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Your Myers Briggs Personality Type


You went to a career counselor or other career development professional because you wanted someone to help you choose an occupation. He or she did a self assessment in order to help you learn more about yourself. One of the things you found out is that your personality type is ESTJ. Now you want to learn more about it because, according to the counselor, you can use that information to help you choose a career and make other career-related decisions.

ESTJ is one of 16 personality types psychiatrist Carl Jung identified in his personality theory. Jung believed that every individual's personality is made up of four pairs of opposite preferences. Preferences are the ways we choose to do certain things. The four pairs are:

  • Introversion [I] and Extroversion [E]: How one energizes
  • Sensing [S] and Intuition [N]: How one perceives information
  • Thinking [T] and Feeling [F]: How one makes decisions
  • Judging [J] and Perceiving [P]: How one lives his or her life

Each of us exhibits one preference from each pair more strongly than the other. The letter that represents that stronger preference is part of one's four-letter personality type code. For example your code, ESTJ, indicates your stronger preferences are Extroversion [E], Sensing [S], Thinking [T] and Judging [J]. The counselor you met with probably administered the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI), a self assessment instrument used to discover an individuals personality type.

E, S, T and J: What Each Letter of Your Personality Type Code Means

  • E: As someone who prefers extroversion (sometimes called extraversion), you are energized by other people. You enjoy being part of a team and are motivated by those around you.
  • S: You prefer sensing over intuition when it comes to decoding information. That means you rather use your five senses than your imagination, which makes you a very practical person. You are best at seeing what is right in front of you than at imagining what the future has in store.
  • T: Your preference for thinking means that you use logic to make decisions. You are not guided by your feelings and aren't afraid to give criticism when necessary.
  • J: You like to live your life in an orderly and structured manner, as your preference for judging indicates. When plans are left up in the air, it makes you uneasy. You can adhere to deadlines without a problem.

Does having these preferences mean you are incapable of doing things differently? For example, if your preference is thinking, does that mean you can never use your feelings to guide your decisions? No it does not. You may prefer to do things a certain way but remember that everyone has both preferences in each pair. One is stronger than the other, but that doesn't mean you can't use the weaker preference when a situation calls for it. You should also realize that all your preferences in your four-preference type interact with one another. Finally, your preferences can change as you go through life.

Using Your Code to Help You Make Career-Related Decisions

As your career counselor told you, you can use your personality type code to help you choose a career and make other career-related decisions. Experts believe you will be happier at work if your occupation and work environment fit your personality type. When choosing an occupation, you should pay the most attention to the middle two letters, S and T. Consider occupations that require solving concrete problems. You also enjoy using logic. Some options for you to think about are biomedical engineer, compliance officer, court reporter and licensed practical nurse.

Look at the first and final preferences in your code when you are deciding whether to accept a job offer. They are helpful when you are trying to decide if a particular work environment is a good fit for you. Your preference for extroversion, for example, indicates that you are more productive when you interact with other people. You are most successful, and happier, when part of a team. You also like structure and order, as evidenced by your preference for judging, so look for an environment that offers both.

The Myers-Briggs Foundation Web Site.
Baron, Renee. What Type Am I?. NY: Penguin Books
Page, Earle C. Looking at Type: A Description of the Preferences Reported by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Center for Applications of Psychological Type

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