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Last Updated on August 1, 2018

What are MBTI Types and How Can They Affect Your Career Choices?

What are MBTI Types and How Can They Affect Your Career Choices?

Imagine being able to know the strengths, weaknesses and defining characteristics of your personality within 15 minutes.

And even better:

What if there was a way to determine your ideal career path quickly …

… work you will accel at and thoroughly enjoy doing?

You’d probably be ready to invest in those 15 minutes right now.

Well, that’s the promise and potential of MBTI personality types. Let’s explore what MBTI types are and which careers best suit each profile.

A VERY brief history of MBTI types

In his life-long study of human personality, psychiatrist Carl Jung put an intriguing personality theory in his monumental Psychological Types in 1921.

Captivated by Jung’s ideas, the mother-daughter team of Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers published the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) questionnaire in 1943.

Myers and Briggs invented a way to translate Jung’s theories into a practical tool that individuals can use to understand their particular personality type.

Now, over 20 million individuals take the MBTI assessment each year.

How to discover your MBTI type

The easiest and fastest way to determine your MBTI type is to take the assessment online.

Take the official Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment here . (It costs $49.95)

This official version has 93 questions and takes approximately 15 minutes.

Looking for a free version?

No problem. You’ve got several options:

These free versions may not be as accurate as the official version, but they’ll certainly help you hone in your MBTI type.

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What are MBTI types?

To understand what MBTI Types are, we have to first take a quick look at Jung’s original personality theory.

For Jung, there were two personality attitudes called extroversion and introversion. (Yes, those concepts came from Jung’s work.)

And there were four functions, or modes of orientation: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition.

Jung then divided these four functions into rational or judging functions and irrational or perceiving functions.

Feeling and intuition are irrational while thinking and sensating are rational.

We’ll take a closer into each of these terms, but for now, the MBTI types are  a combination of these attitudes and functions:[1]

    In the MBTI model, your type is a combination of four of the above variables from each box. For example, ISTJ or ENFP.

    There are 16 variations, and so there are 16 MBTI types.

    Now, let’s look at each of these four pairs so this personality theory can help better understand ourselves and our career choices.

    The direction of your energy: Extraversion vs. Introversion

    For Jung, introversion and extroversion were attitudes. They are the ways we direct our energy and attention.

    Extroverts focused their attention on the outside world. Introverts directed their energy toward their inner world.

    Current research suggests that the brain of introverts and extroverts are fundamentally different. Author Susan Cain writes in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,

    “Whatever the underlying cause, there’s a host of evidence that introverts are more sensitive than extroverts to various kinds of stimulation, from coffee to a loud bang to the dull roar of a networking event—and that introverts and extroverts often need very different levels of stimulation to function at their best.”

    According to research by the Center for Application of Psychological Type, the ratio of introverts to extroverts is pretty close to 50/50.[2]

    Quick test: Are you an introvert or extrovert? (Hint: It’s not what you think)

    We tend to think of introversion and extraversion in terms of sociability.

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    If someone is a “social butterfly” or always engaging people at a party, we assume they are extroverts.

    But that’s not necessarily so. The key indicator of whether you’re an introvert or extrovert is how you feel after the party.

    An extrovert will be invigorated and ready to go out again. An introvert will likely be exhausted and ready to rejuvenate in a cave?

    Which experience most resonates with you?

    Breaking down the four functions in personality types

    The four functions are thinking, feeling, sensing and intuiting.

    Thinking and feeling form one pair of opposites; sensing and intuiting is the other pair.

    How we make decision: Thinking vs. Feeling

    Thinking and feeling describe how you process information to make decisions.

    Do you weight your decisions mainly based on objective facts and principles?

    Do you analyze the pros and cons?

    Do you trust logic over your feelings?

    If so, then you’re probably a thinking type.

    Or, do primarily factor in how others will feel and what they care about when making decisions?

    Do you make your final call based on values and how your decisions will affect others?

    If this approach resonates with you, then you’re likely a feeling type.

    How we perceive reality: Sensing vs. Intuition

    Sensing and intuition in MBTI types are psychological preferences about how we assimilate information from our environment.

    Sensing types emphasize information derived from our five senses.

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    Intuiting types focus on patterns and possibilities, looking for meaning in the patterns or models they discover.

    How we live: Judging vs. Perceiving

    Finally, the fourth dimension in MBTI types is judging and perceiving.

    How would others evaluate your lifestyle? Or, what is your overall orientation to the external world?

    Are you more structured and definitive? That is, you’re a judging type.

    Or, if you’re more adaptive and flexible in your lifestyle, you’re more likely a perceiving type.

