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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Typical Career Path for a Perceiving Preference

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Written by Catherine Rains

Face it – in the United States we train our citizens to have a Judging preference, whether they like it or not. Where is my evidence? It starts with how we encourage students to choose a major before they leave high school or at the latest by the beginning of their freshmen year. We feel sorry for students who are going through college as a History or Communications major, not knowing what they are going to do after graduation. As someone with a preference for Perceiving, I know first-hand the shame that is inadvertently bestowed on students who cannot quickly answer the question “what are you going to do after graduation”. On the outside looking in, it appears that P’s will never make it.

However, you and I both know lots of people with a preference for Perceiving (50% of our colleagues), and they are doing quite well in their professional lives. It’s simply another path to success, equally valid to the one that most J’s take. Ask a professional with a Perceiving preference how they got to where they are today and they will say something like this: “it just happened”. Usually without a plan or goal in mind, other than maybe to like the work they do. They began by choosing a major that interested them, and possibly a second one (and a third), and then choosing jobs after graduation using the same criteria. One simple step at a time, until they find themselves in the career they are in today - as successful as their Judging preference colleagues. Just a different—and often misunderstood—path to get to the same destination.

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