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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

    More by this author

    Scott Jeffrey

    Business Coach, Writer, and Mind Voyager

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    Last Updated on May 28, 2020

    How to Survive a Quarter Life Crisis (The Complete Guide)

    How to Survive a Quarter Life Crisis (The Complete Guide)

    Is there such a thing as a quarter life crisis and could it be the cause of you experiencing a lack of happiness and fulfilment in your life or career right now?

    According to popular psychology, a quarter life crisis is a crisis “involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life” which is most commonly experienced in a period ranging from a person’s twenties up to their mid-thirties.[1] It tends to occur after we have finished our schooling and study, when we have settled into everyday life, often at major points or life changing events when we feel we are at a crossroads. We know something must change but we don’t know what or how to begin. It can feel confusing and lonely.

    The good news is this is quite a normal experience. With some insight and small steps, you can gain clarity and direction on a way forward.

    Firstly, it’s important to realize you are not alone. LinkedIn surveyed thousands of 25 to 33 years olds; the data showed that 75% had experienced a quarter life crisis with the average age being 27.[2]

    Our twenties and thirties are nothing like they used to be. There are so many pressures now for people in this age group including having a well-qualified career, a secure relationship and possibly a family. The prospect of owning a home of your own becomes important, yet each year seems to be getting further out of reach, putting further pressure on your income earning capacity and career choice.

    Personally, I have experienced both a quarter life crisis and a mid life one and there are similarities between both. Change was instigated for me both times by a difficult life-changing event, because I didn’t understand what I was experiencing or how to change it. Hindsight is a great thing and I sometimes wish I’d had the insights back then that I have now.

    When you become aware of what you are experiencing and acknowledge your feelings as perfectly normal, change and transformation flows with more ease as you begin to take the steps to find new direction, happiness and fulfilment.

    Here you will find what I consider to be the complete guide. It contains the essential steps I have identified to get clear on your way forward and move through this period of your life with more certainty.

    1. Stop Comparing Your Own Quarter Life Crisis to Your Friend’s

    Comparing yourself with your friends and peers, noticing their life choices and achievements can lead you to feel inferior and this increases those feelings of pressure and anxiety. You only have to jump online for five minutes and scroll through your newsfeed to see images of couples with children, career and life announcements and they all seem much more satisfied than you.

    The truth is that often what you see is not real and they could be experiencing their own crisis too behind the facade. This means you could be comparing yourself with something that doesn’t even exist. What is the point in that?

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    If you want to make this easier for yourself, stop accessing social media platforms. You can remove apps from your phone so you have to physically log in. If you need to access certain platforms for work or business, stay away from your newsfeed, even unfollow connections until you have worked through this period of your life.

    When you stop comparing, you will notice that the pressure decreases and you will feel more comfort in your current situation. This allows change to unfold at its own pace.

    2. Let Go of All the Should’s

    If you hear yourself say, “I should be” or “I have to”, you are attempting to live your life by other people’s standards. And now you are aware of this, you will be amazed at how often you use this language.

    The thing is, trying to live to others’ standards will never bring you true happiness or fulfilment. Even the use of this language brings a feeling of self-judgement and stress without even taking the actions associated with it. And over time, continually living this way, you will start to feel like your life isn’t your own; and you will lead yourself deeper into crisis as your self-esteem suffers.

    If you hear yourself using this language, stop in your tracks. Explore where the thought actually came from and who said you should be doing things that way. Let go of the need to judge yourself according to someone else’s standards and start to think about what you really want instead.

    When you let go of all the “I should’s” and start to replace them with your “I wants,” you will notice the feeling of lightness as your self-esteems rises again.

    3. Get Clear on What Is Important to You

    As you begin to let go of what you thought should be important, you create space to get clear on what is important to you.

    Most of the time, like the majority of people, you are living your life unconsciously and unaware of what is really important to you. This means you will find it difficult to make choices that will light you up from the inside.

    Dr John Demartini, a long time educator and international expert in human behavior states in his book The Values Factor, that true motivation is inspiration and is present when we are fulfilling our values. And, when we are living according to our truest and most important values is when we are our most fulfilled.

    This means it’s important to get ultra clear on your most important values. You can do this simply by looking at what you put most of your time and energy into currently, and the moments in your life when you have felt your most fulfilled. Those moments may have been at any point in your life and may even mean going right back to memories of childhood.

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    As you get clearer on what is important to you, you will gain even more clarity on what you truly want for you.

    4. Change Your Environment

    Feeling stuck can often be exacerbated when we stay in the same place, because our environment can have a huge impact on our state of mind. And, when you are in a stuck state of mind, it can be difficult to see past what you have in your life right now.

    This doesn’t mean you need to sell all your belongings and go to live in an ashram for a year, although this may be the thing that feels right for you, and if it is that is okay.

