Does Your Personality Affect Your Earning Power?

June 23, 2016  |  



Can your personality affect your salary? Absolutely, according to a study by the Myers-Briggs Foundation, known for its personality test that is often used by employers. Myers-Briggs found that its test can estimate one’s income and job satisfaction potential, and you can even take the test on your own to see if you will eventually be raking in the dough and climbing up the corporate ladder.

“Personalities play a major role in determining how much you can earn because when you are outgoing, you are able to better communicate and network with others, you feel more comfortable taking on leadership positions and you are more willing to take educated risks– all of these have the potential to lead to higher incomes and greater success,” business consultant David Mitroff, CEO and founder of Piedmont Avenue Consulting, pointed out to us.

His comments back up the study which found workers who are extroverts do pretty well money wise in the workplace and actually are among the top income earners.  “Extroverts are those who prefer to focus their time and energy on what’s going on in the world around them, while Introverts preoccupy themselves with their own inner world of ideas. When it comes to bringing home the bacon, it turns out that Extroverts have the bigger payday,” reported Business Insider.

It seems extroverts are generally more willing to take on managerial roles, and these roles often bring about a boost in income. Introverts, on the other hand, tend to be among the lowest earners, for reasons including a general aversion to managerial responsibility.

Thinkers and “judgers” are also some of the highest earners. Thinkers are categorized as people who tend to weigh their options prior to making a decision while judgers are said to be employees who like a structured lifestyle. On the job, thinkers usually land in supervisory roles which, of course, have higher salaries. But it seems thinkers aren’t enjoying their jobs as much. Judgers, however, appreciate structure and like to stay on top of scheduling at work and be updated on the inner workings of the organization. This sually steers them to greater success and a higher income.

Interestingly, people who are good at sensing things earn more money as well. “If you pay more attention to information gathered through your five senses, you fall under the Sensing category,” Business Insider reported. “You are Intuitive if you place a high value on impressions or the meaning of patterns in the information that comes your way. Sensors: Your income tends to be higher than that of Intuitives. That’s because Sensors are slightly more likely than Intuitives to manage larger teams. And as with the previous examples, managerial roles tend to pay better.”

Surprise–or maybe it isn’t much of a surprise–fakers take home the most money of all.

Everyone, however, can use their personality to their advantage, from the introvert to the judger.  “Some advice that I would suggest on ways to use your personality to your advantage and ultimately boost your salary is to being willing to step outside of your comfort zone and learn to analyze the pros and cons of a situation before taking action,” Mitroff said. “If this does not come naturally, be willing to alter your behavior to your benefit.”

And by using your personality to work for you, you can better negotiate a higher salary.

“Many people think that the best negotiators are aggressive, extroverted bulldogs. Truth is, nothing could be further from the truth,” attorney and negotiation expert James Goodnow explained. “In contrast to the muscle-flexing, take-it-or-leave-it negotiators you see on the big screen, introverts can actually have a major negotiating advantage — they just may not realize it. Many people with big, outgoing personalities think they can muscle their way to a good promotion without data. That rarely happens, though. Absent empirical data and an overly aggressive negotiating style may turn off the other side and push the parties toward an impasse.”

That’s why knowledge is even more powerful than one’s personality. “Information is at the core of any successful negotiation,” Goodnow said. “Regardless of personality type, the key in persuading another is being armed with data. The key for introverts is remembering that the negotiation begins before you ever speak to the other side. It’s all about the homework.”

Here are a few negotiation tips for every personality type.

–Know your worth and woman up! “Do not be afraid to ask for what you want. If you never try, you will never get anywhere,” Mitroff advised.

–Do you research. “Before any serious negotiation, arm yourself with information. Do your homework and put in the time and research necessary to make you confident,” Goodnow said.

–Build a rapport and connect with your boss. “We’re all humans – and it’s just human nature that if someone doesn’t like you, they’re not going to give you a good deal. Granted, some people may confuse kindness with weakness, but in my experience, relationship building always leads to better things rather than the people who perform scorched earth negotiations,” explained Goodnow.

–Have your ace ready. “Be ready to go with your anchoring point–always go first if possible–and set the parameters of the negotiation,” added Goodnow.

–Go for the win. Do not accept the word “no.”  Challenge yourself to challenge everything,” offered Mitroff.

–Realize compensation isn’t always about money. “Always be looking to create value,” Goodnow suggested. “Be ready to offer non-economic ways to sweeten the negotiation. Perhaps it’s things like work from home flexibility on certain days. Again, negotiation should be about rapport and relationship building–that just makes good business sense.”

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