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Indicators of Stress for Top Professions

How does stress manifest in the workplace? For most people, experiencing severe stress renders them temporarily unable to operate from the familiar aspects of their personality with which they are most comfortable. When they’re “in the grip” of stress—a phrase coined by Naomi Quenk, PhD—they experience a feeling of being “beside themselves.” Their behavior can appear clumsy and out of character, even to those who know them best, which may hamper their performance. In light of our current economic upheaval and the stress epidemic it has engendered in the U.S. workplace, we shouldn’t be surprised to see loss of productivity, increased conflict, poor performance, and other issues that are adversely affecting organizations.

While some signs of stress, such as irritability and sweating, may be easily recognized, others are not so obvious. Extreme stress is often manifested in behaviors that aren’t necessarily associated with stress, and that, though out of character, may not be initially perceived as problematic. As a result, these signs are often overlooked by the person at his or her breaking point, especially at work.

Although these stress symptoms may appear on the surface to be isolated, atypical incidents of erratic behavior, they are actually relatively easy to predict, identify, and manage by applying the type theory and concepts of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) instrument. In short, when under stress, people of each of the sixteen MBTI personality types tend to think and behave in a particular way that is distinct from that of all the other types, just as they have natural tendencies under normal circumstances.

CPP, Inc., created this report in order to explore the causes and effects of stress within a number of the top professions in the United States. Based on data gathered from more than 800,000 administrations of the Myers-Briggs® assessment and information from MBTI® Type Tables for Occupations by Nancy A. Schaubhut and Richard C. Thompson, this report identifies the personality types most common to thirty-three professions, and summarizes for each profession:

  • General descriptions of characteristics under normal circumstances for the most frequently occurring personality type in the profession
  • External signs of stress that may be exhibited by that personality type
  • Stress triggers related to personality type preferences
  • Tips for managing type-specific stress

Please note that the information in this report is not a comprehensive representation of all the information available on stress responses related to personality type. For more information on stress responses, click here for a sample of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Stress Management Report that details stress information according to individual situations relative a specific MBTI type.