The COVID-19 pandemic really highlighted the differences between introverts and extroverts. Although introverts are unjustly stereotyped as shy wallflowers, the truth is far more nuanced. In a nutshell, the distinction lies with their energy source. Introverts are often drained after human interactions. That doesn’t mean they can’t be dynamic at work or the life of the party on weekends. What it does mean is that after spending time with others, they recharge their batteries through quiet solitude. Busy offices often left them exhausted at the end of the day.
Extroverts are energized by other people. They are motivated by outside experiences and daily interaction with others is a core value. Extroverts often excel as entrepreneurs or in the entertainment industry. Most studies suggest they make up the majority of adults. Studies also suggest that on average extroverts earn almost $10,000 more a year than introverts while being more likely to land a high-earning job (with male extroverts outperforming women). Yet introverts often excelled during the pandemic. They felt energized after working from home. They didn’t have to deal with commonplace-office interruptions. During Zoom meetings, they were able to comfortably offer their two cents without being drowned out by louder voices. Over the last eighteen months, extroverts suffered. Now they are likely the first back to the office. If you are an extrovert seeking a new career, here are some jobs that require human interaction.
Despite public perception driven by well-known lawyers, as a profession attorneys are a blend of extroverts and introverts. Much of their work involves researching and writing alone. Other tasks are accomplished with small teams. After giving the Myers-Briggs personality test to more than 6,000 attorneys since 1990, Eva Wisnik, president of the legal training and placement firm Wisnik Career Enterprises concluded that around 60 percent are introverts. However, being in a courtroom is where extroverts really shine. They also do well as mediators and rainmakers. Keep in mind that as with all of these jobs there are plenty of successful introverts, but if you’re an extrovert you’ll be more fired up to do them.
Not an easy career path for the introverted but an ideal one for extroverts. You’ll be meeting the public and guiding decisions. Think about running for a small office to get your feet wet or work for a politician you admire. It’s definitely high on the list of jobs that require human interaction.
Because if you feel like the life of a party, you might as well throw one. You’ll be planning everything from weddings to conventions. The job usually involves travel –– a huge plus for many extroverts. You’ll need to navigate high-pressure situations but you’ll likely never be bored.
Probably the most popular career path for extroverts, like all jobs it has been altered by the pandemic. Travel and conventions have been curtailed so you’ll likely do a fair amount of video conferencing with clients. Many jobs still require face-to-face interactions, especially product sales like cars. This is often one of the highest-earning jobs although there can be a huge income disparity even at the same company with identical positions. Although there has been some pushback about extroverts in sales positions, and the glad-handing, backslapping stereotype is largely disappearing, it can still be the perfect gig for this type of personality.
Relating to the public your client’s achievements seems tailor made for an extrovert. You’ll be attending parties, promoting premieres, and interacting with the media. Although much of the work has become more remote due in part to the rise of social media, PR is still the perfect profession for an extrovert.
Again actors, directors, producers and other desirable entertainment industry jobs have tons of introverts in their ranks. Still, drawing energy from others can really help you succeed whether you’re auditioning for a part or trying to close a deal.
Clients will love your energy if you can redirect it and motivate them to succeed. For introverts the need to actually boost other’s enthusiasm could be extremely taxing but for extroverts it’s an ideal opportunity.
Interacting with a classroom of students demands a high energy level which is why extroverts often excel as teachers. The best ones often seem to be part performer –– acting out lessons and ensuring their class remains attentive. In fact, some research suggests that introverted teachers are more likely to get burned out. University professors are less likely to be extroverts since so much of the job involves publishing your work and research with teaching left to assistants who are often introverts as well. Former middle-school teacher John Spencer explains that, “It’s easier to be a professor as an introvert. There’s so much silence and solitude built into it.” Indeed, when a professor complains about not getting enough teaching time, it’s likely they are an extrovert.
What’s most important is that whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you seek out a career that uncorks your passion and drives you to greater heights. Don’t let your personality type hold you back. Remember both types have succeeded in all sorts of careers.
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