Maybe you went to a career counselor or another career development professional because you needed guidance in figuring out what you want to do with your life. She did a self-assessment that included administering the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to determine your personality type. The results said you're an "ENTJ." What does that mean? And how can it help you decide what career is right for you?
Your Personality Type and Your Career
Career development professionals believe that you can use your personality type to assist you with career-related options and decisions. This instrument is based on Carl Jung's personality theory that every individual's personality type is made up of four pairs of opposite preferences—the ways in which a person chooses to do certain things.
The stronger preference of each pair becomes part of your personality type code. Let's take a look at those pairs in the ENTJ scenario:
- Introversion [I] or extroversion [E] (how you energize)
- Sensing [S] or intuition [N] (how you perceive information)
- Thinking [T] or feeling [F] (how you make decisions)
- Judging [J] or perceiving [P] (how you live your life)
Your code of ENTJ indicates that your strongest preferences are extroversion, intuition, thinking, and judging.
Although you might prefer to do things a certain way, you can usually use the opposite preference if a situation calls for it. And each preference affects the other three in your type. Finally, your preferences are dynamic—they can change over time.
E, N, T, and J: What Each Letter of Your Personality Type Code Means
- E: The first letter of your type indicates that you prefer extroversion. You're energized by other people and by things outside yourself. You would therefore be more successful working with others rather than alone.
- N: While other people might only use their five senses to take in information, you also rely on a sixth sense that gives you the ability to look beyond what is physically in front of you and imagine the possibilities. You're inclined to take advantage of new opportunities.
- T: Your preference for thinking means that you make decisions by analyzing your options carefully. You aren't guided by emotion, but rather by logic. You consider different options and their consequences.
- J: The "J" in your type indicates that your preference for how you live your life is judging. This doesn't mean that you're judgmental. It means that you like structure and order. You'd rather be in charge and you often take on leadership roles.
Using Your Code
Pay attention to what your personality type code tells you about yourself when you're making career-related decisions, such as choosing a career or evaluating whether to take a particular job. Pay attention to the two middle letters—"N" and "T" in this case—when you make a career choice. The first and last letters play a role as well, but the middle two are most relevant.
Someone who prefers intuition might want to choose an occupation that allows her to embrace future opportunities. A career that involves thoughtful decision-making would also be suitable. Some options are economist, biochemist or biophysicist, attorney, or regional planner.
Consider your preferences for extroversion and judging when you're evaluating a work environment. Working with other people is important to you, so make sure you'll be doing that. Look for a job in which you have a lot of control over both the day-to-day activities and results to accommodate your preference for structure and order.