Myers-Briggs Preference Pairs at Work: Judging vs. Perceiving

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 30, 2021 | Published January 3, 2020

Updated September 30, 2021

Published January 3, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: Myers-Briggs’ Judging vs. Perceiving Explained

Learn characteristics of the Myers-Briggs personality factors judging and perceiving, how to identify your probable type and possible career matches.

Understanding your Myers-Briggs personality type can help direct you toward a fulfilling career with long-term job growth. That’s why you should examine your core personality traits, including the preference between judging vs. perceiving. In this article, we take a look at what it means to be a judging or perceiving personality type, discuss how that may affect your career and profile jobs that are well-suited for each personality.

Related: The 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types in the Workplace

Judging vs. perceiving and the Myers-Briggs test

The terms “judging” and “perceiving” refer to the fourth preference pair of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The Myers-Briggs test is a self-inventory assessment tool that categorizes personalities based on four important traits that can be helpful in navigating your personal and professional life.

All 16 Myers-Briggs personality types are characterized by a combination of four letters that represent the categories of core values, known as preference pairs: introversion vs. extroversion, sensing vs. intuition, feeling vs. thinking and judging vs. perceiving. Regardless of your personality type, you’ll always end up with either a J or P in that fourth position.

Understanding the fourth letter in your personality profile can be the motivator that encourages you to find a job that aligns with your core values. Your judging or perceiving preference is embedded in your personal belief system and how you interact with the world both in and out of the workplace.

Related: 8 Top Personality Tests Used in Psychology (and by Employers)

Personality traits in the workplace: judging vs. perceiving

The labels judging and perceiving appear not entirely accurate because they seem to only define how you take in information. Judging implies evaluating external data and methodically making decisions, while perceiving suggests a more natural, sensory and time-consuming approach to receiving, assessing and deciding on information.

However, in the context of personality, judging and perceiving preferences extend far beyond just how you react to things. Instead, they are about how you operate in the world and navigate obstacles in life. For this reason, understanding your Myers-Briggs judging vs. perceiving preference is vital to success in the workplace.

Here’s what you need to know about judging vs. perceiving preferences and how they affect your career:

Judging personality types

Personalities with a judging preference, referred to as Js, are comfortable navigating life in an orderly way. They prefer neatness over messiness, and control over chaos. If you have a judging preference in your personality profile, others may see you as decisive, responsive, scheduled, fastidious, organized and someone who finishes tasks quickly and completely.

Here are the eight Myers-Briggs J personality types:

  • ESTJ: Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging

  • ISTJ: Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging

  • ENTJ: Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging

  • INTJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging

  • ESFJ: Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging

  • ISFJ: Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging

  • ENFJ: Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging

  • INFJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging

If you’re a J in the workplace, you might excel at making lists, blocking off time in your schedule to complete tasks, staying generally organized and performing decisive actions. For example, in a media sales role, you may feel very comfortable closing deals. If you’re the media buyer in this transaction scenario, you might enjoy being the leader who decides what media to purchase.

Example jobs for judging personalities

Since judging types are decisive people who do well with organization and scheduling, if you’re a J, you’ll do best in careers that allow you to make use of these assets. Fulfilling jobs for Myers-Briggs Js are task-oriented, appeal to personal values and offer an opportunity to produce high-quality work.

If you have a judging preference, the following are examples of careers that could align with your personality and core beliefs:

  • Showroom designer

  • IT administrator

  • Marketing director

Related: Job Compatibility for the 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types (Chart Included)

Perceiving personality types

Perceiving personality types, or Ps, are relaxed. They cope with challenges by keeping an open schedule that allows them the flexibility to work at their own pace and change tasks as needed. In the workplace, people with a perceiving preference are adaptable and nonjudgmental. They are often happier learning a new skill or researching a topic than making a firm decision.

Here are the eight Myers-Briggs P personality types:

  • ESTP: Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving

  • ISTP: Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving

  • ENTP: Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving

  • INTP: Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving

  • ESFP: Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving

  • ISFP: Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving

  • ENFP: Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving

  • INFP: Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving

Recently, some have begun using the Myers-Briggs P to refer to the term “prospecting” rather than “perceiving.” If you look up this preference, you’ll see the two words used interchangeably, as perceiving types are often autonomous creatives who generate new ideas.

If you’re a P in the workplace, people might describe you as warm, carefree, creative, adaptable, curious and flexible. In a museum curator role, for example, a perceiving personality might enjoy learning about new art exhibits to assemble and may respond well to last-minute changes in an event schedule.

Example jobs for perceiving personalities

Perceiving personalities are creative thinkers who are more comfortable outlining a project in its entirety than working on specific details of how it will be implemented. They have high emotional intelligence and tend to be warm and empathetic people who are attuned to the feelings of those working around them. If you’re a Myers-Briggs P, you may be described as an innovative, energetic person who prefers to focus on concepts and ideas over tasks.

The following careers may be more fulfilling for you if you have a perceiving preference:

  • Copywriter

  • Public relations specialist

  • Social worker

Related: Myers-Briggs’ Feeling vs. Thinking Explained

Learn characteristics of the Myers-Briggs personality factors feeling and thinking, how to quickly identify your probable type and possible career matches.

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