A career personality test
How it can help you

Here's a simple career personality test for you. Are you actually suited to the type of work that you are either currently doing, or are considering for the future?

Without doing a formal personality test, what signs might indicate that maybe you aren't suited for a particular line of work? For example, your job involves:

  • a lot of contact with people, and this is a constant drain on your mental and emotional energy
  • a lot of attention to detail and it seems to you that the job will never get finished
  • having to be completely adaptable, you hate not having a routine to follow
  • strict enforcement of rules and policies, you hate it that people's feelings and situations can't be considered as well

Your personality preferences - how they affect career choice

Everyone has their likes and dislikes of course. But......did you know for example that you have preferred ways of thinking, feeling and behaving?

And....these personality preferences influence your approach to, and even your aptitude or suitability for the work that you do.

If you go along with the theory that your personality traits influence the way you think, feel and behave, it is perhaps in your interest to learn more about your personality in relation to your career choices.

Career personality test and personality theory

So that you understand how a career personality test can benefit you in managing your career it will be useful if you also understand something about personality theory. We can start by exploring how each of us has a different perception of reality.

Personality and our perception of reality

For each of us, in life, our reality is what we create it to be. And.....the reality for each person is different. In other words, two people looking at exactly the same situation will see and interpret it differently.

Our reality at any given moment is something we create internally. And.....that creation is highly subjective - this means basically our creation of reality is based on our emotions and inner experiences, rather than fact.

If you're a fan of murder mysteries and cop shows you will already have an understanding of how people see the same version of reality differently. Here's an example:

Two people are in a bank when a robbery occurs and they both see the whole event unfold. Later, when giving evidence to the police, they'll typically give quite different versions of what happened. One person might be able to give quite specific details about the appearance of the robbers, and the chain of events in the exact order in which they occurred. The other person however might be extremely vague and not able to supply any relevant or useful information at all, leading police to wonder if they were in fact present during the robbery.

So, if reality is different for each of us, how do we go about creating our own version?

How we create our own reality

It works like this. At a really basic level, to understand the world and what is happening around us, we need to take in information.

We take in this information through our senses, and also through our intuition.

Once we have this information then we need to make some decisions about what the information means. We arrive at decisions about the information through thinking and feeling.

The process of taking in information is called perception.

The process of decision making is called judging.

These processes - the taking in of information and making decisions about it - are at the heart of personality theory..

The innate way that we perceive and judge information dictates how we each think, feel and behave.

Importantly.....each of us, according to personality theory, have our own unique preferences for the way we perceive and judge.

A career personality test therefore will provide you with an insight into what your preferences are for perceiving and judging, and.....the influence of those preferences on the way you think feel and behave.

Career personality test - and career choices

A career personality test - can it help you in making your career choices?

The answer is.....absolutely.

These types of tests are widely used by career coaches, and also by many employers, for employment suitability testing.

There are a variety of personality profiling tests used, with the more common tests being based on Jungian Personality Theory.

What is Jungian Personality Theory?

Carl Jung (1875-1961), a famous Swiss Psychologist, is the founder of Jungian Personality Theory. His theory is that there are 16 distinct personality types.

In effect, Jung proposes that each of us is wired with different personality tendencies and preferences.

This concept of being wired in a certain way is a central part of personality theory.

Personality is defined in the field of Psychology as being:

  • The sum total of the physical, mental, emotional and social characteristics of an individual.
  • The organised pattern of behavioural characteristics of the individual.

The logic behind all personality theories therefore is.....that once we can categorise human behaviour we can then make fairly accurate predictions about how a person will most likely behave over their life time. And.....this includes career and job related behaviour.

Naturally, no personality test can predict with 100% accuracy what your personality tendencies and preferences are, let alone predict with the same accuracy how you might think, feel and behave in any given situation.

But.....people who have taken these types of tests are usually amazed at how accurate the report is about their personality type.

Career personality test - what information will you get?

Your mental functions

Tests based on Jung's theories propose that human behaviour is a function of two processes:

  1. How we perceive, or take in, information - through sensing and intuition
  2. How we decide on that information - through thinking and feeling

Jung called these two processes the Mental Functions. He proposes that we have four mental functions, as follows:

Two mental functions are used for perceiving:

Sensing (S)

Using perception which looks first at details and current realities.

Perception focus is on what is literal, precise, specific, sequential.

Intuition (N)

Using perception which looks first for patterns and possibilities.

Perception focus is on what is general, fictional, random, approximate.

Two mental functions are used for organising information and making decisions.

Thinking (T)

Approach to organising information and making decisions based on principles and logical consequences.

Feeling (F)

Approach to organising information and making decisions based on values, and consequences for people.