    The 16 MBTI personality types

    Here’s the bottom line:

    These four sets of preferences combine in particular ways to form our personalities.

    Now that we’re familiar with these MBTI personality preferences, let’s look at how they combine.

    There are 16 MBTI types. Scan the list of attributes and determine which one best describes your personality.

    If you already know your MBTI type, zoom in on that description and reconnect with your innate qualities.

    Extroverted MBTI types and their strengths

    • ENTJ – Leader, imaginative, assertive, bold, outspoken, problem solver, well-informed.
    • ENTP – Curious, intellectual, resourceful, creative, outspoken, assertive, generating ideas.
    • ENFJ – Charismatic, inspiring, sensitive, externally focused, skilled with people, humanistic, serves others.
    • ENFP – Sociable, enthusiastic, creative, idealistic, skilled with people, values-driven, flexible, open-minded, optimistic, great communicator.
    • ESFJ – Helpful, caring, popular, sociable, conscientious, dutiful, compelled to serve others, follows through on commitments.
    • ESFP – Energetic, enthusiastic, people-oriented, spontaneous, fun-loving, serving others, practical, playful, tactful, flexible.
    • ESTJ – Organized, particular, managing, practical, vision-oriented, loyal, hard-working, efficient, outgoing, analytic, systematic.
    • ESTP – Energetic, perceptive, spontaneous, outgoing, realistic, curious, action-oriented, pragmatic problem solver, curious.

    Introverted MBTI types and their strengths

    • INTP – Innovative, logical, curious, original, creative thinker, analytical, laid-back, precise, reserved, flexible.
    • INTJ – Imaginative, analytical, strategic, determined, original, long-term thinker, independent, logical, reserved, innovative.
    • INFP – Altruistic, kind, articulate, quiet, values-driven, reflective, loyal, seeks to understand others, sensitive, creative, idealistic, perceptive.
    • INFJ – Inspiring, quiet, original, sensitive, results-driven, intuitive, persistent, insight, good listener, idealistic, organized, dependable.
    • ISFP – Charming, ready, adaptable, sensitive, kind, faithful, flexible, open-minded, good listener, friendly, loyal, gentle, helpful.
    • ISFJ – Warm, dedicated, kind, conscientious, quiet, stable, practical, responsible, eager to serve, highly organized.
    • ISTP – Self-reliant, efficient, conflict-ready, reserved, mechanically-inclined, risk-taking, detached, analytical, handy.
    • ISTJ – Quiet, serious, practical, thorough, responsible, fact-oriented, reliable, focused, organized, hard-working, responsible, sincere.

    Finding careers that best suits your mbtI type

    You might be wondering:

    Can these MBTI types actually help me determine the right career path?

    Indeed, they can.

    Every career or profession gears itself toward a specific set of attributes and qualities. And each MBTI type possesses particular characteristics and qualities.

    In many ways, finding or advancing in your career can start with selecting a career path that best matches your MBTI type.

    So let’s look at careers that best match each personality type:

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    • ENTJ – Executive, attorney, architect, engineer, market researcher, analyst, management consultant, scientist, venture capitalist, entrepreneur, computer consultant, business manager, university professor.
    • ENTP – Psychologist, entrepreneur, consultant, photographer, real estate developer, creative director, engineer, scientist, sales representative, actor, marketer, computer programmer, political consultant.
    • ENFJ – Consultant, psychologist, advertising executive, facilitator, social worker, teacher, clergy, counselor, sales manager, public relations specialist, manager, events coordinator, politician, writer, diplomat, human resources manager.
    • ENFP – Entrepreneur, actor, teacher, consultant, psychologist, advertising director, counselor, writer, restaurateur, TV reporter, journalist, scientist, engineer, computer programmer, artist, politician, event planner.
    • ESFJ – Nurse, child care administrator, office manager, counselor, sales representative, teacher, physician, social worker, accountant, admin assistant, bookkeeper, healthcare worker, public relations executive, loan officer.
    • ESFP – Artist, fashion designer, interior decorator, photographer, sales representative, actor, athlete, consultant, social worker, child care, general care physician, environmental scientist, professions in hospitality and food service.
    • ESTJ – Executive, detective, business administrator, insurance sales agent, military leader, pharmacist, athlete, police officer, sales representative, attorney, judge, coach, teacher, judge, financial officer, project manager.
    • ESTP – Entrepreneur, facilitator, entertainment agent, marketing executive, sports coach, banker, computer technician, investor, sales representative, detective, police officer, paramedic, athlete.
    • INTP – Architect, engineer, scientist, chemist, photographer, strategic planner, computer programmer, financial analyst, real estate developer, software designer, college professor, economist, systems analyst, technical writer, mechanic.
    • INTJ – Engineer, scientist, teacher, dentist, investment banker, business manager, corporate strategic, military leader, computer programmer, medical physician, organizational leader, business administrator, financial advisor.
    • INFP – Writer, editor, psychologist, graphic designer, counselor, physical therapist, professional coach, social worker, musicians, clergy, psychiatrist, teacher, artist, animator, librarian.
    • INFJ – Writer, interior designer, pediatrician, school counselor, therapist, social worker, organization development consultant, child care, customer service manager, psychologist, musician, photographer, dentist.
    • ISFP – Musician, artist, childcare, fashion designer, social worker, physical therapist, teacher, veterinarian, forest ranger, pediatrician, psychologist, counselor, massage therapist, store manager, coach, nurse.
    • ISFJ – Financial advisor, accountant, designer, bookkeeper, dentist, school teacher, librarian, franchise owner, customer service representative, paralegal, forest ranger, firefighter, office manager, administrative assistant.
    • ISTP – Detective, computer programmer, civil engineer, systems analyst, police officer, economist, farmer, pilot, mechanic, entrepreneur, athlete, construction, data analyst, rancher, electronic technician, building contractor.
    • ISTJ – Office manager, probation officer, logistician, accountant, auditor, chief financial officer, government employee, web developer, administrator, executive, attorney, computer programmer, judge, police officer, air traffic controller.

