Interesting Career Paths: A Case Study

Interesting Career Paths: A Case Study

This month, we’ve been putting the pieces of career decision together. We’ve talked about the role of motivated skills, core values, personality, and expertise in making career decisions.

We’ve also talked about the macro- and micro-levels of this decision. On the macro-level, you’re using this self-knowledge to decide your career path. On the micro-level, you’re evaluating individual job opportunities against your criteria.

As we wrap this month’s topic up, I wanted to give you a case study of an interesting career path.

Lesa’s Story

Yes, you quick people…we’re talking about me. Here’s my story:

As an ENFJ, it is important for me to do work that helps others achieve their goals (in my case, their career goals). I need to interact with people on the reg, and I need to be able to use my creativity and imagination.

My top Motivated Skills (what I’m really good at AND love to do) are Writing, Presentations, Professional Image, Coaching, Creative or Imaginative with ideas, and Organization.

My most important Core Values are Ability to Exert Influence, Ability to Serve Others, Ability to Teach/Train Others, and Flexibility in Schedule.

My Areas of Expertise include resume writing, LinkedIn (writing profiles and coaching people on how to use LI), career coaching, interview coaching, writing blogs and other career materials, podcasting, the MBTI, and facilitating training.

Let’s talk about the career path I’ve had. With an undergraduate degree in music education, I started my career as a public-school music teacher. (Loved the kids; didn’t love the lack of flexibility with my schedule.)

After three years of that, I changed careers to corporate training. (Loved the training aspect and the fact that I traveled extensively; didn’t love that I had no say-so into the curriculum.)

Three years after that, I went into higher education—first in continuing education, then 20+ years in career services. (This is where I cut my teeth on career development, but didn’t love the lack of flexibility or the bureaucracy of higher education.)

Throughout my previous careers, I’ve woven entrepreneurial ventures, including selling Amway, teaching piano lessons, and making jewelry.

Now, as a full-time entrepreneur, I have found a near-perfect fit with my skills, values, personality, and areas of expertise. I have a huge amount of flexibility in my schedule, get to help people every day, and frequently get to give presentations.

Can you see how what I do as a career coach and resume writer fit perfectly with who I am?

 

Why this Matters

Here’s the upside of this person/environment marriage: There is beautiful flow between “work” and “life.” I talked about this recently on a podcast – that melding of the various aspects of your life into a blend in which the individual components are virtually indistinguishable.

I invite you to do a similar analysis of yourself. If you love what you’re currently doing, this exercise will help you get crystal-clear on why. If you don’t love what you’re currently doing, you’ll gain tremendous insight into what’s missing (or what’s present that shouldn’t be).

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Career Decisions: Bringing it All Together,” click here:

055: Career Decisions: Bringing it all Together

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

055: Career Decisions: Bringing it all Together

Bringing it All Together

This month, I’ve done episodes covering Motivated Skills, personality preferences using the framework of the MBTI, Core Values, and Areas of Expertise in making career decisions.

Remember, I’ve talked about the macro- and micro-level of career decisions. On the macro level, you are making a decision about the career path you will follow.

On a micro-level, you are using this information to make decisions about which jobs to take. On an even more micro-level, you are using the knowledge to guide projects, programs, committee assignments, and job duties…or to help you boss make these same decisions.

Today I want to bring all of these things together. First, a refresher.

Motivated Skills

Those skills that you are both very good at and get a great deal of pleasure from doing. The reason they are called Motivated Skills is that the more you do them, the more motivated you will be about your work.

The opposite of Motivated Skills is Burnout Skills. Burnout Skills are those skills that you are very good at, but DON’T get pleasure from doing. In fact, these skills suck the motivation right out of you. The more you have to perform Burnout Skills in your work, the more likely you are to…you guessed it…burn out.

 A few examples of Motivated Skills are Writing, Presentation Skills, Customer Service, Working with Numerical Data, Research, Mechanical Reasoning, Troubleshooting, Teaching, and Planning.

Personality Preferences

Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as the framework, it measures personality preferences on four scales and identifies one of 16 personality types based on your responses. The MBTI identifies your innate preferences…the way you prefer to handle a situation or task if given the option.

The preference pairs of the MBTI are:

Extraversion vs. Introversion, which is your orientation to the outer world…where you get your energy from.

Sensing vs. Intuition, which is your preferred way of taking in information, and the type of information you prefer to work with.

Thinking vs. Feeling, which is your preferred decision-making style.

Judging vs. Perceiving, which is how you order your world.

 

Core Values

What is most important to you in an employer, a work environment, and the specific work you’re doing.

Identifying these “non-negotiable” values helps you align your career choices with what is most important to you. And alignment increases your chance for career success, higher compensation, and satisfaction.

 Here are a few sample Values:

-Utilize physical strength and coordination

-Utilize courage and take risks

-Utilize creativity and originality

-Opportunity for advancement

-Ability to do a job as efficiently as possible

-Receive recognition for accomplishments

-Ability to exert power and influence

-Higher than average financial rewards

 

Areas of Expertise

What are You REALLY Good At? We’re talking about capitalizing on your Areas of Expertise.

If you’re just getting out of college, your Areas of Expertise are probably vague ideas…shadows of what is to come. But if you’ve been in the workforce for a few years, you should have at least 2-3 Areas of Expertise, with more to develop as you progress through your career.

