You’ve just finished giving a presentation at work, and an outspoken coworker challenges your ideas. Do you:
a) Engage in a friendly debate about the merits of each argument, or
b) Avoid a conflict by agreeing or changing the subject?
As Visual Capitalist’s Jenna Ross details below, the way you approach this type of situation may influence how much money you earn.
Today’s infographic comes to us from Truity, and it outlines the potential relationship between personality type and income.
Through the Myers-Briggs Lens
The Myers-Briggs personality test serves as a robust framework for analyzing the connection between personality and income, in a way that is easily understood and familiar to many people.
The theory outlines four personality dimensions that are described using opposing traits.
- Extraversion vs. Introversion: Extroverts gain energy by interacting with others, while introverts draw energy from spending time alone.
- Sensing vs. Intuition: Sensors prefer concrete and factual information, while intuitive types use their imagination or wider patterns to interpret information.
- Thinking vs. Feeling: Thinkers make rational decisions based on logic, while feelers make empathetic decisions considering the needs of others.
- Judging vs. Perceiving: Judging types organize their life in a structured manner, while perceiving types are more flexible and spontaneous.
For example, someone who aligns with extraversion, sensing, thinking, and judging would be described as an ESTJ type.
The researchers surveyed over 72,000 people to measure these four personality preferences, as well as 23 unique facets of personality, income levels, and career-related data.
Traits With the Highest Earning Potential
Based on the above four dimensions, extroverts, sensors, thinkers, and judgers tend to be the most financially successful. Diving into specific personality characteristics, certain traits are more closely correlated with higher income.
For instance, extroverts are much more likely to have higher incomes if they are quick to share thoughts, have high energy, and like being in the public eye. Thinkers also score high on income potential, especially if they enjoy debates, make rational decisions, and moderate their emotions.
The Top Earners
Which personality types earn the highest incomes of all? Extroverted thinking types dominate the ranks again.
The one exception is INTJs, with 10% earning an annual salary of $150K or more in their peak earning years.
Personality and the Gender Pay Gap
With all these factors in mind, the researchers analyzed whether personality differences would affect the gender pay gap.
When the average salaries were separated for men and women, the results were clear: men of almost all personality types earn more than the average income for the sample overall, while all but two personality types of women earned less than the average.
In fact, women with high-earning personality types still earn less than men who do not possess those traits. For example, extroverted women earn about $55,000 annually, while introverted men earn an average of over $64,000.
Maximizing Your Potential
Are the introverted personalities of the world doomed to lower salaries? Not necessarily—while personality does play a role, many other factors contribute to income levels:
- Level of education
- Years of experience
- Local job market
- Type of industry
- The particular career
Not only that, anyone can work on the two specific personality traits most aligned with higher incomes: set ambitious goals, and face conflict head-on to ensure your voice is heard.