According to my Type Personality (ISTJ) I am a “Traditionalist,” which means I am down to earth, responsible, reliable, dependable, and, as the name would suggest, not welcoming of change. The book, Do What You Are, had me really bouncing back and forth between that temperament and the “Conceptualizing” temperament. The only difference between the two would make me an Intuitive person, seeing possibilities in the future, rather than a Sensing person who uses all five senses and relies on facts and past experiences to see what is going on.
While a Traditionalist is described as being decisive (and I can’t come to a conclusion on these two temperaments) I think I take in information through facts and all of my senses. They give lots of examples in the book and a big difference between someone who goes by intuition and someone who understands things by sensing is how they would put together a new grill (or something similar). Would you use the step by step directions? Or go on your gut feelings? Same with finding your way on the road: a map or winging it? Considering one of the best gifts I’ve ever received is a GPS, it’s pretty obvious I like to have direction. (I think because then if we end up in the wrong place I will have something to blame; I hate being wrong).
The Traditionalist’s values and strengths:
You get the idea… it sounds pretty boring. But I honestly pride myself on these characteristics as I believe they are important in getting through the day. I mean, the motto of the Traditionalist is described in the book as “Early to bed, early to rise.” Sounds like someone you call to have a good time, right!?
The cons of this temperament include: resistance to change, impatience, inflexible, and insensitive (yes, d. all of the above). As I get older, I am trying to develop my ability to be spontaneous and surprising but I am ISTJ to the core and these things take some effort and a venture outside my comfort zone.
As I was reading more about the SJ temperament I saw that it had my father written all over it (read: ME written all over it). Each Personality Type was eventually given a list of careers that they would enjoy and find success in. Some of mine were: accountant, manager, statistician, sports equipment sales, principal, librarian, criminalist, and a coroner.
In conclusion, I think it’s really hard to say exactly what “type” of person you are. Of course you can tell what your tendencies are and what things are important to you but we are always changing. The book does say that we are always developing and changing but who we are at the core is always the same. I also find it hard to say whether I am something or the characteristics I choose are just what I want to be.
Remember the other temperament I identified with? Conceptualizing? The first description of those people is “perfectionist” and I’ve always recognized this in myself. Plus jobs for this temperament include writing, editing, commentating, and being a critic: all things I enjoy.
I’m not sure this book helped me etch out a career goal for myself but it has definitely helped me explain and accept my propensities, however boring I may think they are!