Personality and Career Development

Ever wonder:

Why some people are constantly talking (at the water cooler) about their job? Why can't they just be quiet and concentrate on their work?
Why a coworker prefers to go home after work to read a book instead of going to a large office party?

Why some people always rely on facts and figures for their information?
Why some people "think out of the box" to access information by brain storming ideas?

Why some people enjoy analyzing statistical reports all day?
Why some people enjoy working with and assisting others on a daily basis?

Ever wonder:

Why your office mate must organize her files each night before leaving?
Why your colleague can never find important papers when she needs them?

The answers to these questions may be found in understanding personality type differences.

You share similarities with others but you are really a unique individual with a unique personality and behavior patterns.

These patterns define your distinct personality traits which influence your job search behavior, your job choices, your work behavior, and your happiness on the job.

The type of work situation you prefer and even how you job search can be understood if you look at them through the lens of personality type.

Being irritated by others' work behavior or an assignment may result in job dissatisfaction leading to stress, lack of productivity and even job loss.

Taking a personality style inventory can help you understand your preferred way of acting, thinking and feeling. Knowing who you are can contribute to a more successful job search and job.

Personality assessment can help you answer:

Who am I? What do I enjoy? How do I like to work?

Some available personality assessments are the 16 PF and the Personality Research Form or PRF. The most commonly used is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI).

Developed by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, based on the theories of psychologist, Carl Jung, the MBTI describes eight personality trait preferences, divided into four scales, containing two opposite preferences. (E I, S N, T F, J P)

The four scales and their preferences are:

• Where you get your energy

Extravert (E)
Like to think out loud by talking
Energized by being around others

Introvert (I)
Like to think and reflect before talking
Energized by reading and writing

• How you gather information

Sensing (S)
Like to use facts and details
Practical and realistic

Intuition (N)
Look at the big picture
Focus on experience and theory

• How you make decisions

Thinking (T)
Using logic

Feeling (F)
Compassionate for others

• How you deal with the outer world

Judging (J)
Like structure and closure

Perceiving (P)
Like variety and options
Go with the flow

Remember one trait is not inherently better or worse than another they are just different.

When you are searching for a job you may be happier and more successful if the job task closely matches your personality type.

(Note: If you choose to take an online personality assessment it is best to then work with a career coach to help interpret the results accurately and to assist you to create a realistic career plan for your future.)

Knowing your personality type can:

*Help you understand yourself and your job search to gain insight into types of work situations you prefer.

*Give you an opportunity to critique, analyze and change a situation or strategy that may not be as productive or successful as you like.

*Help you value yourself more highly, plan your career and set realistic career goals to achieve more successful work experiences.

For example if you are:

• An Extravert (E) you may want to look for a job that involves working with people, e.g., sales or customer service
• An Introvert (I) you may prefer a job working alone or with one other person, e.g., IT or computers
• A Sensor (S) you may prefer to work with facts and data, e.g., accountant
• An Intuitive (N) you may prefer opportunities to use your intuition and create new possibilities, e.g., creative arts
• A Thinker (T) you may prefer work focusing on logic and analysis, e.g., Manager
• A Feeler (F) you may prefer to choose work that involves helping others, e.g., social services
• A Judger (J) you may want a job emphasizing organization and structure, e.g., project manager
• A Perceiver (P) you may prefer a job that offers opportunity to be spontaneous and flexible, e.g., public relations

Personality type does not explain everything in human behavior nor is it the only predictor of job success but it can prove a helpful resource to make better decisions about what you want to do.

Other sources of information helpful in your career exploration are: your abilities, interests, skills, values and specific job trend information.

Other assessments that can be administered and interpreted by a career counselor or coach include aptitude tests, which evaluate your potential in certain skill areas, values inventories, and skills and interest inventories such as the Strong Interest Inventory or the Campbell Interest Inventory.

It may be a good idea to take these assessments in one's senior year in high school to help determine career direction early. But if you are looking for a job now it's never too late to consider assessment. You may discover interesting aspects of yourself to help you in your career exploration.

"Introduction to Type", Isabel Briggs Myers, Publisher: CCP Inc.

Renée Lee Rosenberg, MA, LMHC, speaker, trainer, career management coach, conducts a weekly NYC based Five O'Clock Club job search group as well as facilitating a weekly national Five O'Clock Club virtual phone group. In her private practice she specialties in helping individuals develop successful job search strategies. Renée has trained Japanese executives in Tokyo and New York and is an international speaker on leadership issues including, personal branding and using positive thinking to enhance job motivation and career management skills. Former Vice President of the Association of Career Professionals International, NY, she is on the executive board of the Career Development Specialists Network, is a senior certified Five O'Clock Club coach, a licensed mental health counselor, a member of the National Speakers Association, and recipient of several awards and citations in the field of career counseling. The author of "Achieving the Good Life After 50: Tools and Resources for Making It Happen" (May, 2007) she has helped hundreds plan for a "purposeful" retirement. •