Best Career and College Advice for ISTJs from 3 Successful ISTJs

ISTJ

ISTJ stands for Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging. This Myers-Briggs personality type is thought to be the third most common in the population (at an estimated 13%), and the most common (16%) among men. ISTJs (if you are one, you know what we mean) are the very definition of dependable; they are often quiet, and prefer structure in all they do. ISTJs like to work alone, but they can thrive in certain group situations that are highly structured, particularly in a supervisory position.

If you are someone who feels very comfortable sticking by a set of rules, you likely have ISTJ tendencies.  If you’re given a task, you take the specification seriously. You feel comfortable with deadlines. You are systematic in how you accomplish your tasks. You value productivity. If all that sounds familiar? Then look in the mirror: You’re likely an ISTJ.

Some famous ISTJs are George Washington, George H.W. Bush, Warren Buffett, Matt Damon, Robert DeNiro, Jeff Bezos, and Sigmund Freud.

Looking for the best schools for this personality type? We’ve surveyed thousands of programs and ranked them in our personality-type college rankings. Check out the ranking of the 25 best schools for ISTJs here.

 


Interviewee 1:head_two
Age: 48
Gender: M
Location: Houston, Texas
Job Title: Office Manager for a pipeline manufacturer

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?
A: I went to the Rice University, in Houston without first knowing what field I might go into. 30 years ago energy/oil was all the rage in Texas, so when I saw all that hiring I focused on a major that might help me get a job. I’m practical that way. I had a plan, got my degree in business administration.

Q: What is your current position at work?
A: Senior manager at an energy (pipeline) company.

Q: Do you feel like your education was a good fit for your personality?
A: It was because I planned it to be so. Truth is I was fairly good at any subject I tried in school, except English Lit. For me, it was always about how good the instructor was and at Rice that quality was almost always excellent. I looked at my classwork almost like independent study and my teachers understood where I was coming from. If they didn’t (it happened sometimes) I would simply steer my own way. Overall, my favorite subjects were math and English and my studies served me well in my first job.

Q: Do you feel like your current role at work is a good fit for your personality?
A: I’m good and settled where I am. My job requires organization in a structure that is very easy to transmit, and then receive. Because I deal with oil executives, I have to be very clear, even when talking about complex things. They know their business, but government regs are always changing.

Q: What are strengths in work and school that you’ve gained from your personality?
A: Because I work in the energy business I have to keep up with the latest research and also government rules and legal documents. I find it all fascinating, even after years in the business. I like when people at our firm come to me and ask me about rules because they know if anyone knows it, it’s me. In school I was the same way. Learn and study rules and regulations. My friends would come to me and ask me to explain.

Q: What are weaknesses in work and school that you’ve felt due to your personality?

A.I have a one track mind and that helps me in one way, hurts in others. Set me on a course, a job task and I focus, but when something happens forcing me to shift gears, it doesn’t come easy to me.

 

Interviewee 2:head
Age: 37
Gender: M
Location: Kingston, N.Y.
Job Title: News editor for a daily newspaper

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?
A: I went to SUNY Purchase. Was hooked since high school on journalism.

Q: What is your current position at work?
A: I am the news editor at a daily newspaper.

Q: Do you feel like your education was a good fit for your personality?

A: To an extent. I took journalism courses, but the only real way to be a journalist, I’ve learned, is to jump into the water and sink or swim.  I’ve been able to swim for 15 plus years. The classes I took were structured and my teachers did prepare me for the kind of work I am in. I never thought I’d be an editor, but turned out it was perfect for my personality.


Q: Do you feel like your current role at work is a good fit for your personality?

A: 100 percent yes. Absolutely. I am a workaholic. My day is very structured and that is because I want it to be. I am independent. I assign the stories every day. Edit them when the reporters file the stories. I only answer to the editor in chief and he rarely questions my judgement.

Q: What are strengths in work and school that you’ve gained from your personality?

A: Some people I work with can’t stand my habit of constantly being on their back in terms of deadlines. I am demanding of others and myself. There is a right way to go about the job of newspaper reporting, and that’s what I ask of my staff. People seem to like me anyway, on a personal basis.

Q: What are weaknesses in work and school that you’ve felt due to your personality?

A: That I work 17 hour days and it is exhausting by the end of the week. I come in early, leave late and put a lot of pressure on myself to do the job right, as I think it should be done. I don’t like to compromise my values. And since I am a supervisor, I generally don’t have to.

 

Interviewee #3:head_two
Age: 27
Gender: F
Location: St. Louis, Missouri                Job Title: college librarian

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?
A: I earned a Masters in Library and Information Sciences at the U. of Illinois. My undergraduate degree was in Early Childhood Education but that career field didn’t work out for me. I tried some courses in the fine arts, but that didn’t hold my attention much either. I drifted for a while. Then, I did some volunteer work at my college library and found that I liked being surrounded by books. And I had a good working knowledge of the internet and could help others in their research. I liked that.

Q: What is your current position at work?
A: One of the librarians at a college in Missouri

Q: Do you feel like your education was a good fit for your personality?

  1. Once I began to understand myself, yes. I have always had (my parents and teachers said) an ability to think analytically and to develop new procedures, and work flow. Library science as a graduate degree was like a dream come true.

Q: Do you feel like your current role at work is a good fit for your personality?

A: So far, yes. I’m not 30 yet. I’m not sure I’ll work in libraries for the rest of my working career, but right now I like it. My work is structured. And I have a good degree of independence in what I do every day. Plus, I can be of service to people, which I like.

Q: What are strengths in work and school that you’ve gained from your personality?

A:. I have a good eyes for detail and when I start an assignment, I’m focused on finishing it. When someone comes to me and asks for help in researching a subject for a thesis, for example, I know how things work and I can help.

Q: What are weaknesses in work and school that you’ve felt due to your personality?

A: I have always struggled with math and statistics, Thank goodness, my present occupation doesn’t require those math skills (ha).  Other weaknesses: I can seem aloof, but that’s only because I am determined to do whatever it is I am asked to do. My husband says I’m pretty hard on myself (always think I could do better). I can be my own worst enemy.

 

 

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