Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Career Within You - Finding The Perfect Job for Your Personality

The Career Within You - Finding The Perfect Job for Your Personality

I’ve always loved Elizabeth Wagele’s cartoons for their insightful humor and for making the Enneagram accessible. Many of my students who were initially daunted by lengthy Enneagram tomes started their journeys with “The Enneagram Made Easy”. And as we all know, once you venture into the richness of the Enneagram personality map, you’re hooked.

Elizabeth now has a brand new book co-authored with Ingrid Stabb called “The Career Within You.” I expected to read a sort of “What Color Is Your Parachute” with an Enneagram twist. And I expected the humor and heart of Liz’s cartoons. I found all this and more.

All nine types are described succinctly with pluses and minuses and overarching motivation with particular attention to strengths brought to the workplace and needs. Wagele and Stabb break new ground with the best part of this book - their Career Finder for each of the types.

Each type starts his/her search by rating a list of 5 strengths. Personal preference is taken into account next when the reader peruses a long list of careers and lists 4 that interest him.

A chart next to each career weights each of the five strengths of the type - ideally you’d find something that resonates with your highest strengths that excites you.

Last step, Step 3, shows practical considerations in these same tables. Additional ratings are given for jobs with high pay, predicted future growth area for jobs, recession proof occupations, and those with a large number of present openings. This is invaluable information, especially in our present economy.

I decided that if the Wagele- Stabb Career Finder works that it should be able to work in reverse. I have what I consider to be the world’s best job(s) as writer, artist, health activist and enneagram blogger. I wanted to see if the Career Finder might agree. So I ranked my type Seven strengths in this order: Idealism, Seek challenge, Enthusiasm, Social networking, and Synthesizing info. I then checked for matches in the extensive jobs list. And the Career Finder.... nailed it!

Writer (but not travel writer), Artist photographer (not wedding photographer or photojournalist), Human potential seminar leader (yep still doing that), Journalist human interest or opinion (e.g. blogger). Journalist hard news did not line up and indeed, I have a hard time sometimes writing my articles for Examiner.com as they want more newsy, middle of the road pieces than I tend to write as a health activist.

The point here is that the Career Finder is complex and varied enough to be of real value and help to anyone who is job hunting whether it is her first venture into the workplace or a midlife change in career.

The book finishes up with a chapter entitled Fundamentals to Look for in Your Work Situation and a wonderfully laid out Job Hunting Guide. Interspersed throughout this terrific book are real life stories that illustrate the nuances of career and job seeking that are so critical to finding satisfying work.

This book is a must read for anyone contemplating a job search as well as for those of us who sometimes get lost in asking the question “Is this the right career for me? Why do I do what I do, again?” Just the practice of looking backward has invigorated me and validated my choices. Turned out The Career Within You was an inspirational text as well! Who knew?

To order your copy from Amazon.com, click here or visit your local bookstore.