Do you remember those personality tests we all took in high school? The ones that told us what our future career would be? The ones where you always ended up jealous of the friend who was told she should be a movie star while your results said you’d do best as a librarian? (No? Was that just me? Nevermind…)
While there are a ton of different personality assessments out there, the most well-known is probably the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which gives you your Myers-Briggs Personality Type (MBPT). The results are those ISFJ or ENTP letter combinations you most often see on Tinder…I mean Facebook…profiles.
To break this down in simple terms: there are four segments to your personality, each with two possible outcomes: whether you’re an introvert (I) or extrovert (E), sensing (S) or intuitive (N), thinking (T) or feeling (F), and judging (J) or perceiving (P). Your results for those four segments combine to create your personality type (I’m an ENTP, for example, so Extrovert–iNtuitive–Thinking–Perceiving).
If you know your personality type, you can predict what sorts of projects and work scenarios will make you successful, what kinds of jobs you will love, and even things like what kind of freelance projects are best for you. It can sound a little hokey, but the MBPT test is even used in lots of corporate settings. It’s a great hint at what can make you successful.
If you don’t know your personality type, there are tons of free online tests out there for finding out, based on the official MBTI. My personal favorite is 16 Personalities. Go ahead and find out your personality type before you read on. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Okay, now that you know your type, let’s back to what I said about finding the perfect projects to fit your personality. There are so many options out there, and you might not be sure where to start.
Here are for suggestions for every personality type, and exactly what kinds of dream projects you should look for. Some of these projects are great for lining your pockets (cha-ching!), and others are perfect for padding your portfolio and helping you find you niche as a freelancer.
And if you’re not sure how to get started freelancing, download The Ultimate Guide to Transitioning into Freelance. You’ll find tips for learning the tech skills you need to get started, strategies for adopting “the freelance mindset,” plus tricks for building a “career safety net” before quitting your day job. Get the guide here.
1. ISTJ: Set Up a Custom Database for Customers or Contacts
ISTJs are known for being practical, realistic, responsible, and logical. You’re great at getting things done in an efficient and effective way, and you like to create things that are practical first and foremost. That’s why setting up a custom database to manage customers or contacts for a business or organization can be a fantastic fit for you.
Pro-tip: Find a non-profit you love who could use help in this area (better organizing their donor or newsletter lists, for example) for a great feather to add to your portfolio cap!
2. ISFJ: Create a script to graph information
ISFJs are detail-oriented. They’re also orderly, thorough, and love accuracy. That’s why creating scripts to graph information is a great project for you! Graphs have to be accurate if they’re going to be useful, which is where your detail-oriented and orderly nature will come in super handy.
Pro-tip: Create an open source script to graph info, and share it with the world on GitHub. Bonus points if you create a graphical user interface for entering the data and customizing the graph.
3. INFJ: Create a company structure infographic
One of the key traits of INFJs is that you want to understand patterns and relationships. That’s why creating an infographic that details a company’s organizational structure is right up your alley. You can branch out from strictly a company’s personnel structure if there’s a more interesting structural aspect to focus on (such as geographical distribution).
Pro-tip: Find out if any of your favorite companies have enough information about their structure available publicly to create an infographic to share online. If it’s a universally popular company (think: Apple), you might find that your infographic will go viral! And don’t forget to post your infographic on your portfolio so it can help you land future gigs.
4. INTJ: Create a more efficient email app UI
If there’s one thing an INTJ loves, it’s making things perform better. INTJs typically have very high standards for competence and performance, and are driven to implement new ideas. That’s why redesigning something as ubiquitous as an email user interface (UI) to make it more efficient and better performing is a perfect project for you.
Pro-tip: Create a new UI concept for a well-known email app like Gmail and post it on your portfolio with some information on what makes it better than the original UI.
5. ISTP: Create a marketing strategy plan based on available data
ISTPs are interested in cause and effect. You like to study the why, not just the how and what. That’s why creating a marketing strategy based on the data available to you is a great project. The great thing about marketing strategies is that they’re best when they remain flexible and able to change based on what works, and that’s another area you excel in: flexibility!
Pro-tip: You can create an official marketing plan for yourself if you haven’t found the right client to start with!
6. ISFP: Design a non-profit website
If friendly, sensitive, and kind are words that describe you, then you’re a textbook ISFP! You like doing things for others, and helping out in ways that make an impact now. That’s why creating a new website for a charity or non-profit you love is a great project for you!
Pro-tip: Local non-profits are almost always happy to have volunteer help, so offering your services pro-bono can usually get you a positive response!
And ISFPs, here is a great resource for using your skills to do good: How to Get a Job at a Company You Really Care About.
