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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 December 3, 2019

    5 Steps to Cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude

    5 Steps to Cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude

    Cultivating a positive mental attitude starts with a realization — a realization that you’re not the only one who has struggled, who has survived, and who has started over again. You are not alone, and there is a way through the darkness. There is simple wisdom, which can be relied upon, to help.

    Find support, but also learn self-care in how you treat yourself which is what positivity is all about. That self talk, that perception, that attitude you choose changes you and changes those around you.

    According to New Stanford Study: A Positive Attitude Literally Makes Your Brain Better by Jessica Stillman,[1] Stanford researchers studies how the brain was impacted in achievement and learning when one felt or was positive about a subject. The result? Outcomes were much more favorable for that student.

    We do well in areas we are positive about. But what if we can choose to be positive about, well, anything? That would change everything.

    Positivity is not about just being happy, which is often the misconception. In fact, acknowledging a range of emotions is healthy. Positivity is persistence while using positive thinking strategies. It is sitting with your feelings; it is acceptance of what is; it is holding onto what makes you happy; it is purpose found in pain.

    And the reasoning behind choosing to be positive — you get what you give. You receive what you believe.

    Here’re 5 steps to cultivate a positive mental attitude. In part, they detail why it’s important to be positive as an understanding assists in the pursuit as much as the adoption of the mindset.

    1. Know That You Can Change Your Attitude

    There’s a Maya Angelou quote that goes:

    “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

    When you choose positivity as your attitude, you select an attitude far more destined for resilient behavior than the alternative.

    When you have a negative attitude, your brain gives itself permission to develop negative thinking patterns and in turn, difficult and dark emotions. You spend all your days ruminating, or worrying about the same thing over and over again, thinking that will solve it. Doing this will cause you to miss the answers rather than make the most of the moments in front of you.

    In actuality, the first thing you need to do is calm yourself. It feels counterintuitive, but that means to release your troubled mentality. When you release what is bothering you, you choose a safer attitude. One that helps you to accept your emotions, accept what is happening and accept that you don’t have all the answers. You’re less afraid of that fact.

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    Attitude is everything. It’s how we heal ourselves. It’s how we stay positive. It’s how we secure things. It’s how we overcome.

    Without a positive attitude, we cannot persevere. Perseverance is the point of positivity.

    A positive attitude is how we fuel willpower. Willpower is how we fuel positivity. It goes in a circle. They are interchangeable.

    Positivity denotes willpower. You can be standing in a storm and feel completely calm when you use positivity. You stay grounded. You stand firm. You do not fall over. And you know what? Even if you do, you get back up again.

    There is a Japanese proverb, “Nana korobi ya oki” which means fall seven times, get up eight. This means you do not stop; you keep going. You make it through the hard times to find the good.

    A positive attitude is about understanding you have power over your problems. Once you understand that, you can change your attitude. You have to choose positive thinking first in order to reap its benefits. Once you’ve chosen to be positive, you can do anything.

    2. Find Your Unique Meaning in Life

    When you have lost it all, a positive attitude can help you regain it or to regain your strength. It’s the best way to live. It’s the best way to learn from life and love. When you are positive, you have a power that circumstance nor others cannot take from you.

    Recognizing the power you have to carry on, to make the best of things, to keep going when everything inside you wants to quit is worth everything.

    You can’t always have it all, but you can always have a positive attitude. This in itself helps you stand out, helps you to shine. It’s enough to save yourself (and others potentially) with. That power keeps you grounded and safe.

    For example, say you lost someone to a disease. Instead of just thinking about the loss and seeing it as the end, a positive person may decide to contribute to a cause dedicated to that disease. In doing so, the positive person becomes a beacon of hope. They become a voice for something which in turn gives them power over their hardship.

    This is how people keep going: Meaning. Meaning creates a power over our emotions, over our loss so that they do not define us.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, positivity affects one’s stress levels and overall health.[2] It is that powerful. When you are positive about a situation, you are less stressful and more calm and able to reason better to solve the very problem in front of you.

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    Cultivating this power is about realizing a sense of meaning can be derived from all circumstances, even senseless tragedies. People often contribute to something greater than themselves when they are searching for meaning, for purpose, for positivity, for power.

    You don’t always have to have a reason for why something happens, but you can use whatever happens for a greater cause. It’s subjective, changing from person to person. That’s why no matter how much you want to derive meaning from an event, there are no outright answers about how to do that.

    So, what do you do? Meditate. Listen.

    “Whatever purifies you is the right path, I will not try to define it. Let go of your mind then be mindful. Close your ears and listen.” — Rumi

    3. Be Absolutely Present

    In life, you have control over your ability to be present in the moment, even if not control over everything. You have the moment.

    Positivity is telling yourself that this moment is what matters. You can’t regret the past or see the future. The only way to be positive is to be here. What do you have right in front of you? Suddenly, your life shifts to gratitude.

    Gratitude serves us in letting go of what we do not need. Listing what makes us happy is one way to stay present. What do you have right now that you can use? You have the tools to be positive.

    Some techniques to getting there are through meditations or mantras. For example, “Nothing bad is happening right now” is an easy one to incorporate. Your past traumas can’t trip you when you ground yourself in the present, and your ability to reason further develops to the point that even if you can’t see the future, you know it will play out like this– with you empowered and in the moment, using all your wisdom and tools and positivity to persevere. That’s all you need.