I connected the Areas of Expertise to your Motivated Skills, because I see your Areas of Expertise as sub-sets of your Motivated Skills.

Let’s say, for example, one of your Motivated Skills is Writing, which is defined as “Possessing excellent writing skills. Able to create business or technical documents, correspondence, and other effective written communications.”

So you get a job in the Public Relations office of a company, where one of your main duties is to write press releases. Because of this experience, one of your Areas of Expertise becomes “Writing Press Releases.”

Let’s put all of this information together in a couple of case studies that will hopefully help you get the idea.

 

Case Study #1 – Danielle

Danielle is a 25-year-old college graduate who studied communications in college and has been working in the entertainment industry since graduating. She is looking to make a career change because she finds her current field to be too competitive and not meaningful enough for her.

Danielle’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:

-Writing

-Public Relations

-Organization

-Creative or Imaginative with Ideas

-Decision-Making

Her personality type is ENFJ; here’s the description of that personality type:

Imaginative HARMONIZERS; at their best when winning people’s cooperation with insight into their needs. They value:

  • Having a wide circle of relationships
  • Having a positive, enthusiastic view of life
  • Seeing subtleties in people and interactions
  • Understanding others’ needs and concerns
  • An active, energizing social life
  • Seeing possibilities in people
  • Follow-through on important projects
  • Working on several projects at once
  • Caring and imaginative problem solving
  • Maintaining relationships to make things work
  • Shaping organizations to better serve members
  • Caring, compassion, and tactfulness

Her Core Values are:

-Utilize creativity and imagination

-Ability to help/serve others

-Close relationships with co-workers

-Working on multiple projects simultaneously

-Flexibility in work schedule

How would you coach Danielle? Here’s what we talked about:

-She needs a career that is meaningful to her in that she is able to help others while utilizing her considerable creativity. She prefers freedom in her work hours – as long as she gets the work done, it shouldn’t matter when she does it. She also wants to wear multiple hats, so a start-up would be a good fit for her (smaller company = more jobs to be done).

Danielle decided to pursue careers in non-profit marketing – finding a non-profit she is passionate about, which is fitness, and marketing that non-profit to the appropriate audiences.

Case Study #2 – Brandon

Brandon has just graduated from college with a degree in business but doesn’t know where he wants to go. He interned with Enterprise Rent-a-Car while in college and liked the variety of work but didn’t like the front-line management part of his job or how little structure there was to his daily duties.

Brandon’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:

-Selling

-Negotiating

-Customer Service

-Work with Numerical Data

-Planning

-Detail Management

Brandon’s personality preference is ESTJ; here’s the description of that personality type:

Fact-minded practical ORGANIZERS; at their best when they can take charge and set things in logical order. They value:

  • Results; doing, acting
  • Planned, organized work and play
  • Common-sense practicality; usefulness
  • Consistency; standard procedures
  • Deciding quickly and logically
  • Having things settled and closed; orderliness
  • Rules, objective standards, fairness
  • Task-focused behavior
  • Directness, tough-mindedness
  • Systematic structure; efficiency
  • Scheduling and monitoring
  • Protecting what works

Brandon’s Core Values are:

-Open for Advancement

-Ability to Do Job as Efficiently as Possible

-Highly Structured Environment

-Work that Mentally Challenges You

-Performing Clearly Defined Tasks

How would you coach Brandon? Here’s what we talked about:

Brandon liked the sales aspect of his internship with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and had also had part-time jobs where sales was a component of his job. He likes the idea of being highly compensated for superior performance in sales.

What Brandon DOESN’T like about sales is the unpredictability of it…how flexible you have to be. Brandon LOVES structure.

So where do we go from here?

One of the top careers for ESTJs is Business Administrator, and the administrative aspects of his internship appealed to Brandon. He admitted that, once he was older and more experienced, he wouldn’t mind supervising employees…he just didn’t feel qualified to do that as an intern.

Brandon decided to pursue jobs as a sales compensation analyst, where he could use his sales experience coupled with his love of structure to research ways to attract and retain top-notch salespeople.

From there, Brandon could see himself moving into other business administration roles.

Case Study #3 – Sadie

Sadie has been out of college for eight years; she majored in psychology. When she began that degree, she planned to get a Ph.D. in psychology, but as she went through her coursework that became less interesting to her.

After graduating, Sadie got a job in human resources as a generalist – some hiring, some benefits, all kinds of personnel issues. She liked the variety of the work but didn’t love the constraints around how she could help the employees. She stayed in this job for three years.

The next job Sadie had was also in human resources, at a larger company where she specialized in recruiting employees. She liked feeling like she was really helping people but found the career fairs and other large recruiting events to be extremely draining.

Most recently, Sadie has worked as a Recruiter for a recruiting firm. This has been a step back in that she feels overwhelmed by the volume of people contacting her and the volume of contacts she has to make each day. She’s ready for a complete change.

