Thursday, February 17, 2011

ENFJ and the Party Planner

I may have mentioned this before, but I love my work.  What I may not have mentioned is all of the reasons why...  I met with a client on Monday (more about that in a later post) and he asked me some questions that got me reminiscing.  You see, I've been planning events since 1998.  I started out in book publicity, planning author tours and book launch parties designed to attract media attention for the book and author.  Then I moved on to sales promotions and marketing for Toys R Us where I planned marketing events across all 800+ stores simultaneously.  I also planned all of their corporate events like the staff holiday party, company picnic, etc.  All of this while also planning weddings and parties for friends and family on the side; until I had my moment of crisis.  As much as I loved planning events and as much as I knew how good I was at it, I wasn't happy.  Although everything about the work it came so easily to me and my personality was perfectly suited to the work, I couldn't get my head around the fact that I wasn't doing anything of any significance in the world.  Planning parties?  Come on.  I have to have more to offer the planet than that?

I was considering going to graduate school so I could get a degree in anthropology and then work for CARE or some other organization like that.  (I told you it was a crisis).  But before I did that, I decided to see a career counselor.  Part of the process with a career counselor is taking all of these tests do determine your personality type.  Apparently mine makes up only 2.5% of the population.  I had one of the highest extrovert scores he’s ever seen (seriously) and an extreme drive toward service of others and greater purpose.  Here’s a quick description. If you know me personally, you’ll love this:
They are driven to implement their vision of what is best for humanity. They tend to see the grand scheme of things, and to be able to deduce connections between things that other people miss. They often act as catalysts for human growth because of their ability to see potential in other people and their charisma in persuading others to their ideas. Talkative and expressive, ENFJs are adept communicators and are motivated to understand and please other people. They enjoy talking about relationships and sharing their insights about people, their emotions, and their motivations. ENFJs like to be liked and are very sensitive to feedback. They expect the best not just from themselves, but from others as well, and tend to idealize relationships. People love ENFJs.  They are fun to be with and are typically very straight-forward and honest.  Usually, they exude a lot of self-confidence and have a great ability to do a number of different things.  ENFJs often play host or hostess, energetically engaging everyone in the group and making sure that a good time is had by all. They are very responsive to the emotional state of others; while their empathy is often an asset, engaging with others can also become overwhelming for the ENFJ. More than other Extroverted types, they need time alone, away from the demands of serving and caring for others. Popular hobbies might include organizing social events, reading, the arts, museums, storytelling, listening to music, writing, and gourmet cooking.
At work, the ENFJ is motivated to organize others to implement positive social change. ENFJs are often found in leadership roles; they enjoy being able to use their creativity to develop innovative initiatives with a humanitarian goal, and they want to have the organizational resources to put their ideas into action. They are enthusiastic problem-solvers, especially when they can put their strong intuition about people to good use. They like for things to be well-organized, and will work hard at maintaining structure and resolving ambiguity.  They strive for cooperation and work best in a harmonious environment where they can encourage the growth of others. The ideal work environment for an ENFJ is forward-thinking and people-centered, with a clear humanitarian mission and an emphasis on constructive action. The ideal job for an ENFJ allows them to develop and implement ideas that improve the circumstances and well-being of other people while expressing creativity.
Seriously.  It's like they went into my head, pulled out my personality and put it on paper, even my hobbies are listed in there.  Apparently Oprah, Obama, Lincoln, Elizabeth Dole, Tony Blair, MLK, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Mead, Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, and Peyton Manning fall into that same category with me.  Good company to keep!

Now, after having gone to see this counselor and learning this about myself, which felt like an enormous relief for some reason, it became very clear to me.  I need to do events with a purpose.  I immediately got to work planning events for non profits and haven't looked back since.  It's amazing what happens when your work aligns perfectly with your personality.  You just soar.  Never again will I question if I'm doing the right thing with my life, I know I am.  And this is why I do what I do and why I love my work.


  1. Sue, you will not believe this but I had had to take two personality tests this week. Another company would like for me to head their publication and wanted me to take part in the test to see if I would be a good matchfor their culture. I am an ENFJ as well!!!!!! Amazing!!

    These personality tests really let you know if you are on the right track. Aparrently we both are. We should celebrate at POD. The weather is changing.

  2. Of course you are, Diana! I knew I loved you for a reason ;)