Ways how self-awareness helps your career progress

And why you are the best person to improve it

Some believe that self-awareness is the most important skill when it comes to building a successful professional career and others may tell you that self-awareness is somewhat superficial, and you need to have a solid education and professional skills to make it in the world of work.

Even though there is an increasing number of articles and sources that provide you with information about self-awareness, it still might be slightly challenging to grasp the true meaning of it.

Finding a definition is quite easy but to understand how self-awareness works and more importantly how it helps your career progress may be a challenge.

Why is it a challenge?

I believe it is because understanding any concept is only the first step. Applying the knowledge and integrating habits that help self-growth can then follow.

First, let’s see what self-awareness is.

According to the Oxford Dictionaries, it is a “Conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.”

After reading this definition, it is easier to understand how self-awareness affects career and career progress. Think about the time when you started your career and be very honest.

  • How much was your first job a conscious choice?
  • How much did you consider your strengths and weaknesses when you sent out your job applications for the first time?

Majority of young people try to grab a job opportunity as soon as they can to start their career. So, don’t feel bad if you were not super conscious about your career choices back then.

I think I am right to assume though that, with time, your choices have been more about taking advantage of your skills and talent, and as you matured, you focused on building a career that gave you the opportunity to expand either vertically or horizontally. Whenever you switched jobs, you were looking for something else, a new challenge.

You listened to your motives and desires and shaped your job search accordingly.

While this was undoubtedly your self-awareness in motion, you may ask yourself a question whether there were or there are other areas where your self-awareness could give you a competitive edge. And the answer to this question is a definite yes.

Regardless of the industry you are working in, or your professional field, no work can be done alone without the support of and contribution from others. To get that, you need to have social skills and the foundation of all success in any social environment is self-awareness.

Let’s just see a couple of examples, think about your work environment and job.

  • What makes you feel stressed?
  • What leaves you feeling depleted?
  • How do you respond to authority?
  • With what type of leadership style do you work best together?
  • How do you deal with criticism?
  • What is your number one conflict resolution tactic?

From the above questions you can see that without being self-aware you are not able to answer such questions, furthermore, without being self-aware, your choices around which company or team to join may leave you with disappointment.

Just by answering these questions, you will have a clear picture of what environment you would like to work in or what type of work gives you inspiration and satisfaction. No one else can make these choices for you And although getting paid is great but getting paid for a job you don’t enjoy may be miserable.

So, even if you think self-awareness is not the most important thing when building your career, I am sure you agree that it has such a high impact that you cannot ignore developing it.

Understand INTJ, INTP, INFJ and INFP personalities

To be successful, you must do your utmost to develop an understanding of other people’s personalities. The different personalities that you encounter daily, shapes the way you work or approach tasks, your relationships with your workmates, your career choice, colleagues and friends, as well as your capacity to expose and showcase your skills and capabilities. As such, your personality and the personalities of the people you choose to associate with can affect your success. Understanding other people’s personalities helps at achieving success in whichever pursuit is in play, whether it is motivating your employees to reach those sale goals or getting your kids to eat their veggies at dinner time. Here is how understanding different personality types can help you be more successful:

INTJ

People with INTJ personalities are reserved, which can come off as being standoffish or too serious. They are driven by their curiosity and their desire to learn about the principles that make things operational. In short, they like to think clearly and critically about everything and every decision that has to be made. To people with an INTJ personality, the world is one large chessboard waiting to be navigated.

As one of the most strategy− driven personalities out there, many individuals that have an INTJ personality struggle to make friends because they tend to have a self− assured attitude that makes it difficult for them to get along. Among children, INTJ personality types are often referred to as bookworms. Because of their natural need to acquire more knowledge, they enjoy sharing what they know and usually do it confidently because of their capacity to master everything they learn.

INTJs are also very autonomous and decisive, which allows them to thrive on their own, making it easy for them to take responsibility for their actions. Regardless of how popular something is, or how authoritative a person is, INTJ personality types are not easily swayed by traditions or other people’s power. To INTJs, an idea is either wrong or right based on logic and rationality.

Because of their knowledge, people with an INTJ personality can be arrogant and unwilling to listen to the opinions of others they consider intellectually inferior. Additionally, they have a tendency to apply logic and rationality to all issues even when the issues do not demand rationality, like when dealing with children or relationships. INTJs also hate over− structured environments that require stability over self− progress and determination. In the end, their unwillingness to compromise, their arrogance and their antipathy for rules make maintaining relationships, professional or romantic, very challenging for INTJs.

