Personality Types Fit For High-Powered Careers

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Certain personality types are a better fit for high-powered careers - find out what career may suit your style.

By Lia Sestric

When you see people in positions of power, do you ever wonder whether or not they have anything in common? Beyond education, knowledge, and experience, there could be another factor at work.

To an extent, the qualities of your personality can determine how satisfied you may be in your career. Just ask Erin Nichole Smith, a success coach for the National Society of Leadership and Success.

"Understanding what environments your personality is more predisposed to thrive in may help provide important insights," she explains. Discovering your personality type could help you tap into your passion and cultivate lasting satisfaction in your work, says Smith.

We have come up with some common traits of six high-powered careers based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test (MBTI). This test divides personalities into 16 types, but it is really the combination of four main categories that creates four letter codes.

  1. Extroversion (E)/Introversion (I)
  2. Sensing(S)/Intuition (I)
  3. Thinking (T)/Feeling (F)
  4. Judging (J)/Perceiving (P)

Dr. Carole Stovall, a psychologist and the CEO of SLS Global Assess, an online test site that offers the MBTI test, says the test does not necessarily measure one’s success in a given career but rather helps determine the best fit for your persona.

Of course, there is more than one personality type that could fit these careers, but here are a few examples of some good matches according to our career and personality experts. Also, it may take years of experience in order to reach these high-powered careers, but you could take steps toward these careers today. Keep reading if you’re ready to find out which career could best suit your personality and empower you, too.

Career #1: Financial Manager

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Personality Match: The Duty Fulfiller (ISTJ)

If your personality type reveals that you are dependable, orderly, and logical, such as an ISTJ, a high-power career as a financial manager might be one you may want to consider.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, financial managers help keep an organization in good financial standing. It is their responsibility to produce reports, coordinate investments, and strategize how to help reach financial goals.

Why It's A Match: "You want someone who is good with handling money as well as thinking with that money," says Stovall. "An ISTJ-type person likes structure, details, and they like a world that is pretty predictable. They’re also very big planners and that’s very important in terms of being a financial manager."

Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Program.

Education: To pursue a financial manager career, you usually need at least a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience in another business or financial occupation such as loan officer or accountant, says the Department of Labor. The minimum education for this job is a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, business administration, or accounting. The Department also says many companies often now seek applicants with a master’s degree, preferably in business administration, economics, or finance.

Career # 2: Public Relations Manager

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Personality Match: The Doer (ESTP)

Are you a creative thinker and a solid communicator? Would others describe you as friendly, action-oriented, and persuasive? An influential career as a public relations manager sounds like it’s written all over you.

Public relations managers and specialists strive to keep a positive persona of their employer or client with the public, according the U.S. Department of Labor. Their key responsibilities include writing press releases, coordinating and evaluating public relations campaigns, and raising funds for their company.

Why It's A Match: Smith says ESTP is a good fit, because "they are often ‘the doers’ and their ability to calmly respond to and solve pressing problems inspires confidence and helps to persuade others."

Next step: Click to Find the Right Communications Program.

Education: A bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, English, business, or communications is typically a requirement, says the Department of Labor. Some companies prefer a master’s degree in public relations or journalism.

Career # 3: Medical or Health Services Manager

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Personality Match:The Duty Fulfiller (ISTJ) or The Guardian (ESTJ)

Are you keen on being organized and getting the job done right? Are you best described as hardworking and practical? Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, you could do well in the important career of medical or health services manager.

As the U.S. Department of Labor notes, these professionals work closely with medical staff in the planning and delivery of health care. Their job involves creating work schedules, managing a facility's finances, and keeping up-to-date on new laws and regulations. Heath care service managers may work in the offices of hospitals, nursing homes, or group medical practices, adds the Department of Labor.

Why It's A Match: Stovall says there are many personalities that are suitable for this high-power career path depending on their reasons for entering the profession. "If they enter health care to make money and are interested in the business, they could easily be I/ESTJ! Their type could be more similar to a business executive."

Next step: Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.

Education: Most medical or health services managers need at minimum a bachelor's degree in health administration to enter the profession, says the Department. Master’s degrees in health services, long-term care administration, public health, public administration, or business administration are also common.

Career #4: Construction Manager

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Personality Match: The Mechanic (ISTP)

Are you more hands-on in nature and a methodical thinker? Do you find yourself interested in the way things work? Then a powerful career as a construction manager may be right up your alley.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, construction managers oversee construction projects from early development to completion, as well as coordinate the plans and the budget.

Why It's A Match: "A career in construction management is a good fit for ISTP personality types," says Smith. "As ‘The Mechanics,’ ISTPs are at their best when they take on tasks that require immediate action. ISTPs can stay calm under pressure and focus attention on the most pressing issues at hand."

Next step: Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.

Education: Employers increasingly prefer applicants with a combination of work experience and a bachelor's degree in a construction-related field, such as architecture, engineering, construction management, or construction science, says the Department of Labor. However, for some positions,  an associate's degree with relevant work experience is enough.

Career # 5: Human Resources Manager

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Personality Match: The Caregiver (ESFJ)

Are you loyal, dependable, and sensitive to the needs of others? A career as a human resources manager might be suitable for you and also give you the responsibility you're seeking.

What are the responsibilities of this high-power position? Human resources managers coordinate everything from employee relations to payroll and benefits, says the U.S. Department of Labor. They often oversee recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new employees, as well as act as a liaison between management and its employees.

Why It's A Match: Stovall says ESFJ "is somebody who needs to be good at understanding and working with people." She adds that human resources managers must value people, and ESFJs fit that bill.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Program.

Education: The Department of Labor says that most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in human resources, business, or a related field.

Career #6: Marketing Manager

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Personality Match: The Guardian (ESTJ)

Are your strong points in leadership and organization? If you also have a creative eye and commonly make decisions on logic rather than emotion, you may want to look at the high-powered career of marketing manager.

Marketing managers monitor trends and markets to predict demands for goods and services that a business and its competitors offer, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. They also develop pricing strategies to help companies maximize profits while ensuring customer satisfaction.

These professionals may also be responsible for creating price plans to help maximize a company’s bottom dollar while meeting expectations of their customers, says the Department of Labor.

Why It's A Match: Stovall says ESTJs would be well-suited to marketing manager positions, because ESTJs are natural managers and leaders. She adds, however, that "you could have some sales people who are ESTP who work their way through the company and end up managing people." 

Next step: Click to Find the Right Marketing Program.

Education: The Department of Labor says most marketing manager positions require a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business law, management, economics, accounting, finance, mathematics, and statistics are useful in this field.

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