AUTHOR: Kiri Nowak

Ever wondered if your personality is suited to a whole different career path? Do you find yourself having to keep your best bubbly self locked away in an insular state due to the lack of banter in your office?

Or maybe you’ve realised that the thing you thought you’ve wanted to do your whole life just doesn’t fit with your true self. Suddenly, you’re thinking your whole life has been an outright lie.

Well, let’s look at what your personality might well be saying about your career, focusing specifically on the Myer Briggs Type Indicator® - MBTI.

 

Research

Take this cleverly concocted study undertaken by the brains at the University of Zurich. They found that those “who can apply personal character strengths in their careers, experience more enjoyment, flow and meaning at work.

But what does this mean? You cry desperately into the abyss. Should you cancel your next team meeting? Dial down the friendly customer service on the front desk? HANG UP THE CLOWN COSTUME FOR GOOD?*

*Note, if the very concept of children's entertaining gives you the ick, this may never have been the right career path for you.

Well, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Firstly, let’s take a look at what other sources are saying, in particular, a thought-provoking blog published by career guru’s, Adecco.

This article recommends using the Myers Briggs personality test as a way to “reach a new level of understanding about your employees, the way they work and lead, as well as the way that your personality impacts your professional self.”

These tests also tend to define you, for example, are you a ‘realistic’ type or an ‘artistic’ type? Does this mean that you’d be good at managing others? Excellent at dealing with stress? How about conflict resolution, or meeting more tailored needs.

Tell me more, you say?

Okay, let’s look at the different ‘types’.

Simply put, they pick and mix of the following personality traits:

Extraversion (E)

Introversion (I)

Sensing (S)

Intuition (N)

Thinking (T)

Feeling (F)

Judging (J)

Perception (P)

That’s a lot of types, hey.

 

What do they actually mean?

Interestingly, both aforementioned sources seem to be highlighting that both a well thought out personal assessment - yes, it’s time to look deep into the looking glass - and an understanding of your innate characteristics are key to career satisfaction. This could be any point on the career ladder. Maybe you're just starting out and unsure where to go, maybe you’ve had enough of the corporate life. Maybe you just really want to become your #bestself and #livingyourbestlife. And why shouldn’t you? Life is too short.

So, how does this Myer Briggs thing work? How do you figure out your own perfect blend of personality traits? Well, due to the winning combination of Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, luckily there are tons of free helping hands out there in the form of online personality tests. Well, a potential mid career move could see the need to save those extra hard earned pennies, after all.

So, now that we know the different personality types, let’s break it down even further here and check out a couple of interesting mixes.

 

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INFJ

YOU ARE: Vision and meaning oriented, creative, and quietly intense.

You love a language. Qui, moi? You’re an insightful soul, and you live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities.

YOU SHOULD BE: Essentially, you belong in the next Dan Brown novel, but if we’re talking specifically about a job? 16 Personalities reckon that corporate career paths are not yours to walk. Nope. Instead, your ideal job would be one of truth, beauty and purpose. Liking the sound of that? Examples include: Counsellors, Psychologists, Doctors, Life Coaches and Spiritual Guides.

AVOID: Marketing, Sales and AdvertisingPrivacy is what you’re all about.

ISFJ

YOU ARE: Conscientious, stable, and helpful.

You are the concrete backbone of any workforce. Thorough, organised, dependable. You’re the one who always has pens and painkillers. You help people because you’re naturally just, well, helpful.

YOU SHOULD BE: Office politics isn’t your bag. You enjoy the tradition and security of a job, but you thrive in areas where you can just get on and do the damn thing.

Think: Tech Support, Dentist and Interior Design. And if you do have to work the dreaded 9-5? You enjoy the support of like-minded, friendly people. Think Nursing and Primary School Teaching.

AVOID: Acting, Copywriting and the tricky world of Law. Basically, anything that involves large doses of improvisation. You don’t need that kind of stress.

ESTP

YOU ARE: Excitement driven, direct but surprisingly easygoing.

Sound like you? Only if you get great satisfaction from acting on your impulses. You really “couldn’t be any better”. To an all-encompassing ESTP guy? An admission of weakness feels like failure.

YOU SHOULD BE: Doing anything involving action. But before you go ahead and jump in that director’s chair, we mean the kind of action where you just get on with it. Follow your own passion, make your own rules. Play your own game.

Entrepreneur? Naturally. Sales Manager? You got it. Any of the emergency responses? NAILED IT.

AVOID: Academia, Accounting and basic Administration. Essentially, anything beginning with an A*

*take with pinch of salt. The avoidance of all A’s? now that would be ridiculous

So, after just a glimpse of these various different personality blends, it seems that understanding and analysing your many different characteristics can not only be helpful on to you personally, but could be giving you a natural advantage when it comes to the workplace. Maybe this is why you’ve been nailing, or failing in every interview you’ve ever had.

Understanding what works best for you, alongside the knowledge that employers are also frequently assessing personality types, could create the perfect environment for you to intuitively highlight your best qualities, wind up on the right career path and ultimately, help you to slay both your strengths AND weaknesses.

BOOM. Myers Briggs, here you come.

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