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You just found out your personality type is ESTP. You're wondering what that means and why you even need to know about it. Carl Jung, a psychiatrist, identified 16 personality types, each made up of four preferences for the way an individual chooses to do certain things. He believed people's personality types are made up of four pairs of opposite preferences:
  • Introversion [I] and Extroversion [E]: How one energizes
  • Sensing [S] and Intuition [N]: How one perceives information
  • Thinking [T] and Feeling [F]: How one makes decisions
  • Judging [J] and Perceiving [P]: How one lives his or her life

Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), based on Jung's theory. It is an instrument that is used to determine one's preferences and thereby, personality type. Career development professionals, who believe that knowing one's personality type can help with making career-related decisions, often use this instrument with their clients.

E, S, T and P: What Each Letter of Your Personality Type Code Means

From the MBTI or some other means, you have learned you are an ESTP, which means that, out of each pair of preferences, your strongest ones are Extroversion, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving. That doesn't mean the other preferences in each pair are non-existent. You can still call upon them as situations require. Your preferences all interact with one another and may change throughout your life. Now let's take a look at each preference:
  • E: Extroversion (which is sometimes spelled extraversion), means you are energized by external experiences and people. You like interacting with others.

  • S: You use your five senses to help you understand information that comes your way. You are inclined to look at what actually exists rather than what could be. This makes you a very practical person who is likely to stay grounded in the here and now.
  • T: Your preference for thinking means you use logic, not emotion, when making decisions. You analyze situations objectively and tend to be precise.
  • P: As someone who is perceiving, you take things as they come. You are flexible and spontaneous, which gives you the ability to easily adapt to changes.

Using Your Code to Help You Make Career-Related Decisions

You should take your personality type code into consideration when choosing a career and when evaluating work environments. While all four letters in your code are significant, the middle two, S and T in your case, are most relevant when it comes to making a career choice. Occupations that involve evaluating information in order to solve concrete problems take advantage of your ability to focus on what exists and your logical approach to decision-making. Some options for you to think about are computer systems analyst, athlete, sales representative and construction worker.
When evaluating work environments, you should consider your preferences of extroversion and perceiving. Since working with others energizes you, make sure you are surrounded by people. Look for jobs that afford you some level of flexibility.

The Myers-Briggs Foundation Web Site.
Baron, Renee. What Type Am I?. NY: Penguin Books
Page, Earle C. Looking at Type: A Description of the Preferences Reported by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Center for Applications of Psychological Type

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