Temperament Type, College, and Career Choice: How Do They Interact?
By Dave Berry
There are billions of people in the world. Even so, there are amazing similarities among us. Modern psychological research has produced a classification system that assigns all of us into one of four basic temperaments which leads to one of 16 personality types. So what does this mean to you?
As the parent of a high school student, you may have already discovered that your child gravitates toward some tasks or situations more easily than others do. This relates to his or her temperament and personality. Have you ever heard someone say, "Alice has the right temperament for (this or that)."? This implies that the person and the task have a good fit. They just seem to go together naturally.
Helping your child to know who he or she is can go a long way in helping you understand what path you they may want to follow through college. How can you find out more about who you are? Probably the best book on the subject is "Please Understand Me" written by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates.
This little paperback contains a self-test called the Keirsey Temperament Sorter that will detect which of four main temperament types you are. David Keirsey, a great pioneer of temperament theory, dramatically extended the work done in that area by the noted Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Also try the Keirsey web site at www.keirsey.com. You'll find profiles the temperaments and personality types into which we all fit.
The theory says that all of us display one of four temperaments: Artisan, Guardian, Idealist, and Rational. Each has its own core values and behaviors. Preferences also play a big part in each temperament. These preferences often determine which career path will prove most rewarding and successful for each of us.
Here are some very simplified guidelines about temperaments and the careers that often provide happiness and success for them. Artisans prefer careers where there is some risk involved and where they can make an impact: actors, performers, surgeons, athletes, stunt people, artists, and so forth. Guardians love to guard the welfare of the social unit and are frequently fond of police work, elementary teaching, security work, nursing, and related health services.
Idealists are big on meaning and significance and helping others become what they need to be. They like the ministry, counseling, psychology, social work, writing, and college teaching. Rationals have a hunger for knowledge and control over nature. They like to be lawyers, architects, college professors, scientists, economists, and philosophers. The Keirsey book and web site can clarify these for you.
Take the time to help your child find out who they are. It can save you much stress and money later when the meter starts running in college. Oh, yes. Finding out who you are, yourself, isn't such a bad idea either.