and be unrestricted. Anenvironment that is faster paced, not as restrictive, where they have freedom to create and develop their ideas is ideal. Managers of extroverts want to keep them challenged and always give them a forum for sharing their opinions and ideas while having the opportunity to have a high degree of people contact. Extroverts need the ability to establish a network of contacts and regular interaction.
Usually, an extrovert will have a much higher likelihood of long-term success and superior performance in a role that requires action, a high degree of contact with other people, a forum to express ideas and freedom from mundane or routine tasks. Some examples would be customer-facing roles such as sales (outside, inside, B2B and B2C), customer service, servers, flight attendants, trainers, teachers, public relations, event planners, cosmetologists, consultants, recruiters, lawyers who litigate and personal trainer.
The importance of going deeper into motivation
While being a good fit behaviorally is important to be happy and successful in a job, there are other factors that, combined with extroversion, will set someone up for success.
We are all driven by certain driving forces (motivators) that cause us to connect into certain tasks and jobs. So, this means there is more to the story that just extroversion/introversion. Knowing what energizes you – what gets you out of bed in the morning – can also be an important factor to finding your perfect job.
Extroverts can certainly learn to do more introverted work, but we’ve found that it’s likely to be exhausting anytime you take a job that’s not a good fit to your personality and motivation. People tend to burn out in those situations.