Friday, June 15, 2007

&#191but what am i?

I don't know why i continue to feel compelled to read career books~i am actually quite happy in my chosen career~tho i would love to someday support myself through some kind of art (writing, acting, independent wealth, etc...)~i suppose i could currently call it a collection development interest since this is one of my (oh-so-many) buying areas. I always have retained that lingering interest in psychology (after running in terror from it after that semester i tried it on as a major when one of my advising sessions with my acting advisor had taken a wrong turn and i had essentially told them {the acting department} to fuck off but after a semester of hearing people open up and tell me all the problems at parties once they heard i was a psychology major as opposed to saying "ah...interesting...[pause]..." when they heard i was a acting major {not to mention having a psychologist for a mother} so i went running back to the theatre department {general theatre, the acting department didn't want me, oddly enough} tail held firmly between my legs) and personality types (like those weirdo theatre types, right?~and of course now i sit behind a reference desk listening to people open up and tell me all their problems... hmmm...)

Anyway...Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type Revised and Updated by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron uses the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to try and determine what career people will find the most fulfilling and satisfying. This is not a new concept, i took the Myers-Briggs Test back in college as part of their career counseling program to help me determine my career path; i also took it at a State Employment Center. The authors (and pretty much everyone else who talks about MBTI) state that personality type is inborn and stays with us for life and though i usually come out to be an INTP, which describes my personality somewhat; often when i take the test dimensions of it fluctuate so that i have come out as ENTP, INTJ, ENTJ, INFP, (basically everything fluctuating except the N~iNtuition part). Perhaps this has to do with the length of the test~perhaps it has to do with the strength to which i express each preference~perhaps it is my usual strangeness/uniqueness~i don't know. I have talked to others who also change over time, so just a small disclaimer here. Also, my profession, which i believe fits me quite well does not fit any of the personality types that describe me, so what is that about?
The book describes the four basic dimensions of personality type: Extroversion- -Introversion, Sensing- -INtuition, Thinking- -Feeling, and Judging- -Perceiving. If you do the math on this it gives you sixteen possible personality types (which some people take VERY seriously). The book doesn't offer a test but rather descriptions to let you decide where you fall. It describes strengths and possible blind spots, it also tells you which are your dominant functions and which are your auxiliary functions (if we are assuming i am an INTP my hierarchy of functions is 1) Thinking; 2) Intuition; 3) Feeling {opposite of #2}; and finally 4) Sensing {opposite of #1}).
After this basic introduction to the Myers-Briggs Personality Type the authors go on to the job chapters which include profiles of people in jobs which fit their personality types and why those careers work for them. These chapters also describe what careers satisfaction factors to look for and popular occupations in different areas (creative/arts; education/counseling; religion; health care; organizational development; and technology) as well as how to use your strengths in your job search/career. (Librarian is listed under ISFJ~Sensing being the one thing that doesn't see-saw in me. And people always tend to always think of librarians as introverted~while i admit that many are~Public Librarians have the word PUBLIC in their very title, (come on people (and i'm talking to librarians here too) this is a job where you have to actually INTERACT with people. The authors do concede that there are successful people in every occupation.)

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