    How to capitalize on MBTI types in your career

    So here’s the deal:

    Each MBTI type has a specific combination of qualities, attributes, and strength unique to that type.

    Numerous research studies show that the best way to excel in your career and professional development is to play to your natural strengths .

    Learning about the specific qualities and strengths of your MBTI type is one to discover these strengths.

    But it’s not the only way. You can complement the understanding you gain from MBTI with other scientifically-validated models like:

    1. Values in Action Character Strength Survey developed by psychologist Martin Seligman (free)
    2. CliftonStrengths Assessment by Gallop (paid)

    Also, here are ten ways to find your personal strengths .

    So to capitalize on your MBTI type in your career:

    1. Learn about your natural strengths
    2. Select a career path that allows you to play to your strengths
    3. Continually find ways to cultivate and grow professionally with your strengths
    4. Become a badass in your career

    Even if you don’t know your strengths or MBTI type, there’s a good chance that you naturally gravitated toward a field that’s in alignment with your profile. (If not, you’re probably unhappy in your career.)

    How to use your MBTI type to improve other areas of your life

    And does this process only apply to your work? Of course not.

    Knowing your personality is part of self-knowledge. And this internal intelligence can inform every area of your life including:

    • Relationships – how you relate to others
    • How you relate to money and personal finance
    • What hobbies and activities to enjoy
    • How you grow as an individual

    The dictum “know thyself” applies to every area of our life experience. This instruction can provide us with personal meaning and enrichment.

    Putting your MBTI type to work for you

    Once you know your MBTI type, it’s significantly easier to find a career that will be a more natural fit for your personality.

    So here are the necessary steps:

    1. Take the MBTI assessment to determine your personality type
    2. Learn about your MBTI type (there are tons of resources online)
    3. Review the careers that align well with each MBTI type
    4. Chose a job that plays to your strengths or pivot within your existing career, if necessary

    Finally, determine ways to develop your natural aptitudes to excel in your career and find more enrichment in your work.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Business Insider: The Best Jobs For Every Personality Type
    [2] Center for Application of Psychological Type: How Frequent Is My Type

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    Scott Jeffrey

    Business Coach, Writer, and Mind Voyager

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    Last Updated on April 17, 2019

    15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success

    15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success

    If you get stuck feeling unmotivated, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief to learn there are simple, yet high impact, changes that will steer you back on track.

    Here are 15 tips that will not only restore your motivation for success but raise it so you can pursue your personal definition of a successful and happier life.

    1. Practice Looking at the Glass Being Half Full When Life Is Challenging

    This is not as easy to do if you feel like you’re unsuccessfully playing dodgeball in most areas of your life. Practice short bursts of radical acceptance[1] paired with looking for fine threads of your day you are grateful for that bring you happiness.

    It will feel strange at first but with time your brain’s neuro-circuitry gets fitting in focusing on what motivates and inspires you.

    Start practicing this exercise at times during the day when you feel okay, so then when rough times hit, your ability to rebound will be more automatic. However, you need to practice.

    Before you know it, your battles will become like a walk in the park!

