You need to understand your personality if you want to create solid basis for career planning
We all carry the burden of our personality and if you want to influence others you have to know yourself. Gnothi seauton! If your personality is on the extreme end of any description scale (introvert vs extrovert, closed vs open, rational vs emotional, etc…) you already received feedback from the social environment. But, if you are like the majority of us – stuck somewhere in the middle, you could be experiencing a gap between how people around perceive you and what is your real personality.
One of the most widely accepted personality tests is Myers-Briggs test. It was initially developed in the 1940s, with refinements being done through 20 years of collecting and analyzing results. Authors of the concept are Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs, and they defined 16 personality types, using the work of Carl Jung as a fundamental building block. They used Jung’s work to define 4 different elements that describe our personality.
Quick view on the elements ( Excerpt from the MBTI® Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®):
Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or do you often close down in your inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I). Introverts increase their energy level from time spent by themselves. They are usually perceived as less talkative and more emotionally distant. Extroverts prefer being around other people. They appear outgoing and energetic, preferring larger groups to spend time alone. If your 4-letter type starts with “I” – be sure to check this article on how to start with career advancement for introverts
Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N). People who identify more with the Intuition characteristic enjoy testing new ideas and drawing connections between concepts and usually have strong instincts. Individuals closer to Sensing part of the scale prefer to focus on facts and are more practical by nature. They are more down to earth and learn by experiencing new things.
Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F). If you identify yourself with the Feeling characteristic, you usually prioritize emotion over logic. Your actions often are not based only on facts, and you are good at reading emotions from other people, as empathy is stronger with you. People who are Thinking types are focused on logic and facts, and they are acting from the head, not from the heart.
Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P). Judging trait defines people that are structured and very organized. They do lists, rules, schedules and they follow activity plans. On the opposite end are people who are spontaneous and have issues adapting to strict rules.
Every element is independent from others, which gives us 16 different combinations. In theory, every combination has a perfect fit with a specific occupation, but in real life – it should be used as a guidance.
Your Personality Type: When you decide on your preference in each category, you have your own personality type, which can be expressed as a code with four letters.
Quick and free personality tests (use them carefully)
If you are interested which group you fall in, there are few free tests online that can be used as an orientation. Advice: take the test several times in different time periods (change the time of the day, stress levels you feel, actual business situation).