Job Search Strategy: personality type

Aurora Donnelly is a solo practitioner always looking forward to the next exciting transition.

Getting to know yourself better is one of the incidental benefits of a career transition. Inevitably, you gain insight into how you handle the various stresses that come with that situation, but it is also the right time to do some active introspection. Job hunting tasks are generally not fun, but getting to know yourself better so that you can locate and land the right “career job” is entertaining and enlightening.

You may have taken personality tests and inventories at various times in the past. Usually in high school you fill out vocational assessments, or you are introduced to personality inventories that measure your personality type, your interests and the way you respond to events and the world around you.

To locate and land the right job it helps to explore who you are and what makes you happy. I expect that you did some of this work after high school, maybe during college, or with the help of the career placement office, or at the time you decided going to law school and being a lawyer was the right thing for you.

Now you have to do it again to get control of the rest of your career. Psychologists and scholars used to think that personalities were set early on and never really changed after that, but more recent thinking is that our personalities go through on going subtle changes. It makes sense that life’s events, good and bad, and altered circumstances would affect how you think and feel, now.

Most of the well-known personality assessments, or inventories, are available on line. Many are designed to be analyzed by someone qualified to interpret these results. But you can also take them on your own and read about your general personality traits to good advantage.

The MBTI or Myers Briggs Type Indicator is one of the oldest and best-known inventories. This test breaks personalities down into 16 categories. Based on your answers to a long set of questions the test will reveal, for example, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert (not in the usual way we think of these traits), whether you are a thinking or a feeling person, etc.

MBTI introverts, as a simplistic explanation, get their energy from thoughts and ideas rather than from the people and happenings around them, which can exhaust them. If you turn out to be an MBTI introvert, look at a potential work place with that in mind. Your personality type can definitely affect your comfort and resulting success in any given work environment.

There are a number of other tests: the Cognitive Style Inventory, 41 Questions, The Big Five, and Enneagram Type are some I have looked at but not necessarily taken. Take some time from your job search and fill out and think about the results you get from a few of these tests. Consider this when you are offered your next position.

Get on line and take some personality tests. The results will either point your job search in a new direction, or validate what you already know about yourself or give you further insight into what makes you productive and happy. I guarantee you will have fun doing it. At what other time in your life do you get to focus on yourself and have a great excuse for being selfishly introspective? Enjoy!


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