Using the MBTI
In Career Decision Making
Dr. Susan El – Shamy
Advancement Strategies, Inc.
to gain a basic understanding of the MBTI and
how it can be used in career decision making
1. review the 8 preferences and 16 types
2. consider your own MBTI scores and what
they can tell you about yourself
3. Consider the implications of the MBTI for
Some Things About the MBTI
• Based on Jung’s theory of perception and judgment.
• In existence for over 40 years.
• Used world-wide with hundreds of thousands of
• One of the most valid, reliable assessments in
• Basis for a vast amount of research and theory.
• No good or bad scores.
• Type tends to remain constant throughout life.
• Split scores, or scores that are nearly the same, may
vary on different takings of the assessment, but there
is usually one that is slightly preferred over the other.
To make the most of your MBTI results,
it is important to understand that the MBTI:
• Describes rather than prescribes
• Describes preferences, not skills or
• Says that all preferences are equally
• Is well documented and researched
Because the results on the MBTI are subject to a variety of
influences, they need to be treated with skepticism and
individually verified. Each individual needs to determine
the type which best describes him or her. This may or may
not be the same type as reported on the MBTI.
Four Scales and Eight Preferences
What is a preference?
―When you use your preferred side on any of the four type dimensions—like
using your preferred hand – you are doing what comes naturally. And when
you are required to use the opposite side, it takes a lot of extra work and
you’re not as good at it; hence, the experience is usually not as satisfying.‖
The 4 scales and 8 preferences on the MBTI are as follows:
1 – How You Prefer to Focus Your Attention
(E) Extraversion (I) Introversion
2 – How You Prefer to Acquire Information
(S) Sensing (N) Intuition
3 - How You Prefer to Make Decisions
(T) Thinking (F) Feeling
4 - How You Prefer to Live Your Life
(J) Judging (P) Perceiving
Everyone has all eight preferences.
However, some preferences are stronger than
others. Some are much stronger.
As we review the eight preferences,
consider which sound like you
and which don’t.
Put away your assessment and as we go
through each of the eight preferences,
consider what sounds like you
and what doesn’t.
Then, guess your four-letter type.
Then, see how closely it matches your result.
Extraversion & Introversion
• People who prefer • People who prefer
Extraversion tend to Introversion focus more
focus on the outer world of
people and things. When on their inner world. When
you are extraverting, you you are introverting, you are
are energized by what goes energized by what goes on
on in the outer world, and in your inner world, and this
this is where you tend to is where you tend to direct
direct your own energy. your own energy. Introverts
Extraverts usually prefer to tend to be more interested
communicate more by and comfortable when they
talking than by writing.
They need to experience can work quietly without
the world in order to interruption. They like to
understand it and thus tend understand the world before
to like action and variety. experiencing it, and also
need time to reflect before
Extraversion and Introversion
Extraverts tend to: Introverts tend to:
• think out loud • focus their energy inwardly
• become easily • need time alone to
• be animated and • be less animated, more
• act first and think • have a calm, measured
about it later demeanor
• enjoy generating ideas • think first and maybe speak
with a group later
• be very comfortable in • become easily absorbed in
social settings thought
• seek out social • talk slower and usually
situations and settings more quietly
• find listening more • proceed cautiously in
difficult than talking meeting people
Sensing and Intuition
• Sensors focus on the • Intuitives prefer taking
realities of a situation. in information through a
People who are Sensors ―sixth sense‖ and noticing
prefer to take in what might be. Intuition
information through their shows you the meanings,
senses; they want to see it, relationships, possibilities
hear it, feel it. Sensing that go beyond the
types tend to accept and information from your
work with what is ―given‖ senses. Intuitive types
in the here-and-now, and look at the big picture and
thus become realistic and try to grasp the overall
practical. They are good at patterns. They grow
remembering and working expert at seeing new
with a great number of possibilities and they value
facts. They prefer to use imagination and
proven procedures and are inspiration.
careful with detail.
Sensing and Intuition
Sensors tend to: Intuitives tend to:
• be quite literal • envision the future
• be direct and to the point • leap from thought to
• listen until others have thought
finished • have complex speech
• prefer precise and exact patterns
information • finish other people’s
• enjoy traditional and sentences
familiar ground • use language to
• value solid, recognizable express themselves
achievements • focus on possibilities,
• use clear, straightforward what might be
speech patterns • value different and
• prefer a sequential, step- unusual attainments
by-step approach • talk about global
issues, the ―big
Thinking and Feeling
• Thinkers make • Feelers make
decisions objectively, decisions based on
on the basis of cause person-centered values.
and effect, by analyzing When deciding, they
and weighing the consider how important
evidence. They focus the choices are to
on the logical themselves and others.
consequences of any They like dealing with
choice or action. people and tend to be
Thinking types seek an sympathetic,
objective standard of appreciative, and tactful.
truth; they are good at They value harmony and
analyzing what is wrong work to make it happen.
