What’s Your Career Personality?


Imagine that you are in a house with 16 rooms. Each of the rooms has a unique aesthetic, size, and feel. As you tour each room in the home, your goal is to identify your favorite room. It’s ok if you cannot explain why it is your favorite, but it is important that you know you are “at home” when you are there. Finding your favorite room in this house is just like discovering your personality type.

Learning your personality type is a way of understanding more about who you are. Specifically, your personality type helps you understand your natural preferences. These are preferences that are often under your awareness because they are such an effortless part of what makes you, you.

For this blog post, we will focus on the Myers Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI). This personality assessment helps you answer the following four questions which are meant to help you clarify your preferences between the four pairs below and, ultimately, determine which of the 16 different personality types describes your natural tendencies best: 

  1. Introversion (I) vs. Extroversion (E)- How do you gain energy?
  2. Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N) - How do you take in information?
  3. Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F) - How do you make decisions?
  4. Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P) - How do you prefer to live?

Let’s describe each of these preferences. As you read, consider which preferences illustrate your natural tendencies.

  1. Introversion (I) vs. Extroversion (E)- How do you gain energy?
    • Introversion refers to people who gain energy from time alone or with fewer people. Introverts often prefer 1-on-1 interactions and crave more depth.
    • Extroversion refers to people who gain energy from time with people. Extroverts often prefer group interactions and crave more variety or breadth.
  2. Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N) - How do you take in information?
    • Sensing refers to people who notice details first and tend to tell stories or describe things using names, facts, and aesthetic details.
    • Intuition refers to people who notice themes or connections first and tend to tell stories or describe things using metaphors, memories, and analogies.
  3. Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F) - How do you make decisions?
    • Thinking refers to people who prefer to make decisions using logic or objectivity. This could be looking to facts or data to make decisions.
    • Feelings refers to people who prefer to make decisions using values or subjectivity. This could be reflecting on what is important to oneself or others when making a decision.
  4. Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P) - How do you prefer to live?
    • Judging refers to people who prefer a structured way of living as well as closure, which is often a desire to complete tasks, make plans, or focus on the goal.
    • Perceiving refers to people who prefer a flexible way of living and to delay decisions, which is often a desire to wait and see what other options exist, choose spontaneity over determined schedules, or focus on the process.

 

After reflecting on these questions, I determined that my personality type is ENFP, one of the 16 MBTI personality types. When viewing my job in the Career Center through the lens of my personality type, I am able to identify parts of my job that allow me to use or express my natural tendencies. Let’s investigate this further and keep in mind that these are my personal reflections. You could also be an ENFP and assess your current expression of these preferences differently.

  • Extroversion (E) – As a career consultant, I often have the opportunity to present to groups of people. As an extrovert, I am very energized by the opportunity to teach and interact with students during presentations.
  • Intuition (N) – In my current role, I also enjoy the opportunity to help students see the connections between their choices or activities, which allows me to practice Intuition. For example, in talking with students about their major choice, we can identify common themes or motivations between each major that is being considered. For instance, perhaps all majors require a skill in math or point towards a desire to help.
  • Feeling (F) – As a career consultant, I am often talking with students about their career choices and how to make career decisions. With this, it is natural for me to bring an understanding that each student will consider a unique set of factors when making a career decision. My tendency to explore each student’s unique set of factors is rooted in my Feeling preference.
  • Perceiving (P) – In my role, I also have the opportunity to be flexible in my approach to helping students. Sometimes I choose to use handouts or worksheets to help students think through career decisions, while other times I may choose to ask questions. My job allows me to express my desire to be flexible and adapt to the needs or preferences of students as I meet with them.

As you identify your MBTI personality type, I challenge you to also consider ways you are currently able to express or use your natural tendencies in your classes, your job, or your life in general.

There are several advantages to assessing and understanding your personality type as you make career decisions. By noting your preferences for each of the four questions, you are identifying your natural tendencies, which tend to require less energy or feel effortless. When we use your preferences to identify majors and careers that allow you to express these, you find options that require minimal additional energy from you. In other words, we can begin to find majors and careers that allow you to feel at ease, just the way you felt when you found your favorite room in the 16-room house.

There are also several limitations to career decisions made from only considering your personality type. Although helpful, your personality type is just one piece of the puzzle. When making career decisions there are other internal factors to consider such as your interests, skills, and values, plus external factors such as your location, salary, or organization size preferences. Therefore, using your personality type as a piece of the puzzle to help you gather a fuller picture of who you are is a best practice when making career decisions, but your personality type should never be the sole determinant of your career-related choices. Finally, it is important to note that your personality type can evolve over time, so revisit this assessment from time to time to gain the most value from it.

To dig deeper into your personality type, you can take TypeFocus through the UGA Career Center. You can also find more assessments and additional blog posts related to personality type on 16 Personalities and Truity. If you desire to talk with your UGA Career Consultant about your assessment results and how you can use your personality type to help you make career decisions, follow these instructions to schedule an appointment. Using your personality type to support your career decision-making is a helpful approach. It can affirm the decisions you have already made as well as open your mind to new ideas that coincide with your natural preferences. It helps you find a major or career that resembles your favorite room! 

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