The students attending represented many different majors and were in many different places when it came to consideration of careers. Some didn’t know much about what they wanted to do next or just had a few ideas, while others were trying to evaluate the more specific plans they had in mind or were reflecting on how God and the concept of vocation fit into the jobs they already had lined up after graduation.At the beginning of the workshop, we explored personality and how it relates to careers by examining Myers-Brigg personality types. Before the workshop, we had to go to the Center for Career Services to take the assessment. I had taken versions of the assessment online before and had always tested as an INFJ. I was surprised to find that I was classified as something else based on this test—an INFP.
“I” stands for Introversion. Introversion is not about how quiet or shy you are, as some people think, but rather about how you get energized. Introverts are stimulated by internal reflection and time alone. “N” means Intuition. Looking at things intuitively means tending to be more abstract and looking at the big picture rather than smaller details. “F” stands for feeling, which means being more likely to value personal considerations, emotions, and the subjective over logic and other objective criteria when making decisions. “P” is the letter that’s different than what I’d been classified as before. “P” stands for perceiving. The other option for this last letter is “J,” meaning judging. A person with a “P” personality is more flexible than a J.The speaker from the Center for Career Services emphasized many people have to learn, and can learn, to work in the opposite characteristics. For example, introverts can take on extroverted qualities in the workplace. However, the preferences that result from personality types are something to keep in mind when examining potential career paths.
During the workshop, we also did some exercises to help us better understand ourselves. For example, the leaders of our workshop had us write down answers to what seemed like very random, very open-ended questions. Once the questions were finished, we were encouraged to look through our answers to see any patterns about what we valued or what kept coming into our brains. I had quite a few answers about the study of religion, for instance.
Another exercise involved writing down some activities or accomplishments from our past that were particularly meaningful or exciting to us and then sharing those with other students. The other students in our groups then told us what skills they perceived in those stories. What I took from this activity was just how important creativity is to so many of my meaningful experiences.Through this workshop, I think I have a few more ways to examine myself and different vocational options in terms of my priorities and what might suit me well. I also took away that concept that we should listen to what our lives are speaking to us about what we may be called to do and that the pathway to the fulfillment of (or finding of) our calling may be a lengthy one. Chaplain Radecke expressed that those steps along the way are not just treading water.
Something else I appreciated is that the workshop leaders said that they wanted to be available to us to talk through these issues. I look forward to taking advantage of that as I move forward in trying to figure out my direction for post-graduation.