Does Your Career Fit Your Personality?
It’s not uncommon to be uncertain about your major or career path. In fact, 2 out of 3 college freshmen don’t declare a major, and 60% of undergraduate students change their major at least once. The problem with indecision in school is that it can end up costing you time, money and frustration later in your career.
In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2012 study on employee job satisfaction and engagement, only 30% of US workers say they feel engaged and inspired at work. A big reason for this is lack of personality and career fit. Studies show that personality and major/career fit predicts higher levels of engagement, job satisfaction and career success.Therefore, as you consider starting a new career, changing careers, or just picking a career for the first time, it's important that you choose options that fit with your personality type. An easy way to do this is to take a career personality test.
Take a Personality Type Quiz
You can take a free personality type quiz online. The most popular personality type quizzes are based on Isabel Briggs Myers' 16-type approach to personality type. The graphic below addresses the similarities and differences amongst the 16 personality types. Which one sounds like you ?
16 Personality Types
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ISFJ – The Defender
The ISFJ personality type rarely sits idle – they are always searching for the next great cause. They usually put the needs of others above their own and are extremely perceptive and empathetic of other’s feelings. ISFJ’s are also imaginative and have very good memory. They are commonly known for their patience, reliability and meticulousness. They are usually open to change so long as it does not conflict with their inner values.
ISFJ Career Option: Social Worker
Famous ISFJs: Robert E. Lee, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, Halle Berry, Prince Charles, Bruce Willis, and Tiger Woods.
ISTJ – The Inspector
The ISTJ personality type prefers not to “beat around the bush.” They are very quiet, serious, and matter-of-fact. They possess well-developed powers of concentration. They are realistic, responsible and dependable. An ISTJ Personality Type can make logical decisions about what needs to be done, and work toward accomplishing that goal steadily, regardless of distractions. They also take great pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, and their life. They value traditions and loyalty.
ISTJ Career Option: Accountant
Famous ISTJs: George Washington, Warren Buffett, Sigmund Freud, Robert De Niro, Natalie Portman, and Queen Elizabeth II.
ESFJ – The Provider
The ESFJ Personality type is a “people person”- characterized by their social nature. They can bring out the best in others. They want to feel that they’ve been of service. They seek harmony, yet are practical and realistic. ESFJ’s are passionate, empathetic, sensitive and perceptive. They value security and stability in all areas of their life.
ESFJ Career Option: Nurse
Famous ESFJs: Harry S. Truman, Andy Rooney, Pope Francis, Larry King, Barbara Walters, Whitney Houston and Elton John.
ESTJ – The Supervisor
The ESTJ Personality type has clear visions of the way things should be; so they are usually strong-willed and not afraid to voice their opinions. They are practical, traditional, and organized. They are also extremely loyal and hard-working. ESTJ’s like to be in charge; which makes them adept at organizing and running activities. They value “law and order.” They are social and like connecting to others especially when it involves playing an active role in traditional organizations.
ESTJ Career Option: Police Officer
Famous ESTJs: Henry Ford, Hillary Clinton, Martha Stewart, Dr. Phil, Michelle Obama, and Tom Clancy.
ENTJ – The Chief
The ENTJ Personality type is logical and objective. They are born-leaders, often characterized by their charismatic and quick-minded nature. They are also assertive and out-spoken. ENTJ’s love a challenge and enjoy finishing what they started so they can move on to the next big project. They like structure and are very disciplined. ENTJ’s tend to have excellent powers of communication. They value knowledge and efficiency.
ENTJ Career Option: Management
Famous ENTJs: Julius Caesar, Margaret Thatcher, Aristotle, Madeleine Albright, David Letterman and Adele.
ENTP – The Inventor
The ENTP Personality type is creative and resourceful. They love to debate and are knowledgeable on a wide-range of subjects. They are “out of the box” thinkers and can oftentimes be characterized by non-conformity. ENTP’s are flexible and carefree. They are helpful, supportive and demonstrate willingness to share their interests and ideas. They value honesty and the pursuit of knowledge.
ENTP Career Option: Journalist
Famous ENTPs: Benjamin Franklin, Steve Wozniak, Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, Karl Lagerfeld and Amy Poehler.
INTJ – The Mastermind
The INTJ personality type is very insightful and original. They are decisive and possess self-confidence. They are perfectionists and hold others to similarly high standards. INTJ’s are naturally curious and long-range thinkers. They have vivid imaginations, and are constantly moving to improve or implement on plans they derive. They are excellent strategists and natural leaders, but oftentimes give away leadership positions because they prefer to be in the background acting as the “brains” of an operation. They value knowledge, competence and structure.
INTJ Career Option: Scientist
Famous INTJs: Isaac Newton, Karl Marx, Mark Zuckerberg, Stephen Hawking and James Cameron.
INTP – The Architect
The INTP personality type gets very excited about theories and ideas. They tend to be loners, not particularly interested in leading or following others. They do not like routine or rules and are oftentimes carefree and spontaneous in nature. They tend to look at the “big picture” and see all the possibilities. INTP’s can be extremely shy around strangers but friendly and confident around people they know well. They value reason and knowledge.
