Using Myers-Briggs to Help in Your Career

At my first appointment with a career counsellor, I was asked for my Myers-Briggs personality type. The counsellor then proceeded to pull out a list of recommended careers for people with my personality type. Initially, I was skeptical of how a seemingly Buzzfeed-like quiz could provide useful advice on a potential career path. However, as the list continued, I realized that I’d considered many of these careers before and that they were remarkably related to subjects I was interested in studying. It seemed that Myers-Briggs was actually a more useful tool than I’d anticipated.

The Myers-Briggs Type indicator is based on the dimensions of personality postulated by the prominent Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung in the early 1900s. The test measures individuals’ preferences along four dimensions: reenergizing, attending to information, decision-making, and spontaneity.

Extroverts are reenergized externally, from spending time with peers, for example, and introverts draw energy internally. On the second personality dimension, “sensing” refers to those who prefer intaking tangible information through their five senses, while “intuitive” refers to those who rely on a sixth sense. On the third dimension, “thinkers” make decisions logically and objectively, whereas “feelers” are more reliant on values. Finally, on the fourth dimension, people with a preference for “judgement” prefer a planned and organized lifestyle; however, those with a preference for “perception” are more spontaneous.

Research has repeatedly shown that the test is a reliable self-report measure, meaning that a person will likely get the same result when taking the test several times. It’s also a valid measure of personality because it adequately evaluates personality dimensions similar to those suggested by Jung. a woman in business casual stands in front of a white board, writing with a marker in an office space Christina Morillo | Pexels Individuals can use information gained from the Myers-Briggs Type indicator to assess what work environments may be preferable to them. For instance, INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging) personality types tend to be deep thinkers who desire helping others in a peaceful work environment and hence might gravitate towards careers such as counselling, research or writing.

While learning about your personality type may provide insight into your preferences and potential careers, it’s important to note that there’s no evidence suggesting certain types won’t be successful in certain jobs. So, the Myers-Briggs Type indicator may be helpful in guiding you towards a career, but the list of suggested professions for your personality type is by no means exhaustive.