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    Apr 17, 2015    |

Type and Career Choice: Where do I go from Here?

Most of us will make a number of career decisions in our lives. Whether we are choosing a university major, switching jobs, or planning to retire, the decisions can often be very stressful. However, knowledge about the different type preferences can lead to better decisions, especially as it relates to addressing the question “What do I do now?”. Before diving into how specific preferences may be fulfilled by particular careers (See Introduction to Type and Careers®) – a very popular application of type for many career counselors – we may also choose to help clients by starting with a more general and step-wise consideration of the four functions: Sensing, Intuition, Thinking and Feeling. This will form the foundation of a much more personalized approach for your clients, teach them about well-rounded decision-making, and quickly help them clarify some options simultaneously! If this pursuit is more of a personal endeavor and you’re the one searching out a fulfilling new career, let these also be a personal guidebook to make sure you don’t overlook important considerations.

Step One: Using Sensing to focus on the facts
Making use of your sensing perception is a good place to start. Identifying the realities of the career issue that you face and the resources at your disposal is very important for making good decisions. Questions you need to ask yourself include:

  1. What have I liked/disliked in the past?
  2. What is my current financial, social, educational status?
  3. What jobs and corresponding salaries are available?

Step Two: Using Intuition to identify possibilities
Your intuition helps you identify the different possibilities in your situation and generate opportunities for change. Using your intuition perception will allow you to think of ways to make the most of your skills. Questions that can help you use your intuition include:

  1. Besides the one perfect career, what other jobs/occupations require people with my skills and preferences?
  2. What are the future possibilities for each of my career options?
  3. What do the careers I find attractive/unattractive have in common?

Step Three: Using Thinking to identify consequences
You need to use your thinking perception to make a critical and objective analysis of your situation. Having already identified both the facts and possibilities of your situation, you need to look at the positive and negative consequences of the different options. Some questions that will help you use your thinking judgement include:

  1. What are the pros and cons of each of my possible career choices?
  2. What would I objectively recommend to someone who had the same choices?
  3. How well do my skills and preferences fit with each of the careers I am considering?

Step Four: Using Feeling to identify what is most important
Your feeling perception will help you identify what you care about most in both your life and career. Using your feeling perception to weigh the outcomes of your choices ensures that you will meet your personal values. Questions to ask that will engage your feeling judgement include:

  1. What do I care about most in my life and work?
  2. Which of my career options would align with my primary motivations or values?
  3. How would those important to me react to my different career choices?

Making the most informed decisions comes from using all four steps. While these steps will not guarantee perfect career decisions, they will help you be more informed and provide a clearer understanding of your options. The trick is to focus on each of them equally, even though our individual preferences incline us to skim over some and concentrate too much on others.

A.H Hammer. Introduction to Type and Careers®.
Hirsch, K.W & Hirsch, E. Introduction to Type and Decision Making®.