What Is Your Myers-Briggs Type? Is There a “Typical” Multipotentialite?

What Is Your Myers-Briggs Type? Is There a “Typical” Multipotentialite?

Written by Guest Contributor

Topics: Mental Health

As a professor of career education, I spend a lot of time working with students who haven’t decided on a major. I’m a big advocate of these students, especially since I was one. I agonized over choosing a major, trying to find a way to incorporate my love of psychology, sociology, english, technology, religion and classical mythology into one degree. In the end I chose psychology, because my parents thought it was the simplest to explain, and took classes in the rest.

Now I teach and counsel college students who are trying to choose a major and forge a meaningful career path out of their diverse interests. I get excited about any new ideas, books or videos that encourage students to think big about their careers and stay true to what inspires them.

A few years ago, I decided to try something new. I took three of my favorite career “gurus” and taught my students about each of their career philosophies. I wanted to make sure they were exposed to different ways of thinking, so I picked three pretty distinct approaches: Cal Newport, who recommends ditching “passion” and choosing one valuable skill to hone over time; Parker Palmer, who tells us to dig deep and listen to our call to authentically serve the world; and Emilie Wapnick, who encourages multipotentialites to design a career that reflects their varied talents and interests.

I asked students to choose which of the three thinkers best represents their career aspirations, and the most popular choice, year after year, is Emilie Wapnick’s concept of Multipotentiality.

This year, I looked at those students more closely, gathering some info from those who identified as multipotentialites. I recorded 74 of my multipod students’ personality test results, reactions to Emilie’s book, How to Be Everything, and hopes and fears about their careers.

I’ll share the results in two blog posts, starting with this one—their personalities and strengths.

Multipotentialites and the Myers-Briggs

Everybody seems to have opinions on the MBTI, but whatever your stance, the test has some interesting things to say about personality. It has four facets: Extraversion vs. Introversion, Intuition vs. Sensing, Feeling vs. Thinking and Perceiving vs. Judging. After taking the assessment and verifying their results, students get a 4-letter type, something like “INTP” or “ESFJ.” There are 16 possible types.

I looked at my multipotentialite students’ results to see if any types were more common than others. The pattern was surprisingly clear.

23%, almost a fourth of the students, got ENFP as their result. That’s Extraversion, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. My multi students were three times more likely to be ENFPs than Americans in general.

So what’s an ENFP like? Well, they’re curious, creative, friendly, energetic, adaptable and spontaneous. This probably sounds familiar! ENFP weaknesses include having a hard time focusing on one thing and following-through, especially on administrative tasks. They also tend to overthink things, work too much and burnout and struggle with handling criticism, stress, conflict and rigidity. If you relate to this, you may be an ENFP type or something similar, and the good news is that you’re not alone.

28% of multi students were either INFJs or INFPs, who, though introverted, present similarly creative, emotionally sensitive profiles. Remarkably, not a single student in 74 came out ISTJ or ISTP. These are classic “just the facts” types, with strengths in logical analysis, creating order, and staying calm under pressure. They’re common in the American population in general: together they make up 17% of MBTI users.

While it would be interesting to find an ISTJ who identifies as a multipotentialite (and I know you’re out there!), it’s definitely more the exception than the norm.

Multipotentialites and CliftonStrengths

Over the last few years, the CliftonStrengths assessment has taken workplaces and colleges by storm. With more than 20 million users, this inherently positive model organizes personal and professional strengths into 34 themes. Users who complete the assessment receive their top 5 strengths in order of dominance. Strengths include things like Discipline, Focus, Communication, and Empathy.

All 34 CliftonStrengths appeared in my multipotentialite students’ results. They obviously have a wide variety of talents. The two most common strengths, by a pretty sizable margin, were Restorative and Adaptability. Restorative is a problem-solving strength. People with Restorative in their top 5 are energized by figuring out how things work and bringing new life back to dysfunctional systems. Adaptability is exactly what is sounds like: taking things as they come and responding to the demands of the moment, rather than being bound by previous plans.

