How to Choose the Work You Love When You Feel Stuck (Part 2)

Posted by in Career Success, Knowing Your Strengths, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Personality | 11 comments

(This post is part of a series. To read part 1 go here.)

When you don’t like your job and you feel stuck, one of the best things you can do is take a personality assessment.

Photo Credit: hobvias sudoneighm

Two of the best, most reliable and valid personality instruments on the market are the DISC and Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

The MBTI was the instrument I used during my career transition and it literally changed my life.

Or maybe I should say it explained my life.

You see, none of us are completely objective when it comes to evaluating our own personalities.

We all have blind spots about how we engage with the world.

The other thing that happens is we devalue our strengths.

A certain thing comes easy to us so we disregard it and think everybody can do this. In our mind it’s nothing special.

The DISC profile and MBTI help get us see ourselves more clearly and understand what we do best.

There are some significant differences between DISC and MBTI.

DISC will provide you with four areas of personality and will tell you which one is your most prevalent, second most prevalent, third, and fourth.

You will primarily be a D, I, S, or C.

D = Dominant or Driver – Do you know someone who is assertive, to the point, and wants the bottom line? This is the D style.

I = Influencing or Inspiring – Do you have any friends who are great communicators and friendly to everyone they meet? This is the I style.

S = Steady or Stable – Are you a good listener and great team player who is loyal and steady? The is the S style.

C = Correct or Conscientious – Have you ever worked with someone who enjoys gathering facts and details and is thorough in everything they do? This is the C style.

My primary style is S followed closely by I.

The MBTI on the other hand measures four different areas of our personalities and provides you with a four letter type.

(I) Introversion or (E) Extraversion – This aspect of our personality determines the source of feeling energized. Either by being alone or from interacting with others.

(N) Intuition or (S) Sensing – This is how we prefer to take in information. Either through our five senses (S) or through themes, meaning, and patterns (N).

(T) Thinking or (F) Feeling – This preference has to do with how we prefer to make decisions. We either prefer a more objective and analytical approach (T) or a more people focused and empathetic approach (F).

(J) Judging or ( P) Perceiving – This is how we prefer to organize our lives. We either prefer a very structured approach to life (i.e. love calendars, schedules, and to-do lists) (J) or a more free and open approach to life (i.e. no schedule or calendar, likes to keep options open) ( P).

So, for example, my MBTI type is INFJ.

Now that you know a little about each of the assessments here’s why you need to take them:

1. It will give you objective insight into yourself you otherwise may not know. Many people after taking DISC or MBTi will say, “Did my mother write this?” It’s amazing how well it explains our behavior and thinking.

2. It will help you identify your strengths. The best way to do work you love is to do something you are crazy good at. When you play to your strengths in what you do it will feel natural and fulfilling.

3. It will help you identify your weaknesses. We all have limitations and you will be better off knowing what they are and avoiding doing anything related to those areas of your personality.

4. It will help you filter different opportunities based on how well they fit your personality. When you do determine a career path to pursue you will still need to wade through the many options that will come your way. Knowing your personality and what you do well will help you make the best decision when the time comes.

You were uniquely designed and there has never been anyone on earth like you. The more you know about yourself the higher your self awareness will be.

This will lead you to having more options and allow you to make better decisions. In the end you will find the work you enjoy because it will be connected to who you are at your core.

Questions: Have you taken DISC or MBTI? What’s your type? How has it helped you to know more about your personality? 

(Consider adding a comment below)

 

*Warning!* Shameless self promotion. You can purchase both assessments on my website by going here.

 

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  • Good article.  I’m just entering the freelance writing arena.  Writing is what I love!  I am retired RN, which I also loved doing.  I’m now writing about healthcare issues and loving it.  Plus, I’ve had my own blog for 2+ years now.  Good to find your site! Sally

    • Thank you Sally. It is wonderful you’ve found a way to blend the two things you love to do with writing about healthcare. What advice would you have for someone who is struggling to figure out what it is they love to do?

      • Hi Adam,

        I believe that if someone can find the things they are passionate about, they will figure out what they love.  

        Being passionate about something is not the same as loving it.  I love watching TV, but I’m not passionate about it.  I love cooking, but I’m not passionate about it.  If what you love drives you to want to do more of it, then this may be your passion and what you should be trying to do.  

