Discover Your Personality

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Careers for ISFPs and ENTJs


In this newsletter we'll look at two personality types and specific jobs for both. The purpose here is not to list all the jobs that might be interesting. Instead, we're going to focus on what about the jobs appeals to each type. I picked opposite types to illustrate the differences and why one career could appeal to one type yet be a poor choice for another. Other combinations have been covered in past newsletter issues.

We'll start with ISFPs. For this type I selected the career of dental assistant. What makes this career attractive for ISFPs? Some of the factors include having high inner standards of perfection (great when working on teeth!), working in a supportive, non-competitive, and affirming environment, being flexible and adaptable, and helping people using practical skills. Many ISFPs enjoy work that matches their inner values and gives them the opportunity to make a substantial contribution to people. They are often highly motivated when working in a job they care about. ISFPs frequently enjoy working independently in a cooperative workplace, although they enjoy being involved with others. Even though ISFPs like working with others, many are not particularly interested in becoming managers or supervisors. They are able to do so, yet often do not wish to. Dental assistants need to use a lot of detailed, practical information in their jobs, which is something ISFPs tend to enjoy. While many ISFPs tend to be among the quieter colleagues, they can still be enthusiastic and happy folks. ISFPs tend to dislike too many restrictive rules and regulations, and prefer workplaces that offer them a fair amount of freedom in how they perform their jobs.

Let's contrast the above with a career suitable for an ENTJ: executive. Although ENTJs make up a small percentage of the population, they frequently show up in top level management positions. Why is that? First, ENTJs tend to focus on the big picture and the future, both important qualities to have in a leader. They tend to be more impersonal than many other types, so they can make the tough decisions without losing sleep. ENTJs tend to concentrate on problem solving, and are rarely discouraged by difficulties. Instead, they often see them as challenges to be overcome. ENTJs often dislike inefficiency, incompetence, and indecisiveness, and can surround themselves with like-minded people. Further, they like to be in charge and give orders, and rarely enjoy working for another person, unless he or she is clearly more knowledgeable or competent. Many ENTJs are competitive and workaholic types. They tend to be analytical, and listen mostly to logical reasoning and clearly stated facts. Many ENTJs approach life and work in a systematic, orderly fashion. Frequently they have a clear vision of what's correct, what needs to be done, and the most efficient way to do it. As you can imagine, these qualities are an advantage in many jobs (and disadvantages in others). The characteristics can be quite useful for top leaders in organizations of all types.

You might be one of these two types and never have considered either profession. That's perfectly okay. It's more important to see what makes these jobs attractive to these types. If you ask enough people, you're bound to find every type represented in every profession. For example, one study on dental assistants showed about 10% were ISFPs, while ENTJs made up about 1% of the group. Conversely, in a study of top level executives, less than 1% were ISFPs and about 16% were ENTJs. Again, finding a career that matches your interests is more important than picking one from a list for your type.


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