Let me give you a sense of just how common these strengths were in my multipod students. Almost half (43%) had Restorative in their top 5, while another 42% had Adaptability. For comparison, according to the latest frequency data, Restorative appears in about 25% of college students in general and Adaptability in about 23%. My multipotentialite students were almost twice as likely to have these strengths as the average college student.

So multipotentialite students are great at adapting and solving problems, something Emilie herself has talked about. But what about their least common strength?

No surprises here. Only 1 student of 74 had what CliftonStrengths calls Focus in their top 5. This is the ability to set and adhere to long-term goals. Obviously, Focus and Adaptability are often at odds. It’s not hard to imagine that multipotentialites everywhere tend to be better at adapting to changing interests and demands. It’s how many of us are wired and we’ve been doing it for a long time. That flexibility lends us an edge, if we can find or create the right environment to support it.

Incidentally, only about 8% of college students have Focus. That’s much more common than the 1% of my multipod students who had it, but it still raises an interesting point.

Among college students in general, Restorative and Adaptability are in the top 3 most common strengths (#1 is Achiever). Focus is the 4th from the bottom, not very common at all.

In spite of the fact that multipotentialite students often feel unsupported in their environments—and potentially by parents and teachers—their strengths aren’t so different than those of college students in general. In other words, tons of us are wired this way, even those who may not have found multipotentiality.  

I did look for data on the general population. A few years ago, CliftonStrengths released numbers for their then 15 million users (across 160 countries). Restorative and Adaptability were the 9th and 10th most common strength, respectively, a bit lower than our college sample, but still popular strengths. Focus was the 6th least common, appearing in 10% of users’ top 5 strengths, a bit more common than for college students.

In other words, this data suggests that college students look more like multipotentialites than adults in general. My guess is that multipod strengths are becoming more common with each new generation. My Millennial and Gen-Z students sound more and more like multipotentialites every year.

If you think about it, technology is giving us access to many interests and worlds while simultaneously conditioning us to divide our attention. The rising cost of everything from education to food means a lot of us have to get used to finding multiple sources of income. Multipotentialite skills are in demand, and there are lots of ways to build them.

Whether you buy that argument or not, people with a talent for high achievement, adaptation, and solving complex problems (at least according to CliftonStrengths data) are a growing majority among college students.

I imagine we’d see a similar picture for personality. We need all kinds of personalities for our world to function: social people, analytical people, friendly people, critical people and everything in between. All sixteen Myers-Briggs types bring their own value.

Yet I would argue that of all the types, the INFP type, and perhaps by extension the ENFP type, tend to be undervalued, at least in the U.S. My INFP and ENFP students often struggle to find their place in schools and organizations that value productivity, structure, detail-orientation, “objectivity,” networking and planning. But to the extent that technology better supports multi-tasking, jumping into new projects, access to new information, more inclusive ways to “work,”and bringing to life creative projects—there may be hope on the horizon for Intuitive, Feeling personalities.

These changes mean good news for multipotentialites everywhere. Hopefully, it is only a matter of time before schools and organizations evolve to embrace and reflect our talents.

In part two of this blog series, I’ll look at multipotentialite students’ reactions to Emilie’s book, How to Be Everything.

Your Turn

Do these results surprise you? Do you know your MBTI type or Clifton Strengths? Share your results and thoughts in the comments below.

melanieMelanie Buford is a writer and assistant professor of career education. Both her students and her fictional characters grapple with questions of identity, purpose and authenticity. She has been an AmeriCorps fellow, a curriculum developer, a database tech, a project manager, and a museum docent, so she has a healthy appreciation for those who wear multiple hats. In fact, she thinks stretching your limits is an essential part of contributing to the world. Feel free to find her at melaniebuford.com or on twitter at @melanievbuford.

105 Comments

  1. Shantell says:

    I love this. I’m an ENFP, HSP/Empath and it’s nice to know I’m not alone! While my strengths are different than the majority in your study [Empathy, Developer, Connectedness, Positivity, Woo], focus is definitely one of my lowest scores- explains everything!

    • Melanie says:

      That’s awesome – glad you found it helpful!

