What Career is Right for Me? Here’s How Personality Type Can Help

If you’re looking for your dream career, don’t feel discouraged. Many people have difficulty finding a job that suits their personality and goals, and it isn’t uncommon for people to change careers or take a variety of paths before reaching their destination. Maybe you’re starting out and are second-guessing your choices. Or maybe you’ve spent years working toward a career you can’t see yourself doing for the rest of your life. All of it is okay, and whatever your experience, countless people can relate. 

It’s easy to ask, “What career is right for me?” And the truth is, it doesn’t matter what stage you’re at in your career—you can move forward toward the perfect career for you at any age if you’re open to working hard to get there. When you’re unsure of which steps to take or where you want to be, personality testing can give you the boost you didn’t know you needed. If you want to explore your options based on your strengths, traits, and preferences, here’s how your personality type can help you. 

It will help you find your social preferences.

One of the four dichotomies of the 16-type personality test is Introversion versus Extraversion. Although you may have a clue about which one you are, reading about your personality type can help you get a clearer picture of what that means in terms of your energy storage and how you function best. How your energy waxes and wanes throughout the day might not sound important, but it can make or break your love for a job.

If you’re an extraverted type, you’ll prefer a job working with coworkers, customers, and clients. You’d prefer to stay social at work than be in a more solitary position.

On the flip side, if you’re an Introvert, you get tired and burnt out in a profession that puts you with groups of people every day and will do better in a job that gives you more independence. 

It will help you discover your perfect job’s pace.

While introversion and extraversion can help you discover your dream career, analyzing your options will take more than that. Another preference of the 16-type system is Judging versus Perceiving, which speaks to how you navigate your life and career.

When you’re a Judging type, you’ll prefer less spontaneity, more structure, a greater level of organization, and a more predictable day-to-day shift. That’s not to say Judgers want each day to be identical or dull, but they prefer when there aren’t drastic changes to contend with throughout their workweeks. 

On the other hand, Perceivers prefer spontaneity and detest too much structure, seeking a lifestyle that offers them more flexibility to pick and choose on a whim.

So, when you’re contemplating a field of work, you may find it easier to narrow it down by organizational demands. For example, does the job ask you to be on your toes, ready for change often? Or is it a position that operates on a basic routine, with little threshold for change and surprises?

It will open your eyes to the way you think.

Although you may know a lot about yourself already, an objective viewpoint from a personality test can shed some light on specific traits and unearth things you never thought about before. For instance, when you’re reading your 16-type test results and see either a Thinking or Feeling preference, you might discover your decision-making tendencies aren’t what you expected. 

To break it down, Thinking types are fact-based, think logically, and don’t involve their emotions, or the feelings of others, when making decisions. However, Feeling types place more importance on how they feel about things and how others will feel. So, even though they may weigh facts, their heart takes precedence above all else.

What does this mean when looking for the right career for you? Thinkers will prefer a job that lets them get down and dirty with facts, use their sharp logic skills, and work in a structured, analytical environment such as a lab, a business position, engineering, or technology. The Feelers, however, are drawn to emotion-based work. Whether it’s the arts or in service-based work, Feelers often excel as nurses, teachers, counselors, or writers.

The 16-type test can help you discover how you learn.

When looking at the Sensing versus iNtuition preference, the last of the four, you’ll discover how and why you process information the way you do.

Sensing types are “raw data” people, so when they process information, it’s through their senses, such as seeing, hearing, and touching. They use their practical nature and past experiences to analyze events and problems and like to work in a career with concrete goals and tasks rather than anything abstract.

In contrast, iNtuitive types prefer abstract and theoretical thought and sometimes experience frustration when a project demands minute detail. These big-picture types are innovative and creative and thrive in jobs that allow them to use their creativity instead of asking them to squelch it.

As a rule, if you’re a Sensing type, you’ll prefer putting your practical skills to the test and even enjoy projects that require a well-trained eye. On the other hand, if you’re an iNtuitive, you’ll feel the best working in a field that allows you to put theories to the test and remain creative, rather than boxed in by linear rules or formulas.

What your personality type can’t help you with

Although there are a great many ways your personality type can help you when you’re looking for your perfect career, it can’t help you find the exact job you’re looking for. As you’re narrowing your search, you’ll find your interests and personal goals will guide you along the way, and it’s important to keep basic questions at the forefront of your mind, like how you want to live now and what your end goals are. 

A personality test is also not infallible. The 16-type system offers you a basic guideline and sounding board to discover more about your preferences, but it doesn’t mean an Introvert can’t work in a packed office and enjoy it. Likewise, it is possible for an Extravert to learn to love working from home. To make sure you make the right choices, you’ll want to keep your values and dreams at the heart of your search. 

The takeaway

As you’re asking, “What career is right for me?” you’ll want to consider many factors, including how your personality test can help. Your dream career may not happen overnight, but if you better understand your personality type, you may find narrowing down your options feels easier than ever. The most important thing is to remember to stay true to yourself and your nature because although a job may look great on paper, if it doesn’t align with your personality, you’ll find yourself unsatisfied or burnt out. 

Once you’re on the path to your ideal career, you may realize how much your personality type plays into your job performance and what makes you the happiest you can be at work.

Cianna Garrison
Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.