Okay…so you want to take a fun test? What? Test? Fun? I am talking about the Myers-Briggs Personality Test (“MBT”). Hopefully, by your senior year in high school you will have had the opportunity to take the MBT or another personality assessment. So, what’s this “test” about and why should you keep reading? Well, it’s to understand yourself a bit better, identify some of your natural preferences, and maybe even help you pick a career. Added bonus, you may more clearly understand others around you. If for nothing else, it’s just plain interesting. It’s a bit of time to see how different personality types process, function and communicate.
THE “TEST”: The Myers-Briggs test was first introduced back in 1943 by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabella Briggs Myers, and was inspired by Carl Jung’s research on psychological types. Of course, over the decades this tool has been continually modified, and it’s questions honed tomprove the accuracy of the assessment.
Why do I think it’s useful? I am living proof of it’s accuracy!
MY STORY: I personally took the test in 1981, the year before I graduated high school (ouch, now you can guess my age). The reason it was given to the Juniors was for career suggestions. I don’t recall the questions or my personality type, but I do remember the career choices it suggested. I can tell you now, after many years, and looking back, the test was extremely accurate. Some articles out there claim the MBT is meaningless. I don’t agree. Plus, if that was really the case, I think this assessment tool would have died away like so many others. I have had the pleasure of wearing many hats, professionally speaking, through my years. I have been back-office for a doctor, grunt accountant in a shipping company, CPA in one of the largest public accounting firms, management in an insurance company, management in a smaller local CPA firm and regular instructor to other professionals for many years. More recently I tried my hand as a general contractor, event planner and I also tried my hand at being an at home mother. Oh yeah, I did a bit of modeling in my late teens and early twenties. My preferred task, is that of instructor. Dang! That is exactly one of the top choices the MBT gave me back in 1981. But at the time getting up in front of people made me heat up and near cry! Now I smile and tell jokes while training other professionals. My top choice from the MBT was counseling or psychology. I quickly dismissed that idea as it was too many years of school. Opting for the 4-year business degree. Get in. Get out. Heck, I was good at math. Surprise! I ended up having enough credits to almost have a minor in psychology by the time I finished my business degree in 1986. The psychology classes were so interesting and fun and enlightening – and I had better grades than most that were majoring in the field! It’s because I genuinely enjoyed it. Fast forward to a few years ago, where I found myself applying to a psychology school. Yes, I was considering a major career shift and going for that psychology degree. I was accepted to the program…but yet again decided against it. So there it is. My point? The MBT was very accurate assessing my natural preferences. It’s down right creepy! After 30 years I can tell you, it’s useful. Your 16-18 year old self does not fully know the capability of the 30 year old you…or 40 year old…or 50…
THE MBT: It’s pretty easy to take. It’s easy to understand and you can do the quickie version online or the real deal online (for a price – but you get feedback from a pro too!) Not only do you see your own personality, but it explains all the other types too so you can just play and see the combinations. This leads to greater understanding of those around you.
Knowing yourself better is always a good thing.
Quick version: Human Metrics
The Official Myers-Briggs online: MBTI Online
Happy self discovery! Be Well.