    • Olga says:

      Hi! Im also ENFP. After i found out that I am multipod I started learn more and more about personalities. And bang! The test showed me that i am ENFP. Like in this article, for me this match with being multipotentialite. Good to hear we are no alone. My strengths are also different than in this study: Individualization; Empathy; Connectedness; Responsibility; Intellection. Thx for this article :)

    • Jasraj says:

      Hey Shantell! INFP & empath here. My strengths, too, are a little different from the above. “Woo” sounds like the coolest one, I’m a tad envious – haha!

  2. Terry says:

    What happened to us orphans; the INTJ’s. Did you find any? I was the only one in my class. Kinda lonely out here.

  3. Delia says:

    It is so good to feel a sense of belonging! I am an ENFP and multipotentialite. This describes me perfectly. I always felt I was pioneering as a Gen Y aged 49yo, different to most of my friends, and can also appreciate that generations behind me are similar in traits to me. This is so good for my self esteem. Thank you.

    • Melanie says:

      You’re in great company Delia. I’ve worked with plenty of ENFP Gen Yers, and they’re doing all kinds of interesting things. You may want to check out the book Do What You Are, by Tieger and Barron. They’ve got a chapter with some cool ENFP career stories.

    • Valerie says:

      Wouldn’t someone aged 49 be Gen X? Gen X birth years are 1961-1981.

    • 603d says:

      Ok, this is uncanny. Another ENFP multipod named Delia?!? Hello to my twin!!
      ~d

  4. Tanya Webb says:

    ISTJ here! S and N are very close though. I remember having trouble in high school and college, because I wanted to take ALL the classes. My career has been SOMEWHAT varied as a military spouse, and even now I’m in the middle of a certification class that has nothing to do with my current job. I also feed my multipotentialite side through crafting. So much so that it is a family joke…

    • Jennifer says:

      Another ISTJ, though verging on INTJ. I discovered Emilie and the multipotentialite concept about a year ago and have never felt so validated! So glad to know us ISTJ/multipods are out here!

    • Katiuscia Flanagan says:

      Hi Tanya! I am also ISTJ with four different jobs ranging from sensory evaluation to teaching, from catsitting to office administration and lots of interests including modern foreign languages, sci-fi, yoga, wine tasting and so on. I enjoy online courses (I am always studying) and have just started one in Digital Marketing and soon I will be attending Russian lessons with my daughter, I think she is also a multipotentialite.
      I can’t believe none of the students are ISTJs!

    • Lucy says:

      I’m an ISTJ multipod too :-)

    • Kay says:

      ISTJ type 2 here. The S/N and J/P were relatively balanced. Always felt like a misfit until I heard about multipotentialites.

    • Tanya Webb says:

      Hello to my fellow painites (world’s rarest gemstone and most people don’t even know it exists), Jennifer, Katiuscia, Lucy, and Kay. I’m glad to see I’m not alone in the world. I would love to hear more about what your interest are (or aren’t). I think some of my favorite jobs have been administrative type jobs which have a wide range of duties. I stumbled onto database administration many years ago, and that is what I am studying now. My current job is in accounting. Thanks for showing me I’m not alone. :)

  5. Maria says:

    And ISTP here! I’m working as an architect at the moment but trying to find something else, should just figure out what it is… I’ve noticed I’m not the most creative person but I’m good at finding different solutions and getting inspired of different ideas and combining them. Also loving all kind of do-it-yourself projects. Yes, I’m logical and stable but at the same time very impulsive when I get new ideas. Some kind of mixture about everything and trying the find my own thing…

  6. Nina says:

    I’m INFP. My Top 5 include Futuristic, Input, Ideation, Arranger, Intellection. I was just about to search for someone who has Focus as one of their predominant talents and also Activator to partner up in some way. I am also planning on purchasing the upgrade to the whole profile when I get enough cash. :D

    • Jasraj says:

      Hey Nina – INFP here, too, and I have Input, Intellection & Learner in my top 5 (other 2 are Futuristic and Empathy). All these trends are pretty fascinating.

  7. Gabe Gibitz says:

    It’s funny, because I’m a multipod, I feel like I don’t fit into one of the MBTI categories. I’m most likely an INTP. Great article!