INTP Career Option: Network Specialist
Famous INTPs: Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Tina Fey, Ben Stein and more.
ESTP – The Promoter
The ESTP personality type lives “in the now;” and tend to live fast-paced lifestyles. They are spontaneous and direct. They are very social and have great people skills. They are very loyal. They prefer to act now and think later. They are non-conformist and tend to see laws, rules and obligations more like suggestions. ESTP’s are highly passionate, energetic and impulsive. They value honesty, freedom, and variety.
ESTP Career Option: Marketer
Famous ESTPs: Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Donald Trump, Ernest Hemingway, Meryl Streep, Anna Wintour and Taylor Swift.
ESFP – The Composer
The ESFP personality type is invigorated by social interaction. They are very friendly, playful and fun-loving. Even though they are generally the center of attention, they are still extremely approachable and down-to-earth. They enjoy living for the moment and experiencing new and exciting things. They love making themselves and their surroundings beautiful. They are observant but tend to dislike analysis. They value practicality and common sense.
ESFP Career Option: Photographer
Famous ESFPs: Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, Beyonce, and Ringo Starr.
ISTP – The Crafter
The ISTP personality type is complex. They can be rational and logical one minute and spontaneous the next. They are interested in learning how things work. They are flexible but disorganized. They are great at finding solutions to practical problems. ISTP’s tend to have a great sense of humor. They often excel in areas that combine creativity, freedom and practicality. They love to “get their hands dirty” and take a hands on approach to solving problems. They are optimistic and generous in nature. They value loyalty and honesty.
ISTP Career Option: Chef
Famous ISTPs: Steve Jobs, Dalai Lama XIV, Miles Davis, Clint Eastwood, Stanley Kubrick and Frank Zappa.
ISFP- The Artist
The ISFP personality type is spontaneous and unpredictable. They love to explore and embrace the unknown. They are great at finding or starting new trends. They can be charming and generally connect well with others yet highly value their “alone time.” They do not like conflict and generally shy away from confrontation. ISFP’s are creative and artistic in nature and are very goal-driven. They value freedom above all else.
ISFP Career Option: Artist
Famous ISFPs: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and Audrey Hepburn.
ENFJ – The Mentor
The ENFJ personality type has phenomenal people skills. They possess profound abilities for empathy. They do not like being alone. They are charismatic, eloquent and influential. ENFJ’s will generally embrace opportunities for public speaking. They are rational, passionate and highly intuitive. They tend to be idealists and are usually imaginative and deep. They value meaningful connection.
ENFJ Career Option: Teacher
Famous ENFJs: Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Sheryl Sandberg, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Oprah Winfrey, Bono and Dr. Drew.
ENFP – The Champion
The ENFP personality type is creative and idealistic. They are curious, usually viewing life as complex puzzle that they need to solve. They are very emotional and sensitive and are keen on outward expressions of emotion. They dislike routine; preferring freedom and inspiration over stability. ENFP’s love ideas, and generally have an abstract and complex thought process; but also get bored by details. They generally have a broad-range of interests and abilities. They value creativity and their inner values.
ENFP Career Option: Lawyer
Famous ENFPs: Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Anne Frank, Arianna Huffington, Walt Disney, George Carlin, Ellen DeGeneres, and Jennifer Aniston.
INFJ – The Counselor
The INFJ personality type is drawn towards helping those in need. They can be zealous and like to see things through. They prefer to be alone, yet are intuitive, and empathetic. They prefer one-on-one situations over crowds. They are quietly forceful. The INFJ has a very strong internal value system and is characterized by their ability to “do the right thing.” They value their personal space.
INFJ Career Option: Psychologist
Famous INFJs: Plato, Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson, Al Pacino, Leonard Cohen and David Fincher.
INFP – The Healer
The INFP personality type is reflective. They are extremely loyal. Oftentimes they are perceived to be calm and quiet; yet they are extremely passionate and can be fervent. They are warm and caring. INFP’s seek harmony in their lives and surroundings and can be easily hurt. Their thought process is profound and abstract; they are driven predominantly by emotion. They like to keep their options open and shy away from situations that confine them. They value freedom.
INFP Career Option: Physician
Famous INFPs: George Orwell, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Vincent van Gogh, George R.R. Martin, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain and Andy Warhol.
How personality impacts career choice and team perfomace is so important that you can get a degree in Social Psychology! Consider a Masters of Science in Organizational & Social Psychology or a Doctorate PhD in Social Personality Psychology if this is interesting to you.
Sources: Kristof-Brown, Zimmerman & Johnson, (2005).Consequences of Individuals’ fit at work shrm.org/legalissues/stateandlocalresources/stateandlocalstatutesandregulations/documents/12-0537%202012_jobsatisfaction_fnl_online.pdf | personalitymax.com/personality-types | personalitypage.com/high-level.html | nbcnews.com/id/10154383 | nytimes.com/2012/11/04/education/edlife/choosing-one-college-major-out-of-hundreds.html | celebritytypes.com/