Many of the most popular personality assessments today follow a 4 letter, 16 code convention to report results. The original theory and research used for these assessments was first proposed by Carl Jung and then further developed by others, most notably Isabelle Myers and Katherine Briggs. The theory contends we have preferences for how we re-energize, process information, make decisions and deal with the outside world. Millions of people have taken this type of assessment and much conversation has been started as a result.

It can be fun bantering with others about who is an extravert vs introvert, J or P, feeler or thinker or however you might communicate the “preferences”. Unfortunately beyond the banter the application of this behavioral knowledge too often drops off to the point of being pointless.  There is so much more you can do with this information beyond the casual conversation. Here are my top 3:

1. Career Decision Making

Want to wake up and look forward to going to work? Of course you do, we all do. Is it possible to find a career/job where this happens every day? For a few yes, but for the rest of us there will be bad days among the good ones. The realistic goal then becomes, increase the chances of your good days dwarfing the bad ones. One way is to develop evaluation skills for choosing job and career related commitments. Using your 4 letter personality code can help.

Understanding your personality “preferences” and being able to visualize them playing out at work is a skill that will pay off! Operating in harmony with your personality preferences more often than not, greatly increases your chances of being motivated and energized.  Learning to evaluate whether you will likely go with or against your personality in a job or career will help you make those big, and little, career decisions.

It is easier said than done. I, for one, am easily distracted and have many interests, many of which come and go. If I choose a commitment just based on an interest, that interest could wane quickly and I might find myself stuck in a commitment that is draining and not sustainable. For example: If I take a job that success requires me to think in the here and now, be extraverted more than introverted, primarily consider others emotions in my decision making and be spontaneous, then my chances of sustainability and success are low! Learn how to go with the flow of your personality.

2. Professional Development

Face it, to do your job well you will need to develop yourself in many areas – some preferred and some NOT so preferred.

Knowing your basic personality preferences and the opposites will help you determine in what non-preferred areas it will take you more than average energy and determination to accomplish certain tasks required of you. For example, if you have a preference for introversion and work in some front line customer service position with a large part of the day interfacing with others, you need to know that it will take me more energy to do your job well than perhaps a co-worker that has a preference for extraversion. Or if you are a counselor and have a preference for Thinking vs. Feeling in your decision making, then most likely you must work hard to build empathy skills to do your job. You get the point. And the most obvious example – we live in a world that requires a certain level of planning and organization to survive! If you have a preference to be spontaneous and flexible (Perceiving-P) then recognize it and realize it will take added effort to build essential organization and planning skills in this area.

3. Collaborating with Others

Most of us do not work alone in a closet – thankfully! Along with the intellectual talents and hard skills needed for a job, an employer equally desires you have the ability to get along and collaborate with co-workers and customers.

Surprise, people think differently which quite often leads to conflict. Sometimes it is a right and wrong issue but other times it is just a difference in personality and approaches. By equipping yourself with an understanding of basic personality preferences and how they often are manifested you will be better prepared to receive different opinions, appreciate others and resolve conflict. Don’t we all want to work with others that have those soft skills?

Do yourself a favor and start learning about personalities, including your own. Sign-up now with IDMyPlan and get the full suite of assessments, reports and profile builders. As a bonus order your own personalized Wallet Resume Card.

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