It’s no secret that everyone sees the world a little differently. We all have a unique set of experiences, values and tendencies that have a profound influence on how we think, behave and respond to events in our lives. Knowledge of our personality traits, strengths and weaknesses helps us understand how we interact with others. In turn, this can grant us insight into what careers and work environments we are best suited for.
Since its inception in 1962, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment has established itself as one of the most respected personality tests available. The team at CareerTrends, an occupational data and professional development site that’s part of the Graphiq suite of research tools, combined the MBTI type descriptions with job description data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This meant matching the qualities of each MBTI type to the career paths that value them. This comparison grants us compelling insight into which careers are likely to play to our strengths, and which environments we might want to avoid. This knowledge has the potential to make our working lives much happier.
The assessment consists of a series of questions that analyze the dominant qualities of one’s personality. To do so, it scores four foundational traits. Based on one’s answers to the survey questions in each area, a descriptive letter is assigned. The study frames these traits with four essential questions:
- Are you outwardly focused or inwardly focused? Scored as either an E for extravert or an I for introvert. Extraverts are focused on the outside world and energized by social interactions, while introverts are inwardly focused and energized by self-reflection.
- How do you prefer to take in information? Scored as either an S for sensing or an N for intuitive. Sensing people receive information from their senses and are focused on what is real and tangible. Intuitive people receive information from impression and interpretation, and enjoy concepts and ideas for the sake of thought.
- How do you prefer to make decisions? Scored as either a T for thinking or an F for feeling. Thinking people prefer to make decisions based on objective and logical reasoning, while feeling people prefer making decisions based on subjective, empathetic reasoning.
- How do you prefer to live your outer life? Scored as either a J for judging or a P for perceiving. Judging people prefer order and planning, while perceiving people prefer being flexible and spontaneous.
Based on one’s answers, a four-letter type is assigned, one letter from each question. There are 16 MBTI types in total. Each is unique; the scientists at the Myers & Briggs Foundation have developed descriptions that generalize how individuals of each type operate given their personality characteristics. Bear in mind that these are only generalizations — nobody is exactly alike. These generalizations serve to inform us in the decision-making process, not to make our decisions.