The Myers-Briggs personality type indicator isn’t your run-of-the-mill personality test. In fact, over 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies have used Myers-Briggs to learn about their employees, according to the Boston Globe. And individuals take the test to assess their strengths and find compatible careers.
So what’s so unique about the four personality types of Myers-Briggs? And why does the test have such a big impact on people’s lives?
Find out how the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) works and how to use it as a personality test for jobs.
What is the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator?
Isabel Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator over several decades. Since the test’s publication in 1962, trained professionals have administered the MBTI to millions of people across the world.
The test is meant to give you insight into your preferences, strengths, and developmental needs. All of the Myers-Briggs personality type results are equal and bring their own gifts and challenges. However, some types will flourish in certain environments and flounder in others.
By understanding your preferences, you can choose a profession that plays to your strengths. You can also seek out a culture that enables you to succeed.
Myers-Briggs measures four personality types
These are the four main personality types measured by the Myers-Briggs test:
- Extraversion (E) and introversion (I)
- Sensing (S) and intuition (N)
- Thinking (T) and feeling (F)
- Judging (J) and perceiving (P)
After taking the Myers-Briggs personality type test, you’ll learn your dominant preferences. You’ll get four letters to combine your personality type, like ESTJ or INFP. In total, there are 16 possible combinations of these four personality types.
Using Myers-Briggs as a career path test
Insight into your personality helps you better understand your preferences and strengths — which can help you find your dream job.
Often, we blame ourselves when we’re not good in a certain role or environment. In reality, we need to find the role and environment that match our personality. Then, we see our traits for what they really are — strengths instead of weaknesses, gifts instead of liabilities.
If you’re more of an extroverted person, then you’d probably be miserable in a role where you work alone all of the time. If you have a “judging” orientation, then you may struggle in a fast-paced role with lots of immediate deadlines.
For example, INFPs work well in roles that call for creativity, independence, and meaningful relationship-building. Some suitable roles include graphic designer, counselor, librarian, veterinarian, psychologist, editor, and writer.
Once you know your own personality type, look for careers that match it.
How to assess your Myers-Briggs personality type
The official Myers-Briggs personality type test costs $49.95, and you take it online.
But you can also find free tests online, like at 16 Personalities or Human Metrics. Since these aren’t the official tests, they won’t be as accurate. However, they’re a good starting point to assess your personality type.
Once you’ve learned about your personality, browse sites for career suggestions for your type. And if you’re about to go to college, look for compatible majors.
Why use a personality test for jobs
The Myers-Briggs instrument isn’t without its critics, but it remains a widely used and useful tool. MBTI is best for enhancing self-awareness, rather than boxing yourself into a category. And by knowing yourself more deeply, you’ll be better equipped to choose work that you enjoy.
Not only will you understand yourself better, but you’ll also be more understanding of other people’s perspectives. If you’re an employer, it can help you create an inclusive workplace culture that takes everyone’s needs into account.
Myers-Briggs will help you find an environment and a role where you’ll thrive. As the popular saying goes, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Are you feeling lost after graduating? Check out this article for the five lessons I learned about finding the right career.
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