When considering college majors and future careers, most students give heavy weight to factors such as potential salary, job availability, future outlook, and of course, their own interests. But as career counselors know, the student’s personality type can also serve as a powerful indicator of that individual’s ideal career paths.
If you decide to consult with a career counselor, they will likely perform a handful of aptitude and personality tests before helping you to identify your options. While individual counselors have each developed their own methods, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is commonly associated with career planning. The Myers Briggs assessment is based upon the work of renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung, and outlines sixteen major personality types. Each of these types is based upon a combination of the following factors:
- Extroversion versus Introversion (E or I)
- Sensing versus Intuition (S or N) – with regard to how you perceive information
- Thinking versus Feeling (T or F) – with regard to how you make decisions
- Judging versus Perceiving (J or P) – with regard to how you live your life
After answering a number of questions to assess where you fall on each spectrum, your results will reveal your personality type, which is designated as a combination of the four letters listed above (you can be ISTJ, or ENFP, and so on). The research on each of these sixteen personality types offers you insight into how you think, make decisions, and interact with the world.
With regard to careers, we know that each type performs better in some environments, or at certain tasks. There is no ideal personality type, but each type might be ideally suited to a few different career paths. For example, those who score high in extroversion are often better matched to social careers and teamwork, while introverts are known as highly independent workers. Your scores in each of the four areas can help you match college majors and career paths to your unique strengths and personality type.
Ultimately, your ideal career will involve your passions as well as your preferred work environment. No one is limited by their personality type, but these assessments can be illuminating for those who are undecided and seek guidance.
As a side note, we aren’t advocating for you to run out and get tested, but we are suggesting that different personality types are suited for different career paths. If you have questions about yours, talk to us about it and we can help guide you.