Friday, October 30, 2009


Does the fact that we love Fridays so much mean we hate our jobs through the week? Is there a correlation between the two? Really? Coz then it means... uh. LEt me shut up now. I do enough damage to myself in this space.

I've been recently fascinated by the Myers Brigg model of categorizing people types. Our team at work once took the test collectively and discussed what the test threw up. It was fascinating for several reasons. Some people were so in the gray area of the various dimensions (extroversion vs. introversion, planning vs. non planning, thinking vs. feeling etc) that they simply couldn't arrive at a conclusion on who they were. Others had profiles that theoretically made them quite ill suited to work in this company. And with some others, who had the perfect P&G profile, you could just tell that's the profile they'd have fallen into.

Here's a brief description of the dimensions so you can get some idea.

The ideal P&G profile is apparently an ESTP - Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving (Outgoing people who can live in the moment and use their minds more than their hearts). And guess what I turned out to be? An ENFJ. With a 96% on the F.

Pah! So basically I'm almost the exact opposite of the kind of people who could make it big in P&G. Apart from, of course, the E (which I score like a 4% on - i.e. I am probably a recent convert from I to E, AND I probably reserve for a select set of people).

I know you're probably thinking it's stupid to conclude my lack of fit for a job based on what some personality test tells me.

The truth is this. For most part of my work, I like the ability to solve problems on my own. I like the people I work with. Most of the time anyway.

But. BUT. It bothers me, this whole process of aligning with a zillion folks and finally seeing my proposed solution executed in a watered down version of its former self. I don't even know if the consumer gets what I thought she wanted by the time a million people have seen it and interpreted their own version of "what's best for the consumer".

I used to take it personally at first, and suffer in the process. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to detach from the rightness or wrongness of it all. For now, I do my job, and I’m happy if I can do it well.

It’s the same with the whole feeling vs. thinking thing. Being an F person makes me more prone to taking things personally. And more prone to avoiding conflict. Avoiding is a light term seeing as I LOATHE conflict from the bottom of my heart. But then I am my mother’s daughter, so what could’ve turned into a doormat trait, is now a decent balance of being able to stand my ground and running FAR away from the situation when needed.

So each of those days I come here and whine about my job? It’s not so much how much I hate the work itself. It’s more hating how it makes me feel (useless, incapable, non smart, evil slave driver etc etc).

ENFJs (aka people like me) are apparently best suited to jobs that involve caring for and nurturing others - nursing, teaching, counseling, hospitality etc. And guess what my life long dream has been? To teach kids. My happiest moments in the week are when I read to a bunch of 4-6 year olds at the library and they look like they’ve had a brilliant time. Better still when their parents walk up to me and ask if they can get my number, if I do this for a living, etc.


I don’t mean to whine. My job probably gives me everything I need in life right now. Security, the ability to pay my EMIs, challenges for my restless mind and a chance to work with some fantastic people. I appreciate all of that. The choice to walk away will be a tough one to make, if I ever do.

But I constantly wonder, if I'm settling for less. Not as much coz I’m doing a job that isn’t perfect for me, but more coz I am NOT in a job that I COULD be perfect for.

Know what I mean?


Mogambo said...

I do. I think I was born to rule the world and look at what I do instead. Epic fail.

Quirky Quill said...

I'm an ENTJ...though I have been INFJ before.
Don't read so much into the tests. But do chase your dreams when you think (oops..feel) it is the right time.