I’m not going to repeat my description of the dominant preferences and such, but if you haven’t been following along, go back and read the beginning of the first week’s post (The ESTP). I’ve highlighted it in green, so you can easily catch up.
Last week we looked at the ENFP, which is an outward energized character who excels at using a sixth-sense, emotions, and perceptions. This week we will completely turn the tables ad look at the label-opposite ISTJ. ISTJs are inward-energized analytical, logical, fact-based approach to life. This is my personality type and also that of my sister. I believe Justice is probably an ISTJ too.
Living Life with an ISTJ: ISTJs are organizer-extraordinaires. Their inward focus and logic, detail, and duty-based personality makes them the turtles in this race of life—they are the steady plodders (or for writers—the steady plotters!). Everyone needs an ISTJ in their life because they are the ones who know (and follow) the rules, they read the directions, and they keep their word. ISTJs are finishers who usually love to-do lists. They are hard-working and will insist upon work before play, unless the play involves a sense of duty they see as greater than the job left undone. This also means that if you give them a job to do, you can be assured it will be done on time and to specifications. ISTJs value commitment and it is that sense of duty that often keeps them from totally withdrawing into themselves. ISTJs are often “word” people and they clearly express thoughts and judgments.
Career/Service Area Choices for an ISTJ: ISTJs are get ‘er done people which makes them great assets in business and service. They are hard workers and value production rather than fun. ISTJs may be “behind the scenes” types since they don’t usually require attention for their work. They often receive affirmation through concrete accomplishments or a tangible output rather than for their effort. They often enjoy hands-on tasks or work/service where they can see the results. In work and service, they enjoy completing a task uninterrupted or on their own. If they are going to work with others, they do best with partners that will pull their own weight. Otherwise, the ISTJ will just do the work themselves. Some occupations that might appeal to ISTJs are administration, finances, record-keeping, management/supervisor, marketing, sales, scientist/chemist/physicist, librarian, entrepreneur, technical specialist, researcher, military forces, teacher-especially in science/math, or dentist/doctor/nurse.
Free Time for an ISTJ: ISTJs might appear not to have as much free time as some other types since they usually insist on completing their work before engaging in entertainment. Their sense of duty may allow them to put work aside for play, but they often go at free time with a set purpose or end result. They prefer to have a set beginning and end and often schedule their play time with careful planning. Their Introversion leads them to seek leisure activities that they can do on their own—reading, solitary games, models, or individual sports such as rock climbing or scuba diving. Tradition is extremely important to most ISTJs, so they often entertain out of a need to keep and pass on family traditions or out of a sense of duty (it’s their turn to host the Sunday school potluck).
Warnings for the ISTJ: Too much of any good thing can be a bad thing, so here are some things ISTJs need to beware of: Since ISTJs love details and facts, they need to be careful to avoid immersing themselves in details and boring others or missing out by not looking at the bigger picture. Their drive to finish their to-do list can lead to ignoring people or social dictates in place of completing a job. Since ISTJs enjoy routine, they may over-look long range consequences or implications of decisions because they are so focused on the here and now. ISTJs are not usually big-picture people or visionaries, so they should team up with others who are when working on big projects. Their attention to rules can come across as rigid, inflexible, or emotionally cold. They tend to be more legalistic rather than rely on grace, if they are not careful. Allowing for exceptions and striving for flexibility will go a long way in getting along with people. Because of their ability to see all the details, ISTJS may have a tendency to be too aware of the faults in their life and in those of those closest to them. Self-improvement is a valid goal, but should not be the total focus.
Spiritual Helps for the ISTJ: ISTJs value tradition, so the traditions of religion appeal to them as well as the symbols of faith. They will enjoy structured approaches to their faith journey and flourish in traditional Bible studies or classes. They are problem-solvers and resource people who do well as mentors because of their ability to follow through, model responsibility, and commit to long-range endeavors. They will likely enjoy routine spiritual disciplines such as Bible reading and prayer. They enjoy serving the church body in practical ways.
What Others Say about the ISTJ: People quickly learn they can count on the ISTJ for their commitment and responsibility. They are systematic, painstaking, and thorough in their completion of tasks. Delegate to them and you usually won’t regret it. They are stable and persistent and able to stick with something long after others have given up. Their careful attention to detail and ability in handling facts make them assets in a variety of social, business, and service arenas. Their cautious, sensible approach to life makes them calm and collected in a crises or problem.
Okay, who do you know that is an ISTJ? Let me hear from you if you are!
Next week, join us as we change just one letter and look at the ISTP. What difference does one little letter make? Come back and see. It's not too late to send me your personality type if you want to see it here.