Best Career and College Advice for ISTPs by 3 Successful ISTPs

ISTP

ISTP stands for Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving. For men, ISTP is the third most common (9%) Myers-Briggs personality type, while for women it is the fourth rarest (2%). Interesting juxtaposition, eh? ISTPs are generally independent and good with their hands. They study the world around them, keen on finding out precisely how things work, though they are more interested in practical uses for their knowledge than theoretical ones. This attention to detail and analytical nature afford ISTPs great skill in the use of machines or things of a mechanical nature.

 

Would you describe yourself as reserved? Are you interested in the workings of most things technical and mechanical? If so, then you have characteristics inherent in ISTPs. You prefer action over conversation. You are drawn to activities like archery, crafts, or working on motorcycles, cars, or computers. You enjoy taking action, and love putting your knowledge to practical use. If these sound familiar, it’s likely that you’re an ISTP.

 

Some famous ISTPs include: Steve Jobs, Miles Davis, Stanley Kubrick, Amelia Earhart, Miyamoto Musashi, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Lee, and Katherine Hepburn.

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 ISTPs here.


Interviewee 1:head_two
Age: 43
Gender: M
Location: New York City

Job Title: Consultant, mechanical and electrical engineering

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?
A: Earned a masters at Rutgers. Before that as an undergraduate, Hofstra.

Q: What is your current position at work?
A:  Consultant. Out of college I worked in large companies as a junior engineer, but I did not document things as the company required so we parted ways. Now I consult with other engineers and administrators.   

Q: Do you feel like your education was a good fit for your personality?
A: When I’m in an “academic” environment I’m more motivated to put effort and creativity into those projects, often bordering on perfectionism. An attitude I see from some others is that they’re willing to do the job according to certain guidelines, but they don’t like to “immerse” themselves into the creative flow of the task. That annoys me. It’s just how I am.

Q: Do you feel like your current role at work is a good fit for your personality?
A: I make good money, and the work comes easy to me. I enjoy learning and figuring out things.

Q: What are strengths in work and school that you’ve gained from your personality?
A: I’m mechanically inclined. I’ve also always had good analytical skills. I was willing to learn everything and anything. All that has served me well in my consultancy.

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

A: Not good at explaining non-technical things to non-technical people. That’s why I run such a successful consultancy now. In my job (and before that, in school, since you asked) I would run into people who refused to go deeper into a topic than I wanted to. If you’re an ISTP you know what I mean about how annoying that can be. Now, I deal with others who are as focused as I am on specific mechanical problems in their (mostly manufacturing) businesses. Here’s a story I like to tell people: I had a BA come to me with a question about how something works and I just didn’t have the time to explain it right then, so I pasted the required code and said I don’t have the time right now to explain, here is the code let me know if you can’t figure it out and we’ll then deal with it together. Rude? Maybe. But that’s how I am.

 

Interviewee 2:head
Age: 54        Gender: M    Location: Philadelphia, Pa
Job Title: Executive publisher

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?
A: I went to undergrad and grad school in New York State.

Q: What is your current position at work?
A: Executive publisher. [In the past, entrepreneur, started two publications that were bought out.]

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

A: Some of it. I’m not very intellectual (intuitive, yes). But given a task, a class problem to solve, I was good at that. I took practical courses. Business. I married early so I needed to focus on how to make money.

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

A: Absolutely. I work for an international publishing firm (home office in Germany), but I operate in my own fiefdom (so to speak). I can immerse myself, work happily alone and come up with radical and very quick solutions.

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

A: Able to communicate, motivate, and solve problems. The people I’ve worked with over the years either hate me, or are extremely loyal to me. There’s never an in-between. I’ve started two companies, maybe more. Some failed, others didn’t.

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

A: Doing too much, getting behind because of trying too much. I’m good at storing knowledge, and I use that ability to solve complex, practical problems that require immediate application.

 

Interviewee #3:head_two
Age: 30         Gender: M
Location: Nevada                   Job Title: Code officer, home inspector

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational history?
A: I went to community college in California.  In high school, went part time to a vocational school.

Q: What is your current position at work?
A: I work for a municipality as their code officer. It is a salaried job. I work alone and report to the board of supervisors.

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

A: Honestly, not really. I bounced around from major to major. Nothing much interested me. Finally, I planned on being an auto mechanic or an electrician, things I learned in vocational school. I was good at that, but bad working for someone.

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

A: Except for the having to report to the supervisors at their bi-weekly meeting. As a code officer, I operate alone. People complain about someone in the neighborhood not keeping the outside of their home tidy, I go there to see if they are breaking the municipal code. Someone wants to build an extension to their home, I advise them on code. It’s an interesting job. But…I do have seven bosses, which can drive me nuts.

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

A: My analytical skills (in interpreting code). I get a homeowner complaint about a neighbor, or a request, I go to the municipal code book and I can analyze what’s wrong and either help someone or fine someone. If something needs fixing…I can help, if the homeowner wants my help.

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

A: Have problem dealing with authority, and in my case that means seven supervisors, a municipal business manager and a solicitor. Add to that angry homeowners when I inspect their homes. Impatience. I’ve thought about quitting many times and I probably will at some point. Money is an issue. For all the aggravation, I don’t make enough in salary and work 70 hours a week.

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