Sunday, July 17, 2005


As an addendum to the Offsite post, I think it might be prudent to mention the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). One's Myers-Briggs type is based on Jungian psychological type models; most people nowadays seem very familiar with it, so I won't go into it here in great detail. If you are unfamiliar with it and would like to know more, here is a link you can use:

Brief Explanation of Myers-Briggs

FSI uses Myers-Briggs as part of training; in fact, at offsite it played a part in determining group structure. If you're coming to FSI, you will be administered the MBTI test during the first couple of weeks. The type break-down of the orientation group is made known to the class (though no one's individual type is made known without permission).

My own Myers-Briggs type is INTJ. Some sources I've read estimate that this type is less than 1% of the general population; the highest estimate I've ever read is 3%. Thus, I was rather surprised to see that there were 7 of us in a group of about 86 people. In fact, the girl who sits next to me is also an INTJ. This is the first time I can recall in which I've been able to observe someone with the same type as myself. (Though naturally, we hardly talk to each other...) It's been an interesting part of my experience here.


Max Fischer said...

I read your post about MBTI. It was fascinating. I followed your link and discovered that I am an INTP (mellowed by ENTP tendencies).

The good news is that this explains my current life predicament (I hate my job); the bad news is that my fix (join the Foreign Service, which is how I came across your blog) might be an "out of the frying pan into the fire" solution.

According to everything I've read about INTPs, we are a rare bird (about as frequent as INTJs). The main problem I see for myself if I manage to join the FS is that INTPs are highly independent people, having no desire to either lead or follow. We don't work well in groups, and tend to dislike taking orders.

Is there a place for an INTP in the FS? Which cone and/or position would be best for an MBTI type characterized as an "absent-minded professor", or "Max Fischer (from the film 'RUSHMORE')"?.


voice of reason said...

I suppose this was posted a very long time ago and a reply is unlikely, but I'd like to second Max's comments and find out if he or you now have a response. (Like Max, I'm an INTP who hates her job, and is intrigued by the FS, but worries that it's a leap into the fire.)

Katie said...

One of my favorite FS colleagues ever was an INTP. She had the most amazing ability to perceive non-standard (yet elegant) solutions to problems, a skill from which any of the cones would benefit -- certainly our section benefited from it. Well-adjusted people of all different types succeed in all different positions and places; the most important thing is to know your own strengths and weaknesses, and to be able to compensate accordingly. That's more of a life skill than merely a FS skill, though!

voice of reason said...

Thanks for your reply! Coincidentally, I just finished my FS registration last night, and, after looking it over for typos, will send it off today! I am selecting Consular.

I am now happily rediscovering your blog, which is packed with loads of useful information about the FS. Thank you!

Katie said...

Good luck to you! I hope things go well.