Although a lot of research has focused on personality, few agree on what personality is or how it develops. Nevertheless, our personality plays a significant role in career development. Personality preferences are about comfort: if a work environment aligns with our personality, we are more comfortable; if it does not, we are less comfortable.
Career advisors often use Carl Jung's theory of personality. Jung described a number of set patterns of human behavior. His theory was further developed by others, including mother-daughter team Katharine Myers and Isabel Briggs-Myers. They developed an instrument to assess personality type, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
The theory is based on the notion that we all have inborn behavioral preferences, which can be classed according to four dichotomies (resulting in 16 total personality types). These preferences determine how we respond to the outside world, take in information, make decisions, and structure our environments. While we are able to—and often do—use our non-preferences, this becomes tiresome over the long term. Ideally, you should choose a career that fits your personality.
If you would like to discuss personality and its role in career development or take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, visit the Career Development Center for drop-in advising or enroll in ASCS Q294: Basic Career Development.