INTP

On the outside, people with an INTP personality may appear calm and collected, however, underneath lies a deep passion for innovation and ideas. INTPs are proud of their capacity to create unique things, and they typically have a unique perspective on all things as well as a vigorous intellect.

They have a tendency to share thoughts that are not fully developed, using conversations with other people as opportunities to receive feedback on their ideas and theories. This may make them appear unreliable, but they are enthusiastic about spotting a problem, diving deep into the endless series of details that encompass the issue and developing a unique solution. As for timely delivery, you may need to be patient and not to expect periodic reports on progress and results.

INTPs aren’t very much interested in the nitty− gritty of day− to− day activities; they rather like working in an environment where they can express their passionate and creative sides.

At work, INTPs hate to be governed and controlled by rules and are often more concerned with the theoretical viability of their ideas instead of the standards and traditions. They are often absentminded, forgetful and, in most cases, their personality can get caught up in their rationality to the extent that they forget how to be human. As such, they can be a bit insensitive to other people’s feelings. INTPs also like to keep their affairs private and are quite withdrawn in social settings.

INFJ

Most people with an INFJ personality are found listening attentively to other people’s problems and providing solutions. They are highly perceptive about other people and the situations around them, which explains why they are good at handling complex personal issues and providing support. INFJs tend to reflect at length on issues of morality. They are approachable and calm, soft− spoken even while sharing strong opinions, decisive and can passionately advocate to support and protect the ideas or theories they believe in.

In their personal matters, people with INFJ personalities are very private and would rather be associated with their ideals. They are also perfectionists and hard to please. Because of their passion, they typically exhaust themselves with a few options of blowing off steam, meaning that, when they reach their breaking point, it can be difficult to get through to them.

In any case, when an INFJ believes in something, they will pursue it with an unbelievable amount of conviction and energy.

INFP

For a person with an INFP personality, there is nothing quite as paramount as originality and individuality in everything that is executed. INFPs seem carefree and prefer to explore their own values rather than conform to what they find in society. For an INFP, it is better to stay true to yourself than fit in with the crowd.

Most INFPs are cool, however, whenever they are around people they trust, their demeanour changes to become more relaxed. They tend to listen to many, but speak to few. As such, very few people understand the true ideals of an INFP. When making decisions, a person with an INFP personality will try to make the right decision based on morality, virtue and the purity of the intent, as opposed to the rewards or punishment that may be waiting.

In terms of friendships and relationships, INFPs only maintain a small circle of friends and, because of this, they approach relationships wholeheartedly with dedication and trust. Sadly, because of their innate altruistic desire, INFPs can be impractical and can go as far as neglecting themselves to pursue a cause. Additionally, they tend to take things too personally and do not respond to criticism well. Therefore, individuals with INFP personalities avoid any type of conflict at all costs.

How understanding ISTJ, ISTP, ISFJ and ISFP personalities can help you be successful

Myres-Briggs test, personality type, ISTJ, ISTP, ISFJ, ISFP personalities help you be more successful

Regardless of your definition of success – financial, spiritual, philanthropic or familial – achieving success is important, not only because it is your responsibility, but your duty as well. A variety of things determine how successful you are; your level of education, your career choice, the organization you work for, your skills, your capacity to negotiate and your understanding of different personality types.

Throughout life, you are forced to deal with various individuals that have different personality types. Because human beings require social interactions to survive, an understanding of different personality types is crucial, not only from an academic stance, but also from a life point of view.

The better we understand how other people act and think, the better we understand ourselves. This understanding gives you the power to make every effort possible to succeed. Understanding different personality types is about using the knowledge you gain to your benefit in day− to− day situations, to get people to do things or to influence them, to get others to assist whenever they can and to get your points across. Additionally, it helps to shape the way you make your decisions and, most importantly, understanding personality types helps you understand and manage how your actions can impact other people.

At the same time, understanding the personality types of people that you interact with can help you anticipate their actions and behaviour better, and it will further give you valuable insights into that person’s personality traits. Here are different personality types that can help you be more successful:

ISTJ

People that have the ISTJ personality are easy to depend on because they are devoted. Typically, people with ISTJ approach things in a logical way and they are extremely well− organized to enable them to operate efficiently. Individuals with ISTJ personality are methodical, and they store the knowledge they gain from past experiences which is then used to face new problems and ideas.

