One of the things that frustrates me about career coaching is the belief that personality tests help you uncover your ideal job. Is that really so? Can personality tests tell you what your dream job is?
Don’t get me wrong, I love all sorts of personality tests. I think they are good fun and of course you can learn something new about yourself. I am “The Protagonist” (ENFJ-A) from 16 personalities. Protagonists are known for their leadership abilities. They are supposed to find themselves in positions of influence among consultants, managers, politicians, coaches, teachers … yet I found myself resigning from my first managerial position thinking it wasn’t meant for me. Neither I realised I would make a decent coach. In fact I run away from my first volunteering coach position (but I will write about that another time).
Finding jobs that would finally feel like a good fit for me required more than reading my personality test results. Today I wanted to share a few tips around using personality tests for your career.
Before you decide to put your career destiny into a personality test, let’s look together when I think it can be BENEFICIAL to use, and more importantly when NOT to.
3 Reasons when I recommend taking personality tests:
#1 You’re looking for a quick fix to boost your motivation and engagement
#2 You’re curious and want to discover more about your personal qualities
#3 You want to develop your performance around strengths (instead of improving weaknesses).
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3 Situations when I think it’s better NOT to use personality tests
#1 You crave to un-box yourself, break free and find who you are
– perhaps you fell into a role and now after years you lost the connection with who you really are. You feel inboxed and locked in a imaginary cage of your job that seems to define who you are. You feel it’s time to break free, revaluate and re-design your career to bring more joy, fulfilment and perhaps freedom to really express who you are.
I don’t really recommend to use personality test for that as the first step. Why? Simply put, you may end up boxing yourself into a “new box” rather than engage your curiosity and intuition to explore who you really are! If you didn’t feel there is more to you, you wouldn’t feel the nudge to explore it, would you? I would encourage you to start connecting with your needs, desires and goals and take the test later on.
#2 You’re facing a life-changing career decisions
– starting a business or taking a completely different turn in your career. If you want to put that time and energy into building a new career, build it on a more decent foundations such as values, life goals, passions and purpose rather than the results from a personality test.It’s also recommended to start with exploring your Why.
#3 You aren’t willing to put any effort into making a positive change and discovering a new version of you
Author: AdriAna Kosovska
Certified coach & founder of ZERO TO DREAM JOB
Helping unfulfilled professionals and freelancers in 30s & 40s create a rewarding career
Dream job & Career Development | Stress management | Talents development