Career Exploration: Moving forward with 16 Types As we explore career options with individuals, we know that type can provide an insightful starting point for understanding a person’s natural interests. However, in addition to helping clients understand their natural strengths and desires, career coaches often overlook the obstacles that each type may face as they go about making important decisions about their future. By having an understanding of possible ‘exploration derailers’ for each type, we can help our clients make the best use of our sessions, their time, and ultimately, help them make better decisions about their next career move. Use the below information to help clients acknowledge possible areas of natural fit, while helping them overcome the possible blindspots that could limit their options moving forward. ISTJ Potential Strengths: Ability to organize tasks, decisiveness, follow-through, dedication and a traditional approach to what works well. Career trends: ISTJs are often attracted to engineering or fields that utilize objective analysis and problem solving to produce tangible outcomes. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May have trouble utilizing unexpected opportunities and overlook values for what is purely logical. ISTJs can fall victim to making hasty decisions. Tips for better Career Decisions: Consider what is truly important to yourself and others, and plan a ‘cooling off’ period before making a decision. Also plan time to brainstorm about entirely new jobs. ISTP Potential Strengths: Analytical skills, problem-solving, technical knowledge and expertise, adaptability, willingness to take risks. Career trends: ISTPs are attracted to situations where they can apply technical expertise to a practical problem to produce something tangible. This may include computers, engineer, or electronics. They may also enjoy working outdoors. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May have no clear sense of long-term direction or may lack an action plan; this often leads to putting off decisions, especially important ones. Tips for better Career Decisions: Consider long term goals for five or ten years and take specific action to further the goal. When making decisions, set a deadline for deciding, or announce it to friends to create accountability. ESTP Potential Strengths: Entrepreneurial approach, crisis management, ability to sell, adaptability, willingness to take risks. Career trends: ESTPs often enjoy working with their hands in jobs that require attention to detail such as carpentry or reparation. They like environments where they can use their skills in a practical hands-on way. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May miss the long-term potential of the job and may spend too much time exploring options and networking – rather than making decisions or taking action. Tips for better Career Decisions: Explore long-term outlooks for the jobs, take specific action to get going, and remember values in addition to logical next steps. ESTJ Potential Strengths: Ability to organize people and tasks, analytical skills, problem-solving, establishing effective procedures, decisiveness. Career trends: ESTJs are often attracted to positions of authority like executives, managers and supervisors. General fields of natural fit often include a wide variety such as lawyers, judges, technical fields and business; areas where they can make logical decisions based on fact. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May have trouble utilizing unexpected opportunities and may overlook long-term or values-based impact of decisions. Tips for better Career Decisions: Consider what is truly important and not simply what is logical. Plan time to brainstorm entirely new opportunities, and consider long-term goals – not just what makes sense now. ISFJ Potential Strengths: Ability to get things organized, preserve what works, build consensus, people skills, setting up effective procedures. Career trends: ISFJs are often drawn to office and administrative support fields that require close attention to details. Other areas of common interest involve healthcare where they can take on roles that allow them to provide direct and practical help to others. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May miss the long-term potential of various jobs, and may not consider the logical consequences of each alternative. They may also fall into the trap of making decisions too hastily. Tips for better Career Decisions: Don’t ignore uncomfortable facts, systematically consider the logical consequences of each alternative, and plan to reflect for longer before making a decision. ISFP Potential Strengths: Gentle persuasion, craftsmanship, adaptability, people skills, can build consensus. Career Trends: ISFPs are found in wide variety of fields; most attractive are those that involve hands-on practical work with tangible outcomes. You may also find them commonly working with people or animals. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May overlook the logical consequences of options, and may have no clear sense of long-term direction. May put off decisions in the interest of the ‘perfect job’. Tips for better Career Decisions: Set a deadline for deciding and announce it to those close to you; remember to convey how your people skills help the ‘bottom line’, and take specific action to get moving on a career goal. ESFP Potential Strengths: Adaptability, enthusiasm and energy, ability to motivate, building consensus, immediate problem solving. Career Trends: ESFPs are often found in careers allowing them to be of practical help to others. These may include healthcare, food prep, childcare, personal service or sales. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May be overly influenced by what others what, may delay decision making, and may not consider the objective outcomes of possible opportunities. Tips for better Career Decisions: Do not ignore uncomfortable facts, systematically consider the consequences of all alternatives, and take specific action towards achieving your goals ESFJ Potential Strengths: Ability to set up effective procedures, decisiveness, people skills, building consensus and preserving what works. Career Trends: ESFJs are naturally found often in careers that allow them to help others like teaching, healthcare, childcare and human resources to name a few. