The choice of one’ career path could be associated with a variety of personal and environmental factors that influence the shaping of interests, plans, and further goals. Applying Karl Jung’s theory of personality to the considerations of choosing a career path due to the possibility to trace the parallels between the characteristics of one’s personality and the features of a job that is being pursued. Jung’s Personality Theory implied the existence of universal types of human personality, with some being predominant over others. In particular, the range between extroversion and introversion could explain the behaviors of people in certain situations. Therefore, this paper aims to discuss the subject of career development from the perspective of Karl Jung’s personality theory.
According to Jung, introverted people prefer living with their own dreams, thoughts, feelings, and fantasies that shape their private space and the choices they make. Continuous interactions with the outside world have an adverse effect on their mental well-being by draining energy; on the contrary, being alone energizes and inspires them. Extroverts are the opposite as they enjoy the interactions with the outer world and other people rather than being alone (Khalil, 2016). They are inspired and energized through socializing and developing new connections. However, it is notable that there are no strictly introverts or strictly introverts, with the difference being four functions that appear on a scale. As mentioned by Jung, such functions are similar “to the four points of the compass; they are just as arbitrary and just indispensable. Nothing prevents our shifting the cardinal points as many degrees as we like in one direction or the other” (as cited in Sharp, 1936, p. 35). There is a scale between introversion and extroversion, sensing and intuiting, thinking and feeling, as well as judging and perceiving.
The choice of career in education may initially be connected to an extroverted personality type, with the tendency for sensing, thinking, and judging. However, the personal circumstances and behaviors associated with becoming an educator point to a different perspective, according to Jung. In particular, becoming a mother may have a significant influence on an individual in terms of their personality (Schofield et al., 2013). A mother wants to spend more time with her family to care for their children and build close relationships with them. For example, the job of a special education teacher calls for spending a lot of time with other children, tending to their needs. Therefore, this entails an increase in intuiting, feeling, and perceiving qualities of a person.
A career in special education calls individuals to be adaptable to their environment, which I an extroversion-related trait. They should be highly intuitive, calm in nature, and even-tempered, the qualities that are inherent to mothers. Therefore, the choice of a career in education can be closely associated with one’s previous experience of being a mother, a person who relies significantly on the preferences that are linked to the increased engagement with the outer world, the perception of the world through concepts and abstractions, the increased role of evidence and applicable theories, as well as the tendency to live spontaneously. While no one personality type is associated directly with being a special education teacher, the described profile shows that Jung offered a framework with an increased possibility of lenience rather than the following of a strictly determined set of rules.
Khalil, R. (2016). Influence of extroversion and introversion on decision making ability. International Journal of Research in Media Sciences, 4(5), 1534-1538.
Schofield, T., Conger, R., Donnellan, B., Jochem, R., Widaman, K., & Conger, K. (2013). Parent personality and positive parenting as predictors of positive adolescent personality development over time. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly (Wayne State University. Press), 58(2), 255-283.
Sharp, D. (1936). Personality types: Jung’s model of typology. Inner City Books.