Appreciating Differences - Jack Falt - Ottawa area, Ontario, Canada

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Book Review by Jack Falt

Dunning, Donna, Whatís Your Type of Career?: Unlock the Secrets of Your Personality to Find Your Perfect Career Path, Palo Alto: CA, 2001, ISBN 0-89106-154-1, 362 pp

This book compares very favourably with the Tiegersí Do What You Are. While the Tiegersí book takes a chapter for each of the 16 types and gives lengthy anecdotes of several individuals of each type, this book gives a chapter to each of the eight dominant functions but with a much more theoretical framework. There are numerous individual quotes but they are explained using personality type theory.

The book begins with the usual keys to determining oneís own type. It then groups the types according to extraverts or introverts, and gives brief descriptions for the two types that share a common characteristic (i.e. have a common dominant function): Responders (ESFP and ESTP - extraverted Sensors), Explorers (ENFP and ENTP - extraverted Intuitives), Expeditors (ESTJ and ENTJ - extraverted Thinkers), Contributors (ESFJ and ENFJ - extraverted Feelers),  Assimilators (ISFJ and ISTJ - introverted Sensors), Visionaries (INFJ and INTJ - introverted Intuitives), Analzers (ISTP and INTP - introverted Thinking), and Enhancers (ISFP and INFP - introverted Feelers). (The author does not explain in the book why types are paired off with one another. I agree that this would just be too complex for the casual reader.)

Each chapter on a specific pair of types describes how they work naturally, their blind spots, a check list of natural work preferences, and lists of careers the types are attracted to. Then it looks at how the types find balance (i.e. use their auxiliary). For dominant perceiving types, it divides types into those with compassion (i.e. F) and with logic (i.e. T). For dominant judging types, it divides types into those with practicality (i.e. S) and insight (i.e. N). There are further checklists of ideal work environments, skills and values, as leaders, team members, and learners, as well as further career suggestions for the specific type. The chapter closes with a look at the greatest challenges faced by the pair of types with tips on how to overcome them. Then there are final tips on what comes naturally to the types and what to look for in a career.

The final chapters help individuals do a self-assessment with various self-rating charts, and general tips on how to shape your overall career.

Overall the book is a very worthwhile addition to the career field. I would say that it is oriented towards college level students and adults who are already working, although it would be useful to senior high school students as well. Different people respond to different ways of presenting material. This book gives a more step-by-step presentation compared with the Tiegersí anecdotal format. I know that the Tiegers are both NFs. I had guessed that Donna was a T but I find that she is an ENFP. (So much for that theory!)

While personality type knowledgeable people would understand how the book is organized, this is not explained in the book, nor is this knowledge really relevant to the reader. There perhaps should have been a short appendix to explain how the types were grouped for the curious lay person. It may create a bit of confusion for people trying to find their type in the book. The other thing not addressed by this author is a look at careers through the lens of temperament (as was done by the Tiegers).

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