Once you know what temperament you are, you can find out which career fields are the most popular among many other people of your same temperament. This leads to finding out what types of work would most likely bring you success and/or happiness. The converse is true too. You can also see which fields attract the fewest people with temperaments like yours. Obviously, you may find these fields are less appealing (although not necessarily so).
Quick caveat: Just because you want to be marine biologist, for example, and that particular field does not appear among the most popular for your temperament, don’t for a minute think that you shouldn’t follow your dreams. Think of temperament as a way of getting into a ballpark, not necessarily as away of finding your specific seat. It is a general guideline, not a mandate. Keep that in mind at all times.
Now that you have been properly caveat-ed, here are the most popular occupations for the four temperaments. I’m also going to include the least popular. If you know the two preference extremes, it may be easier for you to confirm your instinctive leanings for a certain type of work. Conversely, if you find that you’re thinking about a field that is among the least popular for your temperament, you may want to do a little investigation to find out why. Again, you’re free to be whatever you choose to be. However, many of you will tend to agree with what you see here.
Most popular careers for the Idealist (NF)
Teachers of music, art, and drama; writers; priests; physicians; psychologists; vocational and educational counselors; educational consultants; journalists; social workers; musicians and composers; editors and reporters; speech pathologists; designers; and high school teachers. Some famous Idealists: Joan of Arc, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and William Shakespeare.
Least popular careers for the Idealist (NF)
Police and detectives; farmers; sales managers; steelworkers; factory supervisors; service workers; bank officers; financial managers; chemical engineers; computer systems analysts; corrections officers; electronic technicians; mathematics teachers; auditors; credit investigators; and real estate agents and brokers.
Most popular careers for the Rational (NT)
Attorneys; photographers; systems analysts; actors; credit investigators; mortgage brokers; physical scientists; social scientists; computer programmers; judges; sales managers; chemical engineers; research assistants; writers; marketing personnel; electronic technicians; university teachers; and computer specialists. Some famous Rationals: Socrates, Madame Curie, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ayn Rand.
Least popular careers for the Rational (NT)
Teachers’ aids; cashiers; receptionists; nurses; bookkeepers; mining engineers; typists; steelworkers; factory and site supervisors; public service aids; guards; home economists; library attendants; secretaries; religious educators; elementary school teachers; hair dressers; health service workers; and clerical supervisors.
Most popular careers for the Guardian (SJ)
Teachers, preachers, accountants, bankers, clerks, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, insurance agents, managers, sales executives, service occupations, secretaries, general-practice physicians, dentists, barbers, pharmacists, and librarians. Some famous Guardians: George Washington, Florence Nightengale, Andrew Carnegie, and Norman Rockwell.
Least popular careers for the Guardian (SJ)
Actors, psychiatrists, lawyers, computer system analysts, electricians, marketing personnel, photographers, writers, psychologists, editors, reporters, education consultants, social scientists, designers, restaurant workers, counselors, musicians, composers, resident housing assistants, speech pathologists, and mining engineers.
Most popular careers for the Artisan (SP)
Performers in the arts, race car drivers, construction workers, heavy equipment operators, building operators (office buildings), loggers, freight dock workers, event promoters, ambulance drivers, surfers, mercenaries, negotiators, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, bellhops, bartenders, and porters. Some famous Artisans: St. Francis of Assisi, Amelia Earhart, George Patton, and Jack Benny.
Least popular careers for the Artisan (SP)
Chemical engineers, psychiatrists, mechanical engineers, research workers, education consultants, electronic technicians, dental hygienists, food counter workers, journalists, clerical supervisors, public health nurses, preschool teachers, priests, college teachers, reading teachers, public relations workers, and medical assistants.
Studying the implications of temperament and personality can be a lifelong effort. For the purposes of your elite-college-admissions quest, though, all you need to know right now is what your likely temperament is and how that projects into a likely field for your life’s work. We’ve just skimmed the surface here, but you now probably know more about who you are and how you can contribute (in that Ivy League, liberal arts sense) than most other prospective college applicants (or parents of prospective college applicants). Don’t put all of your eggs into the temperament basket, though. Use this information as just one more valuable piece of data that forms the unique mosaic of who you are.
By now, you should know much more about yourself than you did before reading this article. This new self-awareness will serve you well as you begin to pursue your college process. There’s more to it than sitting by your mailbox.