Sadie’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:

-Writing

-Counseling

-Negotiating

-Performance Improvement

-Creativity or Imagination with Ideas

Sadie’s MBTI type is INFP; here’s the description of that personality type:

Imaginative, independent HELPERS; at their best when their inner ideals are expressed through helping people. They value:

  • Harmony in the inner life of ideas
  • Harmonious work settings; working individually
  • Seeing big-picture possibilities
  • Creativity; curiosity; exploring
  • Helping people find their potential
  • Giving ample time to reflect on decisions
  • Adaptability and openness
  • Compassion and caring; attention to feelings
  • Work that lets them express their idealism
  • Gentle, respectful interactions
  • Showing appreciation and being appreciated
  • Close, loyal friends

Sadie’s Core Values are

-Help/Serve Others

-Ability to Teach/Train

-Ability to Give Ideas/Input/Suggestions

-A Quiet Workspace

-Unstructured, Open Environment

How would you coach Sadie? Here’s what happened:

Sadie talked about considering a Master’s in Counseling so she could become a Certified Counselor, but decided she was more interested in being a coach. Because I have considerable knowledge in this area, I was able to educate Sadie on the types of coaching out there, the industry as a whole, and how she could proceed.

She had some homework to do! When she came back, she was excited about becoming a life coach. We drilled down a bit further, and Sadie decided she wanted to coach recruiters to become better at what they do – she saw a lot of problems with this industry and was confident she could help improve it.

She found a coaching program she liked, signed up, and went through the certification process while keeping her job as a recruiter. We worked on her thoughts about her job so it was more enjoyable, and we also strategized about how to leverage her contacts for when she opened her coaching practice.

I hope these three case studies have given you some ideas about all this self-information comes together in the career decision-making process. Of course, if you’d like to work with an expert in this process, reach out to me.

Remember, I am offering a FREE 5-day course on “Finding Your Professional Purpose,” which includes Motivated Skills and Values activities. To optin: http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Which Areas of Expertise Are Most In-Demand Right Now?

In-Demand Areas of Expertise  

This week’s podcast talks about identifying your Areas of Expertise.

I like to think of Areas of Expertise as being specialties within a Skill Set.

For example, one of your Motivated Skills (what you’re really good at AND love to do) is Management and Supervision, which is defined as “Skilled at overseeing, managing, and directing the work of others. Able to motivate individuals to perform at their peak level. ”

You have had the opportunity in your job to supervise the summer college interns for three years, which you excel at and enjoy doing. You now have the Area of Expertise of “Supervising College Interns.”

See how that works?

What’s in Demand?

Let’s talk about some of the most in-demand Areas of Expertise. Not surprisingly, many are in the tech area:

Cybersecurity

Cloud Computing

Applied Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence

Data Science

Mobile Application Development

Data Storage Systems and Management

Middleware and Integration Software

Web Architecture

Algorithm Design

Java Development

Tableau Software

User Experience Design

C++ Programming

MySQL Programming

Swift Development

Chat Support

Android Development

Unity 3D Game Development

 

Within Marketing, the areas in demand are also tech-based:

Digital Advertising

Content Curation

Online Content Strategy

Digital Monitoring and Analytics

Marketing Automation

Pardot Marketing (I don’t actually know what this is)

 

Another frequently mentioned Skillset is multiculturalism. What is the Area of Expertise you can develop within that broad skill?

Being a PMP (Project Management Professional) is a highly desired certification. If you choose to obtain (or already hold) the PMP designation, what Area of Expertise can you specialize in?

 

Skills in Demand

The Top 5 skills at the top 10 companies, according to one list, are:

Management

Communication

Leadership

Operations

Customer Service

Think about the Areas of Expertise you can develop within those broad skill sets.

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Identifying Your Areas of Expertise,” click here:

054: What are You REALLY Good At? (Areas of Expertise)

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

054: What are You REALLY Good At? (Areas of Expertise)

Areas of Expertise

So far this month, I’ve talked about how to incorporate knowledge of your Motivated Skills, personality preferences, and Core Values into your career decision. Today’s topic is “What are You REALLY Good At?” We’re talking about capitalizing on your Areas of Expertise.

If you’re just getting out of college, your Areas of Expertise are probably vague ideas…shadows of what is to come. But if you’ve been in the workforce for a few years, you should have at least 2-3 Areas of Expertise, with more to develop as you progress through your career.

Connecting Areas of Expertise with Motivated Skills

I want to connect these Areas of Expertise with your Motivated Skills because they are closely related. Let’s say one of your Motivated Skills is Writing, which is defined as “Possessing excellent writing skills. Able to create business or technical documents, correspondence, and other effective written communications.”

So you get a job in the Public Relations office of a company, where one of your main duties is to write press releases. Because of this experience, one of your Areas of Expertise becomes “Writing Press Releases.”

Here’s another example: One of your Motivated Skills is Planning, which is defined as “The ability to plan and develop a program or project through organized and systematic preparation and arrangement of tasks and schedules.”

In your job as an Office Manager, you have the opportunity to coordinate other people’s schedules, come up with more efficient systems and processes, plan the work of others in the office, and even manage a major project. Your Areas of Expertise become “Coordinating Schedules,” “Project Management,” and “Supervising Employees.”

One more: One of your Motivated Skills is Teaching, which is defined as “The ability to explain complex ideas or principles in an understandable manner; able to provide knowledge or insight to individuals or groups.”

However, becoming a school teacher was not of interest to you…so you looked for alternative ways you could teach others. In your job, you were able to volunteer as the safety officer for your department, giving monthly safety talks and demonstrations to the employees.

