Pursuing a career that matches your personality is vital. It is one of the few ways you can be truly happy at work! So, what's your personality type?
Certain characteristics can make it easier for you to work in environments that are better suited to your personality, career wants and needs. The impact of personality is profound and is often evaluated by your level of job satisfaction—whether you are feeling fulfilled and content in the workplace or not, and how successful you are in your career—and how close you are to achieving your career goals and aspirations.
The best tools for finding a career you will love is research and self-awareness. Personality tests can be useful here, and the most reliable of them is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
Getting to Know Your Myers-Briggs Type
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), an introspective self-report questionnaire constructed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, has changed the way people see careers and themselves in the workplace. This personality test examines the correlation of careers and different types of personalities that determine the way we structure our experiences, thoughts, decisions and actions based on our interests, values and motivations.
What it suggests is that every person has certain personality characteristics that tend to perform better in work environments that allow them to be themselves. The Myers-Briggs Indicator (MBTI) personality test measures elements such as introversion, extroversion and other factors that describe how people perceive the world and make decisions.
Getting to know your Myers-Briggs type can help you become more self-aware and better understand your strengths and weaknesses. Being self-aware means being emotionally intelligent, which is a necessary quality for the modern worker. This can have a huge impact on how you carry out your job, work performance and career progression, as well as how you behave and work with other people.
To begin with, you first have to think of the basic elements that constitute the personality types and choose what works best for you. If you don’t know your Myers-Briggs personality type yet, I suggest that you take a look at the four dimensions. These are the four psychological functions people use to experience the world (sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking) that make up each personality type according to the theory.
Extrovert or Introvert
Key question: Are you outwardly or inwardly focused?
This distinction between extroversion and introversion helps you determine how you interact with others. Extroverts like working with other people, leading or being part of a team. They don’t mind working in busy, fast-paced environments instead this motivates them to work harder. On the other hand, introverts are more reserved and prefer working alone or in small groups. Unlike extroverts they also prefer to focus on one task at a time.
- Have high energy
- Prefer to talk than listen
- Act, and then think
- Prefer a public role
- Can be easily distracted
- Think out loud
- Outgoing and enthusiastic
- Have quiet energy
- Prefer to listen than talk
- Comfortable with being alone
- Think and then act
- Prefer to work ‘behind-the-scenes’
Sensor or Intuitive
Key question: How do you prefer to take in information?
How do you prefer to gather and assess the information around you? Sensors are more likely to take note of the facts and the details around them. They are practical, methodical and use common sense to guide their decisions. Intuitives however, tend to be more creative, think abstractly and seek out the meaning beyond the facts that are presented to them.
- Prefer practical solutions
- See things as they are
- Take step-by-step instructions
- Pay attention to concrete facts
- Describe things in a literal way
- See the big picture and how everything connects
- Describe things in a figurative, poetic way
- Trust their gut instincts
- Admire creative ideas
- Are inventive
Thinker or Feeler
Key question: How do you prefer to make decisions?
How you make decisions and use the information you take in can say a lot about your character and how you are likely to react in difficult work situations.
Whereas thinkers tend to be analytical and use logical reasoning to guide their thinking, feelers are driven by their personal values and emotions. Thinkers value justice above all and they enjoy finding the flaws in an argument. Feelers are seen as more empathetic, they like to please other people and bring out the best in them.
- Make decisions objectively
- Are honest and direct
- Argue and debate issues for fun
- Are convinced by rational arguments
- Are motivated by achievement
- Are warm and friendly
- Are diplomatic and tactful
- Decide based on values and feelings
- Take things personally
- Are motivated by appreciation
Judger or Perceiver
Key question: How do you prefer to live your outer life?
This describes the type of environment you feel most comfortable in. It can also describe your lifestyle and how you prefer to work.
For example, judgers prefer to work in a structured, ordered and predictable environment where there are little to no changes in the way they work. This shows that they tend to be organised and prepared for any challenge they may face. Perceivers on the other hand, prefer to experience things as they come, they like to explore the world as much as possible and they are more adaptable and curious.
- Prefer structure and order
- Want detailed step-by-step instructions
- Make plans to solve a problem
- Value rules and deadlines
- Put work first, then play
- Feel comfortable with schedules
- Want to have their options open
- Put play first, then work
- Question the need for rules
- Like to keep their plans flexible
- Are spontaneous and likely to improvise
These are the four dimensions that describe your personality type. They take into account your energy, thinking style, values and lastly your life style. Depending on which out of the two describes you the best in each category, you can create your own four-letter Myers-Briggs personality type. Quite simple, right?
To help you find out which is best suited to you, check out the key characteristics of each personality type and the careers that are associated with them.
List of Personality Types and Best Careers
Here’s a list of the 15 different personality types and the best career choices associated with each one.
1. ISTJ – The Inspector
ISTJs are responsible, sincere, analytical, reserved, realistic, systematic, hardworking, trustworthy and have sound practical judgment. Although they are introverts, they can work well with other people and they feel comfortable with taking on a task or chatting with strangers.
Best Careers: Auditor, Accountant, Stockbroker, Property Manager, Computer Programmer, School Administrator, Dentist, Pharmacist, Judge, Librarian.
2. ESTJ - The Supervisor
ESTJs are efficient, outgoing, dependable and systematic. They like to run the show and get things done in an orderly fashion. At work, they are the people who organise things and are responsible for other people and projects. They prefer to be in control, and you are likely to see them in management positions.
Best Careers: Lawyer, Sales Manager, Chef, Police Officer, Real Estate Agent, Insurance Agent.
3. ISFJ – The Protector
ISFJs are considered to be warm, considerate, gentle, responsible, pragmatic and thorough. They enjoy being helpful to others and taking care of the needs of other people. At work, they are steady and committed to their tasks and tend to operate in a practical and organised way.
