Monday, April 12, 2004

What Career Choices Do ENFJs Make?

ENFJ is one of the sixteen Myers-Briggs Types. I'm an ENFJ. For more information on what this means specifically, you can check out this web page. You could also search it in your favorite search engine; there's a Google search utility on this blog, as a matter of fact.

I belong to an ENFJ email group, and the following message was sent out recently:

I am in between jobs and wanted to know what other people do for a living.

I am also very interested in whether you consider this to be your passion or a career or a just a job.

As I began to read the replies, I thought that it would be useful to post them here. Here's one:
The basic tread of ENFJs is a quest to teach. Even though I don't teach professionally now, I am always
learning stuff so I can teach. I did teach classical piano for 15 years but grew to hate it because while I did have good and exceptional students from time to time, most were just being enriched by their wealthy parents.

Below is a list of my life's work experience. Please do not think of me as a jack of all trades and master of none because that is not true. I just get bored after awhile and want something new. I have been blessed with the ability to change professions, for
example, after fifteen years in the auto business becoming the top salesman for Ford in New Jersey, New York and PA, I started taking lessons on the piano and went on to a full time career in music.

1. Movie Usher.
2. Construction worker. ( Under my father )
3. Heavy machinery driver. ( Florida Turnpike )
4. Radar Operator US Army.
5. Radio Operator US Army.
6. Supply Seargent US Army.
7. Auto Salesman.
8. Auto Parts Department Manager.
9. Auto Service Department Manager.
10. Auto Sales Manager.
11. Piano Teacher.
12. Piano Tuner.
13. Pianist.
14. Accountant.
15. Real Estate Salesman.
16. Insurance Salesman.
17. Computer programmer.
18. Investigator for State Police.
19. Stock and Bond Investor
Interesting. Here's another reply:
I'm so drawn to teaching that after only three years of being a High School teacher I've put my hand up for having a prac teacher from the local uni. So now I teach the kids and help a new teacher learn how to teach.

It's quite an addiction!

High School teaching is a passion, but not necessarily a career. Like [a previous person mentioned] I see myself getting itchy in a few years. I've always fancied going off to Bible College and becoming the pastor of a church. But I'm scared my heart will be too much in it, which would be very dangerous if things went poorly.
Yet another ENFJ replies:
My first thought on this subject was "career choice?" I don't feel that I was able to make a career choice. I kind of fell into my line of work. I did extremely well in Office Education in high school (but I probably would have done well in other subjects--it
was a VERY small school and there were very few programs available outside of the regular curriculum), and when I needed to make money after I graduated I secured an administrative assistant position at the refinery which was our small town's primary employer. I worked while I went to the local junior college. Soon I was married and we moved to a slightly larger town so my husband could attend a university. Of course, the dutiful wife (I score spades in dutiful), the primary income generation fell to me. An agency got me an interview with a large bank and after working in various departments I was promoted to receptionist in the trust department, where the Sr. VP
and trust officer happened to also be an attorney. My husband, the gypsy, moved us all over and it seemed that one thing led to another, always working for attorneys, because the work was the highest paying clerical work. (Meanwhile every attempt of mine to go to college was thwarted by said my ex!) And I *was* a very good secretary, anticipating the needs of my bosses (and attorneys are VERY needy), well organized, proficient. But I was a secretary. I found it extremely demeaning, because I knew I was capable of so much more.

Now, I find myself LOVING my job at a lawfirm--because I am allowed to be SO MUCH MORE! I am still a legal secretary, but also a legal technologist, handling the technical needs of the firm. My goal is for the job to work into full time technology, and I think it is a reasonable assumption that it is just a matter of time. And believe it or not, I like have the secretarial work when I am experiencing information overload and I need to process or just to do something at which I excel. I have always been appreciated in
my jobs, but I have never felt fulfilled until now.

I have been a "job hopper" because I "still hadn't found what I was looking for" to coin a U2 lyric! I, and I suspect others of my type (ENFJ), needed variety and to feel that I added unique value. Now I get to do many different things, have lots to learn, many challenges, and I have found the right environment (jeans, relaxed atmosphere, great coworkers). I notice that I am learning not to take things personally, that I no longer expect to win every battle and indeed that some things are not battles anyway. For instance, I asked for business cards, but the firm does not provide business cards to anyone but attorneys and paralegals. I will just print my own and eventually I'm sure I will get firm cards, I realize they have never had anyone in this position and are not ready to set this precedent. I think all of the personal growths I am recognizing are really just due to wisdom, which has come with my advancing
years. I don't make top dollar, but thanks to my husband I don't have to anymore.

I know this is way more than you wanted to know, but I've waxed eloquent on other occasions about how dissatisfied I was with my occupation, and I just wanted to share what a great change has occurred.

I still feel that it resulted because of circumstances (which I attribute to God) and I'm so grateful! I don't think it is bad, obviously, to keep changing and hunting and striving for the ideal. (That said, I didn't get a lot of interviews due to my poor tenure!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To an ENFJ, this post is kind of discouraging. I'm also trying to find my "goal in life". A career, and was hoping to find it within the next few months. Although some may find this not realistic, I also job hop and by this post, it seems that you have job hopped a lotas well. I do not want to go through life job hopping before I find my career of calling. Is there anyone out there who has found their passion and do it for a living?