Your Area of Expertise becomes “Safety Training.”

See how this works? The Motivated Skill is broader, and the Area of Expertise is a particular subset of that Skill you’ve developed.

How do you Become an Expert?

What makes something an Area of Expertise for you? It’s when you have a better-than-average grasp of that thing…at least initially. You’ll find that as you progress through your career, your Expertise will become more pronounced…to the point where others are calling you “the Expert in _____”

Once again, if you haven’t grabbed my 5-day course on “Finding Your Professional Purpose,” I highly encourage it, as day 2 of the course gives you a Motivated Skills Activity. The URL:   http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

A Challenge

Here’s my challenge for you: Identify your Motivated Skills, then do one of two things depending on where you are in your career:

If you are entry-level, identify a potential Area of Expertise you would LIKE to develop for each of your Motivated Skills. Bonus points if you’re willing to schedule time for the first step in acquiring that Area of Expertise.

Here’s an example: One of your Motivated Skills is “Creative or Imaginative with Ideas,” which is defined as “Using imagination to create new ideas, projects, or programs; able to conceive existing elements in new ways.”

What aspect of creativity do you a) want to become an expert in, and 2) can do in your current job?

Let’s say you decide you want to develop your graphic design skills. You studied a little bit in college and found it fun; there’s no one else in the office with that Area of Expertise, and there’s a need for it.

You volunteer to take on some graphics projects for the office, then a few more, and then a few more…next thing you know, you’re the office expert in graphic art.

If you are a more experienced worker, identify an Area of Expertise you HAVE developed for each of your Motivated Skills. Bonus points for you if you can identify a way to take that Area of Expertise deeper in your current job.

You can also develop your Areas of Expertise outside of work through volunteering with civic or professional organizations, or charities with a cause you are passionate about. Areas of Expertise often emerge as side hustles in the more entrepreneurial among us. It sure did for me – and then it became my business.

The URL for the 5-day “Finding Your Professional Purpose” course again is  http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Macro- and Micro-Levels of Your Career Choice

The Macro- and Micro-Levels of Your Career Choice

This week’s podcast is about identifying and incorporating your Core Values into your career choice.

Let’s talk about this at the Macro, Micro, and Micro-Micro level (I totally made that last one up).

Example #1

Perhaps one of your Core Values is “Earnings Directly Tied to My Contribution.” You choose the career field of sales because you know the more successful you are in your job, the more money you will make. This is the Macro-Level.

You accept a sales position with a company that is 100% commission. However, once you get in the job, you find that the compensation system makes it very difficult, if not downright impossible, to earn more than about $100k. This is the Micro-Level.

Let’s say you are a pharmaceutical rep who is selling an older drug, one for a disease state that has recently seen a flood of new drugs on the market. You are, in essence, selling old, unsexy medication. On the Micro-Micro level, you might have to work your tail off to earn much selling your drug.

See how this works?

Example #2

One of your core values is “A Collaborative Work Environment.” You’ve chosen the career field of teaching…what could be more collaborative than that? This is the Macro-Level.

You accept a teaching position in a school district that is facing severe budget cuts. The teachers all have large class sizes, and there is rampant fear of more personnel getting the ax. As a result, no one is helping anyone else…everyone is looking out for themselves. This is the Micro-Level.

You, however, have the opportunity to affect the English department at your school, of which you are a member. You bring some creative team-building activities to the table and decide you are going to help your fellow teachers in any way you can. This is the Micro-Micro Level.

Get it?

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Incorporating Core Values into Your Career Decision,” click here:

http://media.blubrry.com/theexclusivecareercoach/content.blubrry.com/theexclusivecareercoach/Podcast_53-Translating_Core_Values_intoYour_Career_Decision

 

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

053: Translating Your Core Values into your Career Decision

Core Values

This month’s podcasts are covering the importance of incorporating your skills, values, personality, and areas of expertise into your career decision. Today, we’re talking about Core Values.

Remember that your career decision is on a macro- and micro-level: Choosing the career field you will pursue, and the jobs within that career field. Even on a more micro-level, this self-knowledge will help you decide which assignments, projects, or committees you volunteer for – or you ask your boos to assign you to.

Today, I want to talk about your core values…what is most important to you in an employer, a work environment, and the specific work you’re doing.

Identifying these “non-negotiable” values helps you align your career choices with what is most important to you. And alignment increases your chances for career success, higher compensation, and greater satisfaction.

If you’re interested in doing a values sort activity, I recommend you opt-in into my 5-day course, “Finding Your Professional Purpose.” Here’s the URL: http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

In this activity, you go through a list of values and determine where each value falls for you, Least Important through Most Important. You are forced to minimize the number of values in each column so that you come up with a maximum of 10 that are Most Important to you.

How to Use this Information

-If there is a career or specific job you are considering, evaluate it against your core values to determine how well it meshes with your values.

-If you are exploring careers, look for those that hold your most important values. No matter how many “niceties” the career might have, if it doesn’t offer the values you hold most important, you won’t be satisfied.

Note that some of your values may apply to a career as a whole; other values may be job-specific. For example, “Using physical strength/coordination” is a universal value for a career in physical therapy. Within the career of physical therapy, however, some jobs may satisfy a value of “work on a team,” whereas other jobs may be geared more towards a value of “opportunity to work independently.”

