• Hien Le

Analyzing my Myers-Briggs personality test

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

Ah, the infamous Myers-Briggs personality test. The one test that 7 out of 10 high school students might have taken in their junior or senior year to determine a potential major to study in uni, or even fresh grads also take them to find a suitable career path. You answer a bunch of questions, got resulted in one of their 16 personality types, then got your strengths & weaknesses explained and some potential career choices suggested. Then you basically believe that one result is your personality type.

Some people however, have to retake the tests several times until we find a result that matches us the most. And I am no exception - I don't remember what did I get for the first 3 times I took the test, but for the 4th time I got ISTJ-T (Turbulent Logistician). The recommended careers are engineer, mathematician, technician etc, and among the careers to avoid I found PR specialist and art director, which is ironic as I've been in the creative industry for a few years and I don't do well in natural/technical sciences. So I know this is still the wrong one, and retake the test for a 5th time. This was when I finally got the type that I think suits me best as of now - INFP-T (Turbulent Mediator).

There is actually nothing strange about taking the test over and over again, as I've learned that human personality can change over time, especially when we have to adjust to changing living circumstances (I'll go further into that in a different post). For now, let's do an analysis of each element down below:

-Introverted: So the test says I'm 58% introverted, which means the remaining 42% is extroversion. This is actually a major change compared to my 13 and 18-year-old selves, when I was a complete introvert inside out. I only hung out with people I already know, I hated seeing strangers and large events were a hundred percent NO for me. Still now, if you tell me to go to a complete stranger and strike up a conversation, that'd freak me out. But at least I can manage to socialize in a club or language exchange group, because I know these people share something with me in common - for instance, same country/city of origin, same hobbies or studying at the same uni. In my previous role as a Content Executive, I rarely had to work face-to-face with our clients, but I could liaise with people from other departments, students and their parents to set up filming schedules. That, to me, is already a big change in terms of introvert/extrovert ratio, maybe from a 80/20 to a currently 58/42.

Me with my friends from the Mates at RMIT program. I reached out to this social mentorship platform last year after the first lockdown, as I realized my English skills have become a bit rough after speaking only Vietnamese with people for a few months. I never proactively reached out to see new people like this in the past, so this is already a big difference.

-iNtuitive: (Yes I capitalized the N on purpose) The test shows that I'm 56% intuitive and 44% observant, which means I have a slight tendency towards discovering how something works by myself rather than being taught by other people ("observing" how other people do it and then copy). This is kinda true, and could have resulted from my rebel to my mom's style of teaching me to do things. Like most other Asian parents, she wanted me to get it correct the first try, a.k.a mistakes are not allowed. Therefore, to my teenage self she always acted like she knew everything and I knew nothing at all, and I need to be taught step-by-step. And I was always like, no thanks, I'd rather figure it out by myself rather than being lectured by you. Even though that might means I screwed up an entire washing machine and my mom had to call the tradies to fix it.

Aside from that bad kid image, being intuitive has at least been helpful for someone pursuing the creative industries. That means I always know there's more than one way to solve a certain problem, to approach a targeted group of audiences and to successfully execute a campaign.

-Feeling: So I'm 51% feeling and 49% thinking, which means I'm slightly more of a heart person than a head person when it comes to decision making. However to be honest, 51 and 49 aren't much of a difference. "Deal with stuffs using a cool head and a warm heart", said most of my teachers at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (because well, we were supposed to become future diplomats of the country. Ironically, the role of an INFP is also a diplomat). And I try to apply a logical approach everytime I make a decision, as I know at times logics have to be put above everything else.

-Prospecting: I'm 81% prospecting and only 19% judging - yes, this is 100% me. I never judge someone or something one-way, and am open to new ideas and take changes when necessary. For instance, I used to think only programmers can create games, and they are mostly male and majored in technology. Video game-related careers were never part of my career choices until I met Michelle, and co-created Counter Attack Therapy with her. The game would not have been there if I stuck with my original opinion of video game makers. I've also learned that video game companies need content writers and marketing teams too, so why not give them a try if an opportunity arises?

-Turbulent: I'm 85% turbulent and only 15% assertive when it comes to confidence in making decisions. I don't know whether this is a strength or a weakness - or maybe both. My profile on 16 Personalities says turbulent individuals are self-conscious, sensitive to stress, success-driven, perfectionistic & eager to improve (16 Personalities n.d.). Well, all of these are correct, especially the self-conscious part - I know exactly what I want for myself, I just don't know how to achieve it.

And according to Truity, some of INFP's ideal careers are PR specialist, writer, multimedia artist, film/press editor, intepreter/translator & photographer. This kinda assures me a bit, as they all fit in the definition of "creative industry" professions, and I've actually been doing some of them over the years (I am also a qualified translator, and have been working on several freelance translator projects). If I eventually land a PhD scholarship in the future, I might become a university professor (which is also one of the ideal careers), who knows?

That's it for now. Have you taken a Myers-Brigg test, and are you satisfied with the results? I might have more personality changes in the future though, but for now I believe INFP-T is my personality type.

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