How do you know if you are in the right job?
We all want to know if the job that we are waking up to every morning at 5, 6, 7 am is the right job for us? For many who are prospecting a new position, the question instead becomes is this potential role a win in the compatibility department? Yet others who are reading this, who do not fall into either of these ponderings, are probably saying to themselves:
I already KNOW that I am in the WRONG job. I just don’t know WHAT job I want to do!
Thus, the issue lies not in trying to figure out if you are in the right job or not, but figuring out WHAT job IS “right,” or should I say better, for you.
So where do you begin?
Take the time for self-discovery
One of the first steps towards assessing whether or not a job is right for you is to examine who you are in a deeper context.
No really……who are you?
When was the last time you truly asked yourself this question? So many of us have suppressed our identities for the purposes of Corporate America assimilation and survival. We do this, because this is the path we were taught. Go to school, graduate and get a good job. We are told to find out what it takes to keep the company happy and master that. Discarding much of what we think as it pertains to self-growth so as to focus on career and professional development instead.
Yet, how can we continue to ignore our personal journey in the place where we spend the majority of our waking hours? When will we cease to ignore our true selves at the cost of workplace acceptance? For many, the thought of doing this scares them to pieces. It is much safer and easier to neglect personal exploration than it is to take the path of self-discovery. Because self-discovery may lead to enlightenment. Enlightenment could lead to awareness and awareness could then lead to change. Change that could mean taking a pay cut or leaving an “easy” but unfulfilling job. Or, on the upside, a change that could lead to a much more satisfying work life.
So then, what self-discovery strategies can you use to begin understanding how to tackle this question?
Using a Career-based Personality Test to Help find Job Compatibility
Life coaches are great. Yet many of us do not know where to find one, let alone a spectacular one that truly helps us get sure-fire solutions. One of the quickest and (most importantly) cost-effective ways to find out what type of work best suits you is to take an online personality test.
Taking a test such as the one offered on 16personalities.com or www.truity.com are two fantastic ways to learn more about job compatibility. For the skeptics out there immediately discarding the idea of leaving their future up to a “manufactured survey,” at the very least you should give it a whirl before you knock it. If after you take the test (seriously) you find that the answers are inconclusive or completely inaccurate then by all means take the plunge to find the ultimate life coach.
While there are many personality-based test such as Myers-Briggs, Human Metrics, and DISC profile that provide an overview of your day-to-day personality. The best thing about taking a test such as the 16personalities questionnaire is that it shows how your personality responds to certain career environments and it provides you with several specific career path options.
For example, let’s say your personality test results show that you are a “Campaigner”
The test outputs show the following career paths for this personality type:
Campaigner personality types are able to apply logic to human interactions and networks, using their exceptional social perception to find out what makes people tick. This lends Campaigners a solid foothold in any human science or service, from psychology, counseling and teaching to politics, diplomacy and detective work.
Many more career options satisfy these needs, and not just the scientific ones – writing, journalism, acting and TV reporting all give Campaigners a chance to explore something new every day and stir the pot a little while they’re at it. It may come to pass though, that the best way forward for Campaigner personalities is to establish themselves as entrepreneurs and consultants, blazing their own trails and taking on whatever project is most fascinating.
The next set of results detail the Workplace Habits or environment that best suite this personality:
Campaigners would prefer that there be hardly a hierarchy at all. People with the Campaigner personality type possess warmth, creativity, and an open-mindedness that makes them excellent listeners. If these qualities are recognized by their employers, they will always be able to count on their Campaigner employees to innovate and boost morale.
The test results then spell out how “Campaigner” personality types are most likely to respond to and interact with subordinates, managers and colleagues. This is extremely helpful intel as it not only gives language to a person struggling to find out how to best express how they feel in their current work place environment but it also helps them to best understand what type of environment they should strive for. Whether that be communicating it to a current office setting or vocalizing it in a future interview as something that is vital for their success.
Let the Data Work for You and Not Against You
Do not fight the data. Let the outcome of the test sink in and bounce the results off your colleagues, friends and family members. Ask them if they agree with the evidence of the test results. While 100% of the findings from the test may not match up, if you truly took the test with the utmost sincerity – a large percentage of it should. Thus, there should be some sentiment of truth present in the results. Once you get the clarity, begin taking steps towards income-producing work that could lean itself towards a more compatible lifestyle.
Be Cognizant of the Ebbs and Flows of Life
Know this however, that just as the seasons change throughout the year, so do our lives and personalities; particularly as a pertains the effects of our life circumstances. So you may be surprised (or not) to find out that who you were five years ago is not the person you are today; which will influence the type of work that you may be now suddenly yearning for.
You may have even taken a test similar to this a while back and do not realize that if you took the test again today that you could quite possibly test out in a completely different category. Do not fret. Most importantly, do not automatically discard the findings as erroneous. Find out why you may have answered the way you did and what descriptors in that personality type are true. Any conclusive evidence is good evidence. Knowing more about who you are (today) will only help lead you closer and closer to finding a better match as it pertains to your work life.
Finally, while you may find the type of work that you enjoy (as a result of taking this test and doing the work of self-discovery), keep in mind finding the right company is still a crap shoot. Job satisfaction takes a healthy combination of company culture, managerial style, department dynamics and job function/position to achieve ultimate balance. While it’s certainly more difficult to control the first three of this list, you can at least have some sense of resolve by seeking opportunities for roles that better fit your personality.