Why awareness of my Myers-Briggs result will help me in my professional career, and why you should know yours
If you have a computer, I’d venture to bet you’ve taken an online personality test before. I’ve been guilty of taking a Buzzfeed “Which flavor of hummus are you?” quiz or two hundred. Although I thoroughly enjoy these fun assessments, I don’t usually find that the results apply to me.
For example, I am a Sagittarius born on December 21st. Yet if I’d been born nine hours later, I would be a Capricorn. I don’t find myself to apply to many of the Sagittarius norms (adventure, risk-taking and an outdoorsy bent), but I chalk this up to being on the “cusp” between two signs. Even still, I’ve never seen a personality quiz that I totally believed in or felt was accurate – until now.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has sixteen personality options that each embody a different personal identity. My result is ENFP (this means Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving).
When I read the description of the ENFP personality type, I find it to be accurate to a T. I am energized and recharged by spending time with others as opposed to being alone (Extraverted). I prefer to focus on big-picture ideas, as too much attention to minute details can be draining to me (Intuitive). I tend to use my emotions and values to make big decisions instead of only logic and facts (Feeling). Finally, I thrive on being spontaneous and going with the flow as opposed to planning far into the future (Perceiving).
I have found that an in-depth assessment of my personality will help me in my career. On the one hand, it makes me more aware of my personal strengths. With a deep understanding of my strengths and unique abilities as an ENFP, I can use my positive qualities as an asset. Let me explain the ENFP’s strengths and how they tie into my post-graduation career plans.
- Curiosity: I love learning a little about everything. Soaking up random knowledge is one of my favorite things, be it through the Today I Learned subreddit or by watching a documentary about an unfamiliar event. My love for exploring new concepts means I can bring a new perspective to the workplace and expand others’ horizons of what’s possible. I also never shy away from trying out a new idea. Even if it doesn’t work out, there are more options to explore.
- Observance: I tend to be hyper-aware of my environment. I also find that reading the room and determining others’ moods and thoughts comes naturally. With this in mind, I can use the observance of my surroundings to present the right idea at the right time to the right person.
- Energy: As someone who will be in an entry-level position upon graduation, it’s imperative to be charismatic and have a positive attitude about your work. I can use my positive attitude and energy to put others in a better mood and motivate those around me. Having high morale is important to success in the professional realm, so this positivity will help me to stand out among my peers.
- Good communication skills: As cliched as the term is, I consider myself a “people person” through and through. I enjoy building a rapport with others through conversation, and having people open up to me feels validating. As an advertising and public relations professional, knowing your client well is of utmost importance. With strong communication abilities, I will learn what makes my client “tick” and figure out their needs and wants before others.
Even more important than knowing my strengths, recognizing and accommodating for any weaknesses is key for success as a working professional. In order to grow and develop, one must tackle their shortcomings head-on and execute a plan for improvement. I want to address some of the ENFP’s weaknesses and explain how I plan to combat these issues so that I can be the effective working woman I desire to be.
- Lower practical skills: While I love the brainstorming period of projects, I often get bored with the process of executing and administrating the task. One way that I’ve found effective in combatting this problem is to keep a written outline and agenda. For example, when I write essays, I keep a planner and will create checkmarks for each step of the process (deciding the topic, finding relevant research, writing an intro, body paragraphs, conclusion, review). Checking off each small box as I go is satisfying, and I’ve found that rewarding myself for the little things keeps me on task.
- Overthinking: Anyone who knows me well knows I stress. Myself. OUT. I believe this to come from a place of self-doubt. For this reason, I place a lot of pressure on myself and hold my work to high standards. The solution? Even though the ENFP knows how to stress and overthink themselves into oblivion, they also know how to relax. I love a good self-care moment where I can play some sudoku, watch a TLC reality show or just talk with my apartment-mates about their day. I’ve found that that separating my whole sense of self-worth from my performance in school and work is key to prevent overthinking.
- Emotional to a fault: When I was a little girl, any degree of criticism about anything I did or said would have me blubbering and sobbing from embarrassment. As I’ve grown, I’ve thankfully moved on from publicly reacting in that way. Even still, I’m gonna call a spade a spade here: it’s still hard for me to receive criticism, and I feel myself shrinking inside whenever I get a strong helping of tough love. I can react defensively. I sometimes start crying in my room as soon as the door shuts, thinking about my shortcomings. One way that I’ve started to mitigate this is to replace the negative self-talk (“how did you mess up this badly? That’s so embarrassing) to positive encouragement (“this person gave you this feedback because they want you to succeed and they value your contributions” ). Reframing the mentality around criticism has greatly mitigated the emotional gut reaction I feel, and I don’t find myself wanting to crumble after receiving it anymore. I’m going to get criticism and lots of it, and I have to internalize and accept that to succeed in the workforce.
I’ve found that an in-depth analysis of the ENFP’s strengths and weaknesses has helped mature me. It has led me to understand the positive qualities that can be used to my advantage and the negative qualities to mitigate, both of which will make me a strong asset to my post-graduation job. If you want to learn more about your personality type, I strongly recommend taking the Myers-Briggs test yourself. You may learn more than you anticipated.
After all this deep personality talk, I took a Buzzfeed quiz. If you’ve ever wondered which flower matches my personality, it’s a sunflower 🙂