Are you an INTJ? If you took the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and learned this is your type, you may be wondering what it means. INTJ is one of 16 personality types Carl Jung identified in his personality theory upon which the MBTI is based. Career development professionals believe that when you know your personality type, you can use that information to make informed career decisions. Therefore, it's important that you know what the initials INTJ stand for.
First, let's quickly review Jung's theory. He believed there are four pairs of opposite preferences for how individuals energize, perceive information, make decisions, and live our lives. We energize through introversion (I) or extroversion (E); perceive information by sensing (S) or intuition (N); make decisions by thinking (T) or feeling (F); live our lives by judging (J) or perceiving (P).
Each one of us prefers one member of each pair over the other. The one you prefer makes up your personality type. As an INTJ, you favor introversion (I), intuition (N), thinking (T), and judging (J). Let's take a look at what that means.
INTJ: What Does Each Letter Mean?
- I (Introversion): As someone who favors introversion, you would choose to work alone instead of with other people. It is not that you are antisocial. You simply receive motivation from within and don't need to rely on outside sources for it.
- N (Intuition): Intuition is like a sixth sense that allows you to look for meaning beyond what you can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. When you have to process any information you receive, it allows you to imagine the possibilities that exist beneath the surface and take advantage of them.
- T (Thinking): You use logic when you make decisions, instead of being guided by your emotions. You are methodical as you analyze problems and weigh the effects of your actions.
- J (Judging): Lots of deadlines? Bring 'em on. Your excellent organizational skills would allow you to thrive in a job that requires you to get things done in a timely fashion. You need to work in a structured environment.
Your preferences aren't absolute. While you may prefer to energize, process information, make decisions, or live your life in a certain way, you, like most people, are flexible. Additionally, your preferences interact with each other. That means each one effects the other three. You should also realize that your preferences may change during your lifetime, sometimes multiple times.
How to Use Your MBTI Type to Help You Make Career-Related Decisions
If you choose a career that suits your personality, there is a better chance you will be satisfied with it. To find occupations that are a good fit, look at the middle two letters: N and T. They are the most informative when it comes to making this decision.
Your preference for using intuition (N) when processing information, rather than just relying on the hard facts, indicates that you are creative. However, you are also logical, as evidenced by your preference for thinking (T) when making decisions.
The combination of these two preferences should lead you toward careers that rely on innovation and well-thought-out decision-making and problem-solving. Following are some career choices for you to consider:
- Software Developer
- Market Research Analyst
- Occupational Therapist
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Broadcast Technician
- Management Consultant
- Speech Pathologist
The first and last letters of your type, I and J, play a role in your success in particular work environments. As someone who prefers introversion (I), your energy comes from within yourself. You would rather work alone. Given your preference for judging, look for a workplace that is structured since an unstructured or disorderly environment would be stressful for you.
It is essential to note that your personality type is only one piece of the puzzle when you are choosing a career. You must also consider your work-related values, interests, and aptitudes. Make sure the career path you decide to pursue is a good fit for all these traits that make you who you are.
- 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.