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The Benefits of a Personality Test

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

What is your personality?

Do you consider yourself shy? A leader? A multitasker? Such questions have been asked when attempting to identify and characterize personality. Personality is a combination of qualities that merge to form an individual's character. However, personality is more than merely an extension of how one acts. Personality also refers to an individual's values, emotions, abilities, development, and major interests, the latter being the topic of interest for this blog.

What job-choice pressures do college students face?

Professors and counselors alike encourage students that it is normal and acceptable to be unsure about your major and career aspirations. Nonetheless, most students would reveal that they feel an unnerving pressure to know what they would like to do during and after their college studies. The idea that college students should know what they want to do is a common misconception that has extended for generations.

Another common myth that plagues college classrooms is the idea that your major is indicative of what job/career you will work in. Ultimately, it’s your values, skills, and passions that define your career choice. A career journey isn’t meant to be linear, and very few individuals stay in the same line of work for their entire lives, a fact that should be continuously reiterated by advisors throughout a student’s time in college.

How well do you know your personality?

Studies have shown that people are actually better at judging their own personalities than scientists had previously assumed. Additionally, the use of questionnaires, personality tests, and algorithms have allowed us to identify an individual’s personality traits better than ever before. However, as young adults our personality traits are constantly evolving, and occasionally we find ourselves seeking guidance to help us understand ourselves within.

For those that are concerned about their future career endeavors, or are uncertain about the direction they would like to pursue, a personality test could be extremely beneficial towards understanding one’s self and their beliefs. Attempting to interpret our personality helps us determine what areas fit with our personalities. As stated above, personality is also an extension of our interests, and being able to find a career path that aligns with your personality could help you become happier in your career. Furthermore, certain traits are better suited for specific jobs. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses can help you make an informed decision about your future career.

What is the MBTI Test?

The MBTI Test (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) is a widely used assessment tool that is used to determine and classify an individual’s personality type. Previously, the test has been utilized for teaching, counseling, and personal development. For college students, the MBTI Test offers a unique opportunity to further understand one’s personality, and how it might align with certain career interests. The test is designed to generate a 4-letter test result, with each letter referencing a dominant portion of their personality (i.e. ESTP).

The four pairs of personality preferences goes as follows:

  1. Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)

  2. Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (I)

  3. Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)

  4. Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)

The resulting personality classification can be helpful in determining what jobs fit with your primary personality traits. For example, an individual with a dominant introverted personality (I) type might find it difficult to be successful in roles such as sales or project management.

A personality test is not designed to be an ultimatum. Personality tests often result in categorizations, and many people will find themselves spread across multiple personality traits. It’s important to note that the resulting outcomes should be considered as generalizations, and not as a direct logical indicator of your perfect role.

But for students facing a future filled with uncertainty and evolving industries, personality tests could become a helpful tool specializing in career guidance. Understanding where one’s interests and values lie could, at the very least, help narrow the intimidating range of possibilities.

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