    Focus on the moment. In a blog about Mindfulness, Courtney Ackerman writes that one such exercise is to live in the moment to reduce worrying.[3] Think about the past and future in small, manageable doses. But focus mostly on the present, what is happening right here and now. This will reduce worrying and therefore stress as well as other negative emotions significantly.

    This will allow you to be positive.

    4. Practice Self-Love

    Self-talk is the core of self-love, the core of what positivity is all about. Positive self-talk leads to self-love. And when our own cup is empty, we can pour into another’s. We have to help ourselves first before we can help others.

    What we say to ourselves is how we practice positivity or put it into action.

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    For example, there’s a children’s book called The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper where the train thinks, “I think I can, I think I can” the whole way through its travels. The result? It could because it told itself that it can.

    Such a simple concept for a complex world. And yet, it works.

    This is also how self-love works. What you tell yourself is powerful and makes its mark. Here are examples of things you could tell yourself to practice positivity:

    • I am enough.
    • I am worthwhile.
    • I can do this, I just have to hold on.
    • I will make it through this.
    • I am powerful.
    • I am unstoppable.

    Here’re more examples for you: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life. Add to this list with your own!

    When you write these positive mantras, you start to feel them. If you write “I am positive about this situation” enough times, you will start to feel that positivity seep in.

    Loving yourself is not going to be easy nor come overnight. There will be a mess of feelings, regrets, negative self talk and more that you will have to carefully tip toe through to hold your own heart. Your heart needs love, and often, we deny what it needs in pursuit of purposeless pleasures such as external rewards rather than internal motivation for a life well lived. We live for what others think of us, say about us, and sometimes, losing it all or going through hardship can teach us what we really need: ourselves.

    Loving yourself needs to come from an authentic place, not a “fake it til you make it” mentality. It needs to be real. It needs to include those flaws and all. That’s all you can do to become positive about yourself. You have to start within and do the work necessary to heal and be healthy.

    Try these 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself.

    5. Avoid Toxic Positivity (Unhealthy Positivity)

    Avoid the white knuckling type of positivity where you don’t acknowledge your struggles or pain (as they also serve you). You don’t just want to tell yourself to move on because that equates to repression.

    Emotions are part of positivity. You want to sit with your feelings. You want to acknowledge them, give them a voice. Instead of telling yourself to move on, you let your emotions lead to a breakthrough that helps you cope with the changes of life.

    The greatest misconceptions made about being positive is assuming one does not have to feel in order to change. Throwing away hurt, anger, grief, sadness, all those emotions we associate with being “negative” only thwart our growth and power. Positivity is USING these things to better yourself or the world around you because you’re not going to give in to them. They do not become you or your identity.

    You don’t have to be the white knuckling soldier you’ve always been. You say your emotions, then follow up with a use or outlet for them. That makes your positivity profound.

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    Positivity is not about wearing a mask; it is the opposite of a mask. It is freedom from negative thinking strategies such as jumping to conclusions, black or white thinking, worst case scenario assumptions and more. It’s acknowledging that there may be more strength or ability in you than previously assumed. And it’s worth it to find out.

    Toxic positivity may suggest you simply put a smile on and act fine. That’s not real positivity. Healthy positivity is about showing up when you’re tired; loving when you are feeling loss; healing when you want to cling to your hurt. It’s realization that you are worth it, not worth writing off. And you care about the outcome, so you stay to sort it out. You don’t abandon or jump ship. You hold on. That’s healthy positivity.

    So that one day you may say to others, “I see you. I feel you. I understand you,” because you have been where they are and got through it. It’s acknowledging the dark as much as the light.

    It’s living so others may live; it’s all you need. It’s not an exact formula everyone can replicate, and no one can copy you either. Your story is important. You are meant to be here. You are meant to do well. It will be those thoughts that get you to the finish line. Thriving.

    Final Thoughts

    In every moment, you’re not going to want to be positive. There will be times when you want to throw in the towel. But even then, choosing your attitude, recognizing the power of positivity, being absolutely present, practicing self-love and avoiding toxic or unhealthy positivity will better your days and assist through your trials.

    Being positive isn’t easy, but it’s worth it to see what is going to happen next. Just around the corner may be the change you need, but you’ll never know if you don’t hold on to find out.

    Positivity is about being curious enough to stay for the outcome because you simply believe, hold onto and trust in yourself and some goodness in this world. That’s enough to keep one going, and enough to help them go from surviving to thriving which is where you want to be.

    Everyone has low moments. There’s nothing to be ashamed of for that. You can feel negative emotions though without shaming yourself for them by practicing healthy positivity. These steps are how to cultivate a positive mental attitude.

    That way you don’t live with regret. You live in the moment. You make the decision how.

    You can start at anytime. Positivity can be like a switch of perception. Once you uplift yourself, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. And soon, you’ll be onto uplifting others which helps even more.

    Positivity is contagious. It spreads like sunlight over the darkness. You can be the source of that sunlight. All you have to do is simple: Believe you can.

    Good luck!

    More About Positivity

    Featured photo credit: Court Prather via unsplash.com

    Reference

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