Don't overlook this job advice from a Harvard-educated career expert

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Don't overlook this job advice from a Harvard-educated career expert

Posted 30 November 2022 by
Vanessa, MBTIonline Contributing Writer
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You don’t know what you don’t know.

And this is especially true when it comes to career options. There are thousands of new or niche jobs and industries that may not be on your radar just yet. For example, you might know you want to go into marketing, but in what capacity? If it’s a career in law you’re considering, which type of legal specialty do you envision?

Do you feel most fulfilled when you work with your hands, but not sure how that translates to a career? If you want to uncover this untapped trove of potential careers, it requires a certain level of self-awareness and personalized career counseling.

Fortunately, Collegiate Gateway Founder and career expert Julie Raynor Gross joined us on The Myers-Briggs Company Podcast to talk about making more informed career decisions. She sat down with host Melissa Summer to talk about how your personality type and unique interests can uncover important clues about what kind of career might suit you best.

The episode recaps are separated into three parts (read part one  and part two). Toward the end of the episode, Julie shared some moving examples of how her career guidance has shaped her students’ lives. Plus, some overlooked career advice everyone should consider. Here are highlights from the interview:

What can your interests uncover that traditional career advice cannot?

Too often, we put limitations on ourselves that affect our perceived capabilities. If I tell myself that I’m not capable of starting my own business, my actions (or inaction) usually align with that negative perception. But if I focus on my unique capabilities and interests, it can invite new ideas – whether it’s about starting a business or uncovering my leadership potential in other areas. During the podcast, Julie shared about her experience with a time with a student whose self-perception finally expanded to realize his true potential (quotes slightly adapted for clarity):

Many years ago, I was working with a student and one of his themes of interest was Enterprising. He was very interested in politics and had started a new website to crowdsource people's different political opinions to provide a forum for people to have a dialogue. When we went through the verification, I showed him that the Artistic theme was strong in his reported results.

And he said, ‘That's not possible. I’ve always thought the rest of my family is so creative, why aren't I creative?’ And I said, ‘You are, because you created a new website with an entirely new idea of what you wanted to accomplish. And that is a form of creativity. You can interpret creativity in different ways.’ And I truly feel it changed his self-image in a way that increased his confidence enormously because he had always valued creativity, but didn't realize how it applied to him."

Is there any overlooked career advice people should consider?

I remember hearing a lot of well-intended, generic career advice as a teenager, like “go to college and then get a good job.” It often made me feel confused and rushed. Fortunately, Julie advises students to take the career path less traveled:

Be open to options you may not have considered. And also, do not feel pressure to choose a career for life. That may have been the model fifty years ago, but there's no longer the expectation that you should remain in your first job for 10 or 20 years. New careers are constantly developing. Career paths are now so much more circuitous, where each of your job experiences informs your future choices.”

She also offered some career advice about how to turn lemons into lemonade:

Reflect on what you have most enjoyed and what haven't you enjoyed. It’s just as valuable for you to have tried a job and found that it wasn't satisfying, and that can inform your future choices . . . Make a list of every work activity you have most enjoyed and then try to creatively devise a position that integrates all of those responsibilities. And if you're applying to graduate school, it is just as acceptable now to use graduate school to make a pivot as it is to use graduate school to increase your skills in the area that you've already been working in.”

What are the most impactful career trends?

While some trends come and go, Julie knows which career trends are worth noting. In fact, you can sum up the most impactful career trend with one word: pivot. (cue Friends reference)

One of the most popular career pivots recently is coding computer software. There are a variety of coding boot camps that enable you to get at least one job offer doing coding for a company. Software has become so common in terms of underlying every single industry.

In addition, there are MOOCs (massive open online courses) in which the leading universities in the country – Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, MIT – started courses that are available free of charge to people all over the world, in every possible field of knowledge.

And it is more acceptable now to be self-taught, and you can acquire enormous knowledge on your own that could allow you to pivot . . . It's no longer a straight-line path through education through a bachelors and then a masters. There are many other vehicles that you can use to pivot to different careers.”

Want to learn more about your MBTI personality type and what careers you’d be most satisfied in? Check out MBTIonline Careers, where you’ll get your official, research-backed MBTI type, over 300 careers with predicted satisfaction scores based on your unique personality type, mini courses on career development and more.

Interested in reading more about the intersection of careers and personality type? Check out the blogs Career exploration for Introverted personality types  and Career exploration for Extraverted personality types.

Listen to Julie’s full interview. And be sure to subscribe to The Myers-Briggs Company Podcast on any of these platforms so you don’t miss future episodes:

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