The Defender as Designer
Have you ever taken the Myers–Briggs personality test? I must have done it once or twice before, because I was familiar with it, but never took much away from the results. The world of personality tests can be dense and overwhelming. They range from the very silly Buzzfeed quiz "Answer these five questions and we'll tell you what kind of cookie you are!" to the much more complex and cerebral, like the Myers–Briggs.
Recently I retook a M-B style personality survey which gives you something close to Myers-Briggs complexity but breaks it down into really manageable pieces. I spent some time digging in to the results and thinking about how I could apply what I learned about my personality and how I work to my creative business.
Because I've dedicated this year to better understanding the purpose of my work and growing it in a way that serves both me and my clients, I wanted to share my results and some of the insight I've gleaned from it. I like the potential self-awareness that can come from this kind of reflection.
Also, I'm a sugar cookie if you were wondering.
First: An Overview of the Traits
The survey results are determined by where your answers indicate you fall along five trait spectrums. The sum of these parts indicated by an acronym (like ISFJ or ENFP, etc) that summarizes which side of each spectrum your personality fall on.
How we interactive with our environment
Extroverted (E) — Introverted (I)
How we use our thinking energy
Observant (S) — Intuitive (N)
How we make decision and cope with change
Thinking (T) — Feeling (F)
How we work and make plans
Judging (J) — Prospecting (P)
These four traits above are underscored by the fifth trait:
How confident we are in ourselves and our abilities
Assertive (A) — Turbulent (T)
My Results: The Defender
Introverted — Observant — Feeling — Judging — Turbulent
Mine is a personality of contradictions — my social relationships are strong but I recharge through introspective alone time. Though passionate about my beliefs, I'm open to change. I know what I like, but sometime perfectionism gets the best of me and I have trouble committing. What really makes me feel fulfilled is helping others and feeling needed. I take a lot of pride in my work and personal responsibilities, but I don't like a lot of attention and prefer good results of kudos.
The ISFJ-T personality type is called "The Defender" because we are always ready to do whatever it takes to take care of people and follow through on what we promise. You can be sure when we work together that you have a reliable asset in your corner.
Defender at Work
Enthusiastic, Hard-Working, Imaginative, and Practical
The strengths of the Defender personality come from the unique balance of being open to change, but ready to fight for what I believe in. If there's something I feel passionate about I'll stand up for it — unless there's good reason to change my mind, which I'm totally open to talk about.
If there is a goal in the distance that I really believe in and want to achieve, I've got the drive to push forward and the practical skills to figure out how to get there. Being both imaginative and practical lends itself to dreaming big and then being able to distill my big ideas down into tangible steps with achievable results.
Supportive, Reliable, and Patient
ISFJ individuals are always looking for the win-win in a situation and ways to support and improve the lives and well-beings of those around them. This couldn't be more true for me — it's even in my bio: "I especially enjoy creating things that feel authentic, wholesome, holistic or serve a good cause — I want the brands I create to make people feel good."
I truly see the work I do as a way of supporting businesses to do their best work. While crafting brands and websites isn't nearly the nurturing work of a field like nursing or volunteering, lifting up small business' I believe in and watching them flourish is high on my list of ultimate favorite things.
Where I Struggle
Humble and Shy
Guys, networking is so hard for me. You know the awkward person at parties who has a drink and skirts the perimeter of the room before quietly ghosting to go home and watch movies in their pajamas? Hi, that's me. I've never been great at socializing, because I'd rather be cooking, or reading or, frankly, working. I get a lot of fulfillment from working. Thank goodness the internet is here to help me connect with other humans.
Overloaded and Altruistic
The other side of getting fulfillment from your work is that sometimes you load way too much on to your plate. But I will say this: even with a hugely overloaded plate I will never miss a deadline. I'm completely dedicated to holding up my end of every piece of work I promise to deliver — sometimes to a fault. Like, forget to eat, forget to sleep dedicated. I could do better at managing some work/life balance and finding joy outside of work.
Your Success is My Joy
So what does this all mean for my business? Essentially, you've got a girl in your corner who really cares about her work, thrives off of your success, and will bust her butt to make your project happen. I'll give you gentle encouragement if I feel strongly about a recommendation (and I often do) but be open to dialogue if you feel strongly too. I'll dream big about your project and have a lot of ideas, but be respectful of your timeline and budget.
If I wasn't a designer, I'd be a teacher or a librarian because gently guiding people in the right direct feels natural and comfortable to me. Providing creative work feels genuinely helpful and often solves problems to make peoples lives better. This kind of caring is what fills me up.
Learn About Your Personality
You can learn all about the different personality types (and find yours!) at 16personalities.com .There's a 10 minute quiz, followed by a ton of insight. You can purchase a pro-profile to really dig in but I found even the free profile overview to be fascinating and really enlightening.
I'd love if you'd give it a try and tell me what you learn about yourself. I'd also love to know what kind of cookie you are. My daughter is a chocolate chip and my husband is a gingersnap.