So, as you all probably know by now, my biggest fear in life is that I won’t figure out what I want to do. I am playing basketball because I can’t decide what I want to pursue for a “real” job. I would give anything to be home in the good ol’ U.S of A, doing something I love and making a living on it. This is totally doable except for one thing: I don’t know what I love.
I worry that I will start a career and not love it. I worry that I’ll be stuck in a job that I don’t want. I worry that I’ll never find anything challenging, interesting, and loveable at the same time. (Don’t worry, I don’t always worry this much).
But, every year, as the end of the basketball season starts to draw near I start thinking about it more and more. What do I want to do? No matter how many times I raise that question the answer is still “I don’t know.” I decided to do a little research into myself and bought a book called Do What You Are. It’s a career-finding book by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger that uses the Myers-Briggs assessment to help the reader figure out who they are and then in turn identify jobs that would be good for them.
Now, I’d love to say I know just who I am and can rattle off a list of traits that I definitely have or don’t have but I can’t do that. And I’m not so sure you can either. Whether it’s because we don’t want to admit our shortcomings (like my extreme impatience) or because we see a little bit of something in ourselves and would like to say that is who we are (like my belief/hope that I’m spontaneous, I am, right?). So when the Myers-Briggs personality type assessment told me they could help me explain who I am on just four scales of eight different traits I was skeptical. But I am also willing to try anything once so I thought what do I have to lose?
So far I have completed the first part of the book and come to the conclusion that I am personality type ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging). These four traits are all as opposed to their opposites: Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving. The book goes into detail about each type to help you decide what matches you the most. When I made my choices and read the description about an ISTJ it really hit me on the nose. Just a few characteristics of an ISTJ: serious, responsible, trustworthy, practical, realistic, hardworking, and logical. While I would like to stop there they do go on to identify possible “blind spots” in each personality type. Mine being: rigid, perceived as cold and unfeeling, expecting others to think the same as them, and sometimes demanding of conformity.
Nobody is perfect and not everyone has only endearing qualities so lucky for me, none of these definitions particularly surprised me. Actually, for the most part, I feel better in situations with explanations and definitions so maybe defining my personality type will lead me somewhere. I know taking a few years in Europe to try to discover what I might love doing for the rest of my life hasn’t worked yet, so this idea deserves a chance. I’ll write about Part Two next week which is about defining your temperament or behavior. Can people really be grouped into these four little categories? I’ll try my best to set aside my skepticism…