What I Learnt About Myself: My past experience

Since I have figured out how introverted I am, although I still feel I have this compelling urge to decode the other 3 dichotomies of my personality based on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), i.e. intuition, feeling and perception, I can’t help to feel a bit disorientated. I thought by discovering I am an introvert, I could at least start to figure how I can move forward or at least have formed a direction of how I could move forward. So I started to question myself whether this is important or whether it would make any difference to my future if I didn’t decode it. Or is it just how I am? Would I be wasting another few days, weeks or months to figuring this out? I don’t know to be honest.

I continued to research and read about MBTI, amongst others including those articles reportedly how bollocks the MBTI assessments are and how they have been over-exploited by the HR departments in big organisations and career coaches nowadays. Majority of scientists or psychologists also do not acknowledge MBTI due to a lack of scientific proof of this tool. Others argued that the results of the assessments differ depending on what you answer on a different day. I agree to a certain extent the results of the assessments varied depending on how you feel or think on the day of the assessments are taken. Therefore the assessments should be taken with cautious and should only be used as a guidance or indicator, rather than as an absolute answer.

So what should I take away from this? I mentioned that I am a 100% introvert, of which psychologists argued that no one is 100% introvert or extrovert, as that would only indicate that person is a lunatic. What this tells me is I could be an extrovert too.
Scientist Jerome Kagan, one of key pioneers of developmental psychologists, argued that we could be both introvert or extrovert innately, and at the same time, develop the opposite personality depending on our exposure, environment, culture, situation, etc. In another words, we could develop and nurture both extrovert and introvert personality. It is also the first time I learnt both words “temperament” and “personality” from scientific point of view, as explained in “Quiet” by Susan Cain.

Temperament” refers to inborn, biologically based behavarioual and emotional patterns that are observable in infancy and early childhoold”
Personality is the complex brew that emerges after cultural influence and personal experience are thrown into the mix”.(“Quiet” by Susan Cain, page 101, Chapter 4: Is Temperament Destiny?).

So we can be potentially born as an introvert or an extrovert, but as we grow up, we could be trained to be an extrovert or an introvert along the way. So what does it mean to me? How is that going to help me to steer to the right direction?

All the career coaches will advise you to find a way that you will be most motivated to work. Or the kind of environment you feel charged and excited to work in. I think the fact that an introvert and can be an extrovert if required to be is important, especially in order to survive in this loud and noisy world.

As an introvert, sometimes I have to be a bit extroverted in order to be heard. And I admit after I have spent 4 days in an open plan office, I yearn for that work from home day to recharge myself. But when I didn’t have that option, I found myself trying to get away from my colleagues.
For example, in my last job, I was first allocated to sit in between my manager and another colleague in a semi-open plan office. There are no dividers in between us. It was good initially and I think it is important to place a newbie next to the manager and another senior person in order to be able to pick up the work quickly. However as time goes by, I started to feel my energy was worn out. So when another colleague left the company and the seat was empty, I jumped to the opportunity to move. There was no one next to me eventually. I was overjoyed because I could have my solitary moments at work.

I realised now I left the job not because of the frequent travelling. I felt restless not because of the travelling. It is the fact that when travelling, I have to be around people almost the whole 2 weeks. Colleagues in particular. I enjoyed those early mornings I spent on my own at the breakfast, and sometimes after work. But when travelling, being alone is a privilege.

Whilst I still like to travel, I think I have to avoid this kind of job that don’t allow me to spend time on my own. In fact, I am still hoping I can travel to different countries or places as part of my work requirements. I do dream of hiding behind the laptop, as a writer, and work while I am at different places. In fact I do admire those people who can go around the globe and experience life and write about it.

This entry was posted in Life, Myers Briggs, Personality, Quiet, Susan Cain. Bookmark the permalink.

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