In my spirit right now I’m experiencing something of a mid-life crisis.  I know; I’m only 24.  Maybe you can find some other word for it – quarter-life crisis? I have responsibilities to my family to work; I have responsibilities to myself to be productive and healthy.  But what does all of that look like?  Where should that take place?  In what environment? I am left wondering, “What’s next?”

I’ve been reading a book called Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron.

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I think I’ve narrowed down my personality type to either ESFJ or ESTJ; my feeling and thinking functions are so bifurcated right now, it’s difficult for me to tell which one is dominant.

There are some things that are sure, though. I’ve attempted below to identify those that relate to my job search.

I’m about 80% extroverted. I need a dose of people every day; even if I just sit at Black Dog Cafe (like I’m doing now) among people, I far healthier than I would be staying at home alone or in an office.  I’m a sensor.  I value realism and common sense.  I trust what is certain and concrete,  and only like new ideas if they have practical applications.  I’m specific and literal and I desire detailed descriptions of what is expected of me in a job environment.  I do my best to present information in a step-by-step manner, and that is how I organize presentations for myself.  Right now, I’m pretty bifurcated when it comes to thinking and feeling.  Some people have told me that I can come off as heartless, insensitive and uncaring; others have said that I act overemotional, illogical, and weak.  I value truth over tact, but I realize the wisdom in pairing the two.  I value logic, justice, and fairness, but I’ve often tried to be the exception to the rule.  I can see flaws and be critical, but with some people I’ve been known to be obsessed with pleasing them.  My feelings are valid, and eventually they always make sense to me.  I’m motivated more by a desire to be appreciated than I am by achievement and accomplishment.  Finally, I’m a judger.  I’m happiest after decisions are made. I want to work when at work (I don’t like dilly-daddling). I set goals and work toward achieving them on time.  I always prefer to know what I’m getting into.  I’m product oriented (emphasis on completing the task).  I think that’s why I never will be successful as a musician…I don’t enjoy the practice!  I derive great satisfaction from finishing projects.  Time is my most valuable resource (particularly time with my husband, Henry!), so I do my best to take deadlines seriously.

Whether I am an ESTJ or ESFJ, I fall into another category: a Traditionalist (Sensing Judgers). At work, traditionalists are “practical, organized, thorough and systematic.  They pay attention to regulations, policies, contracts, rituals, and timelines.  They are excellent at guarding, monitoring, and regulating.  Traditionalists prefer to deal with proven facts and use them to further the goals of the organization to which they belong.  They take great pride in doing something right the first time and every time.  They are good at seeing what needs attention and at getting the job done with the available resources as efficiently as possible.  Once they’ve committed themselves,s Traditionalists always follow though.  At their best, Traditionalists are solid, trustworthy, and dependable.” (p. 57, Do What You Are).

Reading on, it looks like I would do best in a job:

  • involving a relatively high level of responsibility
  • working for a stable company or organization (not one that is always in a state of flux or confusion)
  • working for a company or organization in which both regulations and rewards are certain
  • that has a lot of room for structure.
  • where I am valued for the structure that I implement in my responsibilities.

One response »

  1. cat-
    i am NOT surprised that you felt like the job was sucking the life out of you….I KNOW THE FEELING! first of all, god’s opinion of you is the one that matters most. always ask HIM what he thinks of you and the skills and gifts that HE has given you. second, know that being close to god usually means less close “friends” on earth. you are a wonderful and special woman! there is SO much more of life outside of that “job”! I KNOW!!

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