Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Know Thyself Via Standardized Tests

I had my official self assessment review today. This differs from my assessment of Bill Self (a traitor who shall never be allowed to set foot in the state of Illinois again) but is roughly as accurate. Since these are always so much fun to take I figured that I might as well share with the world just what all of these tests say about me.

(For those wondering, yes I am an INTJ on the Meyers Brigg. Was there any doubt?)

So, here is what I reviewed this morning.

My Interests: “Scheduling, Doing detailed work, Keeping close contact, Working with numbers, Working with Systems”. Guess I can’t argue with that. Numbers, systems and detailed work are pretty much in my wheelhouse. I like working with them except that dealing exclusively with them bores me pretty completely. How they have scheduling on the list is beyond me. I don’t believe there is anything more tedious than maintaining Microsoft Project files. I’d rather, you know, do the work.

My Work Style: “Insightful, Selectively Sociable, Thoughtful, Reflective, Optimistic”: Wow, optimistic? Really? Apparently they didn’t grade “bitter to the core” as an attribute. Insightful and thoughtful are right on. Selectively sociable is actually a really nice description of how I act in a workplace environment. Not everyone is my friend. And I guess reflective is based on my tendency to wear shiny metallic vests to work.

My Needs: “Encourage competition, Be Assertive, Allow Flexibility, Introduce Novelty and Variety”: I’m a bit concerned on this one because half of these are dead on and half I don’t get at all. Flexibility has become a key to me as I’ve grown more and more tired with bureaucracy as I’ve found myself mired in it. Variety has been the cornerstone of my career as I just always want to try something different and keep on learning. But encourage competition? That seems to imply a level of cut-throat that I’m not comfortable with. And maybe they equate a want for having people to tell the truth with being assertive. Who knows.

My Stress Behaviors: “Easily distracted, Distrust others, Become domineering, Fail to follow the plan”. On the plus side, at least it doesn’t say ‘under times of high stress, brings flamethrower to office’ or ‘refers to upper management as being unable to find their own ass with both hands, a map and a team of bloody sherpas.’ I guess that is a good thing. Do I really become domineering? That doesn’t seem to be in my nature. The getting off plan at least makes sense. When stressed I tend to do what I think is right, no matter what anyone else is telling me to do. Not always the best thing politically.

My Top 4 Areas of Interest: “Numerical, Scientific, Literary, Musical” Can’t really argue there. I like the fact that this shows the dichotomy (or schizophrenia) of my nature. Part of me is this highly mathematic, detailed oriented robot who likes nothing more than sitting down with numbers and writing if-then statements until the numbers dance their way into a deeper meaning. The other part of me is this creative guy who would like nothing better to sit in a coffee shop all day writing bad poetry and discussing how Feist completely sold her soul to Apple. It’s a pretty bizarre mix but I like it.

Finally, here is the big one. What should I be when I grow up? What are my optimal careers?

My Top 5 Job Titles: “Administrative Professionals, Accounting, Numerical Administrative, Banking and Finance, General Administrative” So after peering into my soul I’ve been told that I should be either an auditor or an accountant. Sigh. It’s not exactly the most exciting of professions. I was kind of hoping that “lion tamer” would make the cut. I mean, yes I’ve been doing finance in one form or another for the past five years and been working with numbers my entire life but I would think that I would have a few more options out there. This doesn’t surprise me but I would think that there would be a bit more flexibility.

Oh and yes I am apparently better suited to being a secretary than an engineer. Double sigh. I have a feeling that I will be getting a call from Illinois regarding my diploma. Seriously, I’ll never claim to being the best EE but I did a dang good job at it. Was promoted like mad in my old company. I’d suck as a secretary. I’d just let all calls go to voice mail and spend my day pilfering office supplies. Though at least I’d be the only one on the floor who could fix the printer.

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