Best Careers: Health Care Administrator, Nurse, Physician, Social Worker, Preschool Teacher, Biologist, Food Scientist.
4. ESFJ – The Provider
ESJs are friendly, outgoing, reliable, conscientious, active and organised. Just like ISFJs they like to be helpful and tend to please others. At work, they are in tuned with the needs of others; they like working in teams, and they are highly supportive and cooperative.
Best Careers: Social Worker, Child Care Provider, Elementary Teacher, Caterer, Nurse, Dietician, HR Manager, Event Coordinator, Advertising Sales Agent, Receptionist.
5. ISTP – The Craftsman
ISTPs are action-oriented; they are logical, independent and spontaneous. They enjoy adventure and are skilled in mechanical work. ISTPs often prefer jobs that involve physical activity or those that can offer them the risk of danger.
Best Careers: Mechanic, Athletic Trainer, Photographer, Building Inspector, Landscape Architect, Securities Analyst, Financial Manager, Civil and Flight Engineer.
6. ESTP – The Promoter
These guys are outgoing, realistic, curious and versatile. In an optimal work environment, they can be pragmatic problem solvers and skillful negotiators. ESTPs have the talent to solve logical problems whenever presented, and they know how to use available resources.
Best Careers: General Contractor, Mechanic, Chiropractor, Fitness Instructor, Military Officer, Firefighter, Flight Attendant.
7. ESFP – The Performer
ESFPs are playful and enthusiastic, friendly, tactful and flexible. They have strong common sense and like helping people in tangible ways. In the workplace, they are always the center of attention. They are talkative and very tuned into the needs of others.
Best Careers: Elementary Teacher, Recreation Worker, Nurse, Special Education Teacher, Retail Manager, PR Manager, Restaurant Host, Fashion Designer, Musician, Gardener.
8. ISFP – The Composer
ISFPs are sensitive, creative, idealistic, caring and loyal. They are more likely to value harmony and personal growth giving priority to the different possibilities that arise. ISFPs enjoy hands-on activities, but they prefer to work in a quiet work environment that offers the support they need and one that they find aesthetically pleasing.
Best Careers: Fashion Designer, Interior Designer, Artist, Jeweler, Graphic Designer, Massage Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Optician, Fitness Trainer.
9. ENTJ – The Commander
ENTJs are born leaders. These people can motivate other people to come up with effective solutions and think on their feet. As such they are more likely to be found in leadership positions or other supervisory roles.
Best Careers: Accountant, Budget Analyst, Cost Estimator, Advertising and Promotions Manager, Real Estate Broker, Insurance Sales Agent, Aerospace Engineer, Computer Scientist, Art Director.
10. INTJ – The Mastermind
INTJs are innovative, independent, logical, reserved and insightful. They are mostly driven by their own original ideas to achieve change and improvement in everything they choose to do. At work, they mostly prefer to work on their own or in small groups and find solving problems challenging but exciting.
Best Careers: Loan Officer, Logistician, Management Consultant, Top Executive, Actuary, Mathematician, Architect, Biomedical Engineer, Professor.
11. ENTP – The Visionary
ENTPs are innovators. They are the people who want to bring change and find solutions to difficult problems. They are always curious and seek new ways to develop themselves and learn. They are open-minded and enjoy analyzing, understanding and influencing other people.
Best Careers: Entrepreneur, Executive, HR Recruiter, Sales Manager, Marketing Manager, Creative Director, Reporter, Market Researcher, Actor, Attorney, Politician, Detective, Education Director, Social Scientist.
12. INTP – The Architect
INTPs are often intellectual, well-reserved, flexible and imaginative. As they are also analytical thinkers, who enjoy new ideas, challenges and inspiration, they are usually motivated to work when they are required to analyse systems and ideas that give them a deeper understanding of something. That’s why they love coming up solutions for abstract problems.
Best Careers: Computer Network Architect, Computer Scientist, Database Administrator, Web Developer, Chemical Engineer, Economist, Medical Scientist.
13. ENFJ – The Teacher
ENFJs are caring, enthusiastic, idealistic, diplomatic and accountable. They are also skilled communicators and good with people on many levels. Their interest in other people is what truly defines them, and this is the reason you often find them in leadership roles.
Best Careers: Health Educator, Rehabilitation Counselor, Career Counselor, Editor, Author, Translator, High School Teacher, Instructional Coordinator, Fundraiser.
14. INFJ – The Counselor
INFJs are dedicated to helping other people realise their potential. They are idealistic, organised, dependable and compassionate. They often seek harmony and cooperation and enjoy intellectual stimulation. INFJs have the talent to turn ideas into reality and help those who need it.
Best Careers: Career and School Counselor, Physical Therapist, Public Health Educator, Social Worker, Clinical Psychologist, Environmental Scientist, HR Manager.
15. ENFP – The Champion
ENFPs are enthusiastic, creative, optimistic, supportive and playful. They enjoy working on projects and are adept at seeing the potential in others. At work, they can express their creativity and channel this to help other people they work with.
Best Careers: Actor, Dancer, Musician, Fashion Designer, Multimedia Artist, Travel Agent, Bartender, Waiter, Writer, Psychologist, Reporter, Interpreter.
When deciding on a career, you have to think about who you are as a person and what you are most likely to enjoy. This means that you have to carefully consider the work environment, people who are in it and the type of work you will be doing. Exploring the different career choices depending on your Myers-Briggs personality type can help you find out what career you are most likely to choose and what kind of work environment will suit you best!
As you can see, there are many career choices that could suit your own needs, values and interests perfectly. Mine’s INFJ, what’s yours? Let me know in the comments section below…