Leadership

How knowing your personality type can help you avoid this major mistake in college

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Kevork Djansezian | Getty Images

Almost half of U.S. adults have a university education, making America one of the most educated countries in the world. At the same time, 51 percent this educated population say they would change at least one aspect of their education experience if given the opportunity to do it all over again, according to a recent Gallup poll. Their biggest regret? The major they chose to study.

Myers-Briggs expert and author of "Live Your Life from the Front Seat" Jessica Butts tells CNBC there is a very simple step teenagers and young adults can take to help avoid this problem for their own future: figure out their personality type.

Butts says the biggest problem is that when it's time to pick a major in college, teens and 20-somethings rely almost purely on external factors: They select a field of study that seems easy, is what their families desire for them, or choose a major they might be interested in, but has little or no correlation to their innate personality.

"That is why there are so many people, in my opinion, that are unhappy in their career," Butts says. "They hit their mid-life point and realize they are miserable because, typically,have chosen the wrong career for themselves."

In her 20 years of previously practicing psychotherapy and now career coaching, Butts says that the majority of her clients are people who didn't pick the right career for their personality.

"They have spent 20 or more years in a career that they hate and then they finally figure out what they want to do in their 40s, but they have already wasted all this time," she adds.

Butts says it is critical for teens and college students to invest in taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment, reading books on the subject or taking free MBTI-based personality tests like the one she offers online.

The MBTI assessment was first published in 1943 and was created to help people better understand their personalities and increase their productivity, according to CPP, the exclusive publisher of the Myers-Briggs test. Today, 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 89 of the Fortune 100 companies have used the MBTI to analyze employee preferences in the workplace, the CPP reports.

The Gallup analysis also notes that the regret U.S. adults feel in terms of their chosen field of study could reflect changes in the employment market, for example someone unable to find a job in the field they studied may feel regretful.

Still, Butts says if you are in the right career for your personality type, you can make as much money as any person because your innate skills will pave the way to success.

"When you are doing things you are naturally good at, you will naturally be happier," she says.

See also:
The No. 1 advantage Mark Zuckerberg and other introverts have over extroverts
The best careers and college majors for extroverts and introverts
Here's the best job for you based on your personality type