Thinking and Feeling
Thinkers tend to: Feelers tend to:
• get right to the point • decide with the heart
• often appear • engage in social niceties
businesslike • get their feelings hurt
• are usually very easily
assertive • avoid arguments and
• choose truthfulness conflict
over tactfulness • be sensitive to the
• give praise sparingly; feelings of others
point out negatives • act warm and friendly
• convince others with toward others
impersonal reasoning • pay attention to the
• make decisions with feelings of others
their heads, not hearts • be generous with praise;
slow to criticize
Judging and Perceiving
• Those who prefer • Those who prefer
judging like to live in a perceiving like to
planned, orderly way, live in a flexible,
wanting to regulate life spontaneous way,
and control it. They gathering information
want to make decisions, and keeping options
come to closure, and open. They seek to
then carry on. They like understand life rather
to be structured and than control it. They
organized and want prefer to stay open to
thing settled. experience, enjoying
and trusting their ability
to adapt to the moment.
Judging and Perceiving
Judgers tend to Perceivers tend to:
• Make decisions; decide • Be good at adapting
• Be somewhat
• Enjoy setting and disorganized
• Deal with issues as they
• Discuss schedules and arise
• Procrastinate, put off
• Like to take charge and decisions
be in control
• Be more playful, casual,
• Be more serious, formal, unconventional
• Keep their lives as
• Postpone play until all flexible as possible
the work is done
• Find rules and structure
• Regulate and control confining, limiting
their life and yours
• Desire many experiences
• Enjoy having things and miss nothing
settled, taken care of
There are 16 possibilities. Look at your notes, think
about the information you have just received and
guess your four-letter type.
ISTJ ISFJ INFJ INTJ
ISTP ISFP INFP INTP
ESTP ESFP ENFP ENTP
ESTJ ESFJ ENFJ ENTJ
What did you guess your type to be?
Now, look and see what your
assessment results were.
If you don’t like your results,
You know you better than anyone.
Now, get a partner. Turn and talk to your
neighbor, or someone next to you, behind you,
in front of you, whatever.
Take a few minutes and discuss your results.
What do you agree with?
What do you disagree with?
Theories About Type
Keirsey’s 4 Temperaments:
SP - ―the artist‖ - troubleshooter
SJ - ―the technician‖ - stabilizer
NT - ―the scientist‖ - architect, designer
NF - ―the theologian‖ - catalyst, motivator
Myers-Briggs’ 4 Styles:
IS - the Thoughtful Realist
ES - the Action-Oriented Realist
IN - the Thoughtful Innovator
EN - the Action-Oriented Innovator
Do people go into certain professions or
occupations according to their “type”?
What “types” would choose business as a
major in college?
Within business, what “types” would
choose accounting as a major?
What “types” would major in personnel,
human resources, and training?
Distribution of Types within
Occupational and Academic Groups
Occupations ST (%) SF (%) NF (%) NT (%)
Accountants 64 23 4 9
Bank employees 47 24 11 18
Sales, customer relations 11 81 8 0
Creative writers 12 0 65 23
Research scientists 0 0 23 77
Fields of College Studies ST (%) SF (%) NF (%) NT (%)
Finance, Business 51 21 10 18
Nursing 15 44 34 7
Counseling 6 9 76 9
Science 12 5 26 57
Health related 13 36 44 7
Education 13 42 39 20
Journalism 15 23 42 20
Phys. Ed. 32 34 24 10
Engineering 24 11 22 43
MBTI – 3990 Students
from Jan. 1994 through Jan. 1998
SJ = 1762
SJ = 44%
SP = 820
SP = 21%
NF = 554
NF = 14%
NT = 854
NT = 21%
A Few Guidelines
for Using Type Wisely
• Type is about preferences; people can still make
choices about behavior.
• Some tasks will be more natural for some types
than others, but all types can learn skills in their
• Doing things in nonpreferred areas will likely take
more energy, but these tasks do become easier
• Type is most useful when we use it to understand
ourselves and our impact on others, to maximize
our strengths, and to minimize our weaknesses.
• A genuine belief in the mutual usefulness of all
type preferences is central to the wise use of a
to help in your
career decision making.
What’s the most important thing
that you will be looking for in a job?
Find a job where your natural
preferences will be an asset.
Doing what you enjoy doing,
what you naturally do very
well, will give you the extra
edge to top performance!
Type in the Workplace*
Like variety and activity Like quiet and calm
Like having people around Like working alone
Often impatient with long, slow jobs Don’t mind long work on one project
Act quickly sometimes without Think before acting, may not act
Develop ideas by discussion Develop ideas by reflection
Like standard ways of problem Like solving new, complex problems
Enjoy applying what they already Enjoy learning something new
May distrust and ignore inspirations May follow inspirations, good or bad
Like to do practical things Like to do innovative things
Like to present details first Like to present overview first
Proceed step-by-step Proceed in bursts of energy
Use logical analysis to decide Use values and harmony to
May unknowingly hurt feelings Enjoy pleasing people
Firm-minded, can give criticism Empathetic, avoid the unpleasant
Look at the principles involved Look at the values involved
Feel rewarded when job is done Feel rewarded when people’s
Work best following a plan Enjoy flexibility in their work
Like to get things settled, finished Leave things open to possible
May not notice new things to do May postpone unpleasant tasks
Reach closure by deciding quickly Postpone decisions and look for
Seek structure and schedules Feel restricted without change