The Keirsey Temperament Sorter: Discover Careers That Match Who You Are

Taking the Keirsey Temperament Sorter can be a real eye-opener. Have you ever wondered why your work isn’t more fulfilling, even when you’re in the “perfect” job? Have you ever felt like a square peg in a round hole when you’re at work?

With the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, you can at last understand why you didn’t fit so well with a certain job or work environment. You can finally begin to realize what type of work would be a better match for who you are.

Your work will be more satisfying when it allows you to be yourself and to express yourself naturally. Once you understand yourself better and learn to appreciate your uniqueness, you’ll be able to consciously make choices that are right for you. Wouldn’t you prefer to find a career that’s a good fit for your temperament and at the same time allows you to fulfill your potential?

Understand Your Temperament

The first step with the Keirsey Temperament Sorter is to understand the elements that make up your temperament.

  • S or N – observant vs. introspective. Do you think of yourself as practical or intuitive? Do you tend to talk mostly about what’s happening around you – the news, facts, things that are real and concrete (S)? Or do you like to think about the world of ideas, abstract concepts, and imagine what could be (N)?
  • T or F – tough-minded vs. friendly. When you make decisions, do you look at the choices from an impersonal, objective viewpoint (T)? Or are your decisions more personal, based on your values (F)?
  • J or P – scheduled vs. probing. Do you want things to be settled and decided (J) or do you prefer to keep things open (P)? J’s feel a sense of urgency until a decision is made, while P’s resist making final decisions.
  • E or I – expressive vs. attentive. Do you choose to be around people as a source of energy (E) or do you prefer solitude to regain your energy (I)?

When you take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, you find out which of 4 major temperaments you are. Within each temperament are 4 personality or character types, which are different combinations of the 8 elements listed above (for a total of 16 personality types). Each temperament has unique preferences and needs.

Artisan (SP)

If you’re an Artisan, you tend to be realistic and focused on what’s happening here and now. As a P, you value freedom, action, and spontaneity. As an S, you prefer working with hands-on, practical applications rather than theories. You’ll do whatever works to get things done. Artisans can be good at responding quickly to both crises and opportunities. The 4 Artisan types are ESTP, ISTP, ESFP, and ISFP.

Guardian (SJ)

As a Guardian, you’re serious about your duties and responsibilities. You like to be useful and get things done by following clear rules and guidelines. Guardians are dependable, loyal, and place a high value on tradition. As an S, you’re practical, with a respect for facts and common sense. As a J, you have good organizational skills and enjoy setting up procedures to improve operations. The 4 Guardian types are ESTJ, ISTJ, ESFJ, and ISFJ.

Rational (NT)

You’re probably a Rational if knowledge and competence are most important to you. You enjoy demonstrating your expertise. Rationals enjoy coming up with new solutions to difficult problems. As an N, you’re future-oriented, with a good understanding of systems and their underlying principles. As a T, you’re logical, skeptical, pragmatic, and focused on achieving objectives. The 4 Rational types are ENTJ, INTJ, ENTP, and INTP.

Idealist (NF)

If you’re an Idealist, you place a high value on ethics and authenticity. Idealists value meaning and personal growth for themselves and others. As an N, you trust intuition and are interested in imagining possibilities for people. As an F, it’s important to you that your work is in line with your personal values. You enjoy supporting and encouraging others. The 4 Idealist types are ENFJ, INFJ, ENFP, and INFP.

Keirsey Career Temperament Report

Once you take the free Keirsey Temperament Sorter, you have the option of purchasing a Career Temperament Report. This report helps you understand how your unique needs and preferences can influence your career path, plus it gives you:

  • an in-depth description of your 4-letter type and how it relates to career choices
  • a description of the aptitudes, strengths, and work values found in your type
  • the best and worst workplace environments for people of your type
  • a list of careers that people with your work style have found to be fulfilling

As with any career personality test, your answers to the Keirsey Temperament Sorter should be based on what feels right for you, not how you think you should respond. It’s important to understand yourself as you really are, not how others expect you to be.

You can take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter online at the Keirsey Temperament Website. The test itself is free. You’ll receive a basic description of your 2-letter personality type. You’ll then have the option to purchase the 12-page Career Temperament Report for $19.95 (as of 2012).

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