What’s your type? A guide for the modern professional

Once upon a time, if someone wanted to know you better, they asked for your sign. Libra. Sagittarius. Whatever.

Later, Myers-Briggs types had their day in the sun. You proudly told everyone you were an INTJ. Or an ESFP. (I told people I’m an ESPN: I watch a lot of sports.)

Today, you can use technical documentation types to let others know what makes you tick.

You don’t even have to be a technical writer to play.

You’re a policies and procedures manual if your ducks are always in a row. People might say you’re rigid. But there’s never a situation in which you don’t know exactly what to do.

You’re a chatbot if you accost everyone you meet with “Hi! Thanks for using the sidewalk today!” Your real name is Philomena, but you tell people it’s Amy.

You’re a sales brochure if you’re the flashiest, most flamboyant person at the party. If someone’s looking for depth, however, they’ll have to look elsewhere.

You’re online help if you love to lend a hand at just the right moment. You prize punctuality, but you’re used to being pushed into the background.

You’re a user guide if you like explaining things with words, with body language, even by drawing pictures. In grade school, you were the kid who wouldn’t sit down during show-and-tell.

You’re a white paper if you have a knack for persuasion, carefully and thoroughly building your case and trying (but not always succeeding) to put it into terms your audience will understand.

You’re a video if you start talking before you even know what the conversation’s about. When you walk into a room, you expect all eyes instantly to be on you.

You’re release notes if you breathe gossip the way other people breathe air. You know everybody’s most embarrassing secrets, and you’re happy to share them with all who will listen.

ikea_instructionsYou’re a setup card if you often find yourself at a loss for words. You can’t shake the feeling that you come off as cartoonish. You have inexplicable cravings for Swedish fish.

You’re a landing page if you love making a good first impression. Some people say you’re complex; others say you’re just hard to figure out.

You’re an API manual if you’re happy to connect with everyone, everywhere — but only on your own terms. Most people find you hard to understand. But to the people who get you, you hung the moon.

You’re a reference manual if the only thing you love more than facts, is dropping those facts on others. You find yourself in a lot of short-term relationships as people pick you up and then put you down.

You’re a training module if you’re always asking questions, always probing to see what other people know. (Come to think of it, every technical communicator is Lt. Columbo at heart. But that’s a topic for another day.)

So, what’s your type?

3 thoughts on “What’s your type? A guide for the modern professional

  1. Mark Baker

    I always tell people (who ask) that my Myers Briggs type is IDFC.

    Re your definitions, though, I think online help is more like the bore at the party that tells you everything obvious that you could work out for yourself but nothing that actually solves your current problem. It’s the original man-splaining (Unix joke!)

    PS: The F stand for “frankly”.

  2. Pingback: What’s your type? A guide for the modern professional – Technical Writing World

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