The Values

Here are a few of the values on the Values activity:

 –Utilize physical strength and coordination

-Utilize creativity and originality

-Opportunity for advancement

-Receive recognition for accomplishments

-Higher than average financial rewards

-Ability to help and serve others

-Close relationships with co-workers

-Opportunity to work independently

-Good relationship with manager

-Ability to complete tasks with autonomy

-Flexibility in work hours and schedule

-Work on a team

-Quality, luxurious surroundings

-Earnings directly tied to your contribution

-A quiet workspace

-Opportunity to travel frequently

-Variety of work tasks

-Having a fixed set of tasks

-Working on multiple projects simultaneously

-Working on one project at a time

-A competitive work environment

-Work that mentally challenges you

-Receive clear instructions

A Few Examples

Let’s play out a couple of examples. Let’s say your 5 top values are:

-Utilize physical strength and coordination

-Utilize courage and take risks

-Respond to problems or emergencies

-Unstructured, open environment

-Opportunity to travel frequently

Does this sound like the values of an accountant? A school teacher? A writer? What comes to mind is someone who takes groups out on extreme vacations…hiking, rafting, horseback riding.

See how these values play into that career choice? Here’s another example:

Someone’s top 5 values are:

-Ability to exert power and influence

-Higher than average financial rewards

-Competitive work environment

-Work that mentally challenges you

-Quality, luxurious surroundings

These would be ideal values for someone entering the field of law, particularly in private practice (their value of higher than average financial rewards might not be satisfied working for the DA’s office, and they probably wouldn’t have quality, luxurious surroundings there, either).

There are no right or wrong answers here, and there are an infinite number of values.

These values then become one of the yardsticks by which you measure a career field and job opportunities within that field. It helps you not be swayed by other things that are nice enough – but not one of your Core Values.

For example, if one of your Core Values is having a quiet workspace…you know you won’t be able to do your job without a fair amount of solitude.

You interview for a job and learn that your office will be the first one in the door. People will be sticking their heads in all day every day, and you are the first line of defense when there’s a problem.

You have a couple of options: You can decline the job if it’s offered or you can negotiate a different location for your office.

To optin to my FREE 5-day course that includes a Values activity: http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Personality Type in Career Choice: Case Studies

Personality Type in Career Choice: Case Studies

In this week’s podcast, I talk about the role of personality type in career choice. I use the framework of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), of which I am a Master Practitioner.

The MBTI is the world’s most widely used personality assessment. It is a psychological tool designed to reveal your personality preferences…the ones you were born with.

Based on your responses, the MBTI assigns one of 16 personality types to you. Much research has been done around the link between personality type and career choice.

Here are a few personality types and the careers best suited to them:

ESFP: Realistic Adapters in Human Relationships

ESFPs are at their best when free to act on impulses. They value:

  • An energetic, sociable life, full of friends and fun
  • Immediately useful skills; practical know-how
  • Learning through spontaneous, hands-on action
  • Trust and generosity; openness
  • Concrete, practical knowledge; resourcefulness
  • Caring, kindness, support, appreciation
  • Freedom from irrelevant rules
  • Handling immediate, practical problems and crises
  • Seeing tangible realities; least-effort solutions
  • Showing and receiving appreciation
  • Making the most of the moment; adaptability
  • Being caught up in enthusiasm

ESFPs want work that has practical value; as much work flexibility as possible, and a collaborative work environment.

What careers do ESFPs often pursue? Here are a few:

Sales Representative

Counselor

Social Worker

Consultant

Photographer

 

INTJ: Logical, Critical Innovators of Ideas

INTJs are at their best when inspiration turns insights into ideas and plans. They value:

  • A restrained, organized outer life
  • A spontaneous, intuitive inner life
  • Planful, independent, academic learning
  • Skepticism; critical analysis; objective principles
  • Originality, independence of mind
  • Unemotional tough-mindedness
  • Freedom from interference in projects
  • Working to a plan and schedule
  • Seeing complexities, hidden meanings
  • Improving things by finding flaws
  • Probing new possibilities; taking the long view
  • Pursuing a vision; foresight; conceptualizing

 INTJs prefer a work environment that involves complex ideas and concepts and allows them to develop creative, innovative solutions. They are all about possibilities and originality.

What careers do INTJS often pursue? Here are a few:

Scientist

Engineer

Medical Doctor

Business Administrator

Attorney

ENTP: Inventive, Analytical Planners of Change

ENTPs are at their best when caught up in enthusiasm for a new project. They value:

  • Conceiving of new things and initiating change
  • The surge of inspiration; emerging possibilities
  • Analyzing complexities
  • Following their insights, wherever they lead
  • Finding meaning behind the facts
  • Autonomy; elbow room; openness
  • Ingenuity, originality, a fresh perspective
  • Mental models and concepts that explain life
  • Fair treatment
  • Flexibility, adaptability
  • Improvising; looking for novel ways
  • Exploring theories and meanings behind events

ENTPs seek work that utilizes their creativity and originality in a flexible work environment; work that allows them to dig for deeper meaning, insights, and possibilities.

