If You Can’t Have the Job You Love, Love the One You’ve Got

As the famous Stephen Stills song goes: “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” Although the song was written about personal relationships, the same philosophy is helpful to apply to your current job – especially if it’s not as satisfying and fulfilling as you’d like it to be.

The simple truth is most jobs allow a good deal of flexibility in how people perform their tasks. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has created many new obstacles to how many of us worked in the past, it has also created new opportunities.

What follows are specific ways people of all 16 personality types may be able to massage their jobs to make day-to-day activities more tolerable, and even more enjoyable. The advice is organized by the “Temperament” groups. Think of temperaments as four different “human natures” – the super category under which all of the 16 personality types fall. Why is temperament so important? Because it represents each type’s core values, key drives and preferred way of communicating.

Of course, every individual is unique! So, when you review the suggestions for your type, not all the advice will fit you equally well. This is to be expected! But if you can identify one or two items that you do resonate with and can implement, you’re on your way!

Traditionalists (Sensing Judgers) 

SJs are most fulfilled when they are acting responsibly and being productive. While this is true of all Traditionalists, whether a person is an Extravert or an Introvert or a Thinker or a Feeler can also greatly impact their satisfaction with their work situation.

ESTJs
  • Make sure to provide agendas for all meetings so you can be prepared
  • Seek the advice and counsel from colleagues who are very different from you
  • If not in management, find a project that you can organize and take charge of
  • Ask your supervisor for clear directions and expectations
  • Join professional organizations and create opportunities to network
ISTJs
  • Try to work on one project at a time
  • Set clear boundaries – especially if you’re working remotely
  • Establish achievable, short term goals
  • Make sure you have adequate time to think things through and prepare
  • Ask for a written agenda for all meetings
ESFJ
  • Work to resolve conflicts with co-workers, supervisors & direct reports
  • Don’t buy into interpersonal drama, and avoid argumentative people
  • Make sure you get enough social stimulation during the day
  • If not in management, find a project that you can organize and take charge of
  • Volunteer for a meaningful cause either inside or outside of your organization
ISFJ
  • Find people with complementary strengths to give you input and balance
  • Ask your boss for clear performance objectives
  • Volunteer for research projects in which you have a personal interest
  • Make sure you have plenty of uninterrupted time to prepare and do your work
  • Set realistic goals that you can meet

Experiencers (Sensing Perceivers) 

SPs are most fulfilled when they feel free to enjoy whatever they’re doing. While this is true of all Experiencers, whether a person is an Extravert or an Introvert or a Thinker or a Feeler can also greatly impact their satisfaction with their work situation.

ESTP

  • Find time during the day to get outside and do something physical
  • If possible, get involved in recreational activities offered by your organization
  • Delegate as many mundane tasks as possible
  • Find others with complimentary talents to balance your perspective
  • Avoid office drama and having to deal with others’ emotional struggles
ISTP
  • Seek an opportunity use your negotiation skills
  • Lobby for more independence
  • Make sure you have adequate quiet time to concentrate on your work
  • Avoid office drama and having to deal with others’ emotional struggles
  • Spend as much time out in nature as possible
ESFP
  • Ensure you have adequate time to interact with others
  • Set some achievable short-term goals
  • If possible, vary the way you must perform more mundane tasks
  • Seek opportunities to help people in real and concrete ways
  • Avoid people who are negative or confrontational
ISFP
  • Make sure you have plenty of time to recharge your batteries
  • Find ways to appreciate how your personal values align with the job
  • Avoid people who are negative or confrontational
  • Resist the urge to feel down, just because you don’t see better options yet
  • Try not to take criticism personally

Conceptualizers (Intuitive Thinkers) 

NTs are most fulfilled when they are increasing their competence and meeting new challenges. While this is true of all Conceptualizers, whether a person is an Extravert or an Introvert or a Judger or a Perceiver can also greatly impact their satisfaction with their work situation.

ENTJ
  • Make strategic suggestions that can improve productivity or performance
  • Volunteer to lead projects or committees
  • Develop a “critical friends” group – people that critique each other’s ideas
  • Take advantage of professional development opportunities
  • Join, and seek, leadership in professional organizations
INTJ
  • Develop new systems and approaches and try to get them implemented
  • Make sure you have enough uninterrupted time to think and reflect
  • Conduct and publish research in your field of expertise
  • Continue to deepen your expertise and expand your reputation
  • Try to get appointed to strategic planning committees
ENTP
  • Identify a significant problem and suggest ways to solve it
  • If possible, try to delegate as many routine tasks as you can
  • Take courses and seminars to expand your expertise and credentials
  • Work on teams, whenever possible
  • Join a professional organization and seek a leadership position
INTP
  • Make sure you have enough uninterrupted time to develop your ideas
  • Find other creative people to brainstorm ideas with 
  • Try to find support people who are organized and good with details
  • Take courses and seminars to expand your expertise and credentials
  • If possible, try to arrange for a more flexible work schedule

Idealists (Intuitive Feelers) 

NFs are most fulfilled when they are doing meaningful work in an environment whose mission they believe in. While this is true of all Conceptualizers, whether a person is an Extravert or an Introvert or a Judger or a Perceiver, can also greatly impact their satisfaction with their work situation.

ENFJ
  • Participate in, and if possible, lead workshops in your area of expertise
  • Try not to become enmeshed in personality conflicts
  • Volunteer to do public relations work for your organization or department
  • Consider becoming a trainer or coach in your field
  • Try not to take critiques or comments personally
INFJ
  • Make sure you have plenty of uninterrupted time to think and be creative
  • Try to only work on one (or a few, but not many) projects at a time
  • Try to get your thoughts and ideas published where they will be noticed
  • Consider becoming a trainer or coach
  • Make a concerted effort to balance your home and work lives
ENFP
  • If possible, delegate routine tasks to others
  • Find other creative people to brainstorm and work with
  • Try to work on a variety of projects
  • Enlist the help of a detail-oriented, organized person to assist you
  • Attend conferences and get involved in professional organizations
INFP
  • Take a course in conflict resolution and become a mediator
  • Make sure you have adequate alone time to focus on your ideas
  • Consider becoming a coach in your area of expertise
  • Try not to take things personally and avoid negative or argumentative people
  • Strive for greater balance between you home and work lives
Paul Tieger

Paul D. Tieger is the Founder and CEO of SpeedReading People, LLC. He is an internationally recognized expert on – and author of five breakthrough books about – personality type including The Art of SpeedReading People and the one-million copy best-seller Do What You Are.
A jury consultant for twenty-five years, Paul pioneered the use of Personality Type to help trial attorneys understand and communicate with jurors and has worked on dozens of high profile civil and criminal cases including the first physician-assisted suicide trial of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Paul holds a BS degree in Psychology and an MS in Organizational Behavior.

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