Are you an ENFJ? After taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a personality inventory, you may have learned this is your personality type. No doubt, you are curious about what that means. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Does it mean you will succeed in life or fail? The one critical thing you need to know is that it is not a good thing or a bad one, and it does not indicate whether or not you will be successful in life. It is simply one of the 16 personality types psychiatrist Carl Jung identified many years ago. Career development professionals frequently use them to help clients make career-related decisions.
Jung believed there are four pairs of opposite preferences for how people energize, perceive information, make decisions, and live their lives. He said we prefer to energize through extroversion (also spelled extraversion) or introversion (E or I), perceive information by sensing or intuition (S or N), make decisions by thinking or feeling (T or F), and live our lives by judging or perceiving (J or P).
Jung also theorized that each of us exhibits aspects of both preferences in each pair, but we exhibit one more strongly than the other. Your personality type is made up of the letters assigned to those stronger preferences. Now that you have all that information let's take a look at what your particular four-letter code means.
E, N, F, and J: What Does Your Personality Type Code Mean
- E (Extroversion): You are energized by other people or outside experiences, as your preference for extroversion (sometimes spelled extraversion) reveals. You enjoy and do well in situations where you can interact with others.
- N (iNtuition): Intuition is like a sixth sense that lets you visualize beyond what you can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. It gives you the ability to consider future possibilities and ultimately take advantage of those opportunities.
- F (Feeling): As someone whose preference is feeling, you often make decisions based on your personal values. You are inclined to move ahead without fully considering the consequences of your actions. You are sensitive to the needs of others which makes you a caring person who likes to help people.
- J (Judging): Your preference for judging indicates that you like to have all your ducks in a row. Spontaneity makes you uneasy. You are successful when you have deadlines you have to meet.
One of the things you should know about your preferences is that they aren't absolute. While you may favor one preference in a pair, if the situation calls for using the other, you can do it. You should also note that all four of your preferences interact with one another, so each personality type is unique. Finally, your preferences may change as you go through life.
How to Use Your Personality Type to Help You Make Career-Related Decisions
Knowing your personality type can help you make career-related decisions because there are suitable careers that are a match for each one. You can also use this information when deciding whether or not a particular work environment is right for you. That's very helpful when you are deciding whether to accept a job offer. The middle two letters, N and F, can help you choose a career, while the outer ones, E and J, provide clues as to what work environment is suitable.
Because you prefer intuition (N) and feeling (F), you would enjoy an occupation that allows you to develop and implement new ideas, as well as help people. Some options for you to investigate are teacher, speech pathologist, career counselor, architect, health educator, sociologist, writer, psychologist, and librarian.
As someone who prefers extroversion (E), you find being around people motivating. Make sure your job involves interacting with others. Your preference for judging (J) implies you should look for jobs that emphasize tight deadlines and a lot of structure.
- The Myers-Briggs Foundation Web Site.
- Baron, Renee. (1998) What Type Am I?. NY: Penguin Books.
- Page, Earle C. Looking at Type: A Description of the Preferences Reported by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Center for Applications of Psychological Type.
- Tieger, Paul D., Barron, Barbara, and Tieger, Kelly. (2014) Do What You Are. NY: Hatchette Book Group.