This is the first in a series of articles that will help people and their organizations achieve better career fit. We believe that successful enterprises in the 21st Century will be defined by the strength of alignment between company mission and the true passions of their talent.

Socrates was one smart philosopher. As best we know, he never conceived of planning his or anyone else’s career in Ancient Greece, but he most definitely gave us the key to what you must do to find the work that aligns you best with your personality type, most passionate skills, values and interests. The most powerful way of being in the world of work is to design your career from the inside out. Technologies and the hot jobs they spawn come and go but your value proposition in the world of work must be based on who you really are at your core, if you are going to take control of your career and work life.

The foundation for evaluating yourself starts with your hardwiring. It’s like the operating system on a computer. Some of us are Windows, some Mac OS or Linux, etc but we all emerge from infancy with some characteristics that might be modified or developed but which will never fundamentally change. We call this “personality type” and it answers four key questions about each of us: What is my preference in directing my energy, outward towards the world and others or inward? What kind of information do I most value and pay attention to, the world of concrete and tangible realities or the world of ideas and concepts and abstractions? How do I decide on the information I take in i.e. using my impersonal logical analysis or my personal values and feelings? Finally, How do I act on or execute the decisions I make i.e. by working systematically and planfully toward closure or by working spontaneously and adjusting quickly to changing circumstances and new information? Yes, we all do all of these at one time or another, but which are our natural preferences?

If you remember your combination theory from junior high school, with the four factors above and two possibilities for each factor, the number of combinations or personality types in every culture in the world is 4 squared or 16. The percentages vary for each type across cultures but even the smallest type in the USA has 6 million people while the largest type is a “tribe” of about 45 million.

If you know your type, then you will know some of the most important facts about yourself and your most natural talents and weaknesses, a surefire insurance policy for career success if you learn how to use this information. While we develop greater flexibility and broader skills over the course of a productive lifetime, the essence of who we are never changes. Circumstances might call upon us to use certain skills at certain times or even acquire new ones but the fundamental truth of our most cherished skills and values can be found in our type. So, what type are you and how is that affecting your career choice and job performance?

Having worked with over 1700 individual clients, conducted hundreds of executive assessments and worked with thousands more in corporate and university settings, the powerful truth is that if you know your type you will be able to figure out what fields and jobs and skills and competencies are likely to be your best. You will no longer have to be the prisoner of your work experiences but you can now personally brand yourself using a wider lens on your own talent and potential. If you are a Commander or ENTJ (extroverted, intuitive, thinking and judging), you are most likely going to find your greatest strengths and successes in the organizational world as a visionary leader. If you are a Healer or INFP (introverted, intuitive, feeling and perceiving), you will gravitate to creative or therapeutic work or research that allows you to make the world a better place. The attached slideshow gives you a brief description of each of the 16 types. Which one best fits you? Which career and jobs best fit you? If you want a more thorough assessment and analysis, visit me at or wait for our new website developed in concert with Coverdale, the international executive and team development consultancy.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Brian Schwartz is a psychologist and a leading expert in the fields of Career and Talent Management with a practice that extends 32 yearsand includes over 1700 career planning clients, over 500 executive assessments and several hundred additional assessments and coaching assignments incorporate and university settings. He founded CareerDNA, LLC with partners in May, 2004.

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