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It just dawned on me that the title of this blog assumes that you, dear reader, are aware of what it means to be “type B”… and “type A” for that matter.  I apologize, I try not to make assumptions, but this one just slipped by undetected.  Just to cover the bases, here’s a rather plain, to-the-point definition of a type B personality that I got after taking a simple personality test online:

You are a strong type B. In general you are more laid back, more invested in friends and networking and not as hard driving and competitive a Type A. You like a calmer, less extroverted life and you are inclined to self-analysis.

I also found this definition from BusinessDictionary.com:

Temperament characterized by moderate ambitiousness and drive, accommodating attitude, cooperativeness, focus on quality over quantity and, in general, an easy going approach to life.

Now that that you have this definition, you probably have a pretty good idea of what my opposite (type A) is all about.  Microsoft is chock full of type A personalities… competitive, aggressive, ambitious people who live to work, put in insane hours and always have their eye on the proverbial prize.

That’s not me.

Let me qualify that: I absolutely love it at Microsoft — never before have I found myself in a more stimulating, challenging and intense environment.  While that may seem like the antithesis of what it means to be type B, it’s also the reason that I feel like I’ve found the right place for me to build a career.  There is no complacency at Microsoft, you’re constantly being pushed out of your comfort zone; constantly stretching the limits of what you thought you were capable of.  

While we type Bs may be at a disadvantage when pitted against our more aggressive type A colleagues in terms of career advancement, overall, I think being type B in a place like Microsoft is an asset.  Unlike some of my workaholic team members, I have a fairly healthy work-life balance — as a wife and mother, maintaining that balance is crucial.  I have no problem putting in extra hours to get the job done and I’m happy to go the extra mile whenever I see an opportunity to knock something out of the park, but I try to stick to “normal” hours as much as I can so that it’s not a big deal when I do have to burn the midnight oil.

So, there you have it… now you know what it means to be a “Type B Microsoftie”.