Engineers, pensive and imaginative, take no greater pleasure than in assembling a bunch of mismatched ideas into something meaningful. This joy can hardly be discerned from the outside though – Engineers are far from an expressive and excitable lot. But the thrill of discovery where others failed to make raw ideas work, the process of analyzing and improving systems and theories, is undeniable, and integral to how these personality types approaches nearly every aspect of their lives.
Their stoic, philosophical aura is a constant companion. Engineers’ day-to-day needs are simple, and they often seem detached, unaffected and unaware of their surroundings (though that should certainly not be taken for granted). From the highest praise of actually taking the time to explain an idea or connection they’ve come up with, to the bitterest insult of a dismissive shrug and a “forget it”, Engineers are calm, emotionally stable, and a little tough to peg.
Observers struggle because this personality type is marked by some glaring contrasts: like all Challenging types, they’re interested in ideas that are efficient and useful, yet Engineers have little interest in practical, day-to-day things; they also hold themselves, and others, to very high standards, but are far from perfectionistic and a little prone to distraction, readily dropping ideas that have lost their luster.
To understand them, it’s important to look at the source of their motivation, not its predicted results. To Engineers, the intellectual and analytical exercise is the point – the goals and results that Realistic types in particular value, whether buying a house or designing a solution to a singularly tricky problem, are only a byproduct of that exercise. Like a road trip, the goal may be to get from point A to point B, but the deeper growth and the intellectual journey are what are truly engaging.
For Engineers, almost everything is measured by that yardstick of intellectual growth. They are brilliant and intuitive theorists and analysts, noticing patterns and underlying structures where others only see a façade. This personality type makes a point of accumulating more and more knowledge, making their insights ever more keen – and their opinions and behavior towards those less creative or sharp ever more disdainful. This is matched by a high self-esteem and a willingness to show their own intelligence.
This makes them ill-suited for the worlds of human resources and administration, positions that have Engineers pulling out their hair. They’d even prefer physical labor because it at least frees up the mind to think about other things. Meanwhile, the very people they thought the least of handle such positions and social demands with grace and dignity. Engineers simply don’t excel when it comes to detailed planning, constant human interaction, reserve contingencies, and tightly regimented schedules.
There is a lesson in this. There is great value and beauty in Engineers’ quest for the secrets of nature and technology. The way they dissect structures and ideas, stripping out the underlying laws that make them function and putting them to use in new and innovative ways is what revolutions in creative thought and efficiency are made of. And whether these personalities like it or not, there is also great value in having someone around who finds ways to have them get paid to do so, and in having those checks show up reliably.