    2. Review the Happiness Level of Your Everyday Social Network

    Jim Rohn’s famous saying:

    “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”

    It is not gospel. But in examining whether or not your relationships support, encourage, inspire, educate and nurture you, you actually need to look beyond those five people.

    Social science professors James Fowler and Nicholas Christakis explain how we need to look at our third degree of separation to identify those who influence our happiness in our social relationships.[2]

    People are generally happier because their first-level friends are also central to a happy network of people. To increase your motivation and happiness, don’t just look at your friends. Look at your friends’ friends!

    3. Clean up Your Relationships — Work and Personal

    Do you ever ask yourself what aspects of your relationships are healthy for you and bring you happiness? Do you also consider what you contribute to those and whether doing also brings you happiness?

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    It’s time to not only reflect on what you gain from relationships but what contributions you can make to help them further flourish.

    Caution! Over-helping is not the answer here. Sometimes you need to cull the time you spend with certain people. However, it’s about being more accountable and choosing to improve how you want to show up for people in your life, work-wise and personally.

    Set yourself some personal goals and get to the task. Cleaning up and stepping up will continually motivate you. You’ll heighten that positive vibration of your everyday existence.

    4. Develop a Personal Development Plan for Your Own Definition of Success and Happiness

    Goal-setting isn’t just for helping us attain better cars, houses or greater income. When you change goal focus to become the person required to obtain those things, your goals expand beyond tangible limits. Having a personal development plan is essential.

    Draw a circle and divide it up into pie segments (like having spokes on a wheel) that represent the following areas of your life:

    • Finances and money
    • Intimate relationships
    • Friends and social relationships
    • Health and wellbeing
    • Spirituality and religion
    • Hobbies, leisure and fun activities
    • Vocation, career and work

    The center point of your circle represents zero. Zero means you are least satisfied. The outer circumference of your circle is ten. Ten means you are the most satisfied and content.

    For each area, plot on the spoke your current rating of satisfaction. Then, review each area again and denote on the spoke what level of satisfaction you desire.

    See where the differences between your current and desired satisfaction levels are smallest. These may be the easiest areas to start brainstorming the changes you want to experience. Some areas won’t be as important to you to make changes. Others will be. Working with an impartial coach can greatly help to flesh out clarity.

    Regularly doing this exercise (e.g. every quarter) will reignite your motivation and keep you on the path to reach greater success and happiness.

    5. Invest in Personal Development

    Your personal development plan will give you strong clues as to what programs, books, podcasts, networking groups and social activities to tap into. But be wary of the bright, shiny object syndrome and well-meaning friends and family projecting their countless recommendations on to you!

    Be gracious and thankful for their advice and guidance (even though it can often be uninvited!), choose wisely and make your own decisions.

    Focus on the challenges you face now. Are you experiencing problems with your significant other? Are your children suffering from bullying at school and you’re unsure how to help them?

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    Perhaps you are experiencing a plateau in work satisfaction or your business is experiencing a slump. Whatever problems are present for you now, explore activities and education that will help you solve those.

    6. Invest in Experiences, Not Material Things

    Splashing your cash on physical possessions to reward yourself won’t just send you bankrupt. When you constantly rely on external things to motivate you, you’re in real danger of never being satisfied.

    Instead, ignite your motivation internally by investing in experiences which allow you to feel those feelings you believe you will have when you’re successful.

    If becoming a public speaker is a dream you have, invest in Toastmasters or a public speaking program. If whisking you and your partner away for a luxury weekend at a second’s notice fits your definition of success, save over time to do this.

    Don’t just set your sights on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Practice feeling success at each step in your journey.

    7. Create or Join a Mastermind Group

    Napoleon Hill created the concept in his book Think and Grow Rich first published in 1937, yet today, being an entrepreneur is still often a terribly lonely existence. Joining a mastermind group, your motivation is fueled by the collective genius of others also wanting to collaborate, solve problems, cross-promote, network and learn new things.

    Not only is keeping motivated easier in itself, your thinking also grows exponentially.

    Choose your group wisely and collectively, your contributions will escalate you all to refreshing new heights.

    8. Work with a Coach

    We have personal training coaches, health and wellbeing coaches and career coaches yet we rarely engage a coach to help us with two of the most significant factors influencing our success and happiness: money and our psychological well-being. Our approach is often remedial and it’s not until we’re in dire straits that we call in the emergency services.

    Money may not buy us happiness but financial freedom is having freedom of choice and freedom of choice means wider opportunities for greater happiness. Risks and growth always pose threat to our mental and emotional stability.

