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article INTP Myers Briggs

6 Reasons Why INTPs Are So Damn Broke

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There is research that has investigated the relationship between intelligence and income and found individuals with higher IQ test scores have higher income. Within the pantheon of Myers Briggs personalities, INTPs are pegged as being the most intellectually inclined. They rate the highest in I.Q. testing, they’re the most conceptual, and they’re analytical as well as highly creative and ingenious. They enjoy complexity and problem solving. Their strengths make them well suited for high paying careers including:

  • Computer Network Architect.
  • Computer Scientist.
  • Computer Programmer.
  • Computer Systems Analyst.
  • Database Administrator.
  • Information Security Analyst.
  • Network Administrator.
  • Software Developer.

Intelligence is a major factor in financial success and INTPs clearly possess ample intellect. So why are INTPs statistically among the lowest earning of all the 16 types? It defies reason, after all, INTPs like money too don’t they? In a survey published on truity.com, INTPs, especially male INTPs, reported some of the lowest incomes along with ISTPs and ISFPs. They also rate poorly in job satisfaction.

Average yearly income by personality type. – sample consisted of 1,505 participants over the age of 21

Here are some reasons why INTPs have trouble financially:

1. Arrested Development

It seems, judging from comments gathered from internet forums that many INTPs are late bloomers. Many report still living with their parents or moving back in with them at the age of 26. During the economic recession back in 2008, this was a prevalent problem that undoubtedly affected all the types. With INTPs however, this is probably particularly common. Having invested so much time in their internal world, INTPs will consequently be left underdeveloped in the everyday practical matters necessary for functioning as an independent adult. Spending too much time in their intellectual and imaginative cocoon isolated away from the real world ultimately costs them. When it comes time to go out and find their way in the world, they will likely feel lost and lacking clear direction in life. Their social impairments may further limit them in their ability to compete for promotion and advancement in the workplace against more outspoken and personable types.

2. They Favor Knowledge-Building Over Wealth-Building

Being the absent-minded professors they are, INTPs often have their head in clouds perpetually immersed in the sea of their imagination. Extroverted intuition may be a double edged sword for them because while it yields the creativity and vision that is vital to entrepreneurship, the sheer number of possibilities and ideas it generates can pull INTP’s focus in too many different directions. INTPs can struggle when it comes time to bring any single idea to fruition. When the logistic challenges of implementation presents itself, INTPs may feel handcuffed and put upon at which point they would rather move on to their next idea and leave the details of management and development to someone else. INTPs naturally prefer to engage in the process of conceptualization and intellectual discovery rather than applying that insight to produce profits which would require a different set of skills altogether.

3. They’re Indecisive

Procrastination is a common problem for perceiving types especially INTPs. Delaying action on important decisions is an INTP tendency that will not bode well under the pressures and demands of business. INTPs can suffer from “analysis paralysis” and often they are too prudent due to their desire to collect sufficient data before committing to anything. Successful business people and entrepreneurs don’t waste excess time overthinking when it’s time to pull the trigger. Quickness in decision-making can mean the difference between  capitalizing on a great opportunity or missing the boat. Being decisive means being able to make decisions firmly and relatively quickly, rather than sitting on them indefinitely or changing your mind later.

4. They Don’t Take The Conventional Route To Success

INTPs are solipsistic and independent minded. They resist conventional expectations and desire to carve a unique path of their own design. They would rather go off the beaten path than follow in someone else’s footsteps. Even in matters of career, they may pass up a secure and lucrative career path if it takes too much of their time and effort but doesn’t satisfy them intellectually. They would settle for a lower income position that pays the bills but also provides them time to ponder and theorize about other things that could possibly lead to greater financial reward down the road. While Einstein developed his famous theories, he worked a modest job as a patent office clerk. The position was not mentally demanding but it allowed Einstein ample time for spacing out and contemplating the workings of the universe.

5. Money Mismanagement 

Acquiring wealth is hard enough, but keeping it is a challenge as well. Even when INTPs come into some money, for instance by means of inheritance, their lack of financial savvy may threaten to squander it. It can be a challenge and a chore for INTPs to stay on top of their bills and payments. They are not necessarily exorbitant spenders but they can be prone to splurging on things as well as ordering out instead of saving money by cooking their own meals. Until they develop fiscal discipline, they may pay the price of falling into the trap of unsustainable spending.

6. Networking

Networking is a standard tool of business people for acquiring beneficial relationships and contacts. Many people, especially extroverts, do this casually on a social scale which can often lead to professional opportunities. INTPs however, are less likely to experience the benefits of this because they would sooner do things on their own than ask someone for help or collaborate or do them a favor. Part of this is due to pride, shyness and an all around reluctance to engage in potentially awkward exchanges. Sooner or later, INTPs must learn to put aside this shyness as it only creates a barrier to their advancement. Building value-based relationships that are truly meaningful is what networking is all about — these are the relationships that lead to business opportunities and long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial.

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