Personality assessments provide you with a deep understanding of yourself, which can help in choosing your ideal work. The assessment I use with my clients is the Kiersey Temperament Sorter-II, the most economical and accessible online assessment of its kind. Kiersey classifies four temperaments of Rational, Guardian, Idealist and Artisan, each with four distinct personality types, totaling 16 potential types.

The Kiersey Temperament Sorter-II identifies your type by detecting your behavioral preferences, which are stronger or weaker in four dimensions: Extroversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuitive, Thinking/Feeling and Judging/Perceiving. (Side note: Kiersey types can be linked to Myers-Briggs types: the foundation and research behind each is interrelated.)

These four dimensions are described below. When you read through them, you’ll discover the one in each pair which resonates more for you in work and life situations.

1) How you focus your attention

* E = Extroversion (Expressive): Gregarious and communicative; more comfortable socializing with groups than being alone; energized by contact with other people.

* I = Introversion (Attentive): Private and reserved; more comfortable alone than in a crowd; energized from solo activities, like reading or working on your latest project.

2) How you take in information

* S = Sensing (Observant): Alert to what’s going on outside yourself, in the world of concrete things accessed through the five senses of sight, taste, touch, smell and sound.

* N= Intuitive (Introspective): Alert to what’s going on inside yourself in the abstract world of ideas beyond the five senses.

3) How you make decisions

* T = Thinking (Tough-Minded): Comfortable basing your actions on impersonal, objective factors; critical and exacting with yourself and others, convinced by hard data and sound reasoning.

* F = Feeling (Friendly): Comfortable basing your actions on emotional factors; consider others’ feelings first and focus on harmony above goals.

How you direct your life

* J= Judging (Scheduled): Live in a planned, structured way, seeking to regulate/control life; prefer to have everything decided and settled.

* P = Perceiving (Probing): Live in a flexible, spontaneous way, seeking to understand and adapt to life; prefer to have things open-ended, with options.

You can take the Kiersey Temperament Sorter-II for free, which gives you a one-page Temperament Mini Report™ about your unique type. There are small fees for the full Classic Temperament Report™, The Career Temperament Report™ and other products.

You’ll be scored in all four dimensions by 10 points split between each pair, depending on how you answer questions favoring one preference over another. In my full report, you’ll see that I’m an INFJ (Idealist-Counselor): E:2 / I:8 | S:2 / N:8 | T:5 / F:5 | P:4 / J:6. Note: If there’s a tie between each pair, your letter will be the second of the two.

So, what does all of this mean when choosing an ideal career? Here are some basic examples: If your type has an “I,” you’ll enjoy a solo-work job, like computer programming or writing; but if you have an “E,” a job without much people contact will make you stir-crazy. If your type has a “T” and you’re a manager, you probably won’t flinch in reprimanding employees; but if you have an “F,” you’ll feel uncomfortable doing this, so managing other people may not be ideal work for you.

Self-knowledge is power in the quest to find your ideal work. When you take the Kiersey Temperament Sorter II and learn about your unique personality type, you’ll have some good information to help you make wise job and career choices.

© Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach 2012