    By learning proactive skills that strengthen your resilience in your personal and working life, you can lift your motivation to tackle challenges with greater courage. You have a backup plan and safety nets to catch you when you fall.

    Whether it’s a money mindset coach, a performance coach, a business coach or a relationship coach…open up the conversation. Get to know yourself better, make plans to clear the hurdles and get ready to sprint!

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    9. Focus Your Conversations on Your Ideas and Goals

    When you increase emphasis and focus upon certain things, feelings and thoughts, you are telling your brain these things are important. The feelings and thoughts will become more easily amplified and neural pathways which access similar feelings and thoughts become activated.

    Given this, be strategic. Deliberately reframe the conversations you have to discuss ideas, plans and progress to take you toward where you want to go.

    Stimulate and train your brain to increase its stretch. Direct it to dwell on positive experiences and results you have had, and deliberately share in conversations these feelings and results are what you want more of.

    Not only are you training yourself to feel happier for greater parts of your day, you are communicating your true desires and wishes for a more successful and happier life to the wider community.

    Share with them more of what you desire to experience and achieve. You create a greater likelihood of receiving favorable surprises in answer to your requests.

    10. Have Goals to Become a Better Friend, Partner or Work Associate

    Examine your relationships by asking yourself what aspects are healthy for you and bring you happiness. Also, consider what you contribute to that relationship and whether doing so brings you happiness.

    Think about not just what you gain from the relationship but also what you can do to help make that relationship flourish more. Can you improve how you show up for people in your life, work-wise and personally? Set yourself some personal goals and get to the task.

    Do you need to organize a get together instead of waiting for your friend to organize the rendezvous yet again? You might put the garbage out without being asked by your partner from now on. Stepping up and stepping into healthier and happier relationships will only heighten the positive vibration of your everyday existence.

    11. Learn How to Lead Better by Encouraging Others to Become Better Leaders

    If you’re a leader, it can be really hard to resist the urge to take the steering wheel when you can see others are about to drive off a cliff. However, stepping out of the limelight to let others have their fifteen minutes of fame is the sign of a true leader.

    Supporting and coaching others to develop confidence and stay in the driver’s seat on their journey is truly soul-enriching. Stay beside them when they drive into the fog and be persistent with your encouragement to keep them focused and on track.

    You have greater purposefulness to others when you empower them to work through their own trials and tribulations and help them build greater resilience in the process. Your self-esteem and internal happiness will deepen on a richer level and stay with you for far, far longer.

    12. Embrace Negative Feedback and Criticism

    We don’t actually learn best when people agree and applaud us. We learn best when we make mistakes and experience the intense emotions connected with the failure or rejection.

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    Invite yourself to look for the lesson in every perceived misfortune. There is always a golden nugget for growth; we just have to increase our practice of looking for it.

    Lick your wounds only for so long and move quickly to look for the lesson. When you can do so, you can charge your internal motivation from within and still experience happiness even in the darkest of times.

    13. Exercise a Sense of Adventure Every Day

    When you set small goals to do things slightly differently each day, you can entirely re-shape the level of happiness you experience. Here’s a list to play with:

    • Try a different coffee brew to start your day
    • Dress in work attire even if you are working from home today
    • Walk a different route from your final subway stop to the office
    • Smile at a stranger as you make eye contact passing them in the street
    • Pay a compliment to one of your work colleagues when you notice they are feeling stressed
    • Go out walking during your break if you usually eat lunch at your desk or inside

    Spice up small changes in the brief moments of your daily living. Small shifts lift not only your motivation but shed light and happy vibes to those around you.

    14. Orchestrate Your Destiny Using Daily Imagery

    Take advantage of the fact your brain does not know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined when it comes to imagery. Instruct your day-dreaming activity to envisage what happiness and success look like, feel like, smell like, taste like and sound like.

    When you daily rehearse your mini movies of your success and happiness goals, your brain’s reticular activating system will begin filtering in information to help you reach these.

    Before too long, your plans, actions and decisions will increasingly honor these. Keep your eyes on the prize and you are more likely to reach success sooner than you might think.

    15. Become an Expert Researcher of Your Own Challenges

    Whilst we have all the resources within us, we don’t necessarily have all the answers. However, when knowing more, we feel (and are) in more control.

    Look further afield and gain from the knowledge, experience and insights of the qualified experts in those areas. However, be aware of ulterior agendas being pushed upon you.

    Sifting through the information relevant to you and following your gut instinct will only spark your motivation. The considered decisions you make in the moment will always be the right ones.

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    Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Marsha Linehan: Radical Acceptance
    [2] James H Fowler, associate professor, Nicholas A Christakis, professor: Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study

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