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Is Your Personality Holding You Back from Career Success?

Are you ever tempted to take those personality “quizzes” that appear in your Facebook newsfeed? You know, the ones that tell you which Star Wars character you are, what color your aura is, or if you were a food, what food you would be.

Or maybe you’ve taken a reputable personality test like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. The MBTI classifies people into sixteen categories based on whether they are introverted or extroverted, sensing or intuitive, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving.

While people with lots of different backgrounds and experiences end up in pricing careers, some personality traits are more common. In our experience, pricing professionals tend to be introverted and detail-oriented. They’re often logical and humble. On the MBTI chart, a lot of them probably have ISTJ or ISTP personalities. Maybe their auras are more likely to be blue than hot pink, and maybe they’re more like steak and potatoes than caviar.

Often these personality traits make pricing practitioners good at their jobs. Since pricing requires people to spend a lot of time crunching numbers, it just makes sense that people who are good with numbers tend to apply.

Ironically, while being quiet and logical and detail-oriented is great for your job, those very characteristics can sometimes hold back your career. If you want a promotion or a raise, you may need to step outside your comfort zone and speak up.

For example, instead of waiting for your superiors to notice what a good job you are doing and see that you have leadership potential, tell them that you are interested in a promotion or a raise. Otherwise, they may assume that you are very happy with the status quo.

Another good strategy is to develop some big-picture thinking skills. Learn about other areas of the company besides pricing, and think strategically rather than focusing primarily on tactical considerations. When executives are looking for the next generation of corporate leaders, they’ll be looking for people who have demonstrated that they understand the needs of the organization as a whole, not just one small area.

You should also find ways to let the rest of the company know how important pricing is. You can contribute to the company newsletter, speak up in meetings or just talk to your co-workers about how optimizing pricing is having a measurable effect on the company’s bottom line. Most people are unaware of how significant a lever pricing is. Helping them learn about its true importance is a great way to “toot your own horn” without bragging about yourself.

You can find several other strategies and tactics for advancing your B2B pricing career in the PricingBrew Playbook “How to Advance Your Career in B2B Pricing.” It goes into much greater detail about why certain approaches are more successful, how to executive them well and what you should avoid.

Don’t let your personality hold you back from career success. You don’t have to change who you are in order to get ahead—but you do need to be willing to try something new if you don’t want to spend the rest of your career in the position you have now.

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