Have you ever wondered how some people sail through their careers, happy as can be, while you sometimes struggle for any motivation at all?
The most common reason comes down to compatibility. Some people are better suited for some kinds of work than others.
But this isn’t about how good we are at something, our education or our training! For the most part, it’s baked into our personalities.
The great news, though, is that researchers have come up with some amazingly simple tests and tools we can use to identify our personality types and, by extension, which jobs are best for us (and the ones to stay away from!).
The most common one is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. Understanding your Myers-Briggs personality type can help identify the careers you'll excel at.
Aspects of work that can be taken into account are going to include not just the type of work, but also the workplace environment that would best fit your personality. Considering your career path with a reference to your Myers-Briggs type can save you mountains of time and research.
In this article:
- We look at the characteristics of the 16 different Myers-Briggs personality types
- Identify some of the best options for careers based on personality type
- And as a bonus, we’ve included sample resumes for each of the career types we suggest!
Taking a personality test to see how you’re suited to certain kinds of work and not others is a key step in choosing your career path. If you’ve never considered doing one, or want to learn about other steps you may be overlooking, check out our career counseling service.
We’ve helped thousands of people along the way succeed in their job search, prep for interviews, negotiate the details of their contracts, and otherwise hit their career targets. Get in touch with us If you want to do a deep dive on informational interviews, or if you're curious about other ways to better navigate your career path.
What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test?
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test is a questionnaire that is filled out that points toward different strengths and preferences that people have, how they see the world, and how they make decisions. Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, a mom and daughter duo, invented it over twenty years of research, drawing heavily on the work of psychiatrist Carl Jung.
The MBTI suggests that people have preferred modes of perception (sensing or intuition) and judgment (thinking or feeling) as well as attitudes about how they build energy (extroversion or introversion) and their orientation to the outer world (judging or perceiving). These preferences combine to form 16 personality types.
The 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types (with Suggested Careers Based on Personality)
Based on the answers given in the MBTI questionnaire, a person can be associated with one of 16 personality types. And for each of the types, certain careers have been identified as best fits.
Here’s a short review of each personality type, with a few of the best possible career matches listed for each. As a bonus, each career we list is linked to a sample resume that would be great for looking for work in that role!
1. Inspector (ISTJ)
This personality type usually presents as pretty serious and formal. They are recognised for their analytical and critical thought and are highly detail-oriented. Traditions are dear to them, and they value honor, hard work and social responsibility.
Typically ISTJs are going to be reserved, quiet, calm and upright. Being responsible and reliable are two work qualities we can expect from this type also. In combination, these traits lead this personality to enjoy organized workplaces with clear rules laid out for them.
ISTJ are great fits for roles as:
2. Counselor (INFJ)
INFJs are usually idealists with profound worldviews. Not happy to take things at surface level or accept things as they are, they are often looking for deeper meanings or answers. INFJs are known for their ideas and creative imagination.
As for their preferred careers, peaceful work environments suit them best, and because they’re deep thinkers, they appreciate challenges at workThis personality type is definitely empathetic and caring, helpful and insightful, so some of the best jobs for them include:
3. Mastermind (INTJ)
The person who’s an INTJs is usually comfortable on their own, quiet, and reserved. Because socializing can be a drain on their energy, they need to take time to recharge alone.
Ideas and theories interest INTJs, and you’ll often find them questioning the why of things, or wondering how things work or turn out the way they do. Because of these questions, they develop strengths in planning and strategizing, and they avoid situations and options that are uncertain.
The talent people with this personality type show for recognizing connections, and the skills they have for intuitive and practical thinking make them natural problem-solvers. If you’re an INTJ, some great careers based on your personality type include:
4. Giver (ENFJ)
If you’re a people person, there’s a good chance you might be an ENFJ. This personality type is extroverted, idealistic, highly principled and ethical.
ENFJs find it easy to make connections with other people, and they often trust their intuition, imaginations, and feelings. Because they have tremendous drive but are still empathetic to the needs of the people around them and want to make the world a better place, they are natural-born leaders.
Look at these career options if you’re an ENFJ:
5. Craftsman (ISTP)
ISTPs’ personality traits aren’t recognizable as easily as some others’, and anticipating their reactions can be a bit of a gamble. While they’re typically rational and logical, they can also be spontaneous and enthusiastic, and they’re often unpredictable, spontaneous, but they often keep those traits to themselves.
At work, they’re great troubleshooters. Solving problems comes naturally to them because they’re often quiet and observant, and they can be great working in teams when necessary. ISTPs tend to enjoy analytical or technical tasks and, and with their aptitude for problem-solving, they are a great fit in these fields:
6. Provider (ESFJ)
ESFJs are social butterflies who need connection, interaction with others, and who love to make other people happy. You can often find them loving the spotlight as the center of attention, and they enjoy planning events and get togethers for the people they care about.
This personality looks for cooperation and harmony at work, and they’ll often do well in careers that let them look after social situations because they naturally pick up on social cues, and they’re sensitive to the needs of others.
If you’re an ESFJ, some careers you may want to consider are:
7. Idealist (INFP)
A person that falls into the INFP type is generally quiet, avoids talking much about themselves, and likes spending time alone in quiet places - they’re definitely introverts. INFPs like analyzing signs and symbols and they regularly get lost in their imagination and daydreams.
