The 16 Myers Briggs Personality Types: What They Are and What They MeanDecember 12, 2019
Many factors might direct your decision on which career path to pursue. In addition to your skills, interests, desired salary, responsibilities and work-life balance, your personality type is another factor you might consider. This encompasses things like how you interact with others, process information and make decisions in the workplace.
One personality test many people use when drawing connections to career opportunities is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This test provides a general framework for understanding more about your personality, including the way you perceive the world and your decision-making process. This guide can help you determine your Myers-Briggs personality type and what it says about you in the workplace.
What are the Myers-Briggs personality types?
Derived from the Myers-Briggs personality test, there are 16 Myers-Briggs personality types based on four different categories. Each classification is binary and relates to a different way of thinking about or interacting with others. The four Myers-Briggs distinctions are:
Extraversion vs. Introversion: The first signifier relates to the way you prefer to focus your efforts and thoughts. If you are more inclined to exert yourself toward things outside of yourself, including interacting with other people and things or exploring the world, you are likely an E. If you prefer instead to focus internally, with your energy devoted to reflection and consideration of ideas, beliefs and information, you are an I.
Sensing vs. Intuition: The second letter in a Meyers-Briggs personality type is determined by your approach to how you process information. If you tend to process information based on what you can directly see or experience, then you are an S. If you would rather learn by thinking a problem through instead of by hands-on experience, then you are likely an N.
Thinking vs. Feeling: The next distinction relates to how you make decisions in your life. An individual with a T designation is predisposed to trusting in logic when making decisions. An F designation is an indication that you are more likely to react to situations emotionally, allowing how you feel to guide your decision-making process.
Judgment vs. Perception: The final classification is determined by how much structure you like to have in your daily life. When you place a priority on organization and long-term plans, that is an indication that you are a J. Individuals who are more willing to react to a situation by adapting receive the P designation.
Related: Guide: 16 Personality Types
Myers-Briggs personality types
Reviewing the 16 Myers-Briggs personality type designations can help you learn more about the best career path for you, your ideal work environment, how you work and how others around you function. Here are the 16 personality types:
The combination of introspective thought and a firm adherence to logic and structure makes an ISTJ a highly effective employee. An ISTJ type will excel in positions that require organization and can operate well without the need for close oversight and management. An ISTJ often puts a high value on learning, leading to a diverse skill set that can offer many potential career opportunities.
Related: Best Careers for ISTJ Personalities
Although similar to ISTJ types, an ISTP is less bound to structure in their daily life. This type is well-suited for practical fields, such as artisan construction and design. A commitment to learning and introspective study is useful for developing the skills needed to excel, while the ability to react in the moment and operate outside of normal constructs on occasion provides the creative intuition needed to make unique constructions. An ISTP type will often enjoy jobs that allow them to work independently for much of the day.
Related: Best Careers for ISTP Personalities
This personality type is well-suited for service and healthcare positions, as ISFJs are inclined to infer information from what they directly experience and work well when operating under strictly defined procedures. These individuals have a keen understanding of their own emotions in addition to others’, so they often excel at empathy, which can have a calming influence on those they care for.
The ISFP personality type is associated with creative professionals who tend to function best as individuals. Although an ISFP may prefer to base their decisions on a grounding of personal experience, they’re comfortable improvising and relying on their initial reactions and feelings as opposed to being strictly bound to logical thinking.
Related: Best Careers for ISFP Personalities
With their mix of creative and logical thinking processes, INTJ personality types are well-equipped to succeed in roles where they are placed in charge of strategic planning. An INTJ enjoys spending time inwardly reflecting and assessing and prefers working according to a structured plan, which further increases their suitability for such a role.
If you are an INTJ type, you are likely to excel in fields like project management, where you can use your talents to lead a team in the completion of a project. You can apply this ability across a broad range of potential industries.
Related: Best Careers for INTJ Personalities
INTPs tend to be creative thinkers who excel in less conventional working opportunities. An INTP may prefer to work in a setting where they have a great deal of creative freedom to approach their tasks in unique ways and if given the choice, they would probably like to work with minimal direct oversight prior to completing a project.
Although an INTP does like to base their decisions on a foundation of sound logical conclusions, they also enjoy analyzing those basic principles deeply to identify ways to separate themselves from traditional approaches to sense new ways of completing the task more efficiently.
Related: Best Careers for INTP Personalities
The INFJ is commonly drawn to a field where they are able to work with others and help them fit into a larger framework effectively, such as work in human resources or counseling. Their strong ability to read situations and relate to others through their own experiences makes it easier to form bonds. Their tendency toward structure and guidelines can help them assist others in training and learning new ideas.
INFPs are highly creative, introverted individuals. Their intuitive and feeling approaches to daily life mean they place more weight on what they can feel than what others present. They also tend to prefer an open working environment where they are free to create under less strict guidelines. They often excel in positions where they are tasked with addressing a long-term approach for a company, providing smaller objectives for others to achieve the goal.
Related: Best Careers for INFP Personalities
An ESTJ professional can be an excellent fit for a management or supervisory position within a company. As an extrovert, they are comfortable working with others and expressing themselves outwardly, while their natural inclination toward order means they are adept at keeping a team within a company’s guidelines. They often work well when paired with one or more staff members who are more creatively attuned.
Related: Best Careers for ESTJ Personalities
ESTPs tend to be motivated professionals who like to make their own interpretations of guidelines. ESTPs work well with others and like to make a decision by analyzing data and facts thoroughly. While much of their approach is highly traditional, an ESTP is likely to apply the information they gather in a less conventional manner, preferring to pursue the method they believe will be most effective. Often, ESTPs are the innovators of their field.
Related: Best Careers for ESTP Personalities
These individuals are best suited to work in structured environments that require them to understand and respond to the feelings and needs of others, such as care or service positions. An ESFJ is likely to be detail oriented and comfortable working within a set framework of responsibilities and procedures. They are also adept at reading others and accommodating them as needed to keep those they serve comfortable and happy.
Related: Best Careers for ESFJ Personalities
This is the most common personality type for individuals who work in performative fields. ESFPs' extroverted nature means they are comfortable performing in front of large groups, and a willingness to react in the moment and remain tuned into their emotions and the emotions of those around them can yield powerful performances. They prefer following a loose structure or outline in which they can apply their abilities.
Related: Best Careers for ESFP Personalities
An individual with an ENTJ classification is likely to excel in a leadership position within a creative field, such as marketing or product development. They have the ability to command a room, and their preference for a logical and structured approach to completing tasks is useful for keeping a team on plan. They are able to identify an opportunity and know how to create innovative approaches to common challenges.
Related: Best Careers for ENTJ Personalities
ENTPs are highly analytical. They enjoy finding creative solutions to problems and will thrive in a setting where they have the freedom to pursue alternative courses of action. All of these traits combine with a strong belief in the value of logic over emotion to create a mind well-suited to analyzing a set of information and identifying new, more effective approaches.
Related: Best Careers for ENTP Personalities
An ENFJ type is usually a very engaging person who can make friends wherever they work. Although they have a strong connection with their own feelings and those of others around them, they maintain a preference for working within a well-defined set of guidelines. These skills can be applied across a variety of industries in any position where structured work is important, such as teaching or managing.
Those with ENFP classification often prefer working alone but can also serve as an inspiration in the workplace. They are excellent working in a large group and prefer to make their own plans and passionately defend the viability of their proposed solutions. They are less interested in assessing the logical value of a proposal than they are in assessing its emotional appeal.
Related: Best Careers for ENFP Personalities