As used by many career counselors, the Myers-Briggs test uses the theory of individual personality to narrow down the best career routes for testers. Based on Carl Gustav Jung’s 1921 book, “Psychological Types,” the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers during World War II as a way to help women entering the industrial workforce find the job that would interest them most. Initially just a questionnaire, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was explained in more detail in a book that was first published in 1962.
The Myers-Briggs test is essentially an implementation of Carl Gustav Jung’s psychological type theory and uses the idea that people function and make decisions based on individual perceptions and judgments. Furthermore, when people perceive things, they will either gather information through their senses or through their intuition. In addition, once they perceive something and gather information, they will either make a judgment based on logic or based on their feelings. Personalities are also categorized based on extraversion or introversion. Jung’s theory was used to create the 16 personality types that make up the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
Essentially, due to their basic personality differences, people tend to be more interested in particular jobs and careers. The Myers-Briggs test is therefore used to help testers narrow down what careers that may possibly enjoy.
Some sample questions from the test include:
- When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency (Thinking) or first look at the people and special circumstances (Feeling)?
- In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided (Judging) or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options (Perceiving)?
- Do you prefer to focus on the outer world (Extraversion) or on your own inner world (Introversion)?
When you are first starting a career or contemplating a career change, taking the Myers-Briggs test can help you realize more about who you are and the things you enjoy doing. After all, aren’t we all interested in finding a job that is enjoyable and rewarding?
Most full versions of the Myers-Briggs test are only administered by professional career counselors for a fee. However, there have been several books written that include career tests that are based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. These books can be purchased online or at most bookstores. There are also free sample career tests based on the Myers-Briggs test available online. One of which can be found at HumanMetrics.com.
For more information on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, visit The Myers and Briggs Foundation website.
About the Author: Allison Lane owns the website MPA Programs and enjoys writing guest blog posts on various topics of interest.