Choosing a Charity Career Based on Personality Type

4 minute read

Looking for your first charity job? It’s such a fulfilling and worthwhile sector, but it’s not always easy to know which role is right for you. This is especially true if you’re making the shift from the private or public sector. It’s important to know what sort of roles you’ll thrive in—not just which ones match your skillset.

Are you a natural leader? Do you flourish as part of a team? Or do you work better when left to your own devices? All these things matter, because you don’t want to get stuck in a job that doesn’t suit you. This might lead you to wonder if you can choose a career based on personality type.

Not sure where you fit on the personality spectrum? Let’s find out.


How to determine your personality type

Whatever stage you’re at in your career, there are a number of ways you can pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. One way to figure out your working style is by taking a personality test. This can help you to understand how your natural traits align with different charity job functions and allow you to identify the right career based on personality type.

There are plenty of free personality tests available online, however probably the most common type of personality test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This consists of 16 personality types, which are based on how someone processes information, interacts with others and makes decisions.

They’re broken down into four sets of preferences:

  • Extraverted (E) or Introverted (I) is about whether you recharge by spending time alone or with others.
  • Intuitive (N) or Sensing (S) deals with how you make decisions.
  • Thinking (T) or Feeling (F) is about how you cope with emotions.
  • Judging (J) or Prospecting (P) concerns your approach to working and planning.

Your personality type comes down to how those different characteristics mix together. Take a look at the different personality types below to figure out which charity role is right for you.

Choosing a Charity Career Based on Personality Type

1. The Architect (INTJ), The Commander (ENTJ), The Logistician (ISTJ) and The Executive (ESTJ)

These four are some of the most strategic-minded, goal-oriented, independent and decisive types. They’re not about social convention but what truly works. Jacks-of-all-trades and masters of simplifying the complicated, they thrive in an environment that values direct communication, efficiency, open-mindedness and creative problem solving.

These traits make them best suited to be project leaders and strategic coordinators. They’re able to oversee all aspects of an organisation, break down complex processes and implement meticulous, effective solutions.

Careers based on this personality type include:

Choosing a Charity Career Based on Personality Type

2. The Logician (INTP), The Debater (ENTP), The Virtuoso (ISTP) and The Entrepreneur (ESTP)

These personality types are charismatic, convincing and perceptive. They constantly question the way things are and encourage others to push for innovation with their charm and endless enthusiasm.

They’re curious learners, original creators and excellent brainstormers. So they’re naturally drawn to unconventional ideas and fruitful discussions of changes. With a thirst for knowledge and exploration of new territories, they’re capable of keeping charities up to date or even ahead of the game with social and technological developments.

Careers based on this personality type include:

3. The Advocate (INFJ), The Protagonist (ENFJ), The Mediator (INFP) and The Campaigner (ENFP)

These personality types take pride in their work and contribution to an organisation. They’re curious, insightful and compassionate, which is why they’re seen as so reliable and inspiring by their teammates.

As the names suggest, they resiliently advocate for a cause they care about, work with a purpose and thrive on harmony and collective power. They’re also emotionally intelligent and imaginative with strong moral values. That’s why these personalities are often found in positions where creativity, collaboration and altruism are the main principles.

Careers based on this personality type include:

Choosing a Charity Career Based on Personality Type

4. The Defender (ISFJ), The Consul (ESFJ), The Adventurer (ISFP) and The Entertainer (ESFP)

Sympathetic, supportive, conscientious and observant, this group excels at relationship building and strengthening team dynamics. They have great people skills and are generally sociable and energetic, but can also be personable in one-on-one communication.

These personalities are loyal, hard-working team members and good listeners―they’re the glue to the bond among their colleagues. They’re constantly searching for meaning in their relationships and for kindness in themselves and others. All in all, service-oriented roles that are built on dedication and human connection are best suited to these types.

Careers based on this personality type include:

If these careers based on personality type haven’t inspired you then don’t worry! Finding the right charity job can take time but there’s plenty of variety in the charity sector.

It’s worth noting that Myers-Briggs tests are just one way to measure personality. Whilst many people find that they’re a useful tool, the scientific rigour of the test is still debated. If you find that your results don’t match your perception of yourself, don’t take this to heart. Personality tests can provide useful insights but they’re not the only way to find the charity career for you.

Want to understand more about how your career choices can shape your professional identity in the non-profit sector? Check out our career guides for more information on different job roles.


This post was originally published in 2020, but we’ve updated it to ensure relevance and to reflect the current job seeker experience.


Nikki Pham

Nikki Pham is currently studying for her MA in Creative Enterprise in Cardiff. In her spare time, she loves writing, particularly in the space of business and enterprise.

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