Yes, we know this blog is all about understanding why personality is an important consideration for career guidance, but before touching on that topic, let us understand what is “Personality”?
While there are many different definitions of personality, most focus on the pattern of behaviors and characteristics that can help predict and explain a person’s behavioral response in a given situation.
One of these definitions describes personality as characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make a person unique. It is believed that personality arises from within the individual and remains fairly consistent throughout life.
Therefore personality assessment becomes an essential factor to consider when you’re exploring which careers may fit you best. Personality tests not only evaluate your strengths and weaknesses but also influence your values, interests, and skills.
They can be a powerful tool in your overall career planning, helping you to make an informed career choice.
One of the most popular and widely used personality assessments is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI. It began with Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, in the United States in the early-mid 20th century. Interestingly, the world’s most popular personality test was created by two women who had no formal training in psychology, statistics, or psychometrics.
Katharine Briggs, an educated and intellectual woman with a degree in agriculture and someone who worked as a teacher, wrote on the subject of child-rearing and education. She homeschooled her only daughter, Isabel who grew up to be a writer and later devoted herself to her home.
Until around World War II when Isabel came across a psychological test that would allocate workers to the right niche within the labor force, she became an active participant in her mother’s research on personality assessment.
She believed that if people understood each other better, they’d work better together and there’d be less conflict. She discussed the problem with her mother Katharine, who proposed an alternative: which was to develop a new assessment, based on the theories of Carl Jung’s personality type that she had been studying for so many years.
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. In his book “Psychological Types: The Psychology of Individuation” published in 1921, he distinguished people based on their cognitive and psychological functions.
Katharine Briggs came across this theory in 1923 and contacted Dr. Jung personally, corresponding with him over several years and even meeting him when he visited the United States. He provided her with additional notes on his work in the field, and she consulted with him in the application of his theories.
Thus with the collaborative efforts of the mother-daughter duo, the MBTI instrument was officially published in 1975 after years of testing and research.
MBTI is a self-administered questionnaire indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. It questions people on four preferences.
|Do You Direct or Receive Energy?||INTROVERSION (I)
|How Do You Process Information?||SENSING (S)
|How Do You Make Decisions?||THINKING (T)
|How Do You Work In the Outside World?||JUDGING (J)
Each parameter is a continuum. For example – on Energy, you can neither be a complete extrovert nor a complete introvert but there can be a dominant factor. This applies to each of the parameters – Information, Decision, and Work Structure.
The assessment identifies your dominant personality on each of these parameters and gets your personality result as a four-letter code like ISTJ or EIFP. Thus we get sixteen possible personalities.
People with an ISTJ personality type tend to be reserved, practical and quiet. They enjoy order and organization in all areas of their lives including their home, work, family, and projects. ISTJs value loyalty in themselves and others, and place an emphasis on traditions.
People with ISTP personalities enjoy having time to think alone and are fiercely independent. ISTPs also love action, new experiences, hands-on activities, and the freedom to work at their own pace.
People who have ISFJ personalities tend to be reserved, warm-hearted, and responsible. This personality type is one of the more common ones. They are good at remembering details about other people and they tend to learn best by doing.
People with an ISFP personality are quiet, easy-going, and peaceful. They like to keep their options open, so they often delay making decisions to see if things might change or if new options come up. They have an easy-going attitude and tend to accept other people as they are.
People with INFJ personalities are creative, gentle, and caring. INFJs are usually reserved but highly sensitive to how others feel. They are typically idealistic, with high moral standards and a strong focus on the future. INFJs enjoy thinking about deep topics and contemplating the meaning of life.
People with this kind of personality tend to be introverted, idealistic, creative, and driven by high values. They have strong interests in making the world a better place. In addition to wanting to gain a greater understanding of themselves and how they fit into the world, they are also interested in how they can best help others.
People with INTJ personalities are highly analytical, creative, and logical. They prefer to work alone and like to focus on abstract information rather than concrete details. They place greater emphasis on logic and objective information and prefer to make plans well in advance.
People who score as INTP are quiet and analytical. They enjoy spending time alone, thinking about how things work, and coming up with solutions to problems. They typically do not have a wide social circle, but they do tend to be close to a selected group of people.
People with this personality type are outgoing, action-oriented, and dramatic. ESTPs are outgoing and enjoy spending time with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. They are interested in the here-and-now and are more likely to focus on details than taking a broader view of things.
ESTJs are often described as logical, take-charge people. They are assertive and are very concerned with making sure that things run smoothly and according to the rules. They are committed to tradition, standards, and laws. They have strong beliefs and possess sensible judgment, and expect that other people uphold these same principles as well.
People with an ESFJ personality type are outgoing, loyal, organized, and tender-hearted. ESFJs gain energy from interacting with other people. They have a way of encouraging other people to be their best and often have a hard time believing anything bad about the people to whom they are close.
People with this type of personality are often described as enthusiastic, charismatic, and creative. They are very charming, energetic, and independent. They are creative and do best in situations where they have the freedom to be creative and innovative.
People with ENFJ personality types are often described as warm, outgoing, loyal, and sensitive. They are perceived as being the strongest people.” They are capable of forging friendships with all personality types, even with more introverted or reticent individuals.
People with this personality type are innovative, clever, and expressive. They are less interested in the here-and-now details than they are in generating ideas and theories. Because of this, they sometimes tend to come up with one idea after another without actually going forward with plans and actions to bring their creative notions to fruition.
People with this personality type enjoy spending time with other people. They have strong verbal skills and interacting with others helps them feel energized. They are planners. Making decisions and having a course of action planned gives them a sense of predictability and control. They are highly rational, good at spotting problems, and excel at taking charge.
People with ESFP personality types are spontaneous, resourceful, and outgoing. They love being the center of attention. In addition to having a strong awareness of their surroundings, they are also very understanding and perceptive when it comes to other people. They can sense what others are feeling and know how to respond. People tend to find them warm, sympathetic, and easygoing.
In our upcoming blogs, we will deep-dive into each career cluster and indicate correlations between careers and personalities. Understanding your personality type can be useful in the transitional moments of your career. Whether you are looking for your first job or you’re interested in a career change, they can be a good way to discern which choices might be ideal for you. To explore more careers that may go with your personality, look out for upcoming blogs on our website! You can also register for our psychometric assessment to find your suitable career options.