Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Unemployment Chronicles, Chapter 7

My career coach urged me to read a book called Do What You Are, which delves into the depths of your psyche to determine your personality type, attitudes, etc., and suggests careers that might suit you. It's a good book. I recommend it. I'd offer to lend you my copy, but I've already marked it up in bright blue ink.

I'm about a quarter of the way into DWYA. There have been no major surprises so far, although a couple passages have made me raise my eyebrows and mutter, "That explains a lot!"

Peek inside my head — if you dare

  • According to the Meyers Briggs personality inventory, I'm an INTJ: Introverted iNtuitive Thinker Judger. INTJs are considered the most independent of the 16 personality types, which will not surprise anyone who knows me. (Mother Media swears my first sentence was "Do it by self!")

    According to the book, as long as INTJs are interested in something and/or find it useful, they'll bust their buns to do it up right. But if they think someone or something is blah, look out for the disconnect. INTJs' standards may be unrealistically high, and they may plow ahead with their own brilliant ideas without waiting for input from others. Er, duh.

  • My temperament is that of a Conceptualizer — an iNtuitive Thinker. The motto for Conceptualizers could be "Be excellent in all things." Conceptualizers are driven to acquire knowledge and set high standards for themselves and others and are — shocker! — the most independent of the temperaments.

    Conceptualizers like planning, strategizing, and building systems — sometimes to excess. They thrive on autonomy, variety, intellectual stimulation, and generating ideas; however, they may become impatient with those less competent than they. They're often found in leadership positions, such as college-level teaching (been there, done that) and upper management in the sciences, medicine, and law.

  • The Hierarchy of Functions says my type uses faculties in this order: intuition, thinking, feeling, sensing. (You need some background in Meyers Briggs vocabulary to best understand the sense in which these terms are used.) So I'm a dominant Intuitive. Intuitives are more interested in meanings, possibilities, patterns, and relationships in what they perceive than in specifics or facts — which explains why I can be content copyediting (looking for patterns and relationships among words) pages of text on a subject I know nothing about.

    My auxiliary function is Thinking. Intuitives can be so preoccupied with taking in information and considering possibilities that they never make a decision, so Thinking kicks in to keep things realistic. The INTJ of this type tends to be logical, theoretical, and systems-oriented.

  • However! Because of that "I" in the INTJ, I'm an introvert, which means that I actually keep my dominant function, intuition, more internal and show the world my auxiliary function, thinking. The analogy in the book is this: Intuition is like an army general and Thinking is like the general's top aide. When you come to my office, you're met by the aide outside my door; the general is busy inside, and you don't get to deal with her unless the matter is urgent.

    Example profession for an INTJ: college professor.

  • One's functions develop over time. At my age (37), I'm developing my third function, feeling. People in this situation may find that family, friends, and relationships are becoming more important to them. They may find themselves doing volunteer work, getting back in touch with old friends, and expressing gratitude for what they have.

So that's the groundwork, and that's as far as I've read. The next chapters are profiles of career-satisfied people of all 16 personality types. The chapter for my type, INTJ, is lucky #13. Title: "Competence + Independence = Perfection." Ooh, I can't wait!



  • Hey cuz,

    I'm an ISTJ! I've even been through the qualification program & am qualified to teach MBTI. Quite fascinating!


    By Anonymous Kacey, at 9:28 PM  

  • Whoa... I am an ISTJ, but very close to an INTJ. No wonder we connected like we did.

    By Anonymous Rev. Nicole, at 8:30 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home