Career Development

16 Personality Types: Learn Your Personality to Get Ahead

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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most used personality test in the world. Learning your personality type can help you to better understand your strengths and minimize your weaknesses in the workplace. It can also help you to communicate better with your colleagues and supervisors and hone your leadership skills. This article will explain the 16 personality types and how results from the personality test can help you advance in the workplace.

What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for personalities?

The Myers-Briggs test asks a series of questions to determine character, behavior and traits, then matches a person to one of 16 types. These types are useful reference points to help understand what makes up the way you think. Employers sometimes use MBTI results to help them hire the right people for a particular job. Knowing your personality type can also help you find work that suits you best. 

The 16 personality types are defined by a combination of these four sets of traits, each with two options:

  • Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)
  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
  • Judgment (J) vs. Perception (P)

16 personality types and their definitions

Putting all four of your traits together gives you one of the personality types identified by the Myers-Briggs. 

Here is a summary of each of these, their general characteristics and relevant jobs for each personality type:

  • INFP – ‘The Healer’
  • INTJ – ‘The Mastermind’
  • INFJ – ‘The Counselor’
  • INTP – ‘The Architect’
  • ENFP – ‘The Champion’
  • ENTJ – ‘The Commander’
  • ENTP – ‘The Visionary’
  • ENFJ – ‘The Teacher’
  • ISFJ – ‘The Protector’
  • ISFP – ‘The Composer’
  • ISTJ – ‘The Inspector’
  • ISTP – ‘The Craftsperson’
  • ESFJ – ‘The Provider’
  • ESFP – ‘The Performer’
  • ESTJ – ‘The Supervisor’
  • ESTP – ‘The Dynamo’

INFP – ‘The Healer’

Characteristics: INFPs are known for their idealism and imagination. They spend time thinking about how to make the future better. Healers thrive in careers that offer them the chance to use their values, take care of others or work creatively.

Best careers: fine artists, film or television editor, occupational therapist

INTJ – ‘The Mastermind’

Characteristics: INTJs are logical and analytical and are naturally drawn to problem-solving. Masterminds tend to be ambitious, big thinkers who work toward well-established goals, which they use as motivation to work hard.

Best careers: biochemists, attorneys, surgeons

INFJ – ‘The Counselor’

Characteristics: INFJs are creative and nurturing, with a strong sense of integrity. They are naturals at understanding human behavior and interactions. Counselors aspire to make the world around them better and are interested in their own mental and physical well-being, as well as those around them.

Best careers: clinical psychologist, book editor, pediatrician

INTP – ‘The Architect’

Characteristics: INTPs are logical innovators. They are good at thinking about systems design and how things work. Architects are good at discovering underlying patterns that others cannot easily discern.

Best careers: archivists, geographers, computer systems administrators

ENFP – ‘The Champion’

Characteristics: ENFPs are people-focused creators. They love helping others explore their creative talents and potential.

Best careers: bartenders, psychiatrists, reporters or news correspondents

ENTJ – ‘The Commander’

Characteristics: ENTJs are strategic leaders who are skilled at coordinating people and activities. They are good at seeing underlying relationships and patterns and excel at long-range planning.

Best careers: aerospace engineers, chefs, pharmacists

ENTP – ‘The Visionary’

Characteristics: ENTPs enjoy constructive conversations and understanding people. They relish intellectual challenges. Visionaries are always looking for ways to further their future ambitions.

Best careers: economists, insurance adjusters, human resources managers

ENFJ – ‘The Teacher’

Characteristics: ENFJs are charismatic organizers who are driven by their vision. They enjoy working to bring out the best qualities of the people around them.

Best careers: childcare workers, clergy members, loan counselors

ISFJ – ‘The Protector’

Characteristics: ISFJs are loyal caretakers who are driven by a concern for tradition. They are good at prioritizing tasks without getting distracted. Protectors are known for being steadfast and compassionate.

Best careers: court clerks, vocational nurses, payroll clerks

ISFP – ‘The Composer’

Characteristics: ISFPs are empathetic, tender and compassionate. Spontaneous and flexible, they prefer to go with the flow. They bring passion and zeal to their work.

Best careers: accountants, nursing assistants, procurement clerks

ISTJ – ‘The Inspector’

Characteristics: ISTJs are reliable workhorses, known for their diligence and dependability. They tend to be methodical and have a procedure for everything that they do.

Best careers: air traffic controllers, nuclear power reactor operators, security guards

ISTP – ‘The Craftsperson’

Characteristics: ISTPs are artisans, but they are also methodical and highly organized. They are systematic, empirical and efficient. Craftspeople are good at carefully considering information without emotion.

Best careers: civil engineering technicians, forest and conservation workers, mobile heavy equipment mechanics

ESFJ – ‘The Provider’

Characteristics: ESFJs are both pragmatic and devoted. They are attuned to their emotional environment, attentive to their responsibilities and enjoy having deep relationships with those around them.

Best careers: hotel clerks, event planners, kindergarten teachers

ESFP – ‘The Performer’

Characteristics: ESFPs are passionate, vivacious entertainers who enjoy the stage and being the center of attention. They are spirited but also perceptive and attentive to those around them. They enjoy new experiences and live for the moment.

Best careers: dental hygienist, nannies, surgical technologists

ESTJ – ‘The Supervisor’

Characteristics: ESTJs are traditional and hard workers. They are talented at finding solutions and eager to take charge of groups of people.

Best careers: auditors, commercial pilots, home health aides

ESTP – ‘The Dynamo’

Characteristics: ESTPs are energetic, outgoing and enthusiastic. They are thrill-seekers who enjoy solving problems and taking risks.

Best careers: construction workers, firefighters, loan officers

Best ways to use your MBTI results at work

You can use your MBTI test results to help you in these areas of your career:

Analyze your results and compare them to your career goals

Each of the 16 personality traits comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. This can help you decide where you are likely to thrive or which skills you might need to work on, as well as help you to set or revise your career goals.  It could also help you learn how to better manage your time, make decisions and deal with stress.

For example, if you are an intuition type who tends to make decisions based solely on the facts, you could be more mindful of applying empathy and values when you make decisions. However, if you are a sensing type, it might be helpful for you to be more mindful of hard facts and empirical data.

Put your results into practice with your current role

Understanding your personality type can help you to better communicate with your coworkers. For example, if you are an extravert, you could be more intentional about engaging in social activities and even organize events like work lunches that could give you more energy and help you relate to your team.

Consider your results as a starting point to develop your leadership skills

Learning which of the 16 personality types best applies to you can help you understand your leadership style. Being an effective leader can help demonstrate your unique interpersonal skills to management. This, in turn, may make it more likely for you to get promoted and recognized for your accomplishments. 

If your entire team takes the test, compile the results to build a stronger team

Many companies use personality inventories to build stronger teams and make their employees happier and more productive. You can consider using the tests with your teams and apply the results to improve workflow and communication. The individual results can help you to understand how you can collaborate most effectively and ensure that each member’s strengths and weaknesses work well together. 

For example, if you are an extravert but someone you work closely with is an introvert, your colleague may work better independently and probably will not do well in frequent meetings.