7. INFP: Design an unconventional sign-up form
INFPs love to implement new ideas and are quick to see possibilities. You’re curious and idealistic, which means designing a fresh sign-up form with a completely unconventional design is right up your alley. Coming up with something that’s totally unique (and hopefully better for a user experience perspective) is a challenge you’ll do great at!
Pro-Tip: If you don’t have a client to design a form for, you can create your own contact form or just a concept to share in your portfolio.
8. INTP: Create A/B tests for an email marketing campaign
INTPs look for logical explanations for everything. They want to make sure that things make sense, and are always thinking analytically. At the same time, they’re flexible and adaptable, so creating new solutions based on A/B test results is a great idea.
Pro-Tip: Telling a business that you can make their email more effective and profitable can almost always get you a meeting, where you can pitch your ideas for better results based on quantitative data!
9. ESTP: Create an e-commerce page to increase sales
ESTPs energetically tackle problem solving tasks, and like to focus on the here and now. That’s why you’re perfect for doing something like increasing sales through a better e-commerce page design. ESTPs are pragmatic and flexible, too, which also makes you a good fit for this kind of project, since you’re more willing to try multiple things and adapt to what’s working.
Pro-Tip: Consider creating an e-commerce theme (or child theme) design for a major e-commerce platform (like WooCommerce for WordPress). Our Freelance WordPress Developer Blueprint is a great way to get started!
10. ESFP: Find a contract project where you’ll work onsite with a team
ESFPs are awesome at working with other people. You’re outgoing, friendly, and enjoy working with others to make things happen. You’re also great at adapting to new people and environments, which makes you a great temporary addition to an onsite team. Find a project that lets you show off your people skills, like creating and implementing an inbound marketing strategy.
Pro-Tip: Search for “contract” jobs on job boards rather than just freelance projects. Also, consider putting together your own team for a bigger project, and act as a temporary design agency.
11. ENFP: Create an interactive data visualization for huge data sets
ENFPs see life as full of possibilities, and are quick to make connections between events and information. That’s why creating an interactive data visualization that illustrates the relationships between huge data sets (focusing on the connections that aren’t immediately obvious to the average person) would be a fun and challenging project for you!
Pro-Tip: There are so many huge data sets available online to use as you want (Data.gov is one) that you can easily create an interactive visualization using data you find interesting!
12. ENTP: Forget freelancing—start your own tech company!
ENTPs are the entrepreneurs (and debaters) of the MBPT world. They’re bored by routine but good at reading others. They’re resourceful and love to solve new and challenging problems. That’s why they’re great at leading fast-paced tech startups. Think about the things you’re passionate about and start brainstorming about businesses you’d love to run!
Pro-Tip: Check out The Ultimate Guide to Turning Your Passion Into Profit and our 2-Week Action Plan for Launching Your Business for great advice on how to figure out what you want to do and how to get it off the ground!
13. ESTJ: Become project manager for an ecommerce website
If you’re practical, quick to implement decisions, and like to organize people and projects to get them done, then you’re probably an ESTJ. And if that’s the case, managing an ecommerce website project is a great fit for you.
Pro-Tip: Find an ecommerce site that seems like a mess, and come up with a pitch to fix it!
14. ESFJ: Create a UI design kit to share with other designers
ESFJs love helping other people, and are warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. You’re good at figuring out what others need and then providing it. UI (user interface) kits are super popular resources for designers when they’re creating mockups or quick interfaces, and creating one is a great way to help out your colleagues!
Pro-Tip: You can create both free and premium versions of a UI kit, with the premium version including a lot more elements and features than the free version (but the free version helps you get buzz about the kit as a whole).
And grab some examples of UI kits and other designs you can add to your portfolio here: 99 Awesome Free Website Building Tools.
15. ENFJ: Create a community website
ENFJs are warm and empathetic, and are highly attuned to the needs and motivations of other people. You’re great at facilitating and leading others, which is why creating a community website is a perfect fit. Find a community that doesn’t have a great central gathering place online and then create one for them!
Pro-Tip: Think about real-world communities that could use a central meeting place online: neighborhoods, PTA groups, community organizations, and the like are all great candidates!
16. ENTJ: Design a marketing plan based on quantitative data and competitive research
ENTJs are really quick to figure out illogical and inefficient procedures and policies, and at creating new systems for solving organizational problems. Figuring out the illogical and ineffective parts of a company’s marketing strategy and ways to fix it is a dream project for you. You get to dive into data about how the current efforts are working and research what the competition is doing differently to come up with better (more logical) solutions.
Pro-Tip: Create a marketing audit for a company you’d love to work with, and identify their shortcomings. Then pitch a solution.
There’s no single personality type that’s “better suited” to tech. There are projects and aspects of tech that are perfect for all of them! If you’re ready to get started learning tech skills, check out our Career Blueprints. And if you’re already set to start freelancing, download The Ultimate Guide to Transitioning into Freelance.