It’s early on a Wednesday morning and even though I would like to sleep longer, I have already begun to prepare for the day. I got up long before dawn to prepare for a weekly task that I could never have imagined myself doing during my shy days: hosting a radio talk show at the University of Winnipeg.
On the 16-type scale, I type as an INFJ. This is one of eight introverted types, and it’s not a common type of Introvert. Yet do an internet search on “INFJ,” and you’ll see that it’s promoted as the holy grail of personality types. The way some commentators describe my personality, you’d think it transcends humanity itself!
It’s not just INFJ, either. Many types have this hyperbolic appeal to them. It’s their relative rarity that gives them their appeal.
In many cultures around the world, youth is associated with energy and passion. Reflective and calm personality traits are associated with being older and wiser. We are comfortable with these stigmas; however, we are slightly less comfortable when someone flips the switch.
Are you a hard worker who feels like your work regularly goes unnoticed or underappreciated? Do you set many goals but keep most of them to yourself for fear of judgment and failure? Are you desperate for success but get exhausted just thinking about attempting the traditional routes to getting there — networking and ladder climbing, among others? If you found yourself nodding along to each of these questions, you may be a sensitive and ambitious Introvert.
If you believe what you read, then running your own business is an option reserved for just a few personalities. ENTPs (Steve Jobs), ENFPs (Arianna Huffington), ENTJs (Warren Buffet) and INTJs (Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg) are hailed as the “street smart” types most likely to do well out of entrepreneurship. The thread here is the bias towards Intuition over Sensing – a tendency to focus on the future and take risks.
I love to learn. In fact, when I took the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment earlier this year, Learner was listed as my top strength. I can spend hours at a time, days even, reading books about psychology and personal development and exploring inspiring ideas. I crave solitude because it means more time to feed my mind new information.
Most INFJs long for a career that lines up with their personal vision and profound sense of mission. They want to employ their insight into the human mind as well as their abundant creativity to make the world a better place.
For eight years, I've taught elementary school. It's been a good fit for me in many ways, but it’s also been challenging. I work with people all day long, teach the same content every year, and have to manage 25 students from 9:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. By the end of each day, I’m physically exhausted.
Are you passionate about self-improvement? Are you always striving to reach your own potential, but care just as much about the personal development of everyone else? Creative, caring and curious, you will go to any length to find your purpose in life and help others find theirs. If this describes you, then you are an Idealist.
Do you feel like you easily pick up on the emotions of others? Are you the person in your family or friendship group who is always trying to maintain harmony? Would others describe you as warm, empathetic, or caring? If you answered yes to each of these questions, you might be an FJ personality type.
If you’re an NF type, like I am, then you’ve probably seen all the articles that recommend we pursue careers in health care, counseling, or other selfless, “people-helping” fields. That advice works out just great for some people.
But what if you’re an NF who wants to excel in business. Is it possible?
As an INFJ with a marketing degree and about four years’ worth of business experience, I’ve struggled with this question a lot.