    • Maryske says:

      Same here, Gabe. I tend to test as INFP, with both the F and the P very close to the middle. Somehow however, I don’t connect with the type. It’s close, but it’s just not *me*. I feel like I’m built up out of snatches from somewhat related types – INFJ, INTP and ISFP.

  8. Lynn Ward says:

    I’m an INFP, so I found this article interesting and exciting! I sometimes find networking to be difficult, so I was intrigued to see it mentioned: “My INFP and ENFP students often struggle to find their place in schools and organizations that value productivity, structure, detail-orientation, “objectivity,” networking and planning.” I’m surprised that ENFPs have trouble networking. I look forward to the second article! Thanks!

  9. Sarah says:

    INFP here. I absolutely was that student. I wanted to take all the classes and had trouble choosing just one thing to do for the rest of my life. I now embrace my many passions and never stop learning.

    • Monica says:

      I am another INFP and also with you. I am on my third career as we speak (I am 54), and I have never stopped learning and exploring. However, I have always felt on the outer, from primary school, to high school to workplaces etc. Networking is something I struggle with. I am just lucky that I found an excellent fit, for me, right now. I am a nurse immuniser, which plays to my strengths so well. I am also a pet minder :)

  10. Jana Land says:

    I am ISTP and multipotentialite. I love numbers, I am really good at them and my mind is analytical but after 11 years in a numbers career and art related hobbies, I switched to art entirely but I still love numbers and order along with creative stuff. My hobbies are even more diverse now than when I had a corporate job. So there are ISTP multipods as well :)

  11. Tracy J Hayes says:

    I am an XNTJ (part Introvert/part Extrovert). Any others out there?

  12. Linda Ursin says:

    The only thing those tests can agree on for me is the E :)

  13. Keely says:

    ? INFJ multipotentialite here! Thank you for tying together and writing about two of my favorite topics- personality type and multipotentiality! I look forward to following along on what more you find out.

  14. Pia says:

    INTP – apparently also semi-special? LOL. The T definitely gets in the way of my N when it comes to creativity, always sesond guessing myself and acting as a procrastinator.

  15. Kyra says:

    Hey! Another INTJ here. Glad to read about other multipod INTJ‘s in the comments. I have always been interested in the correlations of MBTI and multipotentionality so thank you for the post! What about ENTP‘s? My best friends is one and interested about the percentage.

    • Melanie says:

      Yep – there were 4 ENTPs, another 5%. The E and I seemed to have fewer implications for multipotentiality than the other 3 letters. Might be a good topic for another study!

  16. Caitlin Faas says:

    I appreciate that you want to look at data, but I’d love to see multipotentialites compared to reliable and valid data. The MBTI is neither, see https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/give-and-take/201309/goodbye-mbti-the-fad-won-t-die for one reference. It’s hard to understand CliftonStrengths fully because they keep their data proprietary.

    So how do multipotentialites score on the Big Five?

    • Melanie says:

      Hi Caitlin – yep, you’re definitely not the first to question the MBTI’s validity. I will say that in the 10 years I’ve been a practicing career advisor, no other assessment has been more helpful with students. While the instrument itself has some challenges, the underlying theory is powerful, and it gives people language to understand themselves differently.

      As for the Big Five, that would be an interesting study. If you’re interested, go for it!

    • Jasraj says:

      Just to chime in here also – I have found the MBTI to have been the most helpful self-understanding tool, too, despite the lack of scientific validity / mixed “reception” within scientific communities.

      No tool – MBTI, Clifton, VIA, Big Five – can be perfect, we are far too complex for that. They all serve a purpose in-so-far as understanding ourselves, so that we can have an awareness and use this “knowledge” to act accordingly.

      Pinch of salt needed, though – I catch myself putting myself in limiting boxes (e.g. “I’m an INFP, so I shouldn’t be an entrepreneur!”), so it takes constant self-reminding not to wear the label too firmly.

