Personality tests provide career insight

Posted By Horizon Staff April 30th, 2013 in Features : 0 COMMENTS

Kirk Fetters

Staff Writer

ENTJ, ISTP, INFJ. These bizarre groups of letters are personality types according to the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI). The MBTI is a simple list of questions that categorizes the participant based on four subjects. One could be an extrovert or an introvert (E or I); the second letter (S or N) stands for Sensing or Intuition; the third represents decision making preference (T or F) thinking or feeling; the final letter signifies the way one perceives the outside world, by judging (J) or sensing (S). The letters are then combined to describe one’s personality.

Since there are four categories and two choices for each, there are 16 options for personality types. Each is described atwww.myersbriggs.org. For example, ENTJ people are “frank, decisive, assume leadership readily. [They] quickly see illogical and ineffecient procedures and policies, develop and implement comprehensive systems to solve organizational problems …” The description goes on. On the opposite end of the spectrum, ISFP people tend to be “quiet, friendly, sensitive and kind.”

There are many other personality tests out on the market, such as the infamous Rorschach inkblot test, but the Myers-Briggs is the only one that Westmont offers through its Office of Life Planning.

“It is one of the ‘lenses’ we use in helping students understand better their unique qualities and characteristics, and especially how that works its way out in job choice and best fit,” Dana Alexander, Director of the Office of Life Planning, explained.

Another inventory used by Westmont is the Strong Interest Inventory. This is not a personality test per se, but an “interest” test. It is also not a catch-all test, but it is another “lens” used to assess possible future career paths, which is ultimately the purpose of both the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory and the Strong Interest Inventory.

“We also assess skills, interests and work-related values,” Alexander said. In a quest to help students plan their lives, the Office utilizes these tests as valuable tools.

There is a lot more that goes into a person than four letters. The MBTI does not test humor or love. The test is fairly generalized, sticking all sorts of people into a few cut-and-dry categories. There is a lot more to somebody than interests alone. However, a large portion of the human personality is described by those four letters.

In the case of an impending career choice, these tests and the other services offered by the Office of Life Planning will come in handy. Discovering one’s personality type and interests has the potential to give one good direction in searching for a career.

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