When associating with people with ISTJ personality at the workplace, such individuals are the stereotype for the devoted and always impressive employee. In all positions, whether subordinate or managerial, an ISTJ personality will conform to structure and will be a stickler for the rules because they respect authority and chain of command.  When you give a person with ISTJ personality a task, in most cases, they see it as an opening to prove to you that, yet again, they are the right person for the job.

On the flip side, ISTJ personality types struggle with change, whether it is assuming new responsibilities or losing old ones. When interacting with an ISTJ, you should be very precise about what you expect from them in a straightforward manner; do not waste time beating around the bush or spending valuable time in small talk.

ISTP

ISTPs are classically quiet, observant and they enjoy tasks that allow the use of their hands. They enjoy examining the world with an unruffled rationalism and energetic inquisitiveness. People with ISTP love to build things and are often involved in different projects that permit them to take things apart only to assemble them again. As such, most engineers and mechanics fall under this category.

Most people with ISTP are cheerful and kind− hearted, preferring to go with the flow rather than get stressed out by a schedule. ISTPs also combine spontaneity with logic, and they can change their mindset to accommodate new situations easily. Because of this, they are great to have in a crisis situation because they think on their feet.

On the other hand, as easy as it is for them to go with the flow, ISTP people are stubborn, and they can change plans on you quickly and insensitively. Additionally, people with ISTP are difficult to get to know and can be very reserved and private.

ISFJ

Individuals with an ISFJ personality are practical, compassionate and caring. They are motivated by the need to make others comfortable and to protect them from any looming danger. They enjoy the occasional opportunity to contribute to the well− being of the community, meeting every task with enthusiasm. ISFJ personalities tend to range from neat to perfection and, although they like to procrastinate, they tend to finish the commission assigned to them on time.

ISFJ people are not quick to leave things half finished. Instead, they are meticulous and are flexible to accommodate the needs of a changing situation, just so that they can ensure that the goal is accomplished. ISFJs are also inventive, and they use this quality to empathize with others, which makes it easy to see things from other people’s perspectives.

Despite their willingness to help, ISFJ personalities are shy and, since they tend to focus on the well− being of others, they tend to also ignore their needs and repress their feelings. Their willingness to immerse themselves in their work also means that they have trouble separating personal and impersonal issues. Any arising conflict affects their personal and professional lives in equal measure.

ISFP

ISFP personality types are true observers of life, and they use what they observe to create and design things. For ISFPs, the respect for harmony and morals is important, which is why they are dependable particularly once trust is established.

ISFP personalities are colorful, and they live in a world characterized by unpredictability, exploration and experiments. Despite their unique perspective on life, ISFPs are notoriously introverted and very emotional. When it appears as though a situation has gotten out of hand, they are more likely to shut down than step up to the plate.

ISFPs can also escalate small issues and blow them out of proportion, which can cause them to ignore the bigger picture in exchange for a moment of glory. However, beneath the competition, ISFPs are very passionate people and, in friendship, they are some of the most comfortable and carefree people to hang out with.

At work, ISFP people are fiercely independent and they hate to be controlled and micromanaged. In this regard, when working with people with ISFP, you should give them positions that allow them to be expressive, independent and spontaneous.

How different personality types can help you be more successful

Personality types, Myres-Briggs test can help you be more successful

Well, aren’t we all curious to know the mystery behind our personality types? In fact, I am fairly confident that you have taken a personality test in the past, perhaps more than once. The Myers− Briggs Test (MBTI), first published in 1943, is all the rage right now. Whether you took it out of curiosity or for employment purposes, knowing your personality type has become indispensable in the complex world we live in.

Understanding your own personality type can help you achieve personal growth and success. But, how about the people in your life − your boss, your friends, your mentors, your family, your partner and so forth? How do their various personality types influence your life?

Which begs the question: how can you use different personality types to be more successful? In this article, I will walk you through several nifty tips, ideas and pointers on how to tap into each personality type (read: ESTJ, ESTP, ESFJ and ESFP) to your advantage, to succeed in your career, personal growth, business and whatnot. So, stay tuned for more to come in the coming weeks.

A little about Myers− Briggs personality inventory approach

The Myers− Briggs test has gained increasing traction over the years partly because of its simplicity and effectiveness. Of course, I won’t go into the nitty− gritty of MBTI, but here are simplified categories that can give you a glimpse into personality types:

If you tend to focus on the outer world to get energy, you are extraverted (E), as opposed to introverted (I), which is a person who benefits from some alone time when it comes to getting more energised.