  17. Amy says:

    INTP here with Input, Intellection, Learner, Analytical, and Maximizer in my top 5. I love these sorts of test. ^u^

  18. Denise Wally says:

    I am an INFP, and a multi pod. Sounds like that is pretty common. In Clifton SF I am Ideation-Input-Learner-Itellection-Empathy, none of which you listed but they still fit well with being a multi pod. Fascinating study. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jasraj says:

      Hey Denise – I am INFP too, and we share 4/5 top-5 Clifton strengths (I have Futuristic instead of Ideation). Nina – above – was another INFP who commented and shared similar strengths. OK these trends are *really* fascinating.

  19. Chaya says:

    ENxJ over here – the balanced T and F part give me that multipotentialite flair.. (creative and analytical) and the J at the end can’t stand all the multipotentialite grey!

  20. Nina says:

    woohooo. ENFP multipot here. supernice article.

  21. Jørgen Toldsted says:

    INTP here. It makes sense that there are most multipotentialites with dominant N, especially dominant extrovert N = ENxP.

  22. Eswar says:

    Hi!
    It’s great to have found this article at a time when things at my workplace are changing based on the MBTI analysis. Teams are being formed based on the MBTI results…
    In that analysis I realised that I’m INFP… So, it’s great here that I fall into the 28% of multipods..

    Btw, I have a feeling that, despite the fact that multipods are doing well, don’t you guys think that they are the people who’ll be lot more stressed than the others…majorly because of tensions due to multiple works, etc. So, Emilie could throw some light on how she manages to avoid such stress, etc.

    • Jennifer says:

      I like whats Eswar said about being stressed! I am an INFP/J so I totally relate to the multipotentialite theory. I always tell people I have so many passions I don’t know which to focus on. It is very hard for me to be happy in just one job. I have to constantly be doing creative things on the side. I usually have multiple jobs at once to balance out my interests and help with extra money :)

  23. Shota Fujimori says:

    Hello! I’m ENFJ-T. It surprised me a little bit LOL

  24. Mary says:

    Hi to everyone! I am an INTJ though my P & J were nearly equal. I took a personality style test with determinations of Concrete Sequential, Concrete Random, Abstract Random and Abstract Sequential. My determination came out as a spiral because my scores were nearly equal. I was the only in the group whose scores did this. I couldn’t get an answer from the test administrator about what that meant. I also took some other funky test my brother, who is a professional consultant/executive coach, gave me. I had weird results on that one too. He said that my brain “figured out” what the test was trying to find out.
    I am wondering if other Multi-p’s have had the same experience? I am 59yo and have done a very wide variety of things my entire life. It’s nice to know I’m not alone!

    • Antoinette Johnson says:

      Thanks for sharing, Mary. I’m so relieved to hear that! Several years ago I was laid off, so while searching, I decided to work as a temp. I’d worked temp in years prior in a similar situation but never had to take a personality test as part of the hiring process. I’ve had to take several different types of personality tests during my corporate career, but always come out the exact same result on the MBTI since I was 17 y.o. as INFJ. However, the temp agency had a different proprietary test. I will NEVER forget the look of fear and confusion on the young man’s face when he came back with my results. Even though I scored exceptionally high on all the aptitude and skills tests, he asked me to leave after I broke their personality test. Although I was also confused about what that meant, I felt genuinely sorry for the young man because it’d never happened before. It has happened a few other times since then, but they usually assume it’s a glitch and have me take it again. Because I don’t always fall neatly into their categories, it freaks them out – one even suggested I see a psychiatrist! Not sure that’s how these tests are meant to be used, but I am glad to know there are others like me out there now – spent my youth and young adult life as the odd one out.

  25. Melanie says:

    Since a lot of folks are asking about the final percentages, here they are. Note that they’re rounded so they may not perfect total 100. Remember also that this is just one assessment of 74 students. I’d encourage anyone else who wants to take this further to do a larger survey. Would love to see those results!