    You can gain the same benefits by going on a holiday, going away for a long weekend or even just going for a few day trips into nature, the forest or the beach where you can feel a real connection with self.

    When you change your environment, you can change your state and your mindset. You shift yourself out of focusing on feeling dissatisfied with your life right now and shift yourself into thinking about how your life could be.

    5. Enter the Dream Room and Ask Yourself “What If?”

    There have been many great stories created in The Dream Room.

    Walt Disney has been named one of the most remarkably creative, and as you may know one of the most successful individuals of the 20th century. The methods he used for all his creations are still being used today. Each of his creations began in the place called The Dream Room, the place where anything is possible; where there is nothing too absurd, there are no limits and no judgement. This was a place for brainstorming or dream storming as it was called.[3]

    I always like to call it the “What if” room, which is a place where you ask yourself the “What if?” questions. This is the place where you can create your own outrageous wish list of what you really want. It doesn’t have to be a physical room; it’s a room you go to in your mind’s eye. This dream space is expansive and the expansion can be increased when you also change your physical environment by going to a place outdoors where you can see the horizon.

    Find your space, arm yourself with a journal and pen, and ask yourself these questions:

    • What if anything were possible, what would I do and what would I create for my life?
    • What if life was exactly as I wanted it to be, what would that look like and how would I feel experiencing that?
    • What if I were without fear, what would I aim for?
    • What if I couldn’t possibly fail, how can I see myself doing this?

    Dream as you did when you were a child, when you knew without a doubt that anything is possible.

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    When you embrace this and allow yourself to dream, you will begin to create the most exciting picture of your next chapter in life.

    6. Be Patient and Let Go of Control

    Human beings waste so much time trying to control how their lives evolve and if you attempt to rush this dream process, you will find it difficult to gain the clarity you are looking for.

    Learn patience, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and you are creating your own private empire of what you want for you.

    This means that your dream room vision may be created in one day, two weeks or even a year. However long it takes, make it okay for you.

    Many of the answers you are searching for are locked in your unconscious mind, things you have forgotten over time while you have possibly been focusing on living the way you thought you should live.

    As you start asking the right questions, your answers will begin to come little by little and, will often come when you least expect them.

    Carry a small notebook with you or voice record on an app on your phone. Even keep a notebook by your bed for when you first wake up in the morning.

    7. Ditch Your Perception of Life Always Being Perfect

    Even if we create an exciting vision, we can often get in our own way by our fear of things not working out perfectly.

    We see failure before we have even started and hesitate on something that powerfully lights us up on the inside because it’s not the perfect time. Before we know it, years have passed and we are still in the same place. This can cause an even bigger crisis in later years.

    Life is always happening perfectly for us; the problem is our perception of perfection is imperfect.

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    Over the years, we have made perfection mean everything it really doesn’t. As a society, we have chosen to see perfection as things always lining up perfectly, no mistakes, a flawlessness, always getting the right result and the outcomes we want.

    Here’s the thing: the opposite of this is absolutely true.

    Life happens perfectly for you all the time. This means all the mistakes you make, all the outcomes you don’t want and not getting things right first time, is absolutely perfect for you at the time. As you make these mistakes, the lessons and growth you receive are vital to you living the life you truly want in the long term.

    If at any point, you feel your need for perfection is possibly holding you back, comfort yourself with knowing that whatever the outcome, it’s happening perfectly. You will be exactly where you are meant to be to enable you to eventually live the life of your dreams

    8. Make a Stand for You

    Often when we make a decision on our future, we can find those closest to us object to our plans, because they want what is best for us; they want us to be happy.

    The thing is what they think will make us happy isn’t necessarily what will really make us happy, because their dreams and values are different to ours. This can often make us apprehensive and delay actioning our plans since we don’t want to disappoint them.

    This brings to mind something an amazing mentor once said to me, he said, “dogs only bark at what they don’t understand”. To me, this means that if a dog barks, they are not quite sure what is happening and in that uncertainty, they sense danger.

    Your loved ones are exactly the same. They don’t understand where you are heading because it’s possibly something they are not familiar with themselves. Or maybe it reminds them of past experiences of their own where things didn’t quite work out the way they wanted them to. They won’t be disappointed in you when you make a stand for what you want. They just love you and want to protect you.

    Proudly make a stand for you and your dream. Reassure them that you love them and you will be okay with whatever happens, because life is always happening for you and you are grateful for their support in the life you are choosing.

    Final Thoughts

    At the end of the day, no one else’s life, desires or dreams can bring you happiness and fulfilment; only what is important to you and what you really want can do that.

    By being patient and kind with yourself as you move through what can be your most exciting life-changing period, you will feel this crisis point end and find clarity on exactly what will light up your life.

    More About Life Crisis

    Featured photo credit: ZACHARY STAINES via unsplash.com

    Reference

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