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Should my personality type dictate my career?

In school, we had to take personality tests to find our 'perfect career fits'. For the Myers-Briggs test, I got INTP (Introvert iNtuitive Thinking Perception), which is not known for its empathy. While it is true that I am not the most socially adept, nor am I the best at expressing (true) emotion, I am passionate about becoming a social worker and helping as many kids as I can. Should I? Or should I pick a career that fits my personality type?

#social-work #intp #career

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Kim’s Answer


These tests are just guidelines, and, unless interpreted by a skilled professional, I wouldn't overthink it! I have taken it 3 times over a ten year period, and gotten vastly different results each time. Why? Because, I am not the same "me" every day!

As for social work, if you consider helping people to find jobs to be social work, that is what I do. While I am an introvert, I am able to give of myself in a way that gets remarkable results. I just don't get attached. However, I do not consider myself a good fit as far as being compatible with my co-workers. Why? All they ever talk about is family and shopping. They don't ever have any intellectual discussions or debates of any kind whatsoever. They don't discuss current events. Just social events. They bore me!! As an example, not a one has mentioned the Thailand boy's soccer team situation. So, while I feel like a good fit for the job, I don't blend with the team.

Besides, there are many aspects to each type of job. So, if someone is interested in social work, but not cut out to be on the front lines, they could be a grant writer or statistician - still in the social work field.

I do think it is important for you to discuss the jobs with people who are really doing them, as there are some aspects of jobs that you never hear about. They could be enough to make you change your mind. I encourage you to keep posting questions, and delve deeper into your preferred career paths!


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Susan’s Answer

A career in social work and the educational degree programs required to become a licensed social worker, require entensive training in social work theory models of practice. A quality degree program requires coursework and training, which focuses on working with individuals, small groups, and/ or families., as well as the area of Macro social work practice. Social Work Generalist programs, (versus Clinical programs), include a number of courses, and sometimes a concentratinon, on Macro practice. This is the area of social work where grant writing, program development, and public policy development training is specialized. Certainly, social work education and training programs will challenge an introverted person to develop stronger interpersonal skills. If you choose to pursue a career in social work, with the goal of improving the lives of others, but you’re leary of moving into a career which focuses on interpersonal interactions, a Macro concentration, and internships with this focus, could be what will help you fulfill your goals. Good Luck!

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Lashay’s Answer

Not really Dimetrius. Those tests are used to give you things to consider if you have no ideas about what you like are interested in or about your natural tendencies and preferences. By you asking this question, it seems to me that you might have something you'd like to do. I'd suggest reading about some of the jobs that appeared in your results and ask yourself if you could imagine doing that work. If not no problem. They're not going to be 100% accurate. Speak to teachers and family and those from whom you took the assessments for what they feel you might be good at, theyay know you better than you think. In the end, trust your own feelings and instincts. Good luck!

Lashay recommends the following next steps:

Go to one.org to search some job titles you've been thinking about and a few from assessment results.
Speak with family, close and trusted friends and assessment administrator.