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Introversion-Extroversion: An Essential Assessment Outcome

by Mike Johnson

 

Personality assessments are ideal for people who are about to embark on a career exploration journey. One of the most important subjects of assessments is introversion-extroversion, which is explored by tests such as Personality Dimensions and Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator.

 

During my own career exploration it became clear to me that a great deal of my struggles to find happiness — not only professionally but personally as well — were because I didn’t understand that I was an introvert. Had I understood this, life may have not necessarily been easier but at least a lot less stressful.

 

I believe that there should be more focus on helping people who discover that they are introverts and on teaching extroverts how to work with introverts. According to Marti Laney, extroverts outnumber introverts three to one. Introverts are at a distinct disadvantage if they do not understand that they are different from the majority of people.

 

The challenges facing someone at the far end of the introversion continuum can be overwhelming, not only professionally but also socially. Being an introvert can add to the difficulty of making a career change. For example, it is very demanding for introverts to “network” in the conventional way, because they feel drained in a setting where they have to interact with many people. Understanding introversion can allow the introvert to recharge and adapt to these situations.

 

In an employment setting, the better introverts and extroverts understand each other the more productive they will be. For example, the introvert prefers to work alone but the extroverted boss may not understand this and think the introvert is anti-social. The fact is the introvert needs time to process and recharge. If the extroverted boss has an understanding of this, she/he will get more productivity from the introverted employee.

 

It is my belief that most people do not realise that they are introverted or extroverted and therefore may not understand each other. There needs to be greater focus on helping people who discover through career assessments that they are introverts. When my opportunity to facilitate career services arrives, I intend to change this and plan to develop workshops focused entirely on introversion-extroversion. After attending one of these short sessions people will benefit in all areas of life, from socializing to learning to professional development.

 

Mike Johnson is a fulltime Career Development Practitioner student at Douglas College and is going through a career change and new beginning in his life.

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