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Using Multiple Intelligences in Job Search and Promotions

Updated on December 3, 2013

A Way to Find the Perfect Job for You

Multiple intelligences? I only have one brain!

MI, or Multiple Intelligences Theory, is a psycho-educational theory authored by psychologist Howard Gardner. Gardner found in the early 1980s that there are several distinctly different kinds of intelligence found in human beings - intelligence specialities, if you like.

We likely all know someone that is better at English grammar than in mathematics, someone who is better in sports than at reading, or someone that is better with plants and trees than with spports. These are examples of different types of intelligence and they are all equally important.

While each of the many types of intelligence are vital, each human being has more than one intelligence that is elevated above the bulk of the others.

In testing and assessment ativities as well as in oservations, I have found that most people possess a cluster of three (3) different intelligences that are markedly stronger than the rest of them. This is what Gardner has stated makes up an individual's "cognitive profile." In fact, most human beings probably have some ability in all of the areas of distinct intelligences, while they are usually best at up to three of them.

Several Good Types of Intelligences

An early draft of a throerry of Multiple Intelligences I saw some years ago listed 13 differnt types of intelligence. By the tiee Howard Gardner pulished his first book on the subject, he ha dincluded seven of those ad lateer, added two additional types to make a total of nine kinds if intelligence.

Some other theorists have determined a greater number of types of intelligence in humans, but the nine below are a good adjunct reference, beyond IQ testing, from which to begin understanding our abilities.

Look at the types of intelligences listed below, and pick out the top two or three that mirror your own talents. You may be able to search for jobs and training in fields listed for each type that are within those intelligence types. It is a good starting place for job search.

1) Linguistic

WORDS -- Good with languages -- public speaking, reading, writing, telling stories, memorizing words. They learn by reading, taking notes, and listening to lectures.

CAREERS: writer, attorney, philosopher, politician, teacher.

2) Logical-mathematical

LOGIC, ABSTRACTS, NUMBERS -- These individuals are best at reasoning, pattern recognition, scientific inquiry, and complex calculations.

CAREERS: scientist, mathematician, physician, economist.

3) Spatial

VISUAL -- Good at visualizing and manipulating objects in their minds; good sense of direction, good hand-eye coordination.

CAREERS: artist, designer, engineer, architect.

Engineers and Technicians are needed in space and on the ground.
Engineers and Technicians are needed in space and on the ground. | Source

4) Bodily-kinesthetic

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - Good at sports, dance, building things, fixing things, physical comedy, and many of the fine arts - especailly sculpting and mural painting. These folks like to learn hands-on, by doing.

CAREERS: athlete, dancer, mechanic, actor, comedian, builder, artist/crafter.

5) Musical

RHYTHM, MUSIC, HEARING. These people are sensitive to sound, rhythms, and tones. They often learn best by hearing a lecture. They can often hear a musical piece only one time and then play it.

CAREERS: composer, musician, singer, conductor.

6) Naturalistic

OUTDOORS AND CLASSIFICATION. These persons are in their perfect environment when they are working with the natural world, like Steve and Terry Irwin and Jack Hanna.

CAREERS: explorer, scientist, conservationist, farmer, zoologist, forester, other.

If you like to live in a cabin, you may have Naturalistic Intelligence.
If you like to live in a cabin, you may have Naturalistic Intelligence. | Source

7a) Interpersonal

INTERACTORS - These people can get along well with most people at all lvels of employmentwithin a company, as well as with customers, clients, vendors, and others.

CAREERS: teacher, politician, clinician, religious leader.

7b) Intrapersonal

THINKERS -- Introverts preferring to work alone. Self-aware and understand their own emotions and motivations. These persons can learn very well in self-paced programs.

Note: These two types of intelligence re reminiscent of the theory of the popular Emotional Quotient, or EQ, said to be useful in becoming a success at work and in business.

CAREERS: philosopher, psychologist, theologian, writer.

See also: Introverts and Jobs

8) Existential

TO PONDER - Thinkers who consider questions of the meaning of life, what happens after death, alternate realities.

EXAMPLES: Socrates, Confucius, Einstein.

9) Spiritual


CAREERS: Take the time to find your own personal calling that is satisfying to you, contributes to the world, and earns a living wage as well. Be happy in your work, because you are good at it and you like it.


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