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Career Tips for ISTP Personality Types (Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Perceiving).

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) provides key insights into personality and professional strengths that can help organize an occupational search and help narrow career options. This assessment can trace its origins to the theory of psychological personality types developed by Carl Jung, one of the founders of modern psychology. The Myers-Briggs® Test classifies individuals into 16 different personality types based on a range of characteristics, including introversion or extraversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. This assessment was developed by Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs to identify connections between personality features to develop personal and occupational growth. Following an occupation selection are four components of the career exploration process, with the first being goal setting, followed by gathering information, then networking, and finally, decision making. In accordance with one’s MBTI® personality type, each will approach these steps differently based on their natural personality function. Using this tool for occupational selection and the four components of the career exploration process can be one of the most successful ways to obtain happiness and permanence in a career.

ISTP Personality Types  (Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Perceiving) and Career Choice.

ISTPs are tolerant and flexible people. However, when they are presented with a challenge, they act quickly and mobilize their considerable intellectual resources to identify and implement a workable solution. They are also conscientious about following through on their initiatives and confirming their success before moving on to their next set of tasks. They are practical, efficient workers who typically pride themselves on being able to make a significant impact with relatively little effort. As a result, in professional environments, ISTPs often have a reputation for being hard workers, capable of understanding and processing large amounts of complex information in order to identify the root cause of practical problems. Their high level of organization and attention to detail allows them to see inconsistencies that others might miss. For this reason, they are often troubleshooters who are called in to identify problems and develop solutions.

ISTP Personality Types

Read about The Myers-Briggs® Test ISTP Personality Types Career Tips and other Occupational Information

Part of the reason for ISTPs’ success in problem-solving is their adaptable, creative, and open-minded approach. They have a tendency to resist regimentation and rules and instead thrive on the challenge of solving new, concrete problems. Their extensive observational skills also allow them to perceive nuances that might be lost on less detail-oriented peers. Despite their ability to understand and utilize complexity, they have little patience with theoretical pursuits in their own right and instead see their value in their application. For example, an ISTP will likely be uninterested in complex principles of mathematics or physics unless they can see a specific engineering application. ISTP personality types think clearly and logically, organizing their thoughts almost like a computer organizes data. They draw clear connections between facts and implications and make rational decisions based on concrete information. They are often detached and objective critics who solve problems with an analytical approach. While they may be creative in their approach to challenges, they are still practical and driven by facts. Above all, ISTPs believe in achieving the highest return on the smallest investment of effort. This personality type’s value system proves ISTPs to be advantageous to employers even though other personality types may view them as being tolerant and egalitarian. ISTPs do not refrain from making firm, clear judgments when the occasion presents itself. Tending to be quiet and reserved, especially when others are presenting ideas, they participate enthusiastically in areas of their own expertise. ISTPs should be aware of how and when to engage with others, remembering that even small gestures, like a smile and friendly greeting, can go a long way towards establishing a rapport with coworkers. If an ISTP finds themselves withdrawing from colleagues or postponing decisions, it may be that they feel frustrated or under-appreciated. In order to successfully navigate a professional environment, knowing these idiosyncrasies in advance will allow an ISTP to anticipate and mitigate them.

ISTP personality types’ vocational strengths include strong, rational, task-solution skills, risk-taking, and the ability to adapt quickly and seemingly effortlessly to changing circumstances which are often found in industries related to computers, engineering, production, and electronics. As such, they are well-suited for a great number of careers in many different sectors, from technical careers such as mechanical engineering, computer hardware engineering, and engine/equipment mechanics, to more nature-focused or agricultural pursuits, for instance, farming and forestry. While these careers may seem dissimilar from one another, they all involve implementing technical proficiency to a practical issue to produce a concrete product or service. Some popular occupations for ISTPs are Agricultural InspectorAutomotive Master MechanicAvionics TechnicianCivil Engineering TechnicianConstruction & Building InspectorElectric Power-Line Installer & RepairerForest & Conservation WorkerLight Truck or Delivery DriverMobile Heavy Equipment Mechanic, Operating Engineer or Other Construction Equipment Operator.

An in-depth look at the 16 MBTI Personality Types


ISTP Personality Types Goal Setting and Gathering Information.

