When embarking on the journey to self-discovery in relation to your ideal career, it can be useful to get tested on your MBTI Preferences. MBTI stands for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and is a test created for identifying four dimensions to your personality. These four dimensions, if understood and integrated into your sense of self, can help you to make more sound decisions in relation to your career path. When we can answer the question “why” about career choice, we feel more certain and rooted in our choice. The four dimensions are:
1) Where do you get your energy? a) Extroversion, or b) Introversion
2) How do you prefer to take in information? a) Sensing, or b) Intuition
3) How do you make decisions? a) Thinking, or b) Feeling
4) How do you deal with the outer world? a) Judging, or b) Perceiving
The first dimension, relating to where you get your energy, involves questioning if you tend to reach outwards (extroversion) or reach inwards (introversion) to replenish yourself. A good way to pose this question to yourself is to ask: “Do I prefer interacting with people and taking action or do I prefer reflecting on thoughts, memories and experiences?” You may find that this is a tricky question to answer for lack of context and that your behavior varies in different situations, so it is hard to come to one conclusion. If so, it is useful to look at a list of characteristics of extroverts and introverts and identify which category you relate with more. Once you’ve identified your type, you will be able to understand yourself and your social relationships better and eventually identify which career would provide you with the best opportunity to work with your strengths.
The second dimension of the MBTI preferences tool relates to how you prefer to take in information in your environment. “Sensing” is the term used to identify people who think in terms of facts, with a tendency towards learn theory through practical application. “Intuition” is the term used to identify people who think in imaginative terms, with a tendency towards learning through understanding of ideas and theories before practical application. Knowing which side of this dimension you fall on would be highly useful to those deciding on whether to attend college or university, as “sensing” types would definitely prefer college, and “intuition” types would prefer university.
The third dimension of the MBTI preferences tool helps you identify how you make decisions. People who tend to be “thinking” types are people who are guided by logic and standard operating procedures; they are oriented around the “typical case” and are they are analytical in situations. These people can be tough-minded and are always reasonable. The “feeling” types, oppositely, are people who are guided by personal values and assessing impacts of decisions on people, treating people as individuals and being empathetic in situations. This MBTI dimension would be extremely useful to help with identifying what type of work environment you would thrive in and what types of managers/coworkers you would collaborate with best.
The final dimension of the MBTI preferences tool helps you to understand how you deal with the outer world. People who use “judging” to understand the outer world prefer to live in a planned, orderly way with a schedule and everything organized. This category of people tend to prefer to have things decided; to use methodical and systematic procedures in their work and personal lives. People who prefer “perceiving” to understand the outer world prefer to live in a spontaneous, flexible way, with an open-ended schedule and everything open to change. Knowing which side of this dichotomy you fall to will help you to nail down the type of environment where you will thrive. If you are someone who prefers rigid structure, you may do well in an office environment. If you are someone who prefers flexibility and spontaneity, you may prefer a job working in the field such as a police officer or an on-call doctor.