A new CareerBuilder study reveals which careers are most well-suited for introverts and extroverts. While extroverts tend to be enthusiastic, talkative, assertive and gregarious, introverts are more likely to be reserved and less outspoken in groups. While these characteristics shouldn’t be the sole factors in job selection, the information could be useful in mapping out a career path.
Interestingly, public relations, a career category thoroughly linked with extroverts (“I’m a people person!”), isn’t listed as a job well-suited for either group. I think I know why. I took a personality quiz designed by Susan Cain, the author of The Power of Introverts, to determine where I fell on the spectrum. I was surprised to see that while I talk a lot, enjoy group activities and relish social interaction, I am actually an “ambivert,” enjoying many characteristics of both introverts and extroverts.
And I posit that many PR professionals fall in that category as well.
Ambiverts fall squarely in the middle of the introvert-extrovert spectrum, enjoying the best of both worlds, able to tap into either set of characteristics as needed. For example, while many extroverts will certainly answer “false” to the statement “Many people describe me as soft-spoken or mellow,” we (fellow practitioners, back me up) will surely say “true” to this statement: “I enjoy work that allows me to ‘dive in’ with few interruptions.” And, during the workday, we may not be able to say yes to,“I often let calls go through to voice-mail.” Yet I bet many of you do so as soon as you are home.
Finally, PR pros certainly ought to respond “true” to this [introvert] statement: “I am a good listener,” since listening to clients is the essence of “getting” their business and their work style. At the same time, there are other questions on the quiz dealing with sharing work and collaboration (clearly extrovert traits) that are good skills for anyone in any business, including ours.
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