Knowing how these four mental functions relate to each other, and the order in which you prefer to use them can tell you a great deal about yourself. And.....also contributing to your understanding of human behaviour more generally.

Understanding your preferences for using these mental functions can also be of benefit to you in making your career choices.

For example, when you complete a career personality test, the report you'll receive on your mental functions will explain:

  • What you consider to be important in what is happening in the world around you
  • The types of problems that will tend to occur in your life experiences
  • How you prefer to communicate
  • How you will attempt to solve those problems
  • The kinds of activities and careers that you are likely to find motivating and rewarding

Jung's theory is that everyone has, and uses, each of these four mental functions. But.....it will be different for each of us in how we use these functions, and in what order we prefer to use them.

For example - some people will find that logical closure (the Thinking function) is the most important thing. Some of these people may have a preference for attending to the facts and details (the Sensing function) to make decisions about those facts and details. They may give less weight to the possibilities (the Intuition function), and the least weight to the impact of their decisions on people (the Feeling function).

Another person might be the complete opposite in the way their mental functions operate.

An important point here about how people prefer to use their mental functions.

There isn't a right or wrong, best or worst preference for how you decide to use your mental functions.

You can use all of them, but you will prefer for using some functions rather than others.

Your attitudes

Two other areas that are explored in a Jungian career personality test are called attitudes.They relate to:

  1. Your preference for where you get your energy
  2. Your preference for how you orient yourself in life

Your preference for getting energy

Jung's theory is that our energy preferences are a function of two processes:

  1. A preference for Extraversion - driven by a need to be with and interact with people as a means of re-charging one's batteries. A person with this preference is, by nature, more talkative and social. They tend to speak before really thinking through what they are saying.
  2. A preference for Introversion - driven by a need to have either time alone, or, to be with a select few people. A person with this preference would be more inclined to carefully think through before speaking.

Again, it is important to note that we can do both of the above, but.....we have a preference for one attitude over another.

Extraversion (E)

Energised first by people and action.

Become drained by spending too much time alone.



Introversion (I)

Energised first by thoughts and ideas.

Become drained by spending too much time interacting with people, and being involved in discussion.

Your life orientation preference

This fourth dimension of Jungian Theory in fact was added by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers during the 1940s. The testing instrument that they developed is called the Myers Briggs Type Inventory, or MBTI.

Their theory that there was a fourth dimension was developed as a result of observing that different people tended to have a different way of orienting themselves towards life. Their conclusion was that the way we prefer to orient ourselves towards to life is the function of two processes:

  1. A preference for judging - driven by a need to do things according to a plan or schedule. A person with this preference likes things decided, resolved, definite.
  2. A preference for perceiving - driven by a need to run on inspiration, to leave things open, to be flexible. A person with this preference likes things flexible, adaptable, open to change.

While you can do both of these in terms of your life orientation, you will have a preference for one particular way over the other.

Judging (J)

First preference is for order, deadlines, fixed structure, and for planning.

Perceiving (P)

First preference is for change, flexible deadlines, creative structure, and open endedness.

Jungian theory summarised - personality types

A career personality test, based on Jungian personality theory will report on your preferences in the four domains, as follows:

Extraversion (E)

Sensing (S)

Thinking (T)

Judging (J)

Introversion (I)

Intuition (N)

Feeling (F)

Perceiving (P)

Jungian theory is that there are 16 distinct personality preferences, sometimes called personality types.

When you have completed your career personality test your type is reported using a four letter code. This "code" consists of one letter being taken from each of the above rows.

For example, your personality type might be described as being ESTJ, or an ENFP, perhaps an ISTJ or an INFP etc.

Each four letter combination has its own unique set of personality preferences and temperaments.

Which career for your personality type?

If you've never considered doing a career personality test, one that explores the relationship between your personality type and how to choose a career, hopefully you are by now intrigued to learn more.

Here is a link to a free Jungian personality test which will provide you with a basic report on your four letter personality type.

Here also is a free report which has examples of some of the types of careers that are associated with each of the 16 personality types.

Career personality test - ways to use your report information

You can use the information provided in your report in a variety of ways.

  • Making better choices about your career direction or future jobs, based on suitability according to your personality type
  • Evaluate where some of your strengths might be in employment - for example, you're great with figures and details, or have a gift for planning and organising
  • Determine aspects of a particular job that you will really enjoy doing, and do well because you have a natural preference for this type of work
  • Use some of the language in the report in your self marketing - in your resume, during an interview

Career personality test - summary

Professional recruiters, job search coaches and also employers use these types of career tests because they know that they provide extremely valuable insights into what people are likely to be best suited to in terms of the work they do.

As someone who is investigating future career and employment options, this is one form of career testing that you might want to seriously consider taking.

New! Comments

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