How you can use your Myers-Briggs personality test to dominate in your career

There are all kinds of personality tests out there. But one of the most widely used — particularly when it comes to career — is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (or MBTI).

If you’ve never taken it, you can here. And if you aren’t familiar with it, it involves a 93-question “test.” Using the answers to these questions, the MBTI then groups people into one of 16 types. Each type is made up of four letters, with each of the four letters having two possible options, which is what results in the 16 possible varieties.

The Myers-Briggs test can be extremely helpful to people, both in better understanding themselves and also in figuring out their place in the world, in their relationships, and in their career.

Each type has careers that are more likely to be enjoyable and fulfilling, and each also has careers that are more likely to be maddening, dull, or just not the right fit. Below are some guidelines for finding the right career for each type.

ISTJ (the “logistician”)

Dependability, stability, and objectivity are the hallmarks of many fitting ISTJ careers. They generally prefer to work alone and tend to not do well in careers that are emotionally demanding or involved. Instead, they enjoy solving logical problems and working in a structured environment.

ISFJ (the “defender”)

Service-oriented careers are often a good fit for ISFJs. They tend to be hard workers and are also typically well-liked by their coworkers. They get along well with others, want to be helpful, and enjoy practical work. Abstract ideas and being in the spotlight are generally not strengths or interests of ISFJs.

ESTJ (the “executive”)

Much like the ISTJ, stability and security are important aspects of a career for ESTJs. They appreciate tradition and hierarchy in a workplace, and they themselves often thrive in taking on leadership and management positions.

ESFJ (the “consul”)

ESFJs often do well in similar environments as ISFJs. They can appreciate routine and practicality. They appreciate dependability — and they themselves are known to be quite dependable. Administrative and organization-heavy jobs can be the perfect fit for this type.

ISTP (the “virtuoso”)

Traditional office jobs are often the wrong fit for this type. They enjoy unpredictability, so the monotony or lack of excitement in many jobs can leave them bored and uninspired. Creative jobs can work well for this type, as can careers in which there is constructing, working with the hands, or tangible results involved.

ISFP (the “adventurer”)

Similar to ISTPs, ISFPs enjoyed hands-on work and tangible results. They enjoy pleasant, cooperative environments. Though they often work independently, when working with a team, they are supportive, reliable coworkers. ISFPs tend to shy away from large leadership roles and the spotlight.

ESFP (the “entertainer”)

ESFPs are charming, sociable, and talkative. They enjoy careers that are centered around interacting with others and using their excellent interpersonal skills. Technical or data-oriented jobs are rarely good fits for this type.

ESTP (the “entrepreneur”)

Kinetic, physical, hands-on, and unpredictable are a few words that describe fitting careers for ESTPs. They tend to be disinterested in sitting for long periods of time, which makes traditional office jobs a poor fit. Finding something that engages their social adeptness and entrepreneurial strengths can be the key to success for this type.

INTJ (the “architect”)

INTJs are excellent problem-solvers. They are very logical and analytical and do well in careers that allow them to exercise and challenge these skills. They are easily bored by mundane tasks and need to be mentally engaged in order to fully enjoy whatever work they’re doing.

INTP (the “logician”)

INTPs love working alone. Emotionally involved professions are generally not the right place for this type. Instead, they tend to thrive in jobs that involve complex problems, abstract thinking, and ingenuity. Silicon Valley is an environment where quite a few INTPs can likely be found.

ENTP (the “debater”)

ENTPs do not appreciate rigidity or repetitive work. They tend to be full of ideas and can thrive in many different environments in which this idea-generation is put to use. They are frequently creative, often have an interest in power, and are adaptable team members.

ENTJ (the “commander”)

ENTJs often find themselves in leadership roles, due to their natural charisma, love of creating and implementing goals, and adeptness at problem-solving. They are typically not drawn toward tradition but are instead interested in innovation, growth, and improvement.

INFJ (the “advocate”)

INFJs tend to be the most humanitarian-focused type. They crave careers that involve creating positive change in the world. They can thrive easily in many different types of work, which can also make it challenging for them to choose a path out of their many different interests. They can be excellent communicators, enjoy independence, and are driven by their values.

INFP (the “mediator”)

INFPs need work that feels fulfilling. They don’t thrive in stressful environments, and they tend to be caring, sensitive team members. They often do well in service-oriented or artistic careers, rather than highly technical or status-driven work.

ENFP (the “campaigner”)

ENFPs are lovers of ideas and are also excellent with people. They enjoy work that aligns with their values and doesn’t demand rigidity, attention to detail, or mundane tasks. This type tends not to thrive in hierarchies, but they do thrive on creativity, innovation, and inspiration.

ENFJ (the “protagonist”)

ENFJs are problem-solvers and people-centered. They find their work to be the most meaningful when it involves helping others. This type will tend not to thrive in highly technical jobs, or in jobs where social interaction is limited. They love putting their people skills to use.

The takeaway

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can provide us with incredible insight into which path we should follow in our careers. While it’s not a hard and fast guide, it can be surprisingly accurate in predicting which careers will feel fulfilling — and which won’t.

Use the guidelines above (and do your own research on your type) to help you figure out the best jobs for your personality type.