What careers do ENTPs often pursue? Here are a few:

Psychologist

Engineer

Scientist

Marketing Representative

Systems Analyst

I encourage you to go through these lists and make sense of the connection between the characteristics of each personality type and the careers often pursued.

If you’re interested in learning about your personality type, I encourage you to work with a qualified practitioner or a Master Practitioner like myself. Otherwise, you’re taking an assessment online with no one to interpret your results for you.

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Using Personality Information in your Career Choice,” click here:

052: Using Personality Information in your Career Choice

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

052: Using Personality Information in your Career Choice

The Role of Personality in Career Decisions

This month, I’m talking about using critical information about yourself in your career choice. Last week, I talked about Motivated Skills; this week I want to talk about personality.

I am a Master Practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the world’s most widely used personality assessment. It is a psychological tool designed to reveal your personality preferences…the ones you were born with.

Here’s the analogy I use with my clients: I have them write their name. Whether they use their right hand as most people do or their left hand (like me), we identify that the hand they wrote their name with is their preferred hand.

That hand is their innate preference.

Next, I have them write their name with their non-preferred hand. We talk about the fact that it was a much more conscious task with that hand…and that the results weren’t nearly as good.

The next step is to have them imagine their preferred arm is broken and it’s in a cast for six months. During that time, they are forced to write exclusively with their non-preferred hand.

They will no doubt get better at using that hand during those six months, right?

I then have them imagine that a co-worker exclaims, “Oh my gosh…your arm is broken! Is that the arm you write with?”

Of course, their answer is “Yes!” Even though they are using their non-preferred hand exclusively, it doesn’t change the fact that that isn’t their preferred hand.

And, as soon as that cast comes off, they are back to their preferred hand.

The MBTI identifies your innate preferences…the way you prefer to handle a situation or task if given the option.

What’s the Flip Side?

Here’s the thing: All of us must access the non-preferred side of our personality on a daily basis.

The Introvert who has to go to a two-day team building event with coworkers and finds it incredibly draining.

The Perceiver whose boss expects her to stick to a tight schedule.

The Thinker whose coworker comes to him very emotional, with a personal problem.

The Intuitive whose project assignment requires her to complete her tasks in a very sequential manner.

What Does This Have to Do With Career Choice?

Career choice, and the role of your personality in that choice, is a macro- and micro-level decision.

On a macro level, you are choosing a career field that meshes with your personality.

On a micro level, you are evaluating job opportunities based on those same criteria. Because sometimes what holds true for the career as a whole doesn’t hold true for a specific position.

Here’s an example: I once worked with a YMCA Assistant Director who was underperforming at work. Turned out (much to everyone’s surprise) that he was an Extravert. You would think a job at the YMCA – specifically organizing the recreational sporting events for children – would be a great fit for an Extravert. And you would be right.

However, at this YMCA the Assistant Director’s office was at the end of a dark hallway – isolated from the patrons coming in and out, and from the other employees. He hated that aspect of his job.

So what are the preference pairs measured by the MBTI?

EXTRAVERSION – INTROVERSION

This pair has to do with where you get your energy. Extraverts get their energy from the people and activities going on around them; Introverts get their energy from being by themselves.

Extraverts are generally comfortable meeting, and speaking with, strangers; Introverts would rather not approach strangers and find it difficult to start a conversation with someone they don’t know.

Extraverts tend to be “open books,” meaning they freely share what they are thinking with those around them. Introverts are much more closed about what they share until they know someone well and feel they can trust them.

SENSING – INTUITION

This pair has to do with how you prefer to take in information. Sensers take in information by way of the 5 senses – sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell. Intuitives take in information by way of their sixth sense – their intuition.

Sensers prefer to deal with concrete information that has practical value; Intuitives prefer to deal with abstract ideas and concepts that involve creativity and imagination.

Sensers tend to trust what has worked in the past and aren’t likely to want to make changes to something if it’s working. Intuitives want new and different and will make changes to things even if they are working.

 THINKING – FEELING

The Thinking-Feeling pair addresses your preference for making decisions. Thinkers make decisions using cool, impersonal logic – they make their decisions with their head. Feelers make decisions using sympathy and values – they make their decisions with their heart.

Thinkers tend to stick to established rules and regulations – treating everyone fairly by treating everyone the same. Feelers tend to consider the circumstances – treating everyone fairly by treating everyone differently.

Thinkers will be brutally honest in evaluating work performance and can come across as harsh because they are telling you the unvarnished truth. Feelers will consider your feelings in giving you feedback; while the interaction may be more pleasant, you may not be given the information you need to improve.

 JUDGING – PERCEIVING

Judging-Perceiving addresses how you organize your life. Judgers love planners, calendars, and systems that create a superstructure of organization in their lives. Perceivers want the freedom to do what they feel like doing at any given time.

Judgers avoid the pressure of last-minute work, whereas Perceivers do their best work at the last minute.

Judgers want structure in their work and prefer jobs with schedules they can control. Perceivers like jobs that are unstructured, and they are at their best when responding to emergencies or changes in plan.

Why Does This Matter?

A lot of research has gone into career fields most frequently chosen by different personality types. I want to lay out just a couple of examples for you:

ENFJ (Extraverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging)

When you combine the four letters of your preference, you get a four-letter code that says volumes about your preferences.

