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    Oct 24, 2017    |   Camille Labrie

Type and Career Development Tips

type and career development How do you counsel your clients when it comes to career planning? Do you have a set way of counselling them or do you adjust your style for each individual client? More specifically, do you use what you know about personality type and the Myers-Briggs® (MBTI®) assessment to aid you during these sessions?

What I’ve heard from several career counsellors is that institutions normally use a one-size fits all approach when it comes to counselling or advising clients. These counsellors understand the importance of keeping their students engaged by adjusting to the clients’ preferred personality type. Personality type theory, as stated in the booklet Type and Career Development by Donna Dunning, can enhance the career development process in a number of ways and help practitioners (such as yourself) identify potential blind spots when guiding others through the process.

The focus of the booklet covers setting the stage, conducting self assessment, generating and researching options, making decisions, and taking action, all of which are stages that can be applied to other developmental situations and not strictly career counselling. The advice found here is applicable in any situation in which a client is solving a problem, assessing a relationship, or looking to change patterns of behaviour. By understanding his or her own type preferences, a client will be better equipped to deepen their understanding of the kind of work that will suit them as they begin to better understand themselves.

Below are some insights on each MBTI function pair, and what career fields would be most attractive to them.


Individuals with the ST function pair tend to approach life and work in an objective and analytical manner, and like to focus on realities and practical applications in their work. This equates to careers that would allow them to use specifics, logic, procedures, statistical data, and objective analysis on a daily basis. Careers in this category include: Accounting, Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Computer Science, Military, Athletics, Banking, and Management to name just a few.


Whenever you see an F in someone’s preference, it usually means that they want their career to help someone else in some way. When add S to the F, you are talking about a person who wants to help in a practical way, meaning the support they provide can be used immediately. SF preferences are known as the practical helpers, and are often attracted to career fields such as Customer Service, Nursing, Social Work, Health Sciences, Elementary Education, and Non-profit work, among many others.


Again, F preferences generally want a career that will help someone, but when you add N to the F it’s about big picture helping. They want to feel like they are making a meaningful difference to an individual, and ultimately the world. We also call them the “possibilities for people” people. Careers in this category include: Career Counselling, Psychotherapy, Writing, Fine Arts, Human Resources, Philanthropy, Motivational Speaking, and Ministry, as just a few examples.


An ideal career for an NT preference is one where they can look globally at a department/company/institution, identify what is not working, create a system to fix what is broken, implement the system once or twice, and move onto a new project to fix. Like the NF’s who see possibilities everywhere in regards to people, NT’s see possibilities everywhere in terms of systems and how they can make them better, more effective, and efficient. Careers they are most attracted to include: President/Director/VP of an organization, Management Consultant, Military General, Strategic Planning, Engineer, Entrepreneur, and many, many more.