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Do You Feel Like an Alien in your Workplace?

by bevbarnes on January 5, 2012

I’ve been thinking about what helped me to find my true calling in life. One of the major pieces of the puzzle was doing the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

When I first did the MBTI, I was in a workplace surrounded by engineers and nurses. I worked in the occupational health and safety department of a huge corporation in case you’re curious. Nothing is wrong with engineers and nurses except that I wasn’t one of them. I didn’t think the same way as they did. I didn’t see the world the same way that they did. I felt like an alien.

I decided that something was wrong with me.

Here’s a hint, the minute you decide that something is wrong with you, you get totally and completely lost trying to find your passions.

But I digress.

As luck would have it, our corporation was undergoing massive change and hired a truck load of consultants. One of the first things they did was administer the MBTI to all management staff. I discovered two things:

1. I had completely different personality preferences than all of my co-workers;

2. I had the same personality preference as most of the consultants. In fact when I was with them, I felt that I had found my tribe.

This was earth shattering for me. I wasn’t crazy. I was totally different from my co-workers and nothing was wrong with that.

But the bigger issue was…….there were people like me!

There were people who were: not concrete and practical; who liked starting things more than finishing things; who focused not on the facts but what the facts meant – to people; who were obsessed with growth and personal development; who were gifted with a deep understanding of people.

And I learned that people like me could make a living being who they were and not pretending to be someone else!

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator totally rocked my world.

It gave me the confidence to start contacting people who did interesting work so that I could discover new possibilities for work.

It gave me the confidence to use my own personal values to make decisions and not decide based on the pros and cons.

It gave me the confidence to believe my own intuitive hits which I’d often doubted.

It helped me to see that my passion was seeing possibilities for people.

Do this if you feel like an Alien in your workplace:

1. If you’ve never done the MBTI I suggest that you do it. The best way, is to get personalized interpretation with a qualified practitioner. Moi! Click here.

2. If you are a DIY type or the price for the individualized service is too steep, take the Kiersey Temperament Inventory which is similar to the MBTI, for free here.

You won’t get a complete understanding of the tool nor dive deeply into the nuances of your particular situation, nor get a 10 page report, but you’ll get the basics.

3. Read : Do What You Are by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger or What’s your type of Career by Donna Dunning. These books are available everywhere. I highly, highly recommend them both!

4. Start seeking out people like you and connecting with them. Like attracts like. People who resonate with you are probably people who do work that appeals to you. Don’t be fooled by their job title. Ask them about what they do and how they do it.

When you find your tribe you’ll find your calling.

Happy Searching! You are on your way.

I’d love to hear what you learned from doing the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.  Leave your comments below!


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

sigilkitty January 5, 2012 at 11:13 pm

The Keirsey test you linked to only gives you the middle two letters of your type. To get your full results you have to pay. You can get the exact same test in their book for about the same price. Also, they make you give them a lot of data before giving you the two letter result.


Bev Barnes January 6, 2012 at 12:42 am

That is too bad. I didn’t realize that. No wonder it’s free. I think that if you get any of the books I mentioned they contain a questionnaire that is very much like the MBTI that you can use.


Patti Sato January 5, 2012 at 11:52 pm

I totally understand what you are saying. I am an ENFP and I am in a government job dealing with claims every day. I have tried to move into public affairs or training with my agency but have not been able to get there. I have had special assignments in these areas and excelled and I loved it! I have finally decided that I need to look elsewhere. I am considering starting my own business doing organizational training – teamwork, motivation, getting along with others. Wish me luck!


Bev Barnes January 6, 2012 at 12:46 am

It is great that you know where you fit! I think that NOW is the perfect time for people who are inspired to start their own businesses to take the leap. There is so much new technology available and so much change going on in the world. that it really is possible to make a living as a solo-entrepreneur. I am sending you my very best wishes!


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