When individuals are in their early twenties, their personality is malleable. We are growing up, learning, and experiencing new things. These experiences shape who we become, and because a personality is still evolving at this age, it can be difficult for students to nail down a future career choice. What would make them happy and where do their skills lie? Students struggle in answering these questions because, for the most part, they lack the self-awareness and self-knowledge to make effective choices. With this in mind, personality tests can be highly useful, providing information to students who want to learn more about themselves. These tests can provide advice on choosing the right career, as well. I took two different tests in trying to assess my personality. The first was the Jung test, created by Myers and Briggs. This test takes three categories – attitude, function, and lifestyle – and breaks them down into four dichotomies, Extraversion and Introversion, Sensing and Intuition, Thinking and Feeling, and Judging and Perception. I took this test on personalttest.net, and it combines the different categories into four-letter results. I also took a test from kiersey.com, which provides information on five important dimensions of human personality. These dimensions included Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The results are handed out in percentile rankings based upon the various categories. I encountered no problems in getting the websites to work while arranging these tests, and my only issue was ensuring that I had sufficient time to dedicate to the tests in order to get fuller results. My two tests largely agreed, though there were some differences that should be sorted through. The tests found me to be an open and extraverted person and one who can use interpersonal skills to have success later in my career. I found these results to mostly fall in line with my perceptions of myself, but they could be improved in some ways to align with what I feel is the correct interpretation of myself.
The Jung-test determined that I have an ENFJ (extraversion, intuition, feeling, and judgment) personality type. This particular personality type makes for excellent sales managers, counselors, entertainers, psychologists, and politicians, because people with this personality type are said to be outstanding group leaders who strive to help others reach their full potential. People who have the ENFJ personality tend to be convincing and charismatic, and their interpersonal skills can allow them to be manipulative in situations. While I agree with the personality traits identified in the survey, I feel that other questions could have been provided to accurately define my personality. Because the design of the survey limited my responses to only two options; therefore, I felt forced to make a selection that truly did not reflect my personality. This is often the case in assessments that do not provide a wide range of different choices. When one does not fit, the test taker is required to enter the choice that is closest. This can lead to inexact results. I am not disagreeing that my personality type was identified as an ENFJ. With that said, the careers shown above are not consistent with my personal ambitions and preferences.
After further review of the ENFJ personality, some of my characteristics are aligned with this personality type. Often times, I am compelled to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate. I also like to focus on supporting others in their time of need. When others are stressed, I feel compelled to take charge. This is aligned with how ENFJs handle and manage situations. My results showed that I repress the unpleasant side of life, only to face it later in an intensified form. This often leads to emotional explosions among people with this personality type. This survey opened my eyes that over the past several years, I have coached myself into believing that nothing was wrong, leaving me often oblivious to problems. I perceive this as a flaw in my character and realize the need to address this in my relationships. In addition, the survey indicated ENFJs have a tendency to exhibit leadership ability and skills. When looking at my personality, this does feel like an area that is innate, but I would like to improve my leadership and management skills. Overall, this particular personality test did affirm many of my attributes and confirmed some areas in need of further development.
While the first personality test provided me with some good insight, the second survey from kiersey.com focused on five important dimensions of human personality, which challenged my self-perceptions. For the Openness section of this test, I placed in the thirty-fifth percentile, which is below average. This score did not bother me because I am conservative and more of a realist when issues need attention. My Conscientiousness score was also average, and it indicated that I am neither organized nor disorganized with my thoughts. This was confusing and seemed contradictory to my self-perceptions. For example, I make a conscientious effort in getting organized for class, studying outlines, and completing assignments in all courses. I am very thoughtful and deliberate in my strategies, and the results of this section of the test seemed low based upon my personal perception. My highest percentile was in Extraversion, placing me in the eighty-ninth percentile due to the fact that I am energetic and outgoing in relationships. I was placed in the sixty-ninth percentile for Agreeableness, showing that I consider the feelings of others at all times. Lastly, my lowest percentile was in Neuroticism, which is appropriate because I remain calm in tense situations. This test seemed to be more comprehensive than the first test. It provided more potential answers, and this allowed me to answer without feeling forced into a choice that did not describe me. This test contradicts how I feel about my own conscientiousness, but it does align with my perceptions otherwise. As with any test of this nature, it is unlikely to fully capture the complexity of a single person’s personality. With that said, it did capture what I am all about to some extent, and I found it valuable as a result.
The two tests were similar in some ways and very different in others. Both their arrangement and their results show similarities and differences. The first test sought to combine different personality attributes to create concrete “types” of personalities. The second test simply gave an assessment on each individual characteristic. This means that the second test can provide a more complete picture of where one falls on a given scale. With the first test, a person may be found to be extroverted with a fifty-one-percent score or a ninety-nine-percent score. It does not provide this kind of result, though, so people do not know how they measure up. The two tests found my personality to be relatively similar. I find myself to be highly intuitive and extroverted, and both tests confirmed this finding. While I did not completely agree with the given job choices that came with the first test, I understand the implications and why they were chosen.
After taking the two personality tests and reflecting on the questions asked, I feel that I have gained insights about my attributes. With the second test, I did agree for the most part with the results of the five dimensions. When assessing one’s personality, I do not feel that a single test can be constructed to accurately determine all aspects of a person’s attributes. The results of the tests have shown me areas needing attention and improving. Some of these include: being more conscientious, focused, resolving issues and addressing conflict. It will be essential for me to know the areas that are my strengths as well as areas that area needing enhancements for me to become a leader and role model. These tests were equally accurate, though they did provide me with information in different ways. The primary problem, I thought, was that the first test gave me career options that did not properly align with my goals. I still thought that my personality result from that site was correct, so perhaps this suggests that I have not been thinking about or planning for careers that match up with my personality. These tests might have been more accurate if they would have picked up on the organized nature of my life. I take tremendous time to ensure that all of my ducks are in a row, and the tests did not reflect this. Perhaps this is because the tests are somewhat limited in what they can assess because of a limited number of questions or answer choices. Personality tests have their benefits and their flaws and I think it is important to take different types of test so you can receive different forms of feedback. I would recommend taking a personality test entering college and another test upon graduating college to see how you have changed and to validate that you are making the right choices about your future career. After all, like Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”