Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Idealistic Introspection

Every now and then I go through a period where I need some self-discovery. I usually embark on this endevour by re-taking the Myers Briggs Personality Assessment.
I find that by taking a look at my personality helps to ground my thoughts and help me find a little direction.  The last time I took the assessment I was an INFP. That surprised me because ever since highschool I’ve been an INTP. There are 16 different personality types according to Jung’s theory.

Here’s a brief summary of an INFP (see below for the full description if you really want to): Quiet, reflective, and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Well-developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick, and able to see possibilities. Interested in understanding and helping people.

Now I don’t really consider myself to be a talented writer I am quiet, reflective and idealistic. Reading about this helps me find a little clarity.  Maybe it just reaffirms that I do know who am I and that I haven’t lost sight of myself. It validates me. Idk. Whatever it is, it helps.
At the moment I find myself in the difficult situation of needing to find a new job. It’s not immediate but in the next several months I will find myself out of the job. I’ve been looking into what career paths are a good fit for my personality type. Unfortunately all the possible career paths suggested for me (writer, counselor, teacher psychologist, psychiatrist, musician, clergy) are pretty much outside of my skill set. I have an undergrad in Finance, am about to have a MS in Information Assurance (cyber security) and I have experience as an underwriter.  

So instead of looking at possible career paths I’ve decided to write out a list of ideal traits for a job for me. I’ve come up with a few so far:
  • Good benefits
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Able to telecommute occasionally
  • Does not require me to talk to people all day everyday
  • NOT customer service
  • Growth opportunities
  • Good work/life balance
  • Company values the employees
  • Good management
  • Accountability

That’s about it so far. I don’t think that is something that is too hard to find. But does a potential employer really want to hear about how I don’t really like talking to people on the phone? Probably not. I take upwards of 20-30 calls a day and I cringe when I hear the phone ring I hate being interrupted while I’m trying to work.

Of course this could also be be due to the fact that the people on the other end are usually combative, rude, and treat me as if I’m less than a person. That’s what you get for customer service I supposed. I reckon I’m just tired of the abuse, I’ve been doing this same type of job for 10 years now. Has it really been that long? Yikes.

I imagine in the right circumstances being on the phone would not be bad, I’m just worn out from this job. So my company closing my office is sort of a good thing for me, it has given me the push I need to really start looking for a new job. Instead of passively looking like I have been.
I know there is a job out there for me. I know it is a good one, one that I will find challenging and fulfilling. I just have to find it.

The Idealist
As an INFP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.
INFPs, more than other iNtuitive Feeling types, are focused on making the world a better place for people. Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life. What is their purpose? How can they best serve humanity in their lives? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves
INFPs are highly intuitive about people. They rely heavily on their intuitions to guide them, and use their discoveries to constantly search for value in life. They are on a continuous mission to find the truth and meaning underlying things. Every encounter and every piece of knowledge gained gets sifted through the INFP's value system, and is evaluated to see if it has any potential to help the INFP define or refine their own path in life. The goal at the end of the path is always the same - the INFP is driven to help people and make the world a better place.
Generally thoughtful and considerate, INFPs are good listeners and put people at ease. Although they may be reserved in expressing emotion, they have a very deep well of caring and are genuinely interested in understanding people. This sincerity is sensed by others, making the INFP a valued friend and confidante. An INFP can be quite warm with people he or she knows well.
INFPs do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it. If they must face it, they will always approach it from the perspective of their feelings. In conflict situations, INFPs place little importance on who is right and who is wrong. They focus on the way that the conflict makes them feel, and indeed don't really care whether or not they're right. They don't want to feel badly. This trait sometimes makes them appear irrational and illogical in conflict situations. On the other hand, INFPs make very good mediators, and are typically good at solving other people's conflicts, because they intuitively understand people's perspectives and feelings, and genuinely want to help them.
INFPs are flexible and laid-back, until one of their values is violated. In the face of their value system being threatened, INFPs can become aggressive defenders, fighting passionately for their cause. When an INFP has adopted a project or job which they're interested in, it usually becomes a "cause" for them. Although they are not detail-oriented individuals, they will cover every possible detail with determination and vigor when working for their "cause".
When it comes to the mundane details of life maintenance, INFPs are typically completely unaware of such things. They might go for long periods without noticing a stain on the carpet, but carefully and meticulously brush a speck of dust off of their project booklet.
INFPs do not like to deal with hard facts and logic. Their focus on their feelings and the Human Condition makes it difficult for them to deal with impersonal judgment. They don't understand or believe in the validity of impersonal judgment, which makes them naturally rather ineffective at using it. Most INFPs will avoid impersonal analysis, although some have developed this ability and are able to be quite logical. Under stress, it's not uncommon for INFPs to mis-use hard logic in the heat of anger, throwing out fact after (often inaccurate) fact in an emotional outburst.
INFPs have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don't give themselves enough credit. INFPs may have problems working on a project in a group, because their standards are likely to be higher than other members' of the group. In group situations, they may have a "control" problem. The INFP needs to work on balancing their high ideals with the requirements of every day living. Without resolving this conflict, they will never be happy with themselves, and they may become confused and paralyzed about what to do with their lives.
INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkard and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they're feeling on paper. INFPs also appear frequently in social service professions, such as counselling or teaching. They are at their best in situations where they're working towards the public good, and in which they don't need to use hard logic.
INFPs who function in their well-developed sides can accomplish great and wonderful things, which they will rarely give themselves credit for. Some of the great, humanistic catalysts in the world have been INFPs.

Me in a nutshell.... This is pretty accurate I think. Others who know me may disagree, idk.

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