Here’s a brief description of an ENFJ:

Imaginative HARMONIZERS; at their best when winning people’s cooperation with insight into their needs. They value:

  • Having a wide circle of relationships
  • Having a positive, enthusiastic view of life
  • Seeing subtleties in people and interactions
  • Understanding others’ needs and concerns
  • An active, energizing social life
  • Seeing possibilities in people
  • Follow-through on important projects
  • Working on several projects at once
  • Caring and imaginative problem solving
  • Maintaining relationships to make things work
  • Shaping organizations to better serve members
  • Caring, compassion, and tactfulness

What careers do you think ENFJs most frequently go into? Fields that involve helping others achieve their goals – looking toward the future to become what they want to become. Using their creativity is essential to ENFJ’s job satisfaction.

-Public Relations Manager

-Social Worker

-Career Counselor

-Editor

-High School Teacher

-Human Resources Manager

-Advertising Manager

-Marriage & Family Therapist

 

ISTP (Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Perceiving)

Here’s a brief description of ISTP:

Practical ANALYZERS; at their best when analyzing experience to find logic and underlying properties. They value:

  • A reserved outer life
  • Having a concrete, present-day view of life
  • Clear, exact facts
  • Looking for efficient, least-effort solutions
  • Knowing how mechanical things work
  • Pursuing interests in depth
  • Freedom from organizational constraints
  • Independence and self-management
  • Spontaneous hands-on learning
  • Having useful technical expertise
  • Critical analysis as a means to improve things
  • Solving problems with detached, sequential analysis

What fields do ISTPs pursue? Those that allow for freedom…of schedule, or daily work…or the setting in which the work is done. Variety is very important to ISTPs. They also like work that is hands-on and practical.

-Building Inspector

-Forester

-Chef

-Athletic Trainer

-Financial Manager

-Software Developer

-Mechanical Engineer

-Police Officer

Using personality information in your career choice allows you to align your preferences with your work. Think of my analogy: if you don’t do this, it will be like writing all day, every day, with your non-preferred hand. It will be tiring, less fulfilling…and you won’t excel to the degree you could.

A note about taking the MBTI: There are lots of online “knock offs” of the assessment. If you want to take the actual MBTI, I recommend doing so with a qualified professional who will interpret your results with you. Otherwise, you won’t know what to make of the information contained in your results. The MBTI is a psychological assessment, and as such, and only be administered and interpreted by a qualified professional or Master Practitioner like myself.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

051: Identifying Your Motivated Skills

Identifying Your Motivated Skills

For the last quarter of 2018, my podcast and blog theme is “Making Crucial Career Decisions.” This month, we’ll be drilling down on your skills, personality preferences, core values, and expertise. Each of these things can, and should, play a role in your career decisions.

Keep in mind that, whenever I talk about career decisions, I am speaking on a macro- and micro-level. The macro level is this: Does the career path you’re considering allow you to make optimal use of your skills and expertise? Does your personality type mesh with this career? Does this career fit within your most critical values?

On the micro-level, you are looking at particular job opportunities within that career. Keep in mind that, while a career may fit with your personality and values, etc., a particular job may not. The more you know about yourself, the more aware you will be of what is most important to you…I call them your non-negotiables.

Defining Motivated Skills

Today’s topic is “Identifying Your Motivated Skills.” Let’s start with a definition.

Motivated Skills are those skills that you are both very good at and get a great deal of pleasure from doing. The reason they are called Motivated Skills is because the more you do them, the more motivated you will be about your work.

The opposite of Motivated Skills is Burnout Skills. Burnout Skills are the skills you are very good at, but DON’T get any pleasure from doing. In fact, these skills suck the motivation right out of you. The more you have to perform Burnout Skills in your work, the more likely you are to…you guessed it…burn out.

Take the Assessment

If you’re interested in taking a Motivated Skills assessment, I recommend you opt-in to my 5-day course, “Finding Your Professional Purpose.” Day 2 includes Motivated Skills and Values activities.

To optin: http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

Here’s how the Motivated Skills activity works: First, you sort each skill by your skill level with it. A “5” means you have a superior skill level; a “1” means you have little or no skill.

Next, you sort those same skills by your Motivation Level. A “5” is Superior enjoyment in using that skill; a “1” means you are completely unmotivated to use that skill.

The idea is to come up with a core list of just 5-6 Motivated Skills. Any more than that, and you are unlikely to find a career or job that includes them all…and you may sacrifice the most important ones for those that aren’t quite as essential to you. Any fewer than that, and you may be lacking in self-awareness…you just haven’t lived enough, or been present enough, to know what you like and don’t like.

Why This Matters

Let’s talk about why knowing what your Motivated Skills are is so important. Obviously, you want this information to inform your career decisions on the macro- and micro-level; knowing your Motivated Skills will also help you answer some of the tough interview questions you’ll likely get asked.

Even within a job, knowing your Motivated Skills will help you make intelligent decisions about projects, committees, and assignments you volunteer for.

Of course, sometimes you don’t get to pick these things. However, by letting your boss know what your Motivated Skills are, he will be far more likely to put you on projects, committees, and assignments that align with those skills. After all, you doing a great job makes him look great…so it’s a win-win.

