Does your personality fit the job you’re doing?
Personality Tests and Career Development – Is this what you really are good at?
It was mid- November 2005. The light in the small conference room was dimmed and we were all watching the presentation about the personality types of the people in our team. I was staring at the projected power point presentation that showed graphs with percentages of personality types of the people in our department.
I had the feeling all eyes were on me, I felt judged. In me pride and shame were fighting, covered with a thin layer of curiosity.
I was just two weeks into my first real undergraduate job. My boss had everyone from the department take the Myers-Brick personality test, and on that day of the presentation, I started having real doubts of whether I was in the right career path. The test showed me to be a very atypical outlier to a finance focused department – I had a strong inclination to creativity and innovation.
Whether because of my stubbornness, or because of destiny, I stuck on this path of corporate career development for more than 10 years. In my thoughts I often came back to the results of this test that were, moreover, closely confirmed by another personality test that I did during my MBA studies.
By now, I suppose, we are all clear that one can be creative in any profession, hence the term “the creative accountant”.
Yet, when someone tries to map you and to stretch you on the cross of the graph, it’s hard to listen to your inner voice – after all, learnt people with cemented credentials had created these tests!
I am not dissing personality tests here. Surely, they can give you some info about yourself but only ancillary. Most probably you will not be able to discover the right career for you, and even less to develop it.
Why? Because this is an external decoding of what’s inside of you and it is limited in detail, in taste, in feel, and overall, in perception. How does the right career feel?
Well, for once it doesn’t feel like there’s something missing. Mmmm, you feel irritated when someone takes you out of your focus, while working. You enjoy doing the activities so much that it actually feels like rest. I know you’ve heard this before. I never really believed it, until I tasted MY freedom from the idea of corporate career development.
While I was chasing a career as an employee, I was always living a double life – at work I would play the career game (and not so bad at that) but in the comfort of my home, I would train myself in spirituality, psychology and esoterics.
At one point, the clock struck twelve and I had to make a change. I used everything I had been studying all along to discover the right career path for me. I’m not going to lie – it was a long process but I was determined not to waste anymore of my life!
Now, my career path is aligned with my purpose. I see Meaning in what I do and the feedback I get from people is more precious than anything!
Based on my experience as a trainer in Business with Meaning for people who want to start their own business, and now also for mid-sized businesses, I can boldly state that you can discover your most appropriate career not with tests, not through trial and error. Nor will your friends help you.
You can do this only through self-awareness and with self-reflection. My programme “Start a Business with Meaning” is my structured process of how to find your career calling.