If I asked you which personality type – extrovert or introvert – is more successful, you would probably guess extrovert. We’ve often been led to believe in schools, social settings and work environments that being introverted is a disadvantage. If introversion remains criticized in so many settings, there could be long lasting impacts on introverts’ career trajectories and lifestyles. I’m hoping we can all do a better job supporting multiple types of personalities in the workplace. With so many biases nowadays, what do you think – do introverts or extroverts make more money?
First, let’s go over the differences between introverts, ambiverts and extroverts to help clear up any confusion.
- Feel drained spending time with people
- Recharge by spending time alone
- Like to listen and encourage others in conversations
- Feel that small talk with strangers is difficult and awkward
- Tend to internalize thoughts and ponder before speaking
- Trust their own judgment and values
- More focused on oneself
- Crave solitude and quiet
- Are good at tasks like organization and file management
- Are effective communicators over email and text
- Build strong bonds with important people
- Don’t like to promote themselves
- Feel energized when spending time with people
- Like to engage and initiate conversations
- Are comfortable talking to strangers about anything under the sun
- Tend to verbalize thoughts and brainstorm out loud
- Trust the judgment and values of others
- More focused on others
- Crave stimulation
- Are great at negotiating and impressing new clients
- Thrive at giving presentations and leading discussions
- Are comfortable communicating over the phone and face to face
- Like to focus on the big picture more than smaller details
- Know how to sell and promote their brand
- Have traits of both introverts and extroverts
- Enjoy moderate sociability
- Like to take charge some of the time
- Are somewhat trusting of others
- Feel they fall somewhere in the middle
- Tend to be flexible and emotionally stable
- Are intuitive and influential
So how do all of these traits affect wealth? A study on just how outgoing we are, presented by The Wall Street Journal, showed that amongst the general population, 50 percent of people are below average in terms of being outgoing. Thirty-four percent of Americans are above average and only 16 percent are considered very outgoing. What’s fascinating is that as people progress in their careers and climb the corporate ladder, the percentage of managers who are very outgoing, i.e. extroverted, increases dramatically.
While it’s totally possible for introverts to succeed as leaders, it can be a lot harder. Studies on average salaries also show that extroverts tend to earn more than introverts. So from both a compensation and career perspective, introverts can have a harder time getting promoted and earning raises. As an introvert myself, I’ve certainly faced challenges, but succeeding and filling leadership positions can be done! Don’t let anyone trick you into thinking you can’t do great things.
A study by Truity Psychometrics found that extroverts are more likely to land managerial roles with higher pay. Managerial extroverts also supervise 4.5 people on average versus only 2.8 for introverts. So based on the law of averages, the answer to the question –Do introverts or extroverts make more money? – is clearly extroverts when looking at managerial compensation.
There are always exceptions however. As Untemplaters, we strive to be better than average, right?! So, don’t be discouraged if you are an introvert – you can earn plenty of money and growth your wealth too. Some fun examples of famous introverts and extroverts for inspiration are listed below. Believe it or not, I found it a lot harder to find examples of famous extroverts versus introverts on the web. If you know of any I missed, please share in the comments section below!
Famous Introverts – Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, J.K. Rowling, Michael Jordan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Harrison Ford, Charles Darwin, David Letterman, Susan Cain, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Christina Aguilera, Eleanor Roosevelt, Courteney Cox, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Audrey Hepburn
Famous Extroverts – Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Muhammad Ali, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Regan, Steve Martin, Mark Twain, George W. Bush, Boris Yeltsin
Can Your Personality Impact Your Wealth?
Introverts have some fantastic innate traits that can help them grow wealth. First of all, we tend to be disciplined. Being less impulsive can make a big difference when it comes to avoiding unnecessary spending. Having the patience to delay rewards instead of seeking immediate gratification is a great way to save money. Being less impulsive can also make introverts good at making investment decisions. Taking the time to perform thorough research and avoid excessively risky investments can help introverts grow their portfolios over time.
Personally, I have a bunch of things on my wish list and even though I have the money to afford them all, I choose not to go out and buy them on a whim. I like to set goals before I make purchases so that the rewards are sweeter and more meaningful. It’s also a great way to maintain a minimalist lifestyle and avoid clutter. For example, I have a current goal to sell some things on craigslist before I can buy a new pair of pants.