At the workplace, INFPs look for new things to learn and for ways they can change the world. They have the ability to bring enthusiasm and real intensity to projects they’re working on, but because of their solitary nature, they will need to recharge sooner than a lot of people.
Some careers you may want to consider if you’re an INFP include:
8. Performer (ESFP)
ESFPs are warm, generous, friendly, upbeat, fun, and they like to learn and share what they learn with others. ESFPs are also sympathetic and genuinely care about other people's well-being.
While ESFPs are born to be in the spotlight at center stage, they can thrive in any job with excitement and diversity, and where they have the opportunity to socialize. Some ideal ESFP careers are:
9. Champion (ENFP)
This personality type is the most individualistic. ENFPs are always working to craft their own looks, methods, actions, habits and ideas, and they refuse to be told who they are.
While they’re individuals, they are also intuitive and enjoy being around others, and they have a habit of using their intuition and feelings when they’re dealing with other people. The individualistic nature of ENFPs and their flexibility means they’re motivated more by personal goals than money, and that they excel in flexible workplaces.
Some great career options for ENFPs include:
- Art Director
- Product manager
- Elementary school teacher
- Massage therapist
- Social worker
10. Doer (ESTP)
People with an ESTP personality crave social interaction, feelings, emotions, and freedom, but also love logical processes and reasoning. They’re passionate and are always looking for new opportunities, and they often succeed because of their energy toward this.
ESTPs are logical thinkers who like using data and patterns to make decisions, and at work they’re diligent and can overcome challenges, but routines can bore them quickly. Some ideal careers for ESTPs include:
11. Supervisor (ESTJ)
ESTJs often find themselves in leadership roles with people looking up to them because they’re organized, dedicated, honest, dignified, traditional and believers in doing what they believe is right and socially acceptable. They’re also methodical, organized, dedicated, reliable and direct.
At work, ESTJs are dedicated and hardworking, and they’re great with routines and follow procedures and guidelines closely. Some great options ESTJs should consider for a career include:
12. Commander (ENTJ)
People with the ENTJ personality type are rational and logical, and they tend to focus externally on the surrounding things. ENTJs love a challenge and because they also tend to be charismatic and confident, they’re natural leaders.
Because ENTJs have a knack for making decisions and considering options quickly, they’re great at identifying inefficiencies and problem-solving. Goal-setting, planning and organization are also strengths they use to get things done at work.
Some ideal careers for ENTJs are:
- Business unit manager
- Public relations specialist
- Mechanical engineer
- Financial analyst
- Construction manager
- Real estate appraiser
13. Thinker (INTP)
The INTP type is the most logical, and they have great pattern recognition. Combined, these traits make them likely to be creative and great at reading people.
In the workplace, INTPs avoid routine work. They prefer roles where they can be creative and solve problems, and they’re great to have around when unexpected problems come up.
INTPs creativity and intelligence set them up ideally for roles as:
14. Nurturer (ISFJ)
ISFJs are generous people who love giving and value harmony and cooperation. They’re sensitive, in tune with other people, genuine, warm, and kind-hearted.
People with this personality type have a great work ethic, and they can be counted on to complete their duties. They’re dedicated employees, conscientious in their work, and they look to make sure their workplaces are organized and that the guidelines are being followed.
Ideal careers for this personality type are:
- Financial clerk
- Bank teller
- Research analyst
- Administrative manager
- Elementary teacher
15. Visionary (ENTP)
ENTPs are a unique bunch who often don’t like small talk and can have a hard time in some social situations. That said, they’re very intelligent and knowledgeable, so they need constant high-level mental stimulation.
These are big-idea people who can’t be asked to perform repetitive tasks or stick to routines. ENTPs excel at conceptual work and problem-solving, and work best on their own or in non-hierarchical settings.
The careers that are best suited for ENTP personalities include:
16. Composer (ISFP)
The ISFP's personality is warm and approachable, they make friends easily, and they’re fun to be around, but they are also actually introverts. They're full of life and love meeting new people, but they also love being on their own.
At work, they’d rather be left to work on their own at their own pace. They also value harmony in the workplace and will try to avoid confrontation and keep their opinions to themselves.
Some great career choices for ISFPs are:
Going over the list of personality types, you can see that each one is unique and has its own qualities. Every personality type has strengths that are perfect for some roles, but that would make doing certain other roles a trial, at best.
No one personality is better than the other, but it’s important to recognize which one you are. Once you do, you can look for career options where you’re maximizing your strengths rather than trying to shoehorn yourself into a role you’re bound not going to like.
Taking a Myers-Briggs personality test, or any other personality test can be a great way to get ahead in your career or to start looking for a new one. It’s one step in getting you to the success you want to achieve.
We’ve helped 1000+ people just like you find that success through our career counseling service. Whether you need help looking at the direction to go, in the job search stage, prepping for interviews, or while you’re trying to negotiate the details of the job or compensation, we’ve got experts that are ready to give you advice and help you strategize your next move.
- The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test is a great tool to help you quickly narrow and hone in on the right career options
- There are 16 unique personality types
- Each personality type has its own strengths that make people with those characteristics ideal for different roles
- Finding yourself in a role that’s not suitable for your MBTI personality can be a real drain on your energy
- Roles that match your MBTI personality type can be great as you’ll thrive there and can springboard up in your career