There are two valid forms of personality tests: Myers-Briggs and the Sorting Hat—BUT ONLY the Sorting Hat as defined by the collective wisdom of the broader Harry Potter fandom. J. K. Rowling’s Slytherinphobia is as well-documented as it is inexplicable. We cannot trust Pottermore.
If you don’t know your Myers-Briggs personality type, you can find out pretty easily. Free tests of varying length and quality clog the internet. I like this one, personally. It’s thorough but nowhere near as long as others.
In general, Myers-Briggs judges personalities in four metrics: introvert (I) vs. extrovert (E), sensing (S) vs. intuition (N), thinking (T) vs. feeling (F), and judging (J) vs. perceiving (P).
If you don’t want to take a quiz, you may be able to guess what you are. Introverts feel recharged when alone, and extroverts feel at-home among others. Sensors like to take people at their word, while intuits tend to look for meaning between the lines. Thinkers are rational and logical, while feelers are empathetic and expressive. Judgers (not to be confused with the judgmental) prefer plans and orderliness over the perceiver’s more casual, open-ended approach.
Your Myers-Briggs type, your income
Check out this infographic on Myers-Briggs types and household income. I find it fucking fascinating.
It makes a lot of sense that of all the possible combinations of personality traits, some people hit upon a combination that’s more in-demand by employers. Or at least more marketable.
What makes an ENTJ a consistently high earner?
I can speak to this one, because I am an ENTJ! And ENTJs are very good at talking about themselves. #borderlineNPD
It’s a rare type—only about 2% of the population. Given that, this personality is disproportionally represented among executives.
ENTJs are decisive, big-picture thinkers. They move toward goals with all the delicacy of an elephant. (“There’s a tree in the way.” “Never mind, it’s gone.”) Though relentless, they are not hyper-focused in the way that some types might be. Instead, like painters, they step back frequently to reassess, then move forward again to hone in on some deficient detail. Efficiency is their drug of choice. A mistake is perfectly acceptable, but a mistake repeated is the fourth Unforgivable Curse.
Unlike many results-oriented types, ENTJs are also highly flexible, adaptable, and charismatic. It’s a package of traits that goes hand-in-hand with hostile takeovers. My whole personality is a hostile takeover.
In terms of money management, Myers-Briggs enthusiasts agree that ENTJs are peerless. Their ability to change plans quickly, adapt to new problems, see the big-picture and little-picture simultaneously, drive relentlessly toward a goal, and marshal an army of supporters are their key characteristics.
Employing the ENTJ
All of these traits serve to make me a very attractive employee. I work fast. I’m self-motivated and self-managing. I understand my time as a strategic investment—where it pays to be a perfectionist, and where I can afford to be sloppy. If there’s a leadership void on a team, I fill it. I’m extroverted and gregarious enough to make friends around the office and inspire their loyalty. Intuition helps me suss out political drama and cut straight to the heart of problems.
I’m also not emotionally involved in my work whatsoever. I can be very “mercenary” about my own career. When it’s time to move on, I leave. I don’t make unnecessary sacrifices for my employer. At 5:01 p.m. every evening, they’re dead to me. This aloof aura of self-importance has actually gotten me more respect around the office.
Crucially, I have a keen idea of what I’m worth, and absolutely no compunctions about advocating for myself. I will be paid what I deserve, or you will admire my ass on its way out the door.
And friends? It is a fine ass.
More on ruthlessly navigating the workplace:
- Santa Isn’t Coming and Neither Is Your Promotion: How To Get Promoted
- How I Chessmastered Myself into a Promotion
- My Secret Weapon for Preparing for Awkward Boss Confrontations
- Woke at Work: How to Inject Your Values into Your Boring, Lame-Ass Job
- Season 2, Episode 7: “How Do I Throw My Incompetent Coworkers under the Bus?”
What makes the INFP a consistently low earner?
I can also answer this question with a high degree of authority, because my partner is an INFP.
The first time I saw the above infographic, I roared with laughter. Because it was absolutely, totally correct. I make $100K a year, and at the time I’m publishing this, he makes $20K.
Why do INFPs earn so little? It’s an interesting question, because INFPs are not bad with money. There are some personality types on here that are impulsive and capricious with their money, but not the INFP. They’re actually super frugal. My husband is haunted by lunch guilt when he springs for a $2 hot dog between shifts.
INFPs are low earners because what makes them special is very difficult to monetize. Within each INFP is a bottomless lake of love and consideration. Exactly what the fuck is an employer supposed to do with that?
Employing the INFP
There’s a “joke” that I’ve heard many times while working in corporate ‘Murica: “How many of you in the room are in sales?” The idea is that everyone is supposed to put their hand up, because everyone, no matter their function, is in sales. All functions within a company—whether it’s HR or marketing or IT or building maintenance or janitorial—all drive toward enabling the company to sell whatever product or service they provide.
And INFPs make for terrible salespeople, especially if what they’re trying to sell is themselves.
Where ENTJs love conflict and can easily detach, INFPs hate conflict and can’t help attaching. They’re also slow-working perfectionists who easily wander off into the trees, missing the forest entirely.
INFPs undersell themselves to potential employers, negotiate less and accept less for their salaries, pour their hearts into their work, become fascinated and absorbed with its most minute details, and lay awake at night thinking of all the ways they could’ve done things better.
But all of these undesirable traits in an employee add up to a truly incredible human being. They’re humble, caring, thoughtful, deeply emotionally involved, and peerless at anticipating others’ needs. Companies and corporations have no use for those things and no idea how to monetize what makes an INFP special.
In contrast, a fellow human being knows exactly how to utilize an INFP. Cold-blooded ENTJ reptilian shapeshifter that I am, I bask in the warm, steady glow of my INFP spouse’s ardent dedication.
Why are you here?
While writing this, I asked my partner what he felt he was put on this earth to do. “To love,” he said, after quite a lot of thinking. “How about you?”
“To conquer,” I said, with no hesitation whatsoever. And we both smiled at each other with admiration. Our strengths and weaknesses compliment each other perfectly. And then we puked everywhere because love is fucking disgusting.
Personality typing is lighthearted fun, but I also think it leads you to the important question of “Why are you here?” Ask yourself now: what were you put on this earth to do? If that skill is easily monetized, you’re probably going to come to wealth a little more easily. If it isn’t, you might not. Conquering is what businesses do best. They conquer roadblocks, other companies, their own customers. Loving, by contrast, is the one thing no one will ever be able to put in a box and sell.
I want to hear about your personalities and incomes now! Are you a big bar, or a little bar? Tell me what you are and how you think your personality influences your finances in the comments below!