I’m accustomed to handling clients who are at a crossroads in their lives and are looking for change — after all, I’m a career coach. So this usually involves guiding clients through some pretty heavy soul-searching to help them find the sort of truly fulfilling work that we all deserve.
This also means many of my clients are in an indecisive state at the outset — that’s to be expected. But I don’t think I’ve had a more indecisive client than Kevin. When I asked Kevin what sort of career he truly wanted to pursue, he blanked. I asked him what he enjoys doing and what he’s really good at, and he could never seem to articulate a direct answer.
I had Kevin take the Myers Briggs personality test so we could at least have a starting point in understanding his preferences and further explore his career aspirations. And I have to admit we were both surprised at first to find out that Kevin’s personality type was ENFJ, one consisting of individuals who are typically decisive. However, people with this personality type are not decisive when it comes to making big decisions, which can paralyze them. So this explained Kevin’s sputtering when we had discussions about his next career move, and it also helped us explore careers that best aligned with his personality type.
Understanding your specific perceptions and judgments can provide you a tremendous amount of insight, especially if you’re in the job market. Here are three ways that knowing your personality type can help launch you into the next phase of your professional life.
- It will help you narrow down your field. Some personality types are more creative than others. Some are natural leaders while others are not. Knowing where you fall can help you pick a field that aligns with your personality and enables you to thrive.
- It can help you identify your strongest skills. Some personality types are more analytical than others. Some are more organized. Some prefer learning through doing. If you have a deeper level of awareness of your strongest skills, it can help guide you to a career that truly showcases those skills.
- It can reveal the best type of work environment for you.Certain personality types function better in some environments than others — for instance, introverts, who prefer to operate inside their own worlds as opposed to the outside world — will function better in a work environment with fewer people.
There’s no right or wrong personality type. Celebrate who you are — and who you’re not!
The test is designed to give you a deeper understanding of how people differ and to help you better understand your own perceptions and reactions to the world around you. In Kevin’s case, it helped him discover he had particular affinity not only as a leader but also as an individual who thrives when helping others. So when he landed a job on the executive board of a large, successful non-profit organization, he realized he had truly found his calling.
By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes
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