I used to be miserable at my job. I was working in retail, in an organic food shop, as a manager. My daily tasks were some of the following: organizing employees’ weekly schedule, replenishing the shop upon new product arrivals, making sure subordinates weren’t slacking around, solving conflicts between employees and clients, making sure to answer clients’ questions with a big smile, guiding customers to the natural supplements aisle, and always having to act enthusiastic and show positive energy, no matter how I felt inside.
I ended up thinking that hating your job was the norm; that a job was a necessary evil to endure, in exchange of a monthly paycheck. Little did I know that we are all different, and each of us is meant to work in a specific environment, according to his/her needs.
Things clicked when, by pure luck, I took the MBTI test. It’s a free personality test that you can complete online – it can be done in 15 minutes. Don’t mistake this for some cosmo magazine pop quiz. Many big companies have their employees take this test, so it’s a legit tool.
Your MBTI results show you:
- What your natural strengths and weaknesses are. Are you a great negotiator or salesman, but you can’t stand sitting alone in a room filling paperwork? Are you a great strategist, but suck at dealing with the unexpected?
- How you deal with people in general. Are you sensitive to others’ feelings? Do you enjoy taking care of others’ needs? Are you independent or do you need others’ support?
- How you communicate
- How you make decisions
- What careers and work environments tend to fit you best. Are you more of a coach/teacher type of person, who loves spending time with people, or more of a lone wolf logical thinker?
- What activities you enjoy
- What stresses you out
In other words, it’ll give you a vague blueprint for designing your life.
My MBTI profile made me realize that I was an independent person. I needed lots of time alone to recharge my batteries. I needed calm environments in which I could be creative and solve problems. I became conscious of the fact that dealing with others’ emotions drains me.
Since then, I’ve changed professions, swapping the retail world for an office, where I get to spend more time thinking at my desk, and less time faking smiles in front of customers.
My love life has also been a lot more satisfying since I’ve embraced the fact that I need lots of me-time. My current partner is independent too, and we have a fulfilling relationship where we don’t constantly step on each other. We don’t spend too much time together but when we do, it’s great. Quality time over quantity. I’m not saying that this is the one right way to have a relationship, I’m just saying that it’s the right one for ME. It’s up to you to figure out what will contribute to your wellbeing.
Consequently, the MBTI has greatly helped in alleviating my depression, by allowing myself to realize I had specific needs that needed to be met.
For more advice on beating depression, read my guide here.