What does your job say about your personality?

It’s a lot more than you’d think


You are defined by your job. It’s what you do every day, how you earn a living, and – most of all – your ambitions provide a real insight into your personality.

Indeed, according to the influential Myers-Briggs type indicator, which doles out four letter personality codes according to your answers to detailed and illuminating questions, what you do says a huge amount about who you are. In turn, certain traits can have an impact on your career. The two are indivisible.

This what your profession says about your personality.

Teacher

Teacher

Personality type:  ENFJ – the Giver. 

What are you like?

Teaching is a calling: you need a motive besides money in order to bare your soul in front of a classroom of kids who’d likely rather be anywhere else.

The Myers-Briggs scale has you down as an idealist, someone who sees, intuitively, the potential in people. Teachers tend to be sensitive to any feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. Yours is a relatively rare personality type, especially among men, which explains the relative shortage of male teachers.

What do you like?

Your thirst for your subject spills into your hobbies, which include reading non-fiction, following the arts, going to museums and story-telling.

PR

PR

Personality type: ENFJ – the Giver.  

What are you like?

PRs’ chief attribute is valuing people’s feelings. You’re highly creative, but still prize structure and organisation – which makes you very well suited to a creative role.

Like teachers, PRs have a humanitarian streak. This might explain why many PRs move into – or at least aspire to – charity work. You tend to be fiercely loyal to your friends and to the companies you work for.

PRs are weaker on analysis and logic when it’s not personable: you don’t like boring stats and figures much.

What do you like? 

You’re enthusiastic about cooking good food, eating good food and organising social events – which plays well with the job.

IT/Developer

Personality type: INTJ – the Mastermind.

What are you like?

Intelligent and logical. To succeed at coding, you must be good at problem solving. You enjoy working alone, and find it strange when people ask if you ever miss working in a team. You’re calm and take no prisoners.

What do you like?

Breaking the “nerd” stereotype, many INTJs love travelling, running marathons and catching up with (like-minded) friends outside work.

Recruitment

Recruitment

Personality type: ENFP – the Champion or the Inspirer.

What are you like?

You’re a people person (you couldn’t do this job if you weren’t). ENFPs love to talk about their own aspirations and will do so openly; you are keen to hear others’ in return which makes you a good listener. You want to know what inspires people, what motivates them and what they want out of life.

The pursuit of happiness is your highest priority in life. You are focused on your career, and on earning money. People who work in recruitment tend to be honest, and you understand a goal and then work backwards towards it. Your are impulsive and are natural leaders – which is why firms can get so competitive.

What do you like?

Champions tend to be big on music – listening to it, playing it (you’re likely to be musical) and going to concerts and DJ sets.

Media (newspaper, TV or digital)

Media

Personality type: ENFP – the Champion or the Inspirer. 

What are you like?

You hate doing lots of routine and get bored easily. You’re comfortable with fast-paced environments and change. You look to the future. You’re excellent at communicating, both verbally and on paper.

The typical man or woman working in media is a natural leader – but hates controlling people. You’re also a lot more fragile than you let on: you need approval from friends and colleagues.

The Inspirer is one of the most common personality types, which means Inspirers can turn their hand to pretty much anything. This is why you see a lot of people in media dive into PR (for the money) or even politics.

What do you like?

Writing, creating and reading (obviously). Listening to music helps you to work.

Banker

Management

Personality type: ENTJ – the Commander or the Executive. 

What are you like?

You’re motivated by success and enjoy hard work – mercifully, given all those 70-hour weeks. You are driven by power and influence (many managers are also ENTJ types), though the salary doesn’t hurt.

You can visualise the future very clearly, and have a strategy for how you and your team are going to get there. People might have referred to you as “scarily ambitious” behind your back. To you, this is just about being confident about ensuring your future.

You are very outgoing and friendly, but might struggle to intuit people’s emotions. This is something to watch out for, whether it’s with clients, staff or friends. According to Otto Kroegar, author of Type Talk At Work, this group:

“See[s] daily life as a kind of chessboard, upon which people, things, and entities are moved, removed, altered, and engaged—constantly for the organisational good.”

What do you like?

Sport. You’re likely to support a team, go to games, and play something. You’re just as competitive as you are at work.

Fashion or Design

Personality type: ESFP – the Performer. 

What are you like?

You are down-to-earth. Your work and private life are very intertwined, and you’re spontaneous, enthusiastic and attuned to the world around you.

Your friends would describe you as warm and talkative. You hate missing out and have to be involved in everything – though in your work world that’s a good thing.

What do you like?

Performer types spend lot of time decorating their flats and personal spaces, often obsessively so. You care about fashion (obviously): you pay careful consideration to fabrics, patterns and colours. ESFPs enjoy big parties, but you’re also the biggest television fans of all of the personality types.

Lawyer

Lawyer

Personality type: ISTJ – the Mastermind or Duty-Fulfiller. 

What are you like?

Your finest trait is perseverance: you could probably do most things you set your mind to. Whether it’s a tight legal case or simply finding a lost piece of paperwork, law-types are problem solvers.

You approach life by analysing the theory behind everything you see, and you spot places for improvement. You’re likely to be a perfectionist. At work that’s brilliant, but it can be irritating to your friends.

You are blunt, independent and extremely curious. This is one of the rarest personality types among women.

What do you like?

You prioritise the gym and are big on fitness, but also like solitary sports like golf. ISTJs play hard and work hard.

Illustrations by @thebobpalmer