To get many jobs today, you have to fit a pre-determined mold—if only you can figure out how to pour yourself into it.
It’s no longer: submit your resume, have an interview, establish personal chemistry, get the job. These steps are simply irrelevant for many positions today, particularly those you apply for on-line. Instead, it’s far more likely that you’ll provide information about yourself via some personality testing, and that the employer’s algorithm will decide whether you get the job.
No surprise. It’s answer will almost always be “no.”
How can you determine beforehand whether you have more or less of what an employer is looking for? Do you answer their personality questions truthfully or try to give them the answer you think they’re after? When you don’t make their cut, how do you find out “why you didn’t” so that you can make a better pitch and present yourself in a better light the next time?
In this brave new world, applying for any job on-line is increasingly a “shot in the dark.” When you don’t know their rules, it’s nearly impossible to figure out how to succeed at their game.
Well maybe it’s time to start making the job search more about your game.
These posts are about taking control of your working life by, among other things, helping you find the job that’s right for you. The goal is work that empowers you when you’re doing it, and helps you to make the kind of difference in the world that you want to make.
As a result, these posts won’t help you to get better at pouring yourself into some job computer’s pre-determined mold. But the increasingly common ways that jobs are being filled today do suggest something that everyone in the job market can do to take more control over where their careers are going.
My advice is to learn more about who you are, and what you’re best at, by giving yourself your own personality test. They are tools for self-discovery as well as for filling many jobs today.
There are plenty of tests out there. They’re easy to find and relatively inexpensive to take. And while an expert will always be able to tease out more nuance from your test results than you’ll be able to, there is still plenty that you can learn from them about “how you like to operate” and “where you might find your best fit” in the working world.
It may not be where you’ve been looking for jobs at all.
To get a better sense of the direction that’s right for you, there are tried and true assessments you can take on your own. Examples are the Myers-Briggs (to help you identify career choices that are compatible with how you make decisions, draw conclusions, arrive at judgments and relate to others) and the Strong Interest Inventory (how your personal interests compare with the interests of people in particular careers). Determining your “preferences” will sometimes confirm what you already know, but could also surprise you. Talking to others about what they like and don’t like about their work can provide some additional ways of thinking about your test results.
And that’s the point: to think about your results with an open mind, and start to put together a career path that’s right for you. For example: how have your “preferences” already contributed to your success? And how do the successes you have under your belt qualify you for what you really want to do next?
Let your head and your heart ruminate on what you discover. Sleep on it, dream about it. Do some research about possible jobs that are out there. Make some notes. Test your conclusions with friends and family. Dream about it some more. But most of all, take what you’re discovering about yourself and your unique value in the marketplace seriously.
Then you’ll be ready to start looking for jobs where they’re playing “your game” with “your kind of rules.” It’s about taking control of your working life.