Most ISTP individuals create goals for the immediate future. They prefer to have concrete results but often do not establish a means for reaching them. This personality type is able to realize opportunity in the benefits of unanticipated circumstances and will not hesitate to pass up a less attractive offer for immediate gain. When setting goals, having less of a direct perception of long-term objectives will be an ISTPs most difficult obstacle. Creating a timeline chart to view goals will be beneficial for this complication. The ability to clearly see the direction of goal-related steps will keep them focused. This timeline chart should extend to five or ten years beyond the starting point and include specific actions in order to progress to the sequential target. Once general goals have been set, research and gathering information will supersede and aid in the creation of these actions. An ISTP often will refer to a career library or a website featuring facts and statistics related to occupational data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, for instance, has a number of different databases that document average salary ranges, job openings, and even growth levels for specific careers in different parts of the country. When gathering this information, an ISTP may find themselves to be defeated by the details, so keeping organized and focused is key. Gathering too many informational facts can countermand the ability to find expertise on the day-to-day aspects of the position. It may cause an ISTP to exclude the long-term potentiality of the job. The easiest way to change this innate behavior is by finding not only specifics and statistics but also utilizing subjective information regarding current employee satisfaction. Exploring a peer’s outlook on the industry will allow the formation of a well-balanced opinion toward the occupation. Reaching out to employees of a sought-out company will allow an ISTP to ask what they may appreciate and what they dispraise, not only for the associate’s current environment but also for their overall career choice.

ISTP Personality Types and Networking.

Networking can also allow for professional review of a resume and recommendation of specific classes or skills needed before submitting an application. Even though networking might not be appealing to ISTPs’ introverted personalities, it provides an opportunity to gain information and insights that are impossible to obtain from facts and figures. For a person with this aversion to meeting experts, starting a network campaign with close friends and family who can introduce their contacts can be a promising starting point. Loved ones can also help an ISTP practice answers prior to an important employment interview. Practicing with others can help this personality type to gain confidence, raise their voice, and realize their strengths. ISTPs also may have difficulty answering hypothetical questions or making long-term projections during interviews due to their concentration on the immediate future. Preparation for these types of questions can help avoid the inability to provide appropriate responses. Prior to an important interview, an ISTP should research the prospective company’s innovation strategies and long-term goals.

ISTP Personality Types

Read about The Myers-Briggs® Test ISTP Personality Types Career Tips and other Occupational Information

It will be common for ISTPs to skip the networking step of the career exploration process or to seek an insufficient amount of favored experts even though they realize the logic in the process. This inherent behavior can have a negative effect on their job search, causing missed possibilities and a lack of important contacts. Once an ISTP steps out of their comfort zone to make these connections, they will have no trouble illustrating the experience and knowledge they have gained, but when doing so should remember to consider the interviewer’s personality dichotomy. For example, ISTPs tend to overwhelm Intuitive-Feeling interviewers with too many details, as their Sensing dominance has an inclination to discuss observations utilizing all of the senses. This type of interviewer would be more interested in meaning, relationships, and possibilities. Understanding how to approach different personality types will ensure the ability to lead the conversation.

ISTP Personality Types and Decision-Making.

During the decision-making process, an ISTP will clarify their information by weighing the pros and cons of each option but should resist the urge to focus too much on quantitative aspects, like salary. Instead, to guarantee a balanced decision, ISTPs should also consider what will fulfill and satisfy them and their family. This logical analysis can be lengthy for ISTPs who have a tendency to put off decisions. Referring back to the timeline chart created, a deadline for having a decision is essential for this personality type. It is also helpful to announce the date to close friends and family and ask for their assistance with accountability. Making a list of the things which hold significance and using it to balance the previously produced pros and cons list will promote the improbability of choosing an occupation based solely on logic. Most importantly, confidence in the decision made will improve career choice longevity and overall happiness. Taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) Assessment and knowing personality commonalities within particular dichotomies can help guide the career exploration process by countering inherent behaviors which lead to potential obstacles, allowing for the modification of these behaviors to secure occupational success.

Learn More About the MBTI ISTP Personality Type

Explore additional information that delves deeper into the ISTP Personality Type by examining various personality and career-based subjects:

Click on the link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types



Introduction to Type (Isabel Briggs Myers, 1998, CPP Inc.)

Introduction to Type and Careers (Allen L. Hammer, 2007, CPP Inc.)