Saturday, January 2, 2010

Protector Supporters

Over the past couple of days, I have been completing assessment tests sent to me by a career counsellor. The results of the tests will be discussed with my counsellor in an appointment a couple of weeks from now, but there was a personality test that was self-scorable. It identified me as a Protector Supporter (introvert, sensing, feeling, judging). Some frequent career choices made by Protector Supporters are service occupations, teaching, medicine, social work, or ministry health care. However, the most interesting part was a write up based on conversations with people with my personality type. The description was pretty spot on. Unfortunately, it doesn't say much about what it means in terms of my career, but I thought it was pretty cool that a simple test could capture my personality so accurately. I have written it out below.

What's it like to be you?

I like feeling I have helped someone with a concern, helped them figure out, deal with, and resolve the problem, knowing that what I recommended or advised really did help that person.

I am fairly quiet with an easygoing attitude and am modest to some extent. I do not mind being alone, although I do like to be with people too. I like having friends, and family is the most important thing in my life. I am a reluctant leader - I like to have some say in things and I am glad I am doing it, but if things go well with someone else as leader, then that doesn't bother me. Privacy is important, though it's nice to be thought of well by others. I like to have some independence; to be able to come and go as I please is nice.

I am dependable and conscientious. I have a big sense of obligation with work. Doing a good job is really important to me. Give me specifics and a plan on how you want me to do it. Brainstorming is generally harder - it's a skill to acquire. I prefer to work by myself without distractions because I like things done a certain way. It's taken me a while to learn that my work is much better quality when I'm drawing from those who see things differently. They help keep up my enthusiasm. And I get upset when work backs up - and it probably takes me longer than most people to do something because I am so thorough. But when I have learned a lot about what I do, I think I get the job done much faster and I can make difficult work look easy. I cannot stand people not doing their best job. I do what I say I'm going to do and stick with it until it's done. And I can find myself overcommitted. It's important to me to be able to say "ok, this is enough responsibility for now, I don't have to climb that ladder at any cost."

Organization has always been a real strength. I do it all internally, in my head. I am fairly detail oriented and a very structured person. I have to have things in a certain place, with a plan and things prioritized, so I can leave things and pick up the next day where I left off. Being structured is a natural thing to me, to want to have things set.

I dislike conflict. I really care about treating people with a lot of respect. It's an emotional drain when I have to deal with different opinions and reconcile everyone. I give an opinion based on what I think is fair and what's been done in the past. What's decided for one person shouldn't really be any different than for another. I respect that people are certainly entitled to feel the way they fell, but in working or living together, decisions have to be made and things have to go a certain way. I need positive feedback that I'm doing a good job and that my opinions are similar to the opinions of others, to hear "yes, I think that same thing." I worry when there's disagreement. I question myself. I've learned to challenge what I don't feel is right, especially if someone does something to me that I don't feel I would have done to that person.

Anything really major in my life can take forever to decide. I look to what matters to people, talk to them and get their ideas, then put it all together into something that satisfies everyone. I am more comfortable preparing first and then starting something, after I've pictured it in my mind, rehearsed it, and perfected it. I feel I do a good job expressing myself when I have a chance to prepare, although I do better in reflection. Answering questions on the spur of the moment can be hard too. I will take something minor and get all freaked out when it's nothing to get upset about. I'm very methodical and prefer things to be laid out. If it's a problem with me and another person, I can analyze the situation endlessly until I talk to the person again and straighten it out.

I consider myself adaptable to anyone. I feel that a lot of people think I am a nice person, and because I was always there for them in the past and willing to help, they try to take advantage of me. But as long as you are doing something okay with your life, then you are okay with me.

I need acknowledgment from people who I really care about. Compliments can be embarrassing face to face, though. A paycheque is nice recognition too. I like a day when everything works really well, when I get a lot done, people respond very positively, and there is a lot of laughter. I have an unusual sense of humour, and I like laughter.

In other news, things with my parents are a little better. We exchanged some long emails last week and I think they don't necessarily agree with my decision, but at least are a bit more ok with it. They even helped me with what to say to my boss on Monday, and it was actually really helpful.

It hasn't really hit me that on Monday my life will change dramatically. If I think about it too much, I get really nervous. I think I'm mostly worried about what my colleagues will think about me. Most of them will probably be pretty shocked, and some will be probably be disappointed. I'm getting nervous just thinking about it now, so I think it's time to end this post. Until Monday...

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