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Career Planning: Personality and Careers: Determining Your Personality Type


BulletThere are many different ways of determining the personality type of individuals, e.g., how they think about information, how they make decisions, and how they interact with people. Your personality type can play a large part in which career(s) would be most satisfying to you, so knowing your type is helpful in career planning. Two instruments that measure and record personality types are the Keirsey Temperament Sorter© or the Myers Briggs Type Indicator®. The Keirsey Temperament Sorter is similar to the Myers Briggs and will give you a four letter "type code" for your personality/temperament. After you have learned your type, there is a wealth of information to be learned about yourself and how you interact with others and the environment you live in. Our goal here is to use the type information to assist you in making a decision on a career path or major. Toward that end, we are providing you this information so you can make a judgment as to your personality type. To confirm your decision, you should make plans to take one or the other of the two personality instruments noted above. The information below is a quick introduction to the personality types to get you started in the this aspect of career planning.


BulletWhat is a personality type? Basically, your personally type is derived from your psychological preferences. It is about who you are at the core; not what color you like, or your favorite food. Your personality type is determined by the patterns of thinking and behavior that develop over time. How you react to your environment, the style of your communication and interactions with friends and family, how you react to problems, how you react to joyous occasions, etc. Your personality type, although many people may share some of the common characteristics and are of the same type, is unique and defines who you are. The "common" aspects of personality types allow you to look at the different types and do some career research. People with the same type as yours, working in a given occupation in which they are satisfied, indicates that you may also be happy with that, or a similar, career. (4,5,6)


BulletThe theory of Personality Types contends that each of us has a natural preference which falls into one category or the other in each of these four areas, based on four preference pairs: (E)-Extraversion/(I)-Introversion; (S)-Sensing Perception/(N)-Intuitive Perception; (T)-Thinking Judgment/(F)-Feeling Judgment; and (J)-Judging Lifestyle/(P)-Perceiving Lifestyle (4). Out of these four preference pairs, you will be dominant in one or the other in each pair, with there being sixteen personality types from which to choose. By choosing the dominant letter (E or I, S or N, T or F, J or P) you will come up with a four letter code that is your personality type. To begin, you can look at the four preference pairs below (2,4,5) and decide which one of each pair most describes you. Try to make your decision based on how you see yourself as being the majority of the time, not at any particular moment in time. We all function in all of these realms on a daily basis. You are looking for your personality patterns, identifying the areas in your life that come easily to you and the areas are that more of a struggle for you.. After determining which areas seem to be your "natural preferences," write the letters down on a piece of paper. Once you have determined your four letter code, return to the Personality and Careers page to find your type and research careers.

"Extraverts"Extraverts (E)

  • energized by being with other people
  • like being the center of attention
  • act, then think
  • tend to think out loud
  • are easier to 'read' and know, and share personal information freely
  • prefer breadth to depth
  • talk more than listen
  • communicate with enthusiasm
  • respond quickly, and enjoy a fast pace
  • a more outward focus to your environment
  • feel comfortable with working in groups
  • have a wide range of acquaintances and friends
  • a "go-getter" or "people-person"

"Introverts"Introverts (I)

  • energized by spending time alone
  • avoid being the center of attention
  • think, then act
  • think things through inside your head
  • are more private and prefer to share personal information with a select few
  • prefer depth to breadth
  • listen more than talk
  • keep your enthusiasm to yourself
  • respond after taking the time to think things through
  • a more inward focus to concepts and ideas
  • feel comfortable being alone and prefer solitary activities
  • prefer fewer, more intense relationships
  • calm, reserved

"Sensers"Sensors (S)

  • trust what is certain and concrete
  • like new ideas only if they have practical applications
  • value realism and common sense
  • like to use and hone established skills
  • tend to be specific and literal. You give detailed descriptions
  • present information in a step by step manner
  • are oriented to the present
  • inclined to attend to the immediate, practical, and observable
  • realistic and practical; good at grasping facts and details
  • patient and careful with precise work and routine
  • put experience first and place less trust in words and symbols
  • recall events as snapshots and remember the literal aspects of what happened

"Intuitives"Intuitives (N)

