INFPs Have to Work, Too

Let me tell you all the reasons I should not have my job. And let me hope my boss isn’t taking me too seriously.

First, I’m an introvert. A serious, don’t-wanna-leave-the-house, please-don’t-leave-me-a-voicemail, my book is my friend kind of introvert. So it would make sense to go into a public-facing career like communications and marketing, right? I didn’t start down this path intentionally, I sort of fell into it/had it foisted onto me because I’m a writer. And communications is about writing, first and foremost and forevermore.

So I started writing, then they wanted me to speak and it didn’t occur to me not to do that because I had things to say. And then folks asked me to give speeches and webinars and workshops and it all seemed like it started with writing, so it was rooted in my true self. And as introverts will affirm, it’s sometimes easier to speak to 2,000 people than to two. So I spoke. And I got good at it. People learned things, were entertained, and enjoyed my sessions. I got a window into the world of the extrovert. And so what if a 2-hour workshop puts me out of commission for 4 hours, needing respite from the world? It’s worth it to me, and it’s part of my job now.

Second, I don’t really like people that much. This goes along with being an introvert, but I mostly find people tiresome, bothersome, something-some too much. But I believe in people. I think people have good intentions, set out to do a good job, and really want to be at their best. So this makes me a good manager of people, because I encourage and have faith. I’m a cheerleader and a protector for those under my wing.

Even when someone is showing their worst traits, I approach from a situation of love. I know that’s a touchy-feely word that you’re not supposed to use in business, but I’m a Tender Heart Bear (TM Care Bears) and am affected deeply by people’s words and actions. Yes, this means I get my feelings hurt sometimes, but I’d rather get my feelings hurt and learn something than be unapproachable, unemotional, untethered to the world through my heart.

Finally, I define myself through my work. So I should’ve picked a job that comes with instant and continuous feedback that I’m doing well, doing the right things. What job has that? I don’t even know. What I know is that I live for weeks on recognition or a compliment, and languish when I feel unappreciated. And this helps remind me to recognize and appreciate my colleagues, who may feel the same way.

I care about my work, my vocation, my avocation. They are all one, because it’s my duty in life to do the thing I most love to do and am best at. And if it’s scary, all the better.