part 2 of career shape-shifting: INFJ

— Apologies for the long hiatus. I hope you missed me. 🙂 —

I’ve always been fascinated by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It was developed by a mother-daughter team and based on C.G. Jung‘s theory of psychological types. The test (“instrument,” they call it) identifies how you prefer to interact with the world across 4 categories.

Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).

Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).

Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).

Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

— Myers-Briggs Foundation, MBTI Basics

There is no right or wrong, no value judgements, no “better than” positioning. You can take it online without a counseling session here. My results confirmed that I am an INFJ, though I have strong leanings to the center of the Thinking/Feeling spectrum. I’m also not nearly as introverted as I expected. My counselor (a lovely woman, by the way, who I need to thank for getting me on the right track) then gave me  a loooong list of careers that suit my personality type.

I expected the MBTI to be a magic bullet of sorts, that would zero in precisely on what I was going be when I grow up. I was also afraid it would tell me to become an astrophysicist or neurosurgeon — going back to school for that long sounds like hell, expensive hell. The careers on the list ranged from Psychologist to Lawyer to Reporter to Art Teacher.  Psychic was awfully intriguing, but I had to be pragmatic.

Interior decorator… now that was compelling. After all, I had set on that path 10 years ago when I was still working in marketing. What made me stray? Hope you don’t mind, but that’s a story for another post.

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