How do you make decisions? If you tend to focus on the necessary information you receive, then they say you’re sensing (S). If you prefer to use intuition, add meaning or interpret something, you are intuiting (N).

Besides, if you prefer to focus on consistency or logic before making a decision, you are a thinker (or thinking; T). But, if you tend to first look at special circumstances and people before reaching a decision, you have a feeling (F) character.

How do you deal with others or the outside world? Are you open to new ideas, options or information (Perceiving, P) or prefer your own decision (Judging, J)?

The Myers− Briggs test index encompasses 16 personality types which are, in essence, expressed as a 4− letter code and based on the combination of preferences in each category as mentioned above. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no definitive type, but it’s a decent way to appreciate the difference in people.

ESTJ − – the “supervisor” you need in your life

Accounting for roughly 9% of the entire populace, ESTJ personalities are rational, down− to− earth and very pragmatic. Don’t be fooled by their well− meaning demeanour; these people are firm believers of their decision; that’s partly why they’ve been dubbed the “supervisors”. They are fast and determined decision− makers too.

If you are looking to make good of your association with an ESTJ, you probably have to look at your personality type first. If both of you are drinking from the same pot, it’s best if you don’t get into a partnership of any sort with the person. If you are completely different, then you’re in for a treat. For starters, ESTJs are firm believers in winning. So, partner with them, marry them, make them a CEO, and so forth.

If you find it hard to make a risky decision, for instance, an ESTJ will do the trick. They don’t ignore a conflict, but rather prefer to solve it right away. Well, if you are a little lazy or prone to making silly mistakes, this is someone worth keeping around; you will get straightened up in no time!

In short, find an ESTJ to mentor you if you’re looking to make your business, career or work pan out. If your friendship is failing because ESTJs can be a little judgmental, don’t worry, all will be good when you reap the fruits of your relationship.

ESTP − – the playful entrepreneur

What do Helen Mirren, Anna Wintour, Eva Peron, Milla Jovovich and Mila Kunis have in common? You guessed it right – they are all ESTPs. Well, a few personality types can be as alluring, engaging and charming as ESTPs. They are spontaneous, live in the present and are known to be the life of the party. They usually find it sizzling to experience and explore new things. Besides, they are bold, practical, rational, direct, perceptive and, more so, sociable.

If you are looking for someone to cheer you up or make you feel at ease during low times, ESTPs are your go− to because they are non− judgmental. However, you should be careful not to fall prey to their defiant, risky and disorderly lifestyles. You want them in your business because they are the idea− people, the innovators and the very creative. With their entrepreneurial oomph, ESTPs can do wonders for your life and business.

ESFJ −  The caring, loyal friend

Representing about 12% of the entire US population, ESFJs are perhaps the most popular personality type. In a conventional high school, you’ll notice most ESFJs to be football quarterbacks or cheerleaders. In adulthood, they are not that different. An ESFJ graduates from the popular kid on the block to a supportive and loving friend and parent. If there is someone who loves to see others happy, it most certainly would be an ESFJ.

When it comes to qualities, ESFJs are very loyal, great at listening, sensitive and warm, have a strong sense of duty and are good at connecting with us. That’s why they make for great friends. Their kindness and practical approach to life may come in very handy in your life. Besides, their dedication can be a great asset to your personal growth.

ESFP – The born entertainer

ESFPs are quite the “entertainers”. Well, they are known to be loud, funny and enthusiastic. These folks are extroverts who fancy talking all the time, mostly speaking even before they think. Remind you of someone?

ESFPs are great at socializing, networking and having fun. Of course, they are good at listening and forgiving, however, they get distracted easily and are known to be a bit disorganized. When not having fun, they are the go− to idea people and innovators. If you are looking for an observant friend or someone with people skills, an ESFP would do okay. They can also help you make short− term plans without much hassle.

If you are failing in your relationship, for instance, it would be best to have an ESFP friend by your side. The fact that they are good at listening affords them the luxury of understanding and cheering people up.

How understanding ENTJ, ENTP, ENFJ and ENFP personalities can help you be successful

Success is vital for the well− being of the individual and the community because it supplies a sense of security, confidence and capacity to contribute to the society at a greater level. Without hope of success, a person would cease to exist as they would have no purpose for continue on.