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May overlook unexpected opportunities or want to avoid risk at the expense of forward movement. May not consider logical consequences of each alternative, or may make hasty decisions. Tips for better Career Decisions: Don’t ignore uncomfortable facts and plan time to brainstorm and explore things not considered before. Plan time to reflect before making a decision. INFJ Potential Strengths: Imagination, sense of purpose, creativity, ability to develop others’ potential. Career Trends: INFJs are often found in medicine, science, the arts and education. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May be overly influenced by what others want from them and may overlook important facts about job opportunities. Tips for Better Career Decisions: Systematically consider the consequences of all the alternatives and remember to convey how your focus on people can help the ‘bottom line’, especially when applying and interviewing for work. INFP Potential Strengths: Sense of purpose, creativity, people skills, adaptability and gentle persuasion. Career Trends: INFPs are often found in fields that allow them to exercise their preference sin language, visual and performing arts. They also tend to flock towards jobs that help them serve others – this may include teaching or helping in emotional or physical problems. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May have no sense of long-term direction and may be waiting for the perfect job; to the detriment of moving forward or making important decisions. Tips for better Career Decisions: Establish goals specific enough to enable a choice amongst alternatives, and take specific action to attain those goals. Consider the uncomfortable and logical factors. ENFP Potential Strengths: New ideas and possibilities, energy and enthusiasm, people skills, adaptability, creativity. Career Trends: ENFPs are drawn to working with people in the realms of counseling, personal or spiritual services, teaching, or the arts – fields that allow them to work in the service of long-term development of people or communities. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May lack long-term direction, may put off decisions, and may get overwhelmed with all the possibilities. Tips for better Career Decisions: Establish specific goals to eliminate alternatives and take specific action accordingly. Systematically consider all the consequences of your choices and set a deadline for deciding what you will do ENFJ Potential Strengths: Can get things organized, ability to develop the potential of others, building consensus, people skills, energy and enthusiasm. Career Trends: ENFJs are often attracted to jobs involving working directly with people as helpers, counselors, teachers or administrators. In business there are roles that also appeal to ENFJs, which also involve working with people such as in a L&D or HR capacity. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May have trouble utilizing unforeseen opportunities and may not consider logical consequences or facts about the alternatives they generate. They may also be tempted to make decisions hastily. Tips for better Career Decisions: Plan time to brainstorm about entirely new jobs or opportunities, consider more carefully the logical consequences of each option and establish priorities before taking time to reflect prior to moving forward. INTJ Potential Strengths: Long-range vision, analytical thinking, problem solving for systems, conceptual design and long-term planning. Career Trends: Careers in sciences are popular among INTJs as is architecture and engineering. These careers provide opportunities to logically analyze problems and devise new solutions. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May have trouble capitalizing on unforeseen opportunities or may neglect important values by only focusing on what is logical. Tips for better Career Decisions: Plan time to explore completely new jobs and consider what is truly important to you and others who are impacted; go beyond the logical criteria and be careful not to make a hasty decision INTP Potential Strengths: Analytical skills, problem-solving for systems, technical knowledge and expertise, adaptability, conceptual design. Career Trends: INTPs are often attracted to written word, computers, engineering or architecture. These are jobs that allow INTPs to see a whole pictures and allow them to contribute theory to improving systems or concepts. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May lack clear long-term direction, may have no action plan to reach goals, and may put off decisions. Tips for better Career Decisions: Consider what is important to you (values) then establish goals specific enough to enable a choice amongst alternatives. Dedicate yourself to a timeline for deciding and taking a first action step. ENTP Potential Strengths: Creativity, problem solving systems, analytical skills, technical expertise and entrepreneurial thinking. Career Trends: ENTPs are found in a wide scope of jobs and careers. These include everything from jobs where they work with ideas (architecture, engineering, science) as well as business, healthcare, education and executive management. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: May have no specific action plans for reaching career goals, may neglect most important values by focusing only on the logical and may put off decisions. Tips for better Career Decisions: Consider what is most valuable to you and others your decisions may impact. Create a deadline for moving forward and establish a ‘short list’ of the most interesting and specific possibilities. ENTJ Potential Strengths: Organizing things, problem solving with systems, making decisions, analytical thinking and long-range vision. Career Trends: ENTJs are very attracted to positions where they can be in charge: executives, managers, supervisors, officers or directors. It is also quite common to find ENTJs in fields like sciences and medicine. Possible obstacles to Career Exploration: ENTJs may have trouble utilizing unexpected opportunities and are often upset by unscheduled events. Additionally, they can make hasty decisions while overlooking important facts about a particular job. Tips for better Career Decisions: Establish your key priorities or ‘short list’ the most interesting possibilities. Plan time to brainstorm about jobs you’ve never thought of before, and try considering values as well as logic as you proceed.