I’m a huge fan of Myers-Briggs and believe that it is a powerful and insightful tool to provide direction for people in their careers and to help people understand the work style of others. I have even been thinking about becoming certified myself. I have taken the official test twice, the first time, as a Freshman in College, and then a second time a few years ago. In College I ended up with an INFP and then more recently an INFJ. Though I’m not too far over on one side except for Feeling.
The challenge for me has been obsessing over my type. The irony is that as an INFP and an INFJ, I am always searching for meaning in my life and searching for a meaningful career. Given my personality type and the fact that I am always searching for meaning, means that by brooding over the INFP and INFJ descriptions, it has only added fuel to my fire and validated my request to keep searching. I am a unique INFP/INFJ as I have worked in business for about 9 years in many Sales, Sales Operations, & Marketing roles. I even worked as a Real Estate agent at one time, which has often been quoted as the the #1 worst positions for an INFP/INFJ. Let’s just say that it didn’t last very long! I was even most recently working at a software company in a role devoted to special projects and technical issues. One of my Consultants photo copied some info. on INFJ for me, (oh yes, it’s bad; I have worked with more then 1 over the past few years), and the book even indicated that INFJ’s (and p’s) rarely go into the Business and even more difficult is technical fields. Unfortunately, I combined them. Yikes! Let’s just say it was challenging.
Clearly, I am able to work in business, and I have enjoyed many aspects of business, however, I have often struggled with my business career, and believed that I would never truly be successful in it because I wasn’t ‘meant to do it’. To understand it better, one needs to really dig into motivation. Often in business, the areas that motivated me were in roles where I was very independent and where I felt like I had an important role. I was motivated by helping my colleagues, working on a variety of projects with colleagues encompassing a common goal that mattered, caring about Client needs, researching and understanding dynamic environments, and solving problems that mattered. Also, I have always worked with a variety of people and even though I am introverted, people rarely if ever think that I am when they meet me at work. For an INFP/INFJ, I am fairly balanced, I guess.
However, I have really been neglecting my creative/investigative side. Hence, starting this blog and other endeavors. Now, I am at that point where I am really trying to hone in on my niche. Hey, I’m in my 30′s, and it’s about time. I recently transitioned out of a career at a great company, and have been working on my own start up business. However, I have been questioning it. This time my motivation is centered around having a certain lifestyle where I have more freedom. I have this long term vision where the business would allow for a certain flexible lifestyle, where I could ultimately focus on writing, adventures, and the marketing aspects of the business. The company is a reseller of eco friendly products in a niche industry and drop ship them, so once the levers are set up, it would be more hands off. I always thought it would be cool to be the quintessential Renaissance Guy and be successful in business and be successful in the Creative / Humanities world.
However, for me content is huge and the risks are just scary! I have already put a lot of time and money into it, and most of the work is centered around the operations behind securing and selling the products, and ultimately the science behind competing with the big players in the industry. So it comes down to Business technical. Also, to make it in business, you have to be driven by the goal to make the business Big! That in and of itself scares me which is counter-intuitive to success. So, I am at a crossroads, and today racked my brains to determine whether I put the brakes on this business, (realize the sunk cost of over $5k, cancel all of the monthly recurring payments for such things as the payment gateway, the online business plan, Quickbooks, and the like, and move on. The positive outcome, is that I could spin off a new type of business where I focus on a few blogs and then leverage affiliate marketing and display advertising for some revenue. Then maybe pick up some Development type work where I can help others, or anything that benefits the “Social” side of the INFP / INFJ personality type. Need to figure out how to pay the bills while doing what I enjoy. Got to keep moving. Tell us about your Myers-Briggs struggles?