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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Type and Career Development – Look out for some tips!

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How do you counsel your students when it comes to career planning? Do you have a set way of counseling them or do you adjust your style for each individual student? More specifically, do you use what you know about personality type and the Myers-Briggs® (MBTI®) assessment to aid you during these sessions?

What I’ve heard from several career counselors is that institutions normally use a one-size fits all approach when it comes to counseling or advising students. These counselors understand the importance of keeping their students engaged by adjusting to the students’ preferred personality type. Personality type theory, as stated in the booklet Type and Career Development by CPP author Donna Dunning, can enhance the career development process in a number of ways and help practitioners (such as you) identify potential blind spots when guiding others through the process.

The focus of the booklet covers setting the stage, conducting self assessment, generating and researching options, making decisions, and taking action, all of which are stages that can be applied to other developmental situations and not strictly career counseling. The advice found here is applicable in any situation in which a student is solving a problem, assessing a relationship, or looking to change patterns of behavior. By understanding his or her own type preferences, a student will be better equipped to deepen their understanding of the kind of work that will suit them as they begin to better understand themselves.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be pulling some tips on learning to work with your students based on their preferred MBTI® type and posting these on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Here is the first:

Tips for working with ESTPs

1. Establish your credibility and competence immediately
2. Make the process flexible and fun but also relevant to the task at hand
3. Let them critique and question the importance of tasks
4. Provide opportunities for them to act independently
5. Create challenges and opportunities to compete or take risks

If you haven't already, find us on and to continue receiving our tips!