    ESTJ = 1 or 1%
    ESTP = 1 or 1%
    ENTJ = 2 or 3%
    ENTP = 4 or 5%

    ESFJ = 6 or 8%
    ESFP = 5 or 7%
    ENFJ = 5 or 7%
    ENFP =17 or 23%

    ISTJ = 0
    ISTP = 0
    INTJ = 4 or 5%
    INTP = 5 or 7%

    ISFJ = 1 or 1%
    ISFP = 3 or 4%
    INFJ = 10 or 14%
    INFP = 10 or 14%

    • Olga says:

      Nice! Lot of ENFP’s

    • Jasraj says:

      This is *very* interesting Melanie to see the wider picture – thank you!

    • Marie-Hélène says:

      Wow! Actually, what I find fascinating is not so much the high percentage of ENFP, but that 14% of INFJ! As a INFJ myself, I’m used to be “the odd one”, as we make 1 to 2% of the population in general. We would be really overrepresented here, in multipods!

      My strenghts are Intellection, Learner, Input, Relator and Connectedness. Which, basically, is sort of a description of INFJ! haha

  26. Valerie says:

    I think it would be interesting to reflect your college results against the multi-pod community.

  27. Tonya Ratliff-Garrison says:

    Great article! On the Myers-Briggs, I’m an INFP.

    On my CliftonStrengths, my top strength is Ideation but my #2 is Adaptability, which is one of the two mentioned in the article as top strengths for multis. (My other 3 strengths are Strategic, Input, and Individualization.

  28. Claire Nyles Suer says:

    Wow! Cool to see the numbers written out… thanks for sharing Melanie!!

  29. Catherine says:

    INFJ here. Where are good places to work/ socialise for us? I have always felt like a fish out of water.

  30. Ernest Gordon says:

    Hi Enfp here! I agree to your sentiment about the advent of technology has provided a space for NFs to pursue different creative interests! For instance, i see my laptop as a creator i see my laptop as platform to shift or curate my creative outlook as i please, which i found difficult to attempt in the physical real world setting!

  31. Jasraj says:

    Oh my gosh, this is *so* fascinating. I have actually been curious about the trends between Myers Briggs types & their attitude to careers / need for fulfilment, etcetera. Many of my friends are NFs, and I’m an INFP myself. Interestingly, my Strengths are a little different from the students in the study – mine are Input, Intellection, Learner, Empathy… and I forget the last one.

    Thank you for sharing this, and I’ll be awaiting part 2 of the post with eagerness.

    Jasraj

  32. Jasraj says:

    Hey Nina! Ok, that’s interesting. I’m an INFP, and my top-5 strengths are: input, intellection, learner, empathy & futuristic (you helped me remember that last one!). I’ve always wished I could replace one of those “curiousity/info-absorbing” strengths with focus/action…!

  33. Jewel says:

    Ah, this was interesting! I’m an INFJ and my top five strengths are connectedness, intellection, discipline, empathy, and harmony. I’ve been wondering if it’s common for INFJs to be multipotentialites, and it appears so! I’m not very career-minded and I often feel like I’m just not built to be practical—haha. I’m pretty sure I’m a simultaneous multipotentialite.

  34. Paola Pia Culla says:

    Istj and multipod. Present! I’m a chemist.

    • Paola Pia Culla says:

      Chemistry is often called “the Central Science”, so I suppose it’s an obvious choice for a tech multipod. I always have many projects running, both at work and at home in my free time. I have different roles in my work place, I have a daughter, and I like do everything in the same time.

  35. Humberto Molinar says:

    Another multi INTP here. This one is mostly into arts: digital ilustration, painting, 3D modeling, music and writing (fiction).

  36. Laurie Robey says:

    This is interesting. As an older GenX INFP, I’ve felt more “in tune” with Millenials and later generations than I have with some of my fellow GenXers and Baby Boomers. Maybe that’s because as you said, there seem to be more multipotentialites in the younger generations. Looking forward to more articles from you!

  37. Kyle Robinson says:

    ISTJ! IT Project Manager, Woodworker, ScubaDiver, Mud Racer, Website Builder & Tinkerer

  38. Anais says:

    ENTJ, anyone?
    It seems like people never mention us ;)

  39. Melanie says:

    Hi All – I’m planning to slice and dice this data in some different ways. I’m working on a second post for Puttylike about students’ reactions to Emilie’s book, so stay tuned.

