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Switching Gears: Family is the New Mission

By Elizabeth and Katherine Hirsh,
authors of Building Your Career Transition Strategy


Byron has preferences for ENFJ (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judging). Byron now needs to tackle household chores and juggle work and family demands in ways he that he is not used to doing. Now in the civilian work world, Byron's schedule is such that he has very little time between leaving his job and picking up his two children from daycare. Byron's wife handled this while he was deployed. Now that he is back home, she would like to them share the job since it had been her sole responsibility for the last few years. Byron really wants this too. He knows this is an essential part of being a parent and a good partner but his inexperience, and the time away, has left him feeling somewhat anxious about taking on this duty.

Byron looks to his Building Your Career Transition Strategy report (ENFJ) on to gain clarity on how to go about what seems - from his point of view - so effortless for his wife.

Under the heading, During Reintegration, ENFJs Typically . . ., Byron reads, "Seek structure to bring balance to their busy schedule" and "Approach change wholeheartedly if it increases the potential for collaboration." Despite his initial doubts, Byron realizes he can tap into his passion for planning as well as his love of collaboration (not to mention the love he has for his spouse!) to have a dialog with his wife on how create a schedule that best meets everyone's needs.

Byron has also felt a bit uncomfortable about the burden that deployment placed on his wife while he was gone. Although it couldn't be helped, this is a concern that is crosses his mind frequently. In the same section of his ENFJ report, Byron finds the following statement and really resonates with it, "Need methods for managing difficult emotions such as anger and guilt." Byron has the insight that making this household responsibility his "mission" can serve as a method to counterbalance his feelings of guilt and frustration at not being around for the day-to-day needs of his wife and children while he was serving.

Further, Byron realizes that he wants to talk openly with his wife about his feelings but at the same time, feels a bit vulnerable about doing so since she has not had the same experiences he has had. He decides to share with his wife the statement "Need to have their emotions seen as valid and acceptable" from the section When Reconnecting and Relating to Others During Reintegration, ENFJs Typically . . . in his report to help her understand how important it is for his feelings to be respected and handled gently. Not only does this information help Byron realize that it is normal to have the feelings he does, but the report also serves as means to have a conversation with his wife about what he is going through and what they can do together to foster a more successful reintegration.

You can learn more about the topic of personality type and reintegration from Building Your Career Transition Strategy: A Framework for Managing the Reintegration Process. This guidebook is intended for anyone facing the career and life transitions required by reintegration.

Elizabeth and Katherine Hirsh are experts with more than twenty-five year's experience in the application of personality type. You can contact them at


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