Part of being successful involves building and cultivating relationships with other people around you and, to do it successfully, it is important for you to arm yourself with knowledge about your personality, as well as other people’s personalities. For instance, if you are looking to make a career change or ask for a promotion, it might help to get what you want by learning the personalities of the people involved. Although it can be difficult to understand the various personalities out there, once you do, you will have armed yourself with a tool that can ensure your success.

Personality is only one of the many drivers of human behaviour; however, it is one that is consistent and unfailing. Here is how understanding different personality types can help you be more successful:

ENTJ

ENTJ is one of the least widespread types of personalities in the population, and it is even rarer to find a woman with an ENTJ personality. People with ENTJ are strategic to a fault and are motivated by the opportunity to inspire change and revolutionize how things work. In short, ENTJs are naturally born to lead. They have the power to attract audiences with their charisma and confidence and they project authority in everything that they do. ENTJs love a good challenge and their ability to think strategically and hold a long− term focus while executing each step in their plans with determination makes them successful.

Please be warned that, when dealing with ENTJ personality types, they can be ruthless in the way they rationalize things. They work very hard to accomplish their objectives, and they keep pressing on even when things appear bleak. They look forward to handling their duties because, rather than get taxed by work, they seem to derive energy from their work.

Sometimes, when all the confidence goes too far, an ENTJ can present a challenge because they will go as far as pushing their vision and desires onto other people.

ENTJs value quick thinking. For you to be friends with an ENTJ, you would have to share the same passion for deep and meaningful conversations, as well as a constant desire to learn and improve yourself.

ENTP

For an ENTP, the rules in society are made to be broken. As such, they enjoy finding loopholes in situations as well as figuring out how they can make a system work to their advantage. ENTPs are incredibly intelligent and charming, and they like to do things that allow them to expose their cleverness. They are quick to impress other people with their wit and humour. ENTPs are characteristically entrepreneurial and are usually excited to share their ideas and inventions.

At work, their greatest desire is to solve a problem that many others have been unable to resolve. They typically jump into situations head on and make the rules as they go along. They are quick thinkers and are always open for an opportunity that allows them to learn something new.

On the other hand, associating with a person with an ENTP personality can be challenging, because they are very argumentative and like to challenge how others think with vigour and enthusiasm. This contentious spirit is what allows ENTPs to develop additional skills that can strengthen their weaknesses. Independence is one of ENTPs’ greatest concerns; without independence, an ENTP feels incomplete and unsettled.

ENFJ

Among men, ENFJ is the second rarest category of personality. ENFJs are driven by a sincere desire for self− sacrifice and empathy for others. ENFJs have an innate ability to sense other people’s emotions and, in a way, they act as emotional barometers for others in the community.

ENFJs are natural born teachers, often finding people and including them in activities that can educate them. They can intuitively recognize other people’s potential, and they approach everything with warmth and charisma. Because of this, they make connections and friends quickly, and they are good at communicating.

At work, individuals with ENFJ personalities are pushed by the need to organize others to effect change positively. They thrive in cooperative and harmonious environments and therefore tend to take on a mentorship role.

Unfortunately, ENFJ people are too selfless and too sensitive to other people’s criticisms. Owing to their selfless nature and their over− idealism, ENFJs have earned a reputation for naïveté, which makes it easy for others to push them around or manipulate their ideals.

Most of the time, ENFJs ask for criticism, more out of their insecurities rather than out of confidence, always wondering what they can do to make other people like them more. During a crisis, ENFJ personalities struggle with decision making and can even be stricken with paralysis and fear when making an important decision.

ENFP

ENFPs are extremely social and are always looking for opportunities that can allow them to share and talk to people about their opinions, their desires, motivations and their dreams in life. In short, they are the dreamers and the carefree people of society. They light up every party they attend and, unlike explorers who value the adrenaline rush, they value the social connections that they make along their adventures.

Many other personalities find ENFPs attractive and impressive because they are often very popular and well known. With ENFPs, the most important thing in life is having fun, which causes them to have wild bursts of energy and passion. ENFPs get along with almost all personality types, and their circle of friends is extensive and wide.

Sadly, despite their feel− good attitude, ENFPs struggle to follow through projects. Most of their ideas are never actualized because they find it difficult to concentrate on one thing for too long. They are also highly emotional beings that care deeply about how others feel and how others perceive them. Owing to this, they get stressed easily because of their desire to please everyone. Additionally, ENFP personalities require independence and hate to be micromanaged or controlled.