Tag Archives: Extravert

Extravert or Extrovert? Does it matter? My 3 reason for being contrary

jungA woman who comment on an article I wrote called 7 awesome traits of the introvert stated that she “loved” the article, but noted I misspelled “extrovert.”

I understand her confusion because there are two accepted spellings for this dichotomy on the introvert/extrovert spectrum of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The other is “extravert.” I prefer the latter.

I was aware of the two spellings before I began writing about introverts and extraverts. I was also aware that the “extrovert” spelling was the most common of the two. However, I made a conscious decision to run with the less common spelling.

Some would peg me as being a nonconformist or contrary. I began spelling the name of this dichotomy I think because “extra” means “outside” in Latin–as in outside oneself–and, most importantly, it was easier to remember.

However, the second reason is not a valid reason to spell a word a certain way, a way that is uncommon to most. So to justify my unconventional way of spelling this word, I decided to research the spelling of extravert/extrovert.

A fellow blogger, Bill McAneny, wrote on this a blog post on this topic, which appears first when you type in Google “extravert vs extrovert.” He defends his use “extravert” in his writing by quoting Carl Jung:

“Carl Gustav Jung first coined the terms and he was very clear:

Extraversion [sic] is characterized by interest in the external object, responsiveness, and a ready acceptance of external happenings, a desire to influence and be influenced by events, a need to join in…the capacity to endure bustle and noise of every kind, and actually find them enjoyable, constant attention to the surrounding world, the cultivation of friends and acquaintances… The psychic life of this type of person is enacted, as it were, outside himself, in the environment.

CJ Jung, Psychological Types, CW 6, pars. 1-7″

Further research on this subject–which now was becoming an obsession with me–led me to turn to Wikipedia, which uses “extraverstion” to describe the differences between the two dichotomies on the spectrum.

My search continued for a valid reason for the difference of spelling extravert.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers the “extrovert” spelling and “extravert” as an option. In other words, “extrovert” is the favorite child. I guess the dictionary has progressed to modern day times.

One blog claimed “extrovert” is bad Latin and recounts a story (hard to verify) where Jung was asked the question of which spelling is correct, to which Jung’s secretary replied on Jung’s behalf that “extrovert” is bad Latin.

The general feeling I get from this little issue is that the Latin spelling is being thrown out the window in favor of modern day jargon…rubbish.

At this point I’m thinking I’ve spent way too much time on this topic, and if you’ve read this far, you probably have better things to do. I have come up with three reasons why I will continue to write “extravert” rather than “extrovert”:

  1. I’ve spelled it this way in every post I’ve written and don’t feel like going through all of them and changing the spelling simply to satisfy people who don’t like it.
  2. It’s easy for me to remember…extra meaning “outside.”
  3. If it’s good enough for Carl Jung, it’s good enough for me.

These are my three reasons for being contrary. Next I’ll explain why I spell “jobseeker” and not “job seeker.” Or not.

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5 ways the introvert succeeds in the job search

IntrovertExtravert

Do you know an introvert who is an active listener and can also make small talk with the best of them; is enthusiastic about writing and also enjoys speaking in public; and thinks before he acts, yet takes well-timed risks?

This person combines the best of his introvert and extravert traits. When it comes to the job search, this is exactly what the introvert does in order to succeed.  Adopting traits of both dichotomies may be difficult, awkward, and even exhausting; but he must maintain his focus on the endgame.

Here are five crucial areas of the job search and how the introvert combines both traits to succeed in the job search.

1. Being proactive. The introvert is reflective… focused…when it comes to the job search, but thinking too much about the proper ways to make that call to a desired employer can hinder her efforts. Making personal contact can delay the inevitable if she’s unwilling to get outside her comfort zone.

The extravert can teach the introvert a lesson on taking action. She will do her sleuthing (LinkedIn, Google, or a connection within a company) for a hiring manager’s contact info and  pick up the phone to inquire about openings or secure an informational meeting.

Note: A blend of strategic planning and taking the necessary action isthe solution for success. To act without thinking can blow the deal and may cause damage to the introvert’s reputation.

2. Networking. The introvert listens to a potential connection, asks insightful question, and actually retains the other networker’s answers. But have you ever encountered an awkward moment when you’re standing with someone and he’s not saying a word, just staring into his glass of wine? The silence is so loud that you can hear a pin drop.

This is when the extravert’s ability to engage in small talk must be emulated by the introvert to save the day. The extravert will fire up the conversation with talk of current events (not religion or politics), inquiries about her new friend’s family, occupation, or sports, etc.

