Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ESTJ's Unite! Together, by next week, with our calendars.

Second topic: your Myers-Briggs personality type and impact on career

It came as no surprise to anyone the day I found out I was an ESTJ. Extrovert. Sensing. Thinking. Judging. 

From Wikipedia's entry:

  • E – Extraversion preferred to introversion: ESTJs often feel motivated by their interaction with people. They tend to enjoy a wide circle of acquaintances, and they gain energy in social situations (whereas introverts expend energy).[6]
  • S – Sensing preferred to intuition: ESTJs tend to be more concrete than abstract. They focus their attention on the details rather than the big picture, and on immediate realities rather than future possibilities.[7]
  • T – Thinking preferred to feeling: ESTJs tend to value objective criteria above personal preference. When making decisions, they generally give more weight to logic than to social considerations.[8]
  • J – Judgment preferred to perception: ESTJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.

The MB scores are based on preferences, things you do or like based on choices repeated throughout your life. You can have a heavy preference in one area or have little preference overall and face each situation differently. I am an extreme E and J, scoring on the far end for both of these attributes. My S and T preferences, though, are closer to the middle; I could easily be classified an NF depending on the questions. 

Being an ESTJ has been a boon in my career, from my college days of journalism to retail management to my current arts administration position.

Extrovert: I adore being around people (remind me to tell you the story of being house-bound one winter due to an ice storm) and having a full house at the theater makes me giddy with energy. Talking to prospective audience members, engaging donors about their desires, and building relationships with my actors, designers, and directors are some of the most fulfilling parts of my job. 

Sensing: One of those areas where I vacillate between the two, and, honestly, sometimes it's draining, because, combined, it leads to perfectionism and an almost constant "I'll do it myself" attitude. Project management--be it designing a show, planning a fundraising campaign, or stewarding donors--is fun for me. I like making lists and checking off items when they're finished. But I also enjoy connecting the puzzle pieces to see a bigger picture and to break a dream out into the steps needed to make it reality. 

Thinking: The other area where I can go either way. I do tend to make decisions based more on logic, but I also try to keep in mind other's preferences, when applicable. Learning how to use various decision-making and logic-model tools has been fun when approaching long-term planning or fundraising issues. But I tend to listen to my instinct when it comes to individuals, especially when those decisions concern those closest to me. 

Judgment: I am a J, through and through. "Spontaneous" to me means "planned a week ahead". "ASAP" is a four-letter word in my book. I like to think I'm mature enough to roll with the punches, but I work at my best when I have a plan, goal, and deadline. Writing budgets, planning development appeals, and doing group projects all go smoother for me with more time. 

I love arts administration and design because they allow me to play to all my strengths. What's your Myers-Briggs Type? Are you playing to your preferences? 

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