    I’ve also got some more work on MBTI types, specifically NFs, coming out and the full study will be published by the NACE Journal in May.

    Feel free to follow me on Twitter @melanievbuford if you want to stay in the loop about what I find!

  40. Shelley says:

    I’m curious about multipods and the Learner strength. To me that seems like something that would be big for many multipods (it is my number two strength, for example); did that come up much in your data?

    • Jasraj says:

      I would also be interested to delve more into this, Shelley. 3 of mine are Input/Intellection/Learner… all to do with absorbing information and making sense of it. It would make sense that multipotentialitism (did I just invent a new word?) would correlate with curiosity.

      I am excited by this research – and I feel like this could open a really exciting can of worms…

  41. Daniel Klein says:

    INTP but borderline with ENTF. How’s that for variety?
    Clifton: Achiever, Strategic, Positivity, Ideation, Futuristic.

    Yep, that’s me! Also balanced in left/right hemispheres and feminine/masculine.

    Thanks for your time in writing this great article and followup.

  42. Nat Rayner says:

    Just did the Clifton Strengths. Interesting. Concindence that the 1st strength is Ideation. Advice: Your limitless thoughts and ideas can sometimes overwhelm and confuse people…they cannot follow your abstract thinking. Sums me up. I always come out with thoughts already discussed in my head with no context and told to slow down and explain.

  43. Kristin Sales says:

    Another ENFP multipotentialite here. Strengths: Restorative, Connectedness, Positivity, Woo, Adapability, Futuristic (the vision/minus planning) and Ideation.

  44. Anna says:

    Another ENFP here!!

  45. Aja Marsh says:

    What a fun study, Melanie! INFJ here! I’ve taken the test various times over the year and I oscillate between INFJ and INTJ depending on where I’m at in life, but usually very close the the center on F/T regardless. When I most recently took 16 Personalities assessment, about a month ago, it kind of opened me up to really embrace my introversion in particular, using it as a way to deepen relationships with friends and clients and also to remind me that I absolutely must have solo time to recharge and be happy and I have to be my own advocate in that!

  46. Cat says:

    Multipotentialite ISTJ here! Or at least, that was what I was 20 years ago. With huge amounts of personal growth, along with new opportunities with changing technology, I’m so much more of an ENFP these days. And it’s fun!

  47. Bec says:

    Yes, I’m an ENFP too! Interestingly, I consistently came up as an ENFJ over my decade plus in corporate (misery). Since working for myself on a variety of projects over the past 2 years, I consistently come up as an ENFP now!

  48. Angie says:

    Just did the test and I got (INFP-T)
    I couldn’t figure out what the -T means though??????????

  49. Laura says:

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing. I am an ENTP multipod and was surprised there were not more of us ENTPs in the mix. I have always felt extremely “different”, frustrated by lots of structure and rules, and interested in – and have pursued – so many things. I wonder why the F part of ENxP is so much higher than the T part. Any thoughts?

    • Melanie says:

      This is a great question, and I don’t have a solid answer for it. My only guess is that because my F students tend to be so good at personalizing things, they often have a harder time separating their identities and values from their careers. Whereas my T students are sometimes able to think of work as “what they do,” rather than who they are. Therefore, I’ll have T students who find ways to express their multipotentiality while maintaining their day job for practical reasons and not taking it too seriously. As an F myself, I often feel that I personalize my career to the extent that I need to evolve it to match how I’m feeling, and have a hard time staying in something when my mood shifts, even if it makes more sense to do so. But then again, I’m an INFJ, and that perfectionism tends to get us.

      These are just my ideas though. I’d be interested to hear what others think.

  50. AJ says:

    Hello – INTP here. 4-7% of the population and 75% of that % are male…I am not a man…and I am multipotentlite. After first reading about multi’s I thought of possible MBTI, Enneagram correlations etc….

    To get a full MBTI accounting a much wider sampling would be required. For instance, it is unlikely my type would show up at all in such a small group, especially any women. When I took the MBTI test at 15 with a 100 of my peers, I was the only one of my type

    I’ve found MBTI most helpful for understanding my social-self and interrelationships with others.

