Career Confidence


Do you find yourself having a mental block imagining what other work you can do should your position at work was dissolved? Are you at a lost trying to make a career change? How confident are you in an interview discussing what you have to offer an employer? Many are still dissatisfied with their salary and work conditions. It makes sense for such individuals to be nervous about changing their employment.

According to a recent Oxford University report, research shows that 47% of jobs performed by humans in the U.S. are at risk of being taken over by technology within the next 20 years. Could your job fall into that percentage in the near future? What can you do now to prepare? Are you confident your skills can translate well into another field?

A combination of personality assessments can help individuals develop an understanding of their preferences, opening up their employment options. How though? Career assessments organize personality traits, preferences, and skills in a report to help individuals recognize their strengths and weaknesses. This provides them with an overview of what they need to work on to match their employment goals. It’s helpful to take an assessment every five years to assess their professional skill level at varying stages of their professional life. A person can gain confidence knowing their patterns of preferences and abilities which they can leverage to attain more fulfilling employment.

TheMyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Big Five, also known as Five Factor Model, are the two leading assessments used to help individuals understand their patterns of preference. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is type-based (derived theoretically) and the Big Five trait-based (derived statistically). The MBTI does a good job of organizing one’s preferences into a personality profile. For example, it gauges how a person receives their energy and motivation. The MBTI categorized them as either extravert or introvert. The following scenario offers clarity.

Say anindividual wants to work on the trading floor of the NY Stock Exchange. The environment may cause an introvert more stress and fatigue than an extrovert. That’s because introverts prefer time apart from outside stimulus. This helps them recharge their internal batteries. On the other hand, extraverts draw energy from people or action. The dynamic on the floor of the exchange would be less distressing to an extrovert.

The MBTI also assesses how an individual processes information: sensing vs. intuition. If a person registers a high mark under intuition, they have a more creative decision-making process. They rely on gut feelings and interpersonal patterns, visualizing the big picture more than the little details. This personality readily accepts unique or innovative methods. A sensing personality prefers a more pragmatic approach. The individual would rather rely on shear facts before making a decision. This is not to say that a person cannot, or does not, use both approaches. It just means they have a preference. The Big Five expresses these preferences as “openness to experience.” Individuals who score low on openness are closer to the MBTI’s sensing personality while those who score high are intuition types.

According to the MBTI, an individual makes decisions based on feeling or thinking. A person scoring high on feeling make decisions depending on how a situation will affect their relationships. This affects how they interact with others. They might be more sensitive about hurting other people’s feelings. Individuals that score high on thinking prefer to make decisions based on logic. They approach situations in life with an “it-is-what-it-is” attitude. This doesn’t mean one is too sensitive or heartless. Again, they’re just decision-making preferences. They are developed and can be improved upon. This corresponds with the Big Five agreeableness domain. High agreeableness means you have the ability to work well with others; low agreeableness means that you look skeptically for motives.

Here’s something else to consider. Do you finish projects on time? Do you procrastinate before completing a task? Do you perform best under pressure? The MBTI (judging vs. perceiving) and the Big Five (conscientiousness) also identify whether you have autonomous or structured personality traits. The MBTI’s perceiving type enjoys a flexible and adaptable lifestyle. They prefer to absorb options, seeking the full spectrum of what’s available. An individual high on judging prefers structure, planning, and seeks stability. They want closure when making decisions.

High scores on conscientiousness in the Big Five mean a person is more task-oriented; they like things organized. Those scoring low on conscientiousness exhibit a more laid-back and flexible personality. The Big Five also has a neuroticism domain. This domain helps a person understand how circumstances affect their nerves. If a client scores high on neuroticism, they get anxious more readily than someone who has a lower score. Such an individual needs a balanced view of their anxieties. They can have desirable skills but if they get anxious needlessly, their judgement is clouded, interfering with their professional growth.

The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) is a third assessment identifies jobs and careers closely related to a client’s interests. They can develop professionally as they acquire necessary skills. This personality profile serve as a roadmap, guiding individuals through their choices in education and employment.

Statistics show that a person will change careers seven times in their lifetime, changing jobs approximately every three years in this economy. Together the MBTI, Big Five, and SII allow individuals to create an employment strategy based on their preferences. In a future blog, I will explain more concerning the Highland Ability Battery which is a performance based career aptitude test that accurately records your natural abilities.  Once a person identifies their patterns of preference and abilities they can develop fulfilling skills valuable to employers.

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