According to Carl Jung's personality theory, upon which the MBTI is based, an individual's personality type is made up of four pairs of opposite preferences:
- Introversion [I] or Extroversion [E] (how one energizes)
- Sensing [S] or Intuition [N] (how one perceives information)
- Thinking [T] or Feeling [F] (how one makes decisions)
- Judging [J] or Perceiving [P] (how one lives his or her life)
It is important to remember that these are preferences, not absolutes. This means that, even though you may prefer to energize, process information, make decisions or live your life in a certain way, you can be flexible as situations require. It is also important to note that your four preferences interact with one another. Each preference in your four preference type has an effect on the other three. Finally, your preferences are not static. They may change as you go through life.
I, N, T and J: What Each Letter of Your Personality Type Code Means
- I: The first letter of your type indicates that you prefer introversion. This means you are energized by your own thoughts and ideas. You value privacy and may be somewhat reserved, which puts you at risk of not saying enough at times.
- N: As an "N" you prefer to use intuition, or insight, when you process information. You look toward the future, considering the possibilities that exist there. You think about the big picture, trying to make sense of patterns that emerge from details. You love taking advantage of new and unusual opportunities.
- T: You prefer to make decisions by thinking, as the "T" in your personality type signifies. You analyze your options and consider their consequences before making choices. If someone is looking for a quick decision, he or she won't get one from you. If objectivity is desired, however, you are the man/woman for the job.
- J: If you are a "J", your preference is judging. You like structure and order. You need to know the when, the where and the how, as in "when and where are we going and how are we getting there?" Plans can't be left up in the air.
Using Your Code to Help You Make Career-Related DecisionsYou can use your personality type code to help you make career-related decisions including choosing a career and evaluating a work environment. When it comes to career choice, the middle two letters, "N" and "T" are the most relevant even though the first and last do play a role as well. Look for occupations that allow you to develop and implement new ideas and make decisions through a logical process. Some career possibilities include attorney, engineer, writer and management consultant. Consider your preferences for introversion and judging as well. Since you are internally motivated, you would enjoy working independently. An unstructured or disorderly environment would be stressful, so consider that when evaluating work environments.
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