    Multipotentiality most helpful for recognizing and championing my authentic diversity.

    And KOLBE INDEX most helpful for understanding – HOW I work.

    KOLBE conative evaluations are great for understanding strengths because it is based on HOW you work regardless of personality, skill set, gender, age etc.

    So happy to be always learning, evolving, and adding to the tools of life. I hope more is done on these correlations, and how society can best support each person’s unique contributions.

  51. Pagan says:

    I’m an INFP and I’m almost 60. Over the years, I’ve become a bit more extroverted. I’ve been in the unique position of being a boomer, which allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom in a military family, without the added “pressure” of having a career. I went back to school in my 40s and almost completed my BA before I got bored and we moved. I recently became aware of being a multipotentialite, and I have to say, it’s the first time in my life that I haven’t felt guilty for being me. I’ve worked off and on, mostly off, because I get bored so easily. The military gave me an excuse because we moved so much, but I was always happy to be moving on to the next thing, literally. It gave me pleasure to read Ms. Buford’s post and see that being a multipotentialite is becoming more and more common. Yay us!!

  52. Maris says:

    I am so glad Emilie led me to this article! I am an INFP (or an ENFP, depending on which year I took the MBTI) and adaptability is my second strongest theme in CliftonStrengths. Thank you for your support of us intuitive feeling folks!

  53. Jo@JoSimplyWill says:

    I’m an ISTJ – so interesting to read she did not have 1 student with this profile. My strengths in ‘logical analysis, creating order, and staying calm under pressure’ enable me to get loads done in my paid work, and still find time to pursue quite a range of other interests and hobbies. Being a multipod seems a natural fit for me in some ways!

  54. Jasraj says:

    That’s a really good question, and response to match it, too. From what I have observed, Ts tend to be more rational/grounded in reality; and so, as you suggest Melanie, may be able to separate their “work” and “life” identities. I, too, have a really hard time separating the too.

    Related to this conversation, I have observed just how much sensitive/intuitive folks (largely NFs) seemed to have a greater to have meaning/purpose in their work, and are more susceptible to feeling disconnected from certain jobs.

  55. V L says:

    i’m an ENTP, a debater…

  56. Nassima says:

    For my part, I had INTP(T) as a result for MBTI, and my boyfriend who is also multipod had INTP(A). ^^ I was expecting to see more of this.
    Restorative was my 4th top strength too, and my boyfriend had “Adaptability” as his 4th. None of us had Focus either. I was also expecting more “Learners” too in your students’ result.

    Just in case it can help here are my Clifton top 5:
    Belief
    Empathy
    Developer
    Restorative
    Intellection

    Anyway, it’s very interesting, thanks for the analysis. :)

  57. Alexus says:

    Not surprising at all! I’m am INFP, and when I first discovered what a multipod was, I knew I’d found my tribe!

  58. Heather says:

    This was so interesting! I am actually an ENFP as well and my top 2 Clifton Strengths are Restorative and Adaptability!

  59. Sam says:

    I found this article absolutely fascinating….but the comments were out of this world! I am so happy that there are so many people who still care about their MBTI type! I asked my teenage son the other day if he knew what this assessment was, and he had no idea. I am an ESTJ and I always want to know what type all the people I run into are! I can’t wait to ask him about Multipotentialites! Thanks for leading this discussion!

  60. Krista says:

    INFP here. Not like I need any validation that being a multipod is a legit thing, but it’s always nice to see evidence of trends within our group.

  61. BMag says:

    Renaissance Man and INTP here. It’s just he way I’m wired. It confuses me too. Way too many interests to list here, just hope I live long enough to get to half of them.

  62. Mary-Lou says:

    I am an
    IXE (introvert with extroverted interests)
    Intuitive
    Feeling
    PXJ (perceiving with judging tendencies)
    I think being “on the cusp” increases my multipotential characteristics.

  63. Cynthia says:

    Thanks for this interesting study! I’m an INFJ and was a serial scanner disguised as a specialist, now trying to do multiple part-time jobs concurrently.

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