The Alternative

What’s the alternative to identifying, and capitalizing on, your Motivated Skills? Here are five downfalls:

-You don’t find fulfillment in your work…that soul-satisfying need to do what you were put on this earth to do.

-You don’t excel in your work…thereby limiting your potential to move up (which you don’t really want to do anyway…at least not in that career).

-You jump from job to job, not realizing what’s really wrong.

-Your dissatisfaction at work bleeds over into the other 2/3 of your life…it impacts your personal relationships and your sleep suffers.

-People who need what you were put on this earth to do miss receiving that from you. If this sounds esoteric, I promise you…this is what it’s all about.

What are these Skills?

I hope I’m made a compelling case for identifying and capitalizing on your Motivated Skills. So what are these skills anyway?

There are general categories of Motivated Skills, under which you’ll find several sub-categories.

Under the general heading of Communication Skills, you have skills in all forms of communication including verbal, written, presentation, sales, and negotiation. This group of skills involves the transfer of information in an accurate, persuasive way.

For Marketing, Public Relations, and Customer Service Skills, there is a wide range of skills that include being at ease in social settings, the ability to identify customer needs and preferences, and the ability to translate objective feedback into self-improvement and self-identify deficiencies to improve performance.

The general heading of Quantitative Analysis Skills includes computer skills and the ability to compile and analyze numerical data.

Under the general heading of Analytical Research Skills are scientific curiosity, research, and the ability to understand and use engineering or industrial principles, tools, and equipment to improve processes, services, or products.

Technical Reasoning Skills include mechanical and spatial reasoning, working outdoors in a technical capacity such as construction, environmental, or landscape projects, managing operations, or gathering technical or environmental data. Technical Reasoning Skills also include technical problem-solving or troubleshooting.

Creativity and Innovation Skills is the ability to use color and shapes to create visually pleasing images and to create new ideas and forms with existing objects. It also includes the ability to use imagination to create new ideas, projects, or programs.

Under the general heading of Teaching, Training, Instructing, or Counseling Skills: These are pretty self-explanatory. You are conveying information to an individual or audience in a teaching/training/instructing capacity, or you are counseling people to improve some aspect of their lives.

The final grouping is Project Management, Leadership, and Motivation Skills. These include managing and directing the work of others, motivating people to perform at their peak level, planning programs or projects, organizing people, data, or objects, and making decisions. It also includes the ability to manage detail-oriented tasks.

Again, I highly recommend opting in for my free 5-day course so you can take my Motivated Skills sort activity. That URL again is http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Ways to Restore Equilibrium When Work is a B****h

Someone asks you how work is going. You roll your eyes, make a farm animal-like sound, and feel yourself gearing up for a diatribe.

Even if you love your job, there will be rough times. Times when the thought of going into work brings dread. Long hours, working weekends, and doing tasks that don’t play to your strengths.

In other blogs, I’ve talked about how to change your thinking so you’re getting the results you want at work no matter the circumstances. Today, let’s talk about how to get back to normal when things at work aren’t, so you aren’t damaging your evenings and weekends (and alienating friends and family).

For the purposes of this article, I’m focusing on what you can do outside of work, rather than changing what is happening at work.

Make physical activity a priority

For some reason, when we’re overworked one of the first things we take off our “to-do” list is exercise.

If you have to let some things go in your personal life during a stressful time at work, there are two things you MUST keep as priorities, and one of them is physical activity.

What can you do that you a) enjoy, and b) will give you the biggest bang in the shortest amount of time?

Get sufficient sleep

This is the other priority you MUST keep, no matter what is happening at work.

You KNOW you can’t possibly give your best effort at work if you are sleep-deprived. Further, your family and friends aren’t going to want to hang around you if you’re only half-awake.

Set a personal goal

Having a goal that has nothing to do with work can be a powerful motivator to make the best use of your non-work hours.

Do you want to train for a half-marathon, learn a foreign language, or hone your painting skills?

Identify something you’re passionate about and give it a regular slot in your schedule.

Cultivate your relationships

When you’re in a stressful period at work, it can be easy to forego plans with friends and family. It can also be difficult to initiate such plans if you’re afraid you’ll have to bail at the 11th hour.

The key here is to go for quality over quantity. You might not be able to set three or four social engagements during a stressful week at work, but can you schedule one? Or do you have a friend or loved one who is game for a last-minute activity when you find yourself with an unexpected open block of time?

Let go of the unimportant

When your personal time is limited, this presents a great opportunity to eliminate the unnecessary and inconsequential from your life.

What can you stop doing? What can you hire someone else to do, such as cleaning or yard work? Are there relationships in your life that no longer serve you? Can you create personal time by having groceries delivered or purchasing pre-made meals? Could you turn off the t.v. in favor of a workout or visiting with a friend?

Look at your daily and weekly activities with a critical eye, and eliminate or minimize those that aren’t enjoyable for you.

Ask for help

Let those closest to you know what’s going on at work, how long you expect it to continue, and ask for their help. Parents, a spouse or significant other, and your closest friends might be able to pitch in with such things as shopping, childcare, and simple errands.

Don’t suffer in silence! “No one can fill those of our needs that we don’t let show,” says the classic song “Lean on Me.” So true.

 

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Work/Life Blend (Balance is a Myth)” click here:

050: Work/Life Blend (Balance is a Myth)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail