The Personality of Success
How to Make the Right Job Decisions
By Don Metznik
Choosing a job is a complex process with many variables. It can be daunting and you may feel overwhelmed. But it is too important to leave to chance. Gauge how prepared you are by answering the following questions:
- Do you have at least 10 relevant job options available to you and do you know where and how to increase the options?
- Do you know how to effectively evaluate the experience you currently have?
- Can you determine if your attraction to a potential job is an appropriate attraction?
- How do you know if your self-image is leading you to an appropriate job choice?
- How do you resist compelling but off-target options?
- How do you know if you are destined for a particular job?
If you can't answer all the above questions then you are leaving the job selection procedure to chance and assuming the unnecessary risk of an undesirable outcome. There is, however, a simple way for you to find the answers to these questions and reduce your risk. The answers lie within you.
The answers lie in the fact that you are born with a core identity - a core personality - and that success in life is first a function of knowing yourself and then aligning what you do with who you are. It is important to align what you do with who you are and not the other way around. Work should not dictate your identity. The person who comes to work in one job should be the same person in the next job, and the next. We play many career roles in life, and to be a different person across various roles leads to tension, anxiety and stress. Of course, different jobs may require different skills and decision-making styles, for example. But if you understand what gives you energy and drains energy, if you honor your hard-wired personality preferences, and have a framework within which to manage change and growth, you can survive and thrive.
One highly effective way to identify your core self is to determine your personality type. When you know your personality type and understand its components, you will be able to identify new job options, confirm your feelings, and gain personal permission to explore jobs that call for contributions that you never thought you could make. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® can help you identify and understand your type.
Let's get back to the questions. We make job decisions based upon one or more of the following factors, which collectively form the basis of our job decisions; awareness of options, evaluation of job experience, the appeal a particular job has for us, the expected effect the job will have on our self-image, external forces that drive us toward a particular job, and intuition.
Each factor has its own its own special considerations which must be understood.
|Awareness||Decisions can't be made without an awareness of options. If you have no options, you have no decision to make, and you have abdicated control of your career. The quality of your job decision is inversely related to the quantity of your options; in general, the fewer the options, the more likely that you will make a wrong decision or a poor decision.|
|Experience||Few people, especially college graduates, have the luxury of extensive experience on which to make choices, and the experience that is available may not relate fully or accurately to jobs being considered. There has to be a way to transcend the lack of experience so that various jobs can be properly evaluated.|
|Appeal||What we are attracted to does not necessarily equate to a good job option. We have to understand why we are attracted to something, and what exactly we are attracted to. I call this the "suit in the window" trap. I find myself attracted to business suits that are out of my ordinary style, as long as they are attractively displayed. After being burned many times through impulse purchases of these suits, I have learned to pass the window by, and come back after a period of time. Usually, the suit doesn't hold the same appeal. Lesson: Beware of job decisions based upon impulse reactions-they can make you look bad.|
|Self-Image||We all have an ideal self-image. It is very difficult and perhaps impossible to fully understand how this self-image was formed. But it is powerful. How can this self-image be managed?|
|Forces||We are shaped by our environment, by family expectations, peer pressure, and economical and psychological forces beyond our control. Often we are unaware of these forces. How can we be made aware?|
|Intuition||Do we have a destiny that can be discerned? Do we feel born to do something? How can this 6th sense be trusted?|
Here are answers based upon an understanding of your core personality.
Question 1. How can you increase the number of relevant job options available to you?
Answer: A whole new framework for identifying options opens up to you when you know your personality type. This framework can also be used to identify options that you may want to avoid.
Question 2. How can you evaluate the experience you currently have?
Answer: Through the concept of energy transfer, you can evaluate whether or not your experience addresses your preferences; for example, if you are energized by your job you are probably doing something that is aligned with your preferences. The more aligned with your preferences, the more likely you will succeed.
Question 3. How do you know if your attraction to a particular job is an appropriate attraction?
Answer: Ideally, your attraction to a particular job will honor your preferences. For example, an accountant will be attracted to a preference for gathering information through the senses versus through intuition. Be especially careful if your attraction does not coincide with your preferences. For example, someone who prefers the inner world of ideas may be greatly discomforted by a sales job that requires constant people interaction.
Question 4. How do you know if your self-image is leading you to an appropriate job choice?
Answer: Jobs have personalities and you can compare your personality to that of a particular job.
Question 5. How do you resist compelling but off-target options?
Answer: Look for alignment between who you are (what you were built for) and what the job wants you to be.
Question 6. How do you know if you are destined for a particular job?
Answer: Consider alignment with the job, and the degree to which it gives or drains energy.
Finding a job is often not a problem. Finding the job, however, may be a problem. The right job means aligning who you are with what you do; it means aligning who you are becoming with what you are allowed to become. The right job implies that you are focused first on a career, and that you have availed yourself of the extensive literature, self-help, and professional services geared to job search.
The real world may not offer you the luxury of a thorough job search, however. An opportunity may arise that requires an immediate response; you may not have the patience or temperament for an extended job search analysis; or you simply may not know what to do.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, you will always be well served to possess the confidence of knowing who you are. By knowing yourself you can make job decisions that honor your uniqueness and align your born-in preferences and energy with environments, tasks, challenges and people. Also, you will have a framework within which to understand and work through the difficult situations, environments, and people that are part of everyone's path to success.
Success has a personality. It can be your personality. Failure has a personality and it, too, can be your personality. The difference between success and failure may be a matter of how you manage your personality. Know your core self and use this knowledge to help make the best possible job decisions. And you will be on the road to success.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a registered trademark of Consulting Psychologists Press. The expression "hard-wired" personality preference is attributed to Roger Pearman.
©2000 Donald A. Metznik
Center for Excellence in Communications
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