Are You a Micro or a Macro?

Are You a Micro or a Macro? image micro or macro managermicro-or-macro-manager

My wife and I have a love-hate relationship. We love each other dearly and agree on most of the big stuff: rules for child rearing; education is a must; you give your best effort every time; and you open your presents Christmas morning and not Christmas Eve (I have no idea where she is on the designated hitter, it just never comes up).

But when it comes to laundry, that’s where we part company. She likes to let things pile up and then meticulously turn all her garments inside out to be washed and dried and then painstakingly reverses the process and folds them neatly into piles and places them in their appropriate baskets: hers, mine and something we just refer to as “the boys’.”

Now I understand the logic of all this. By reversing the clothes for the washing process you ensure that they will last longer because they aren’t thrashed around in the violence of the spin cycle of today’s modern laundry devices. But here’s the deal – and guys, you will understand this – when I see laundry piling up during the week, I am compelled to put it in the washer and get the process started. I don’t see Saturday as the high holy days to worship at the altar of the laundry gods otherwise known as Tide and Bounce.

My goal is to get the process moving. See it. Wash it. Dry it. Fold it. Inside out, right-side out, you get what you get and you’re happy that it’s clean, and in most cases wrinkle free. And I seldom refold folded clothes.

Now you see my wife is a micro and I’m a macro. She sees laundry as something to be put off and done in a load-after-load process that involves sorting things down to the microfiber level. And I’m sure that makes for a cleaner, brighter load of laundry.

And it’s the same things when it comes to life planning. As a macro, I look at the end game and reverse engineer things based on the desired goal. I visualize an end result and then begin making a framework to ultimately get to the goal – details be damned, we can always adjust on the fly.

To my micro-loving spouse, this is heresy. She sees pitfalls before they are even there. But she also pays strict attention to details and rules, which makes her the perfect foil for a macro. She makes me think through the process before I tilt at my latest windmill.

On the other hand, I pull her along by favoring the “what ifs” of life rather than the “we can do this becauses.”

So on many points – like laundry – we will never see eye to eye. She’s thoroughly convinced my way of doing things is damaged and wrong, and I think she spends far too much time refolding clothes that I know are perfectly folded. And while we appreciate the effort the other gives to get the job done, we’re both convinced the other is wrong.

So what does any of this have to do with finding a job? The first thing is to identify whether you’re a micro or a macro and embrace your inner being. By acknowledging you are one or the other it can help you when you get called in for a job interview.

If you’re one who sees the end prize and makes plans to achieve the goal you’re probably a macro. But if you are a person who needs to figure things out step by step in meticulous detail, then you’re likely a micro.

The trick is to determine if the job you’re looking at is more suitable for a micro or a macro. You need to do your homework. You can turn yourself inside out believing that is what they want in order to get yourself hired, but it’s probably a disservice to all involved when you find yourself miserable on the job or, worse yet, the boss sees the label sticking out on your inside out personality.

Sometimes, laundry happens. For example, companies will say they want a person who “thinks outside the box” or who is a “big picture” person, when they already have the goal in mind and they want someone who can fill all the blanks – aka someone who turns the laundry inside out to wash and right-side out to fold and put away. It can be nearly impossible being a macro in this sort of micro world.

Before you accept a job, be honest with yourself. Ask yourself the tough questions like “am I detail oriented or do I like to make plans on the fly?” Almost anyone can game the system long enough to make it through an interview, and in these tough times for job-seekers many of us are willing to do just that to gain employment. But keep in mind that short-term gain may turn into long-term misery if you can’t be honest with yourself.

Ultimately, you want to find the fit that is right for you. In my case, I’ve found micros and macros can get along – so long as they don’t try and do laundry together.

photo credit: Victor1558 via photopin cc

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