Personality Type & Job Search


All of us have a personality type, in fact, one of the 16 possibilities according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The personality typing instrument was developed by the mother and daughter team of Katharine Myers and Isabel Myers-Briggs Personality over 50 years ago and is used around the world. As you find yourself job searching, you will probably find yourself excelling at some of the tasks and shrinking with others. Yes, the MBTI® would say that your “type” showing up.

Job searching for anyone can bring can elicit a range of emotions from anticipation, confidence, anxiety, hopelessness, and more. How you self manage the emotional roller coaster of job searching and the task of finding employment varies on your personal circumstance, but your personality “type” is definitely a factor that impacts your job search success.

Our personality type is determined by these preferences:

  • EXTRAVERSION or INTROVERSION
  • SENSING or INTUITION
  • THINKING or FEELING
  • JUDGING or PERCEIVING

How does “type” affect your search? Depending on your preference, you will probably use an approach that feels most natural or comfortable. The approach often feels like the best way for you, but it’s not the only way. Often the challenge of job seeking requires us to step out of our comfort zone. That might require that you reach to the other side from time to time to use the less preferred way for you. Preferences are not about right and wrong, but knowing that we can flip the coin over and see what’s on the other side that might serve us better.

Looking for work or being between jobs can be a period of down time, being at home, having less social contact than being with coworkers, and having more solitude. This time will probably appeal to a person with a preference for Introversion rather than Extraversion. Those with a preference for Introversion gain their energy from having time alone to reflect and be with their thoughts or feelings. On the other hand, those with a preference for Extraversion, generally find themselves more energized with the phone calling or networking meetings…a time to be with people. Both of these preferences are helpful in a job search.

When job searching, those with a preference for Intuition generally embrace the possibilities for career change. Those who prefer Sensing will be drawn to job openings that exist and are in the newspaper, online, and heard of through word-of-mouth. Those who prefer Sensing obtain their information through their senses and can discern it as real.

A job seeker may decide to apply for a position, hire an outplacement specialist, make a career change…any of these decisions can be made, but the “how” to decide will be determined by the preference. The firm-minder Thinker will use the skills of logic, analysis, and objectivity to make a decision. The Feeler is more subjective and interpersonally involved with the emotion and impact of the decision.

The next preference of Judging or Perceiving is how we deal with the world, schedule our day, live our life. The job seeker who prefers Judging enjoys being in control with a planned, scheduled day with a list of tasks and goals. People who prefer to use the Perceiving process to conduct their day tend to remain flexible and open to new information.

Next time you find yourself job searching, you will find you have a preference or comfort level to do certain tasks much like the preference of using your right hand or left hand. Likewise, there is personal growth in using the less dominant part of our personality to yield the success we want. Personality Type & Job Search

Take advantage of what you just learned and understand how your personality type can help you become more successful in your career endeavors with a Free Personality Questionnaire.

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