Note: The introvert makes networking enjoyable because of her ability to listen and engage in small talk. As well, she can utilize her introvert nature by talking in depth.

3. Marketing material. Because the introvert prefers written communications, writing résumés and cover letters should come easy to him. Research is essential in understanding employers’ needs and then describing how he can satisfy those needs. This is right up the introvert’s alley. How the introvert distributes his written material determines the success in getting it to the person that counts.

The introvert can again benefit from the extravert who will use his outgoing nature to distribute a résumé and cover letter in person, at an informational meeting or persuading the right person to hand them to the hiring manager. He will not spend hours a day blasting his written communications into the dark void known as the job boards.

Note: The introvert must ensure that his résumés and cover letters demonstrate value; effective distribution is not enough. Introverts must take appropriate time to complete his marketing materials, not too long.

4. Following up. The introvert understands the importance of following up after a networking event or meeting someone for coffee, and will send an email or even a thank-you card. The correspondence is in the form of written communications, which is comfortable for the introvert, but not always the most effective way to follow up.

The extravert, on the other hand, will pick up the phone and call her new connection the next day at an appropriate time, taking one more step to securing the relationship. She will suggest another time to meet at a convenient time, perhaps for coffee. Email is too slow, in her mind; it doesn’t get immediate results.

Note: Relying on only on email will not seal the deal, so a combination of email and verbal communications is required for the introvert to succeed.

5. The interview. The introvert prepares well for the interview. He has done his research on the position and company, as well as the industry. The difficult questions will not surprise him because of his preparation. He is reflective and this will come through during the interview. However, he may come across as too reflective, not spontaneous enough.

The extravert, on the other hand is all about spontaneity. He is outgoing, gregarious, and feels comfortable making small talk. The introvert can benefit from his extraverted side by adopting these traits. He must also remember to smile and show enthusiasm.

Note: This is the most important stage of the job search; therefore, it’s important that the introvert calls on her extraverted traits. Most interviewers are drawn to outgoing, confident candidates, which come through easily for the extravert.

The introvert/extravert make a good team. For some introverts, all of this is easier said than done. However, she must call upon her extraverted attributes. On the introvert/extravert spectrum, lying closer to the center makes the transitions easier; lying closer to the extreme makes the transitions more difficult.

Photo: Flickr, Ewa Henry

Online networking; a matter of introversion preference?

If you’re spending all your time networking online instead of getting out there and meeting with fellow jobseekers and business people, you’re doing yourself a disservice. More than 60% of jobs are gained through personal networking, according to the DOL.

There are no statistics on the success rate for obtaining employment using online networking; although, I’m willing to bet it’s much lower than personal networking.

Through deductive reasoning, people who are extremely active on social networking sites, e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, are most likely less active in their personal networking activities.

Is this a result of one’s personality type, namely introversion. In an article on Career-Intelligence.com, Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D., author of The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength, writes about the introverts’ aversion to talking and preference for writing.

“Introverts prefer writing to talking. On the job, they opt for e-mail over the telephone and stop by only when necessary. Averse to excessive conversation, many gravitate toward social networking Web sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.”

I’ll cite myself as an example. Here I sit typing away when I could be talking on the phone, at a social gathering, or in the next room with my children watching their mind-numbing TV programs. I freely admit that I spend too much time writing blog articles or answering questions and reading responses on LinkedIn.

I’m an introvert, and spending time online suits my personality type more than social interaction, especially after a day of leading workshops to numerous people. It’s my downtime and opportunity to recharge my batteries. More to the point, I thoroughly enjoy writing articles and answering questions and reading answers posted by others on LinkedIn.

Other introverts have told me that they enjoy the non-personal interaction that LinkedIn and the others offer. These happen to be my jobseekers who are hoping to secure jobs through the job boards or LinkedIn. They tell me they’re more comfortable looking for work this way. That said, it’s a mistake to think that doing all your networking online will aid you in your job search.

I’m not implying that all introverts conduct their job search this way, nor do I believe that extraverts avoid online networking sites. Introverts also have the capacity to personally interact with other jobseekers; it just requires more energy to sustain a whole day of being around people.

What is your best way to approach networking? A combination of personal and online networking is a great strategy, because you’ll combine the most effective method to look for work (personal networking) with a growing and proven form of gathering contacts and opportunities to reach out to them (online networking). Read my colleague Wendy Gelberg’s article on online networking to learn more about the importance of online networking; but keep in mind not to neglect personal networking.