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Managing Your Career Transition with Type

Pic Credit: master isloated images

Pic Credit: master isloated images

Notes from Friday's Career Symposium with Carol Linden (US ENFP) from and Ann Holm (US ENFP) from at the Association for Psychological Type's International Conference.  

I’m not asking you to not be who you are, I’m just asking you to manage it better.
— Otto Kroeger

During a job search process, knowledge of Type can give you essential clues how to

  • Ace interviews
  • Take care of yourself during times of ambiguity

If you have preferences for Introversion, "selling yourself" may feel like a challenge. Remember

  • It ain't braggin' if it's true
  • Recognize that your strengths are unique to you
  • You can help the interviewer see and trust you, so they can hire the most qualified person for the position

All Types need to practice, practice, practice

  • Telling concise stories about your experience in context, highlighting actions, learnings, and results
  • Adapting to the interviewer's style in mock interviews

Losing your job or having to look for a new one when it wasn't your idea can be frustrating. Don't skip the grieving process, acknowledge what you're going through. Honor your preferences by doing what you would normally do, i.e.

  • Extraverts, don't shut yourself in at home - keep socializing and networking
  • Introverts, don't go out and overdo new group activities - keep networking relevant with one-on-one conversations and make time to reflect

Remember, if you're unemployed and stressed, so is your partner / spouse. 

Which tips would you add?


Thoughts on Job Security


Thoughts on Job Security

My father is going on early retirement this week, after 37 years in the same industry. He changed specialties once in the early 1990s, but remained in the same field. My mother has been working in the same job for 42 years, changing employers only after the first one folded after about 35 years of service there. Both my parents are still in their 50s (yup, they started young. Oh yeah, and I'm 12.) and have lived in the same town their whole lives. Among most my peers, this kind of job security and local consistency is practically unheard of these days. It's neither the norm nor desired. Can you imagine the discussions we had every time I've changed job? And moved countries? Blame it on the generation gap, but we've had little empathy for one another at first. I'm happy my parents are happy, but I'm super happy that my first job isn't going to be my last.

Companies are looking for people who will bring their varied backgrounds to the job. Diversity breeds innovation. Change is constant. It remains to be seen what taking away employees' flexibility will do for your business. Yahoo will find out after June 1st, when no employee will be allowed to work from home anymore. Seems counter-intuitive for a technologies company to insist on face-to-face collaboration, but then again, establishing lasting relationships through email or Skype has its challenges, too.

Many US American States are "at will" employment states. That means there are no employment contracts - neither party commits to taking care of the other beyond the immediate role. If stock prices fall, I know you'll fire me. When the project is done or I've learned enough, you know I'll move on. The internet never sleeps, and my CV is always up-to-date and available on LinkedIn.

So where's the answer? As always, probably somewhere in the middle.

Nobody should have to stay in the same position for 40 years if they don't like it. Compromising your happiness will eventually affect your physical and mental health, so paycheck shmaycheck - get a coach and get you some happy. If you're afraid of change, consider your attitude to taking risks. Do you perhaps try to avoid uncertainty in other life areas as well? Do you like to plan things and know what's going to happen? What can you do in your job search or career change that will make you feel safe and supported?

If you got laid off before you were ready to go, this might be a good time to re-evaluate your path. Were you truly fulfilled or perhaps dragging yourself to work on Monday mornings? What is it that you really want to be doing? Have you ever thought about what your unique gifts and passions might be? Can you maybe even start your own business?

People move to where the opportunities are. In Europe, thousands of young adults from Spain, Italy, Greece, and Portugal now call Germany their home. In the States, mobility has always been a greater factor. Moving between States is easy thanks to the same currency and no border controls. Perhaps if you widen the net of your search, you'll find your dream job just a few miles away.

Image by Tit Bonac, Flickr, Creative Commons License



Type & Culture Research

expatsmbti-research-results_60_tableI'm looking for

adult expats, repats, international assignees, accompanying partners, students, retirees, love-pats, and anyone living and working for at least 12 months outside of their home culture to help me with research. If you are one of those people, and if you know your confirmed best-fit Myers-Briggs Type result, please help me by answering 5 quick questions. If you don't know your MBTI(r) Type, you'll find some options in the FAQ for how to get it.

The goal is

to set up a database with thousands of entries and explore a) how different nationalities express their different personality types, and b) how our personality type preferences influence our adaptation to other cultures.

Answer these 5 questions to add your voice.

Here's where we are so far: 60 respondents, 53 usable

Obviously, we need some more MEN and some more ISFJs, ISFPs, and ESFJs expats, so if you know anyone, please share this survey with them. Thanks!




I will continue to collect data until all types are equally well represented, and hold follow-up interviews with those who give me permission to contact them. I have 5 interviews completed and transcribed (cheers, guys!) four of which NT and one SJ, so I'll be looking for Temperament-related language as well. I'll be using the Grounded Theory method, i.e. doing a lot of comparison and coding of what the experiences may describe from a type perspective. I was accepted as a speaker at the 2013 Association for Psychological Type Conference in Miami and look forward to sharing an update there! Participants who share their email address will receive a copy of the presentation as a thank you for their time.

I can't do this without you. Thank you for your help.

Find the survey at  and please share with everyone you know who lives or has lived abroad and knows their Type.