  • trust inspiration and inference
  • like new ideas and concepts for their own sake
  • value imagination and innovation
  • like to learn new skills and new ways of doing things. You get bored easily after mastering new skills
  • tend to be general and figurative. You use metaphors and analogies.
  • present information through leaps, in a roundabout manner
  • are oriented towards the future
  • inclined to attend to future possibilities and implicit or symbolic meanings
  • imaginative and insightful; good at grasping the big picture
  • patient in projects with many intangibles and possibilities
  • place more trust in insights, symbols, and metaphors and less trust in what is literally experienced
  • recall events by intuition and what you "read between the lines"

"Thinkers"Thinkers (T)

  • step back and apply impersonal analysis to problems
  • value logic, justice, and fairness, with one standard for all
  • naturally see flaws and tend to be critical
  • may be seen as heartless, insensitive, and uncaring
  • consider it more important to be truthful than tactful
  • believe feelings are valid only if they are logical
  • motivated by a desire for achievement and accomplishment
  • evaluate decisional paths primarily emphasizing thinking and objective logic
  • have a technical or scientific orientation
  • look for logical explanations or solutions for almost everything
  • seek objective truth and fairness, regardless of effects, and may be seen as forthright and firm
  • prefer to understand experience through logical thinking
  • look for ways to detect errors or inconsistencies in others

"Feelers"Feelers (F)

  • step forward and consider effect of action on others
  • value empathy and harmony and see the exception to the rule.
  • naturally like to please others and show appreciation easily
  • may be seen as overemotional, illogical, and weak
  • consider it important to be tactful as well as truthful.
  • believe any feeling is valid, whether it makes sense or not
  • are motivated by a desire to be appreciated
  • evaluate decisional paths primarily emphasizing feeling and subjective values
  • have a people or communications orientation
  • look for what is important to others and express concern for others
  • seek harmony and cooperation, sometimes ignoring the consequences, and may be seen as warm and understanding
  • prefer to understand experience in the context of human relationships
  • look for ways to appreciate the merits of others

"Judgers"Judgers (J)

  • are happiest after decisions have been made
  • have a work ethic, that is you work first and play later
  • value order, structure, and predictability
  • prefer knowing what you are getting into
  • are product oriented, with emphasis on completing the task
  • derive satisfaction from finishing projects
  • see time as a finite resource and take deadlines seriously
  • tend to control your life in a very organized, planned, expeditious way, making quick and final decisions
  • tolerate and enjoy routine
  • task oriented and a "list maker"
  • like to make decisions and have things decided
  • take deadlines and schedules seriously

"Perceivers"Perceivers (P)

  • are happiest leaving their options open
  • have a play ethic, that is you enjoy now and finish the job later
  • value spontaneity and the challenge of dealing with the unexpected
  • change goals as new information becomes available like adapting to new situations
  • are process oriented, with emphasis on how the task is completed
  • derive satisfaction from starting projects
  • see time as a renewable resource and see deadlines as elastic
  • you adapt to life spontaneously through constant information-seeking and inquiry while keeping your options open
  • find routine boring and intolerable
  • loose and casual and keep detailed plans to a minimum
  • like staying open to be ready for whatever happens
  • interesting developments cause deadlines to fall by the wayside


BulletSources and other links to personality information/tests:

  1. Jedi Technologies/ - The Jedi Girl Internet Community - Concept and Design by Robert Jon Religa
  2. The Virtual Office (site was in the process of moving and may no longer be at this URL -
  3. Connecting Personality Types With Careers and Jobs -
  4. Looking at Type and Careers, by Charles R. Martin, Ph.D., Copyright 1995 by Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT)
  5. Looking at Type: The Fundamentals, by Charles R. Martin, Ph.D., Copyright 1997 by Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT)
  6. Hardcopies from an internet resource based on the Kiersey Bates material - URL unknown/no longer available
  7. Personality: Character and Temperament -
  8. Keirsey Temperament Sorter II -
  9. Personality Index Page -
  10. Jedi Girl: Personality Type Color Sphere™ -
  11. -
  12. WSC Learning Center. Student Center - Lower Level. Contact: Dorothy Weber, (402) 375-7496

Bullet"What Can I Do With A Major In...?" Bullet Personality & Careers Bullet





Ron Vick, MA, LPC
Counselor / Academic Advisor
Int'l Student Advisor



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