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Taking personality tests is all well and good if you want to dig a little deeper and find out what makes you tick. But in order to put this newfound self-awareness into practice, you need to accurately interpret your results. Understanding your Myers–Briggs type can help guide your professional and personal development.
The Myers–Briggs Personality Type Indicator, otherwise known as the MBTI, is a self-evaluation test developed from Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types. In 1962, Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs first published this personality inventory that is so widely used today to help people from all walks of life better understand their behaviour.
By answering a series of questions about your personality, you’ll be given a result that defines a specific type. When you take the test, you’ll see that each type is identified by a four-letter code (ISFJ, ENTP, etc). There are 16 different possibilities.
The assessment measures four areas which determine your preference in how you gather energy, the ways you perceive information, your decision-making methods and how you structure your views. The scoring is based on the following:
- Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E)
- Intuition (N) or Sensing (S)
- Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
- Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
Although your Myers–Briggs results won’t give you the exact answer to finding the right career, they can help you to better understand what professions will most suit your personality type. Below you’ll find an interpretation explaining the styles of each type and a few prime career options.
Known as ‘the Inspector’, ISTJ personality types tend to be practical and realistic. They’re thorough and dependable people who work towards their goals in a steady manner and find order and organisation enjoyable. They work well with data and have great attention to detail.
Career options for an ISTJ personality type include:
- System administrator
- Certified public accountant
- Supply chain manager
- Business analyst
- Data processing officer
ISFJ personality types are labelled ‘the Protector’. They are conscientious and considerate people who hold loyalty and tradition in high regard. They’re dutiful in their professional and personal endeavours and possess good analytical skills. They tend to work better in small groups and individual occupations.
Career options for an ISFJ personality type include:
- Nursery teacher
- Financial clerk
- Research analyst
‘The Counsellor’ personality type is someone with strong principles who gives much importance to the meaning of relationships and ideas. Seeking to help people realise their potential, INFJs are sensitive and insightful. They work well in positions where they’re able to contribute to others’ development through their empathy.
Career options for an INFJ personality type include:
Given the name ‘the Mastermind’, those who identify as INTJs are original-minded, sceptical and independent. They can be detached and determined individuals who value intelligence and knowledge. With generally high standards, INTJs seek to consistently improve things and generate ideas.
Career options for an INTJ personality type include:
‘The Craftsperson’ is a tolerant and objective individual who can adapt well in different situations, preferring to be active and is quick to make decisions. ISTPs like to solve problems by analysing their observations efficiently and reacting in a practical manner. They can be spontaneous and work well under pressure.
Career options for an ISTP personality type include:
- Police officer
- Construction worker
- Forensic scientist
Commonly known as ‘the Composer’, ISFP personality types are sensitive and kind people who like to be present in the moment. They’re often artistic and seek out harmonious environments. They possess good attention to detail and are loyal to those who are important to them.
Career options for an ISFP personality type include:
- Fashion designer
- Occupational therapist
INFPs are categorised as ‘the Healer’ due to their caring and accepting nature. They’re flexible individuals who are quick to see possibilities for change. Tending to be creative, INFPs are idealistic and seek to find a life that engages human insight.
Career options for an INFP personality type include:
- HR manager
- Mental health professional
Named ‘the Architect’, those who identify as INTPs are born philosophers. They’re drawn to logical explanations and contemplation where they may objectively analyse situations around them without engaging. They have a strong ability to focus on deep problem solving.
Career options for an INTP personality type include:
- Web developer
- Scientific researcher
People who identify as the ESTP personality type, referred to as ‘the Dynamo’, are spontaneous individuals who value carpe diem. They’re assertive yet tolerant and prefer acting to theorising. They aim to learn through doing and can be risk-takers, giving importance to immediate results.
Career options for an ESTP personality type include:
- Military officer
- Creative director
Another spontaneous sort, ‘the Entertainer’ is the name given to those who identify as ESFPs. They’re the outgoing and optimistic sort who seek to relate to others while taking full advantage of new experiences. They’re fun-loving, persuasive and flexible.
Career options for an ESFP personality type include:
- Event planner
- Sales representative
- Flight attendant
An expressive sort, ‘the Champion’ is warm and imaginative. ENFPs see life as full of possibilities and seek to gain cooperation through their enthusiasm and creative nature. They’re appreciative and supportive, and they have the ability to identify patterns quickly.
Career options for an ENFP personality type include:
- Personal trainer
ENTPs are alert problem-solvers who adapt quickly to changing situations. They’re known as ‘the Visionary.’ Striving for innovation and to find new solutions to their challenges, they’re resourceful and good strategisers.
Career options for an ENTP personality type include:
- Financial planner
- Marketing consultant
Known as ‘the Supervisor’, the ESTJ personality type corresponds to people of a decisive and matter-of-fact character. They’re practical and responsible individuals who use their organisational skills to get things done. They like to act quickly and efficiently to achieve results and give great importance to order and convention.
Career options for an ESTJ personality type include:
- Project manager
- Hotel manager
Sympathetic and personable, those who identify as the ESFJ personality type strive to create a harmonious atmosphere and aim to be helpful to those around them. They like to achieve their objectives through cooperation and hard work. Known as ‘the Provider’, ESFJs have a clear sense of what is right and wrong.
Career options for an ESFJ personality type include:
- Office manager
- Technical support specialist
ENFJs are trustworthy and responsive individuals who can see the potential in others and aim to facilitate the fulfilment of that potential. They’re sociable and empathetic. Known as ‘the Teacher’, the ENFJ profile is often a supportive leader type who can reflect the people that surround them.
Career options for an ENFJ personality type include:
- Social worker
- PR specialist
- Guidance counsellor
An ENTJ personality type tends to be assertive and direct with a strategic mind. This ‘Commander’ personality is goal-oriented and able to envision long-term plans with ease and efficiency. Those who identify as ENTJs are logical and decisive leaders who have a great interest in gaining and sharing knowledge and organising through analysis.
Career options for an ENTJ personality type include:
- Business administrator
It’s important to remember that the MBTI, just like any introductory personality test, should always be taken with a pinch of salt. There’s no right answer, and no one personality type is better than any other.
Whether you’re focusing on your career or just getting to know yourself better, taking a personality test can teach you about your own behaviours and reactions. When you read your results, aim to use them as a guide, not a rulebook, that can help you discover more about yourself.
Have you taken the Myers–Briggs personality test? What result did you get? Tell us about your experience and how it’s helped you to plan your career in the comments section below!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article published on 11 May 2015.