My Career Sign

October 29, 2009

I’m on the Unemployment Roadshow because I have no idea what I want. Embarrassing to admit, but true. But sticking to the search is tough. I have to continually resist temptation to find a job for the sake of having one–even if it’s totally wrong for me. Because I grew up believing that to be a good person, you have to work. And I’m from a small town where refusing a job meant you were a fool. It’s against my every instinct to not pounce on any online posting that comes my way. So I fight it. But I also find myself seeking other paths of least resistance. And for me one of these false idols is career testing.

Before embarking on the Roadshow, I filled in the petals of my flower diagram. I filled out charts on the pink pages. I answered multiple multiple choice and true or false questions. I discovered my Myers Briggs initials. I made lists and decision matrices. And each time I took a test or did an exercise, there was a tiny glimmer of hope that the results would deliver an epiphany and reveal my perfect job.

Recently, I took one that promised to match my professional strengths and interests to potential careers. I was excited–this was more than just personality type and communication styles. I was going to get automated, and relatively effortless, results. (The tiny glimmer of hope was doing a booty shake in excitement.) Based on my responses to a few hundred questions, a computer was going to tell me what job I was best suited for. Kind of like in Sci-Fi movies when teens come of age and are told what career they will forever hold…but wait, those don’t usually end well…

The Results
So my number one result: Delegative Manager.

So I should be the boss. That’s cool. But boss of what? And how do I go about applying for the position of boss? Should I call up offices and ask if they are looking for someone to run their company? My rationale being “A computer system somewhere thinks I’m qualified.”? Thinking that might not go over so well.

The next profession that came in a tight second? Lawyer. I think my mother would say I scored high as a lawyer because I like to argue and talk back. (Actually, that’s what she did say.) But I’m not keen on going to school for that long, at least not without having tried out the job. Plus I suck at the logic problems in crossword puzzle books. So that’s out.

And profession number three that came in a close third? (Photo finish necessary) Artistic Career. Hmm…kinda vague.

My Career Zodiac Sign
Again, no epiphany. After all the testing and assessments, I feel like I’ve ended up with a description of a career Zodiac sign more than anything else. And I don’t put too much clout into Astrology. In fact, I have a friend who wrote horoscopes for a small local paper. (now defunct) He used to make them up.

I don’t believe my self-assessments are total baloney. Because there is definitely merit to knowing thyself. I get it. But, like horoscopes or Zodiac signs, I do think they are ambiguous and general enough that you can pull out the elements that relate to you, and disregard the ones that don’t.

Career Gemini:
You are a people person. You are at ease with groups, sociable, and outgoing, although you sometimes avoid close personal ties. Be wary of being distant, Gemini! You are an excellent communicator and motivator. You wow others through persuasion and insight. That brain of yours likes to innovate and create. You’re a conceptual and theoretical thinker, driven by designing and planning. You are understanding and insightful when it comes to the feelings of others. But be mindful of tension between you and co-workers who are overly concerned with their self-worth. Gemini, you’re an adapter–you possess an above average resilience to change, but can be impatient and annoyed at delays. Be careful when stressed, as you can become dominating, argumentative, and distracted. You don’t like unnecessary rules and when they are imposed tend to make you over-emphasize independence and too eager to blaze trails. On the other hand, you approach any task given to you with energy, flexibility, and creativity. You seek variety, novelty, challenge, and diversity. Your most compatible employment signs are those that are aggressive and enthusiastic.

Gemini colours: Blue and Green
Communication style: Direct
Work values: Collegiality, creativity, independence
Life Pursuit: Boss, lawyer, starving artist

Does it describe me? In many ways it does. But does it give me what I need to put an end to my search? Not so much. I’m reluctantly realizing that these false idols of mine are just tools. They aren’t going to answer the big questions for me. They’re just going to point me in the right direction. They’ve helped me become more self-aware of my employment strengths and weaknesses. I understand my work and communication styles. And I have recognized qualities and skills that I took for granted, which I can now use to promote and better sell myself. But I think I have to keep on rolling with the Roadshow if I’m going to figure out what I really want.