Introverts also tend to be careful decision makers. Having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish before taking action can come in handy with building wealth over time. Being rich isn’t just about how much money you make after all, it’s got a lot to do with how much money you keep.
Did you know that extroverts more commonly have shopping addictions than introverts? Perhaps the allure to spend a lot of time with others in social settings can turn some extroverts into overspenders looking to constantly impress the Joneses. Extroverts are great go-getters, however, so they are good at networking, marketing and business development – hence they can be fantastic entrepreneurs. Extroverts are also more likely to take risks, which can pay off nicely if they’re good at investing.
Whether you’re an introvert, ambivert or extrovert, think about your strongest personality traits and how they affect your decisions. Look for ways to improve your career, earn the compensation you deserve, and make smarter choices with your money. Whatever personality traits you have, it’s never too early to start growing your wealth and building a lifestyle of your dreams.
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Untemplaters, do you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert? What personality traits have helped or hurt your career and money habits?
Having worked in corporate America, it’s really extroverts that get ahead I have found, introverts can get ahead but they have to learn to be extroverts in situations that demand for them to be outgoing.
A lot of times introverts at work when they don’t act outgoing enough, other people at work feel like the introverts doesn’t like them.
I used to be a HUGE introvert at work and once I got comfortable with my co-workers I was really outgoing. Co-workers started saying, “Oh you’re so nice. I didn’t think you liked me because you were so quiet.”
People tend to be really suspicious of introverts. In a lot of peoples minds introverts seem less friendly, less trustworthy, less confident, less capable of doing their job,, etc. It’s kind of sad how introverts are demonized.
Even though Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet” helped a lot, it still hasn’t changed the work culture that favors extroverts. 90% of our society even outside of work, favors extroverts, as well.
I ended up getting a job in telemarketing where I had to be very extroverted to succeed, I worked there for 2 years and it’s that job that taught me to be an extrovert in corporate America.
In all reality, I consider myself am ambivert. I realize that I need to be an extrovert to succeed, but I also like having time to think, reflect, and recharge my batteries on my own.
I totally agree with this!!! “People tend to be really suspicious of introverts. In a lot of peoples minds introverts seem less friendly, less trustworthy, less confident, less capable of doing their job, etc”
Dr.J @ MedSchool Financial says
I think it can, to the extent that it is not in sync with your primary engine for wealth generation. Like writers(jk rowling) or computer science type(gates), alone time to work through the details is part of their primary engine, or at least it was when they first started out. Bill on the other hand, makes a mint on speaking fees now so being engaging is directly in line with his financial outcome. However, when all is said and done there are examples of all types in all professions. I think I remember reading an article on Jonny Carson being nauseous before he had to go onto the air but he pushed through it and made it work.
I had never previously considered the impact of personality on pay and the corporate ladder. I think I always assumed it was obvious on both fronts, but this data challenges my perceptions.
Like Jack, I tend to be introverted but am what I would describe as a “learned extrovert.” I can “turn it on,” so to speak, when it is necessary.
In my experience in management, an extroverted personality is less important than possessing a personality which fits well with one’s direct supervisors. In my current position, I am friendly and well-liked by everyone but my direct supervisor. He has the personality of a dead fish, and it has really soured my experience in my position, so much so that I am leaving. On second thought, perhaps personality, but specifically that of your boss, IS everything!
Financial Slacker says
Based on the chart, as you move up the corporate ladder, you see more and more extroverts. Do you think that’s because extroverts tend to be more successful moving up the ladder or because as people move up, they gain confidence and begin to exhibit extrovert qualities?
In other words, does one’s extrovert vs introvert qualities change over time with age, success, and/or type of job?
Personally, I tend towards introversion. I speak when it’s appropriate but not feel a need to talk just to talk.
Professionally, my career depends on my communication and collaboration skills, so my work personality is different from my private personality.
I think you’ll find extroverts climb the corporate ladder more easily, but you will also find introverts climbing the ladder because they build the skills required to achieve the success they want.
People repeat what works. So you will see some extroverts becoming less so, and vice versa, depending on age / experience / circumstances. But in my experience, personality change is a slow slow process, and only happens because the person works at it.