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Do What You Are : Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  5,167 ratings  ·  295 reviews
Revised and Updated Edition Featuring E-careers for the 21st Century

Now updated for today's hottest jobs--including telecommunications, biotechnology, and health care professional--this bestselling career guide shows people how to determine their personality type, and then explains which jobs are best suited to each type.

Already a classic in the genre, Do What You Are has
Paperback, 386 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Little Brown and Company (first published August 3rd 1992)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  5,167 ratings  ·  295 reviews

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Kater Cheek
Jan 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
I got this book out of the library based on a passionate recommendation from Penelope Trunk, a blogger I read often. I thought I'd adore it, as I love her blog, think she has amazing insights into job and career advice, and anyway, I like self-help books of all stripes. I even read self-help books for problems I don't have.

I love personality tests. I love enneagram, OCEAN, “What Color is your Aura” and even Chinese and western zodiac tests. I have books on palm reading and phrenology and that th
Jul 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: professional
I used this book as a mid-career re-evaluation to make sure I'm headed in the right direction. It did the job of focusing me on 4 variations of my career that I will research for future growth. And it helped me understand the nuances of Myers Briggs personality types and how to apply them to a career evaluation. I would find it at the library vs. buying it, since i'm not sure what re-read value it has.

While this book uses the Myers Briggs framework for career analysis, it does not contain the of
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Gwen by: Amanda
Shelves: career
Unsurprisingly, this book told me that I am an ISTJ (introverted, sensing, thinking, judging), for which that chapter's subtitle is "take your time and do it right"--exactly my perspective on life.

Key takeaways for me:

1) Career satisfaction involves the ability to use and remember facts/details; creating a real product/service, preferably with SOPs; the ability to work independently; tangible results; explicit objectives; increasing levels of responsibility, with a minimum of social politics, w
Nov 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I feel a passionate loathing for this book. Something clanged in me as soon as I started reading it, and then based on my personality type it told me I should work independently from home on creative and artistic pursuits. Ok. I'll get right on that. Let me call my agent and set something up. I'll talk to my buyer and see what the market is asking for. Let me just head to my studio and whip something into existence just after I finish writing the op-ed piece my editor is demanding. Come the f*** ...more
Sep 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew this book wouldn't do much for me--I don't like self-help books in the first place and I haven't had much luck with the career guidance books I've read. But I didn't mind this one. I learned more about Myers-Briggs than I ever expected to (which I'm not entirely sold on but which I found insightful just the same), and I read that as an INFJ I am preoccupied with the meaning of life. Which is true! But I'm still no closer to knowing what career path I should pursue, and so I shall continue ...more
Looked through this in detail last night. It went a bit beyond what I remember from "Type Talk".

It covers:

* the four dimensions of personality typing (chpt 2)
- Introversion/Extraversion
- iNtuitive/Sensor
- Thinking/Feeling
- Judging/Percieving

* the 16 personality types (chpt 3)

* the 4 temperaments (chpt 4)
- Experiencers - SP
- Traditionalists - SJ
- Conceptualizers - NT
- Idealists - NF

... all of which I was familiar with, plus ...

* the hierarchy of functions (chpt 5)
- your dominant, auxilia
Chad Warner
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: career, non-fiction
This is the most helpful career book I've read yet. Instead of generic, one-size-fits-all career advice, it gives individualized insights based on your Myers-Briggs personality type. The first part of the book helps you determine your personality type if you don't already know it. There are many helpful exercises, including a self-evaluation series at the end that helps you think through the careers that suit you ("Ten Steps to Creating a Personal Career Plan").

This book is valuable for more tha
Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
One of the two most helpful books for job seekers I've ever read (the other is What Color Is Your Parachute?) This book, by the authors of Nurture By Nature - which is about parenting - again uses the Myers-Briggs personality type system to guide readers in analyzing and understanding their own strengths, weaknesses, and patterns of thinking and behavior, with the aims of first, figuring out what careers are the best match for any person; second, guiding him or her in the process of job-hunting ...more
The fact that I enjoyed this book so much further confirms what I already knew about myself (and learned even more about). I have an intuitive personality and love digging into the deeper meanings and connections behind things and people.

After a series of activities and assessments, this book showed me how to take my own personality type (mostly an ENJF, but maybe sometimes a touch INFJ. Introvert/extrovert indecisiveness!) and apply it to finding my "dream job". Many of the jobs on the recomme
Mike Hark
Aug 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
In an attempt to nullify the adverse effects of personality typing I am reading this book backwards. Hopefully this will undo the notion that something as complex as a human's personality can be accurately described using only four letters. I have four letters of my own to describe the work of Drs. Meyers and Briggs.....SHIT. Your astrological sign's description is about as accurate. ...more
Moh. Nasiri
Nice to read to understand 16 personality types(MBTI) and becoming more aware of your own unique personality type to fit your work.
Amir Hossein Fassihi
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great reference on MBTI personality types with quite a lot of analysis and practical use for career selection.
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
A good primer for MBTI. Seemed a bit too anecdotal with not enough specific application. Would be a good MBTI 101 book.
Carol Chen
A perfectly satisfactory introduction to applied MBTI theory in the professional realm. It builds upon role differentiation based on types (SJ/SP/NF/NT), and gives career advice based on these roles. It is old-school MBTI, fairly straightforward to read and apply, but of course, lack any astounding new insight.

