Reading ‘Do What You Are’ was like swimming in an ocean of self indulgence. I loved reading and exploring my thoughts, motivations, feelings and ideas. It was an excuse for a bit of ‘me time’ in the commotion of life. It provided escapism from the constant noise and activities that take us away from ourselves and deny us time to reflect on our thoughts and motivations. Reading this book allowed time for personal reflection and to consider what it is that is driving my actions on a daily basis, what influences my decisions and essentially what it is that ‘makes me tick.’ Whoa did I enjoy this book!
‘Do What You Are’ is a careers book that invites the reader to reflect on who they are and match a career based on their personality type. The Personality Types, developed by Myers Briggs, forms the basis of the book. Tieger, Barron and Tieger invite the reader to discern which one of the sixteen personality types they believe they fall into. The authors help the reader to reach this conclusion by means of detailed explanation of eight functions that we live our life by. The explanations of each function are clearly illustrated and descriptions are enhanced through regular use of anecdote and scenarios. I was left in no doubt when working out my personality type. Even completing just this first step was so illuminating for me. Sure, I probably would have recognised most of this in me already, but it was fascinating to read about it. It somehow validated for me the way that I live my life.
Part 2 explains the theory of what they call the ‘Fourmula.’ This breaks down your personality type into the order of preferences. The sixteen personality types fall into four temperaments: Traditionalists, Experiencers, Idealists and Conceptualizers. Interestingly they provide details on what percentage of Americans fall into each category, Traditionalists is the highest at 46%, whereas Idealists (myself) make up only 16% of the population. This may explain why I see the world through a different lens to so many other people! Again Tieger, Barron and Tieger provide analysis on each group and comment on how they perform at work. Probably the most interesting section for me was learning about the hierarchy of functions. Being an ENFJ, I learnt that my dominant function is ‘Feeling’ and I make most of my decisions based on my values. This again wasn’t an eye opener for me but it validated to me why I find it hard to go against my values and why I base decisions on feelings rather than logic. The ‘Fourmula’ continues to delve further into the functions and gets better as the chapter progresses. I really found this section of the book to be addictive reading. Like a true ENFJ, I am on a constant inner journey searching for meaning!
Part 3 allows you to apply the knowledge you have gained to explore suitable careers. Obviously this book is not prescriptive, rather it suggests a broad spectrum of varied careers for each Personality Type. There are several questions and exercises to complete that allows you to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses in the workplace. I found this section of the book to be very time consuming as it really demanded deep reflection. Unfortunately I didn’t fully commit to this exercise as I am happy in my current role and had no real motivation to look for a new career. People who are looking for a new pathway would take greater benefit from this section than I did.
Overall I found ‘Do What You Are’ to be a thoroughly enjoyable read. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning about themselves. It would be of particular interest to someone who is at a crossroads in their life, unsure what career to follow up. It would also be of especial interest to Guidance Counsellors, Careers Advisors, Life Coaches or anyone working to help others to make life decisions.
‘Do What You Are’ provides a ticket to a voyage of personal discovery. Are you willing to come aboard?