1. Careers
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.


Your Myers Briggs Personality Type


Richard Stephenson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
You're an ISTJ! Great news ... but what does it mean? ISTJ is one of 16 personality types that psychiatrist Carl Jung identified many years ago. The great news is not that this is your type since there isn't one that is better than the others. What's great is that you took the time to find out what yours is. Career development experts believe you should choose a career that is a good fit for your personality type. In addition, you can use it to help you make other career-related decisions, for example whether or not a particular job is right for you.

You may have learned what your personality type code is after a career counselor administered a self-assessment instrument like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI). ISTJ stands for Introversion, Sensing, Thinking and Judging, which are the ways in which you prefer to energize, perceive information, make decisions and live your life. The MBTI is based on Jung's personality theory. He believed there are four pairs of opposite preferences. An individual exhibits one preference from each pair more strongly than the other and the letter from that stronger preference is represented in your four-letter code. The pairs of preferences are:

  • Introversion [I] and Extroversion [E]: How you energize
  • Sensing [S] and Intuition [N]: How you perceive information
  • Thinking [T] and Feeling [F]: How you makes decision
  • Judging [J] and Perceiving [P]: How you live your life

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

  • I: If you prefer introversion, you are energized by things within yourself. You don't need to be around other people to get inspired.
  • S: You use your five senses to help you decode information. You typically can't see patterns that emerge from individual details.
  • T: You are a very logical person who gives things a lot of thought. You aren't afraid to give criticism when necessary.
  • J: As someone whose preference is judging, you like order and structure. You bristle at plans being left up in the air.

While you prefer to do things a certain way, you are capable of using your weaker preference if you have to. It is important to remember that you are not locked into "being a certain way." Also realize that all your preferences in your four-preference type interact with each other. Finally, your preferences may change as you go through life.

Using Your Code to Help You Make Career-Related Decisions

You can use your personality type code to help you decide what occupations are a good fit for you. You can also use it to select which work environments would be best for you. You should pay the most attention to the middle two letters, S and T, when you are trying to find a suitable career. Occupations that require you to solve concrete problems are appropriate for you. You would be satisfied with a career that values careful and deliberate decision making. Some options for you to think about are special agent, electrician, computer and information systems manager and paralegal.

When deciding whether to accept a job offer, look at the first and fourth preferences in your personality type code. They can guide you to the work environment that is right for you. Given your preference for introversion, working on a team would not be a good choice for you. You should look for a job that lets you work as independently as possible. Since you prefer judging, you need a very structured work environment.

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

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.