Recommended for: people who have never heard of MBTI and feel like they can use a more systematic understanding to their individual strengths and weaknesses, and how these traits could app
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I originally purchased this in the 90's on the advice of a psychotherapist I was seeing. She highly recommended it. I had taken a test in the 11th grade, many, many moons ago, and a similar test in the 90's when I was in a program in my state called Vocational Rehab or VocRehab for short. The first thing VocRehab had me do was to go in every morning for a week and take a battery of tests, i.e. I.Q., interest tests, etc. At that age, my head swam.

On both tests, many years apart, I found out the s
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Things I loved while going through this material again: elements of chapters 4 through 7, which build upon your identification of your particular four-letter code, and which show you how some of the elements work together synergistically to create a unique, outside-the-code mode. I especially loved noting that while I am a strong introvert who likes to introvert my thinking function, I will comfortably extravert my intuitive function - I do have something of value to offer up and share with othe ...more
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: career
Loved it! I'm going through a lot of career transition in my life, of trying to figure out what I want to do for the next 30 years, and I totally dig this kind of stuff. I'm big into self-analysis (I think most of my friends and family know that about me!) I recently did a StrengthsFinder analysis and did a MBTI test YEARS ago because my best friend's dad administered them as part of his job, and thought it was very interesting: ISFJ. In fact, i think a lot of how I've seen myself over the years ...more
Sep 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: professional
Disclaimer: I didn't actually read this entire book. The first section is designed to help readers determine their type, then you can just read the information that is pertinent to your type. This is what I did. I'm not really concerned about what careers might be good for the other 15 personality types. On the plus side, the book helped to confirm my Meyers-Briggs type for me - I am definitely an ISFJ. The chapter specific to my type was also somewhat helpful. It includes a list of possible car ...more
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I picked up Do What You Are to help me confirm my personality type after taking the Myers-Briggs test (which I recommend doing before reading this book). The authors give a good description of each of the four personality types and the sixteen temperaments. Reading this book (and a few others) help me confirm my personality type and better understand the personality types of my children. (I already had a good grasp on my husband's personality type, but this book confirmed that too.)

I will defini
May 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Totally not my fault. I’m unemployed and this was on my roommate’s shelf. It’s a rite of passage, okay?

I think the four axes of the MBTI are interesting frames for the world. It paints a positive picture of introversion, and mentally redefining “sloppy” and “together” as “perceiving” and “judging” has made it possible for me to live around other people. The lists of values and work environment preferences were remarkably helpful—I read through all the types and got a much clearer picture of my o
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I found this book to be moderately interesting but not terribly accurate. I landed pretty solidly on INFJ and as a result the book kept steering me toward counseling and various jobs that involved working with people's feelings. Man, I spent most of my undergraduate degree (in psychology of course) doing various counseling type jobs and all that I learned was that I NEVER want to do that work again.

I found this book useful in that it validated some things I already knew about myself but doubted
Scribe Publications
A revolutionary way of finding the right job. Every job hunter or career changer needs this book.
Kevin Harrington, Career Services, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Offers an easy way to discover some extremely useful information about your Personality Type. When you are armed with this new self-awareness, the directions toward your own job and career satisfaction become clear.
William Corwin, Office of Career Services, Princeton University

This is one of the most popular career books in the wo
Feb 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book a couple years ago. I already knew my type, but wanted more information and wanted to confirm what I suspected.

Jung's types and the MBTI have been extremely helpful to me.

The MBTI is not something to get boggled down by. I know several people who've come across trait theory and reject it as "limiting". I think they're really missing out. The MBTI is a great tool for personal growth, but even better when working in groups. For me, as an INTP, it's priceless to have a way to under
ben  R jr.
i gave this 3 stars because it was a good tool, but not great.

learning about my type certainly helped and it did help me to narrow down my ideas of what i might like to do. this book is probably NOT going to leave you with a 100% answer of what you want to do with your life, so if that's what you're looking for, good luck.

if you're in that place that i find myself in where you know you're unsatisfied with what you're currently doing and are searching for tools to help you narrow down what it is
Corianne Oosterbaan
You can find basic information about Myers-Briggs types online, but if you want to go into more detail about personality types, this is the book to read. It explains types, hierarchy of functions, extraverted functions vs introverted functions in a very clear way, also giving nudges as to how all this may apply in your own (working) life.

This is a great read if you're already interested in personality type and want to know more ( but don't want to be overwhelmed with information).
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Anything to do with Jungian type is a current fascination of mine, and these authors ate particularly good at explaining and animating the Myers-Briggs system. The only discordant note comes at the end, when they are at pains to tell you that there is this new thing called the Internet, and you can use it in your job search if you take precautions first.
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a bit of guidence in their careers.
Recommended to Adriana by: I dread when people add people on social media sites, just to get numbers. So tel me, why is it you want to add me?
I found this book to be quite helpful. It uses the Myers-Briggs personality type system to help you find the best career for you. I was pleasantly surprised at how accurate it was and how much it helped me narrow down my true strengths, face my weaknesses, and as such, find the best and most accurate career for me. Very helpful and intuitive.
Jake Williams
Sep 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
The entire premise hinges on the completely debunked, unscientific notion of "personality types". There's zero evidence that a self-assessment can accurately place you into some empirically valid category, or that this category has any bearing on one's aptitude toward different professions.

This is astrology with a different coat of paint.
Ingrid Grant
Apr 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ingrid by: therapist
I read this in college. This time I consulted it for my profile ISTJ.
Helpful with specific well-tailored information.
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Through his ground-breaking book Do What You Are, Paul Tieger changed how career counseling is conducted around the world. The author of five books on Personality type and the preeminent expert in this field, Paul has helped over one million people find career satisfaction and success. On any given day, Do What You Are is the most or second most popular career book on


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