There are lots of reasons to like a job: good pay, fun coworkers, security, etc. But even if you’re lucky enough to have a job you like that offers those things (and not everyone does, unfortunately), it’s not quite the same as loving your work itself. For most people with the Debater (ENTP) personality type, there’s a limit to how much joy you can get from your work and how deeply it can satisfy you. Often, the work you truly love is that which you put into hobbies, life goals, and things that are personal to you.
However, it’s possible to truly love your professional work as well, even if it doesn’t quite look like what you do on your own time. It all depends on whether particular critical elements are present – some things are required, and others can get in the way. What exactly it takes to be truly happy in your work is personal, but some aspects very likely relate to your personality. So, let’s look at some examples from a Debater’s perspective.
Elements of Debater Work Happiness
One of the biggest inhibitors to true work happiness is that external obligation typically isn’t an enjoyable motivating factor. That’s especially true for Debaters, who may regard externally imposed structures as repressive. More than most personalities, Debaters tend to rankle at external controls on their ability to act. As a Debater, you can probably recall times at work when you felt very frustrated at being constrained, directed, or subjected to excessive rules and restrictions.
That relates heavily to your Prospecting and Intuitive personality traits. Prospecting indicates a desire to explore the unfamiliar and a certain comfort with adapting as you go rather than following a set course. The Intuitive trait means that those Prospecting tendencies are fueled by uninhibited imagination and an embrace of the unconventional. So the combined effect is that it’s often hard to enjoy your work when its obligations keep you on a narrow, familiar path. Too much restrictive obligation and you might even hate your job.
It’s worth noting that obligation and pressure are different things. Whereas externally applied obligations can feel restrictive and make it hard to be truly happy with your work, external pressure can be quite stimulating for Debaters. You tend to be an action-oriented personality type, and when external forces present an opportunity to act, you probably embrace the challenge with vigor. A chance to excel can be thrilling, and in some cases, the more pressure, the greater the exhilaration.
So it isn’t that Debater personalities like you can’t find true joy and satisfaction while being subject to external forces (whether created by management or circumstance). However, your happiness does depend on how those forces affect you. When they propel you into opportunities, they can feel like supportive guidance forward. Your path might be somewhat prescribed, but it can also feel exciting and beneficial. On the other hand, if external forces feel like they’re preventing you from engaging in desired courses of action, they can make you miserable.
Getting What You Need at Work
Making your work feel truly fulfilling might depend on factors beyond your control in any given job (switching jobs is always an option, if not necessarily an appealing one). But an important first step is one of self-exploration where you work to objectively understand your personality and responses to your environment. Misery, frustration, joy, and excitement are all partially self-created, and understanding what triggers your negativity and positivity can help you find what brings you joy and avoid what doesn’t.
Self-understanding can also help you evolve your reactions, so that you’re less subject to external forces. You can’t always control what happens, but you can control how you react. When you feel in control of yourself, external factors don’t seem to have as much power over you, and your relationship to them can feel more positive. But the greatest tool that you can use to achieve true, deep happiness in your work is something that just happens to be a Debater specialty: communication.
A great way to measure how happy you can be in your work is to assess how freely you can speak your thoughts and feelings. (When Debater personalities can safely and fully express themselves, they’re on the road to work happiness.) If your work allows you to freely verbalize your concerns, ideas, needs, and criticisms, you might be able to get whatever else you need to make your work deeply satisfying. If you don’t feel like you can communicate freely on the job, it’s going to be a lot harder for you to be truly happy in your work.
So test the waters with communication and see what you can do to create needed changes or more opportunities that lead you to happiness in your work. Debaters excel at seeing almost infinite future possibilities, and often, the key to loving your work is just finding out how to try some of those possibilities out.
Conclusion: Being Happy vs. Seeking Happiness
Considering what it takes to be truly happy and satisfied in your work can be useful, like visualizing a path before you take it. But idealized visions can be a double-edged sword. It’s easy to find fault with your job, and as a Debater, you’d likely never be happy if you weren’t critically deconstructing everything around you to find its weaknesses. Which is to say that, for your personality, true happiness might not mean feeling as though everything’s perfect.
Seeking some kind of smooth, easy sense of contentment in your work might be chasing a false ideal, because that’s not really the Debater ideal, is it? Stimulating engagement, including some degree of challenge (perhaps even some controversy now and then, eh?), might be more likely to bring you joy. So, in seeking to feel truly fulfilled by your work, you might want to make room for some of that contrast – Debaters require a bit of a battle to feel truly happy. You might even be happier than you realize where you already are.