It's not just who you know…
       it's what you know about who you know!

“If You Can’t Be With the One You Love…”

How to Make your Current Job More Satisfying

by Paul Tieger

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, it’s also great advice about how to look at a job you’re not quite ready to leave. So, how can you make your current job as satisfying as possible?

Well, that depends…on your Personality Type. Because people are different, the very same activity that might make a person of one type deliriously happy might lead someone of a different type into a deep depression.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to understand how to derive more pleasure from your work. The first step is identifying your four-letter Personality Type. But each type is most closely associated with one of four “Temperaments. Why is it useful to know your temperament? Because your temperament reflects your core values and motivations.

How do you know which is your temperament?

The “Traditionalist” temperament includes ESTJs, ISTJs, ESFJs and ISFJs. For people of these types, the core need is to be responsible, productive and have clear expectations.

To enjoy your job more – if you’re a Traditionalist – find a project that needs doing and volunteer to lead the effort, seek advice and opinions of colleagues who are different from you, suggest ways your office/company could be run more efficiently, ask your boss and co-workers to be explicit with requests and/or instructions, and/or set up short term goals that you can meet.

The “Experiencer” temperament includes ESTPs, ISTPs, ESFPs and ISFPs. For people of these types, the core need is to enjoy what they’re doing.

To enjoy your work more – if you’re an Experiencer – look around for projects to volunteer for that would be fun, try to find at least some time to get outside, delegate to others as many routine tasks as you can, volunteer to help run and or participate in recreational or social activities, seek opportunities to use your negotiating skills, consider taking a time-management course, try to build more variety into your daily routine, and/or set short-term, achievable goals.

The “Conceptualizer” temperament includes ENTJs, INTJs, ENTPs and INTPs. For people of these types, the core need is to be be challenged and continue to develop their competencies.

To enjoy your job more- if you’re a Conceptualizer – seek out professional development opportunities, take courses or attend seminars to expand your expertise and add credentials, find other creative people to brainstorm ideas with, hire competent “detail” people, find a mentor you admire and respect or, mentor another person, and/or develop a “critical friends” group to critique each others’ ideas.

The “Idealist” temperament includes ENFJs, INFJs, ENFPs and and INFPs. For people of these types, the core need is to to do work they believe in, and have meaningful relationships.

To enjoy your job more – if you’re an Idealist – create a support group to help people with personal and/or work-related issues, volunteer to do PR for your company or department, try (harder!) to leave your work at the office, consider becoming a trainer or coach in your field of expertise, volunteer to draft your organization’s mission statement, seek out other creative people to bounce things off of, and/or attend conferences or get involved in professional organizations.

In addition to enjoying your work more, implementing some of these suggestions can provide the additional benefit of making you even more valuable to your employer – which can come in very handy should you decide you want or need to stay in this job longer than you planned.

For Advice about Big Decisions: Ask Your Opposite

by Paul Tieger

You’re about to make a big decision – which college to apply to, whether to take one job offer over another, if this is the right time to buy that house. These are big deal decisions because your choice will set in motion events that can change the course of your life.

This got me thinking about how most of us go about making big decisions. It’s human nature to surround ourselves with people like ourselves, because it makes us feel comfortable. However, this can have some serious unintended consequences.

For example, when we have an important decision to make, we usually seek the advice of someone whom we (subconsciously hope) will reinforce our point of view, or tell us what we want to hear, and do go to someone who’s going to give us a hard time.

That makes sense. So what’s the problem with that? We run the very real risk of not hearing what we need to hear, which can prevent us from making the best decision. So who should you turn to for help making our most important decisions? Ideally, someone whom you trust, who knows you and who has your best interest at heart. But it should also be someone who is different enough from you – Personality Type-wise – to see what you cannot. For example:

If you’re a Feeler, you should consult a Thinker, who is more likely to give you the unvarnished, objective (although sometimes painful) truth.

If you’re a Thinker, a Feeler can help you sort out how important the issue is to you, and how your decision will affect others.

If you’re a Sensor, an Intuitive can help you see the big picture, and possibilities and options that you just can’t imagine naturally.

If you’re an Intuitive, consulting with a Sensor can help you see the reality of the situation – what really going on, and help you come up with some practical, workable solutions.

When seeking some one’s advice, here’s a suggestion: You’ll need to preface your conversation by acknowledging that your friend has strengths that you don’t, and you need to encourage that person to be very candid with you. And of course, you need to be open to hearing their honest feedback, if this is going to work.

Making a conscious decision to seek the honest opinion of someone with an opposite personality type preference can help you make much more balanced decisions and also improve your relationship, because you and your friend or colleague will now be even more valuable to each other than ever.

How to Make Yourself Invaluable to Your Employer

by Paul Tieger

Knowing about your Personality Type can not only help you find another job, it can also help you keep the one you have. The more of your natural, inborn talents you’re able to use in your job, the happier and more productive you will be – which will often be noticed by your employer.

So, how do you enjoy your work more, and hence be more valuable to your employer?  Below is a description of the special qualities that people of your type preferences bring to the job. Since every individual is unique, not all of these may be true for you – but the majority should.

As you review the lists, think about opportunities where you can use these qualities to further the organization’s goals.  Remember, employers appreciate employees who add value, show initiative, and make their lives easier. With that in mind, I would also recommend that you go the next step, seek out your boss and ask him or her, what you can do to be even more valuable.

The Key is Understanding Your Personality Type    

There are four aspects or “dimensions” of Personality Type, and two opposite sets of characteristics associated with each. Every person has a natural, inborn preference for one set of characteristics over the other. People are either Extraverts or Introverts (which describes the different ways people get energized), Sensors or Intuitives (the different ways people take in information, Thinkers or Feelers (the different ways people make decisions), and Judgers or Perceivers (the different ways people like to organize their world). Everyone is primarily one way or the other on each of these four dimensions, but no one is exclusively one way or the other. It’s important to recognize that it’s not better or worse to have any of these preferences, every individual is unique, and we all have varying abilities to use our “non-preferences” when we need to. So, your “Type” is a combination of your preferences for each of these dimensions, which makes people “ISTJs”, “ENFPs”, or one of fourteen other types. (By the way, the letter “N” is used for “Intuition”, since “I” is already taken to describe “Introverts”).

So, What Makes You So Valuable?

Here are some of the natural strengths for people with different type preferences:

Extraverts – looking outside themselves and seeing what needs to be done, getting people involved, public speaking, organizing and hosting events.

Introverts –  looking inside themselves and considering things carefully, focusing on one topic at a time, researching, and making thoughtful, deliberate decisions.

Sensors –  paying attention to the important facts and details, bringing a realistic perspective, seeking practical solutions, being in the moment, and providing a historical perspective –“ the institutional memory.”

Intuitives –    generating ideas, seeking new approaches, thinking about the big picture, connecting the dots, thinking outside-the-box, and considering future implications.

Thinkers –  applying objective analysis, seeking fair solutions, and making the kinds of hard decisions that while unpopular, are necessary.

Feelers –  being sympathetic and empathetic, supporting and nurturing others, getting people involved, being concerned about morale, and doing things they believe to be right.

Judgers – making decisions, being organized, planning, setting and meeting goals and deadlines.

Perceivers – keeping open to new possibilities, considering options, responding spontaneously, being curious and asking the right questions, and continuing to improve ideas.

These strengths, which are directly connected to your Type preferences, are the best you have to offer. The more opportunities you can find to use them, the more successful you will be and the more valuable you’ll be to your employer.

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