        Just my thoughts.  I write a blog called Live And Love With Passion (Bit=http://bit.ly/khkREV)  if you or anyone would like to visit, I’d love it.  Sally

  • Searching

    Hi Adam. I’m in the middle of — or I should say, deep into — a career change, searching for the work I love, so the title of your post caught my attention.

    I’ve taken both of these personality inventories before. Unfortunately, they haven’t been as helpful as I thought. For one thing I seem to be all over the map!

    With DISC, I seem to come out as an “I.” This is odd b/c a DISC “I” is an extravert! In Myers-Briggs, I’m an “I”, which of course means introvert!

    This happens for me with a lot of these categories. So much of my current “personality” is learned, habits and patterns I’ve adopted over the years for survival and success that aren’t the way I’d do things if it were really up to me. For instance, in MB, I rate a “J” for judging, but that’s partly (or maybe mostly) b/c I’ve learned to be that way. Free to choose, I might likely be a “P” instead.

    It seems that in some ways I’ve actually lost, or erased, my “original,” authentic personality type in a mass of learned habits and behaviors based on what others expect. These inventories make it hard for me to discern who I really am.

    What thoughts or guidance do you have in a situation like this?

    • First, I would say that personality assessments are merely tools to try and reflect who we really are. You are the expert on you, so just because an assessment says one thing doesn’t mean it is an accurate reflection.
      So how do you know who the “real” you is? You have to pay attention to yourself. What do you do when you get to organize your schedule for the day? Maybe a weekend or a vacation when you were in control of what you did and how you spent your time.
      What kinds of things do you find yourself doing, thinking, feeling? That is the real you. Which parts of that experience seem to match the personality assessments?
      We all adapt our behavior according to our environment, but we all have a core personality that we were born with. It can be a challenge to peel back some layers of upbringing, culture, expectations, etc. to get to the core personality.
      But it is possible. In fact, that is a lot of what I do with my clients.
      So if I were you I would schedule a weekend retreat with myself and just observe. Observe what you do, think, and feel without external influences. That might be a good place to start.
      Keep searching.

  • This is dead-on. I’ve chatted with so many friends who through conversation will mention something they are good at, but they won’t realize that it is a strength for them. When I point it out, they are confused. “You mean, not everyone can do that?!” I have a long-standing interest in personality tests. I have heard of Meyers-Briggs, but I am much more familiar with the DiSC. I am an “I” then “C” on the DiSC. 

    • Yes, Alana we so often feel like our strengths are “nothing special” when they are often quite unique and notable. That’s great you’ve taken DISC. I really like that instrument. If you enjoy personality assessments I highly recommend the Myers Briggs. I find it to be a little more in depth as compared to DISC.

      • I will check it out. Are you familiar with the Enneagram? This is another test I like to refer to because it helps to explain deeper elements such as childhood wounds that we may have received or messages we did or did not hear growing up that also shaped who we are now. 

        • I’ve heard of the Enneagram, but I’m not very familiar with it. Yes, those messages we received or didn’t receive certainly have a part in shaping us.

  • Jason Pockrandt

    Hey Adam. I have yet to take the actual DISC although I have read through once and re reading 48days right now. I have a good idea. I tend to be on the last MB I took back in college a few years ago a toss up between INFJ and ENFJ. It is so tough to figure out if I really am extroverted or introverted. I can’t introduce to many new people easily but once I get talking I won’t stop ever. I was recently laid off and now I’m really struggling to find my new work. Although I would love to be a personal Financial Coach. Dave Ramsey based. Either way I’m here and I’m lost a little. Enough about me. I am really interested in your site I found some common themes in your life history and my beginning ideas of possible career goals. I look forward to chatting more over at the 48days community. Thanks

    • Hi Jason,
      In regard to your question about being an I or an E, ask yourself the following questions: 1. What energizes me most – interacting with other people or being by myself? 2. Would I rather work on several projects at the same time or focus my attention on one task at a time? 3. Am I more comfortable acting first, then thinking about it or thinking things through before I act on them?
      I’m sorry to hear that you were laid off. Although I know it’s a difficult transition, I’ve heard Dan Miller refer to being laid off as being given the grace of interruption. So maybe this was a gift to prompt you into taking action on a better career for yourself.
      Yes, let’s connect through 48days.net. Feel free to join my group Unlock Your Passion. We’d love to have you.