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How to Find Your Ideal Career

July 12, 2014

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When I think about where my career has taken me since I first declared my major in my sophomore year of college, I’m amazed that it’s gone in such a different direction that I originally intended. I’ve grown and learned so much about myself since I was 18, it seems like choosing a career path in college was about as accurate as trying to magically predicting the future!

The reason that my career continued to change since then is because of the amount of effort I put into finding my true self—and subsequently figuring out what job would make me happiest—during my twenties. Does this sound like you? If it does, then you’ve probably already discovered the many personality tests and quizzes that promise to help you instantly reach an answer! 

One of the most widely trusted and credible tests, and the one that I found most helpful, is the Myers-Briggs test. In fact, this test is used by many companies (including the majority of the Fortune 100) as part of the application process for new employees to see if they will be a good fit for the job. 

What makes the Myers-Briggs test (or “Type Indicator” as it’s officially called) so unique is the wide range of cognitive functions that are taken into consideration in order to determine a personality. The test features four dichomities related to psychological preferences, and the combination of your answers for each choice will be one of 16 possible outcomes.  This outcome will help you better understand yourself, as well as what kind of work environment and job function is best for you!

Extrovert (E) vs Introvert (I)

The first dichotomy is the one that most frequently makes its way into everyday conversations describing personality types. An extroverted person prefers to direct all of their energy outward, and is usually very talkative and friendly. They tend to source their energy from interactions with other people. An introvert is just the opposite, and prefers to spend more time alone. This person sources their energy internally, and thrives in a quieter, more individualized environment. 

Sensing (S) vs. Intuitive (N)

This dichotomy refers to how you take in information. People who prefer to gather all of the facts and are very concerned with details are sensing. These people like to have concrete information before making decisions. Those who prefer intuition often see the big picture in a situation and are more concerned with the meaning behind data rather than the data itself. 

Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)

This dichotomy relates to how you actually process information. If you’re a thinker, you probably refer to logic and possible consequences when making a decision. On the other hand, rather than making a decision based on facts, the feeler puts more emphasis on how a situation will make them, or others, feel.

Judging (J) vs Perceiving (P)

The final dichotomy explains how you present yourself outwardly to the world. People with a judging preference are usually very organized. They like to plan and control situations. On the other end of the spectrum, perceiving individuals prefer spontaneity. They are more laid pack and eager to experience life, regardless of how much control or knowledge they have of a given situation.

Now that you understand a bit more about what Myers-Briggs can tell you, it’s time to take the test! Once you have your results , I think you’ll find that not only will it help with your career, but it will also lead you to develop a deeper understanding of who you are and why you react to situations in a certain way. A solid understanding of oneself is what will lead to a fulfilled and happy life! Have you taken the Myers-Briggs test? What did your personality profile help you understand about yourself?