Saturday, July 10, 2010

What Else Would You Do?

Do you ever wonder if you’re in the right line of work? Have you ever taken one of those tests that is supposed to tell you what kind of work you should be in? Or what kind of jobs are held by people with skills, interests and personalities that are similar to yours?

I took such a test in college and their suggested occupations for me included civil engineer, psychologist and plant store owner. What?! Maybe it is because I’m detail-oriented, compassionate and enjoy working in small groups. I was a radio DJ for half my career so maybe they got it right: I handled technical details of keeping the music and banter flowing without ‘dead air’, listened to phone callers whine about their problems and worked alone in a small, dimly-lit room.

I’m happy with my career and current job but the number of people needed in the media world is shrinking so I’m thinking about the future. What else would I do if I lost my job and couldn’t find another one like it?

So I took a few of the free career aptitude tests on line and here are some results from two of them:

The first one says these jobs might be right for me: mathematician, astronomer, political scientist, economist, atmospheric and space science teacher, computer software engineer and actuary. Puh-leeeeze! I was a weather geek and space geek as a kid, but the rest of those? No way.

The second test didn’t delve into career specifics so much as it painted broad strokes relating to my personality. A creative job is most likely to be your dream career, so you probably shouldn't bother with formulas and bar graphs. You usually like the challenge of creative something out of nothing. It's a skill not everyone has. We'd tell you exactly what you should do, but something tells us you've invented some pretty good ideas already. I already have a creative job and plenty of what they said is true.

There is another more traditional test that I took two years ago called the Jung Typology Test and its partner the Jung Career Indicator. It says I am an INFJ. The website I used translates it specifically for me: moderate introvert, moderate intuitive, moderate feeling and highly judging. I wonder if the results would be different if I took it again today … or if I had taken it again a week later. Many of the questions are ambiguous, in my opinion, or offer too many options.

That test, by the way, suggests these as possible careers for me: social worker, teacher, librarian, lawyer, psychologist, counselor and designer. Some of those come a little closer to the real me, I suppose, but I don’t have the patience for most of those professions.


My current job is a hybrid position that includes writing, voicing and editing radio commercials, interviewing non-profit organization staffers and contributing ideas to other departments of several radio stations. And I’m still a DJ once a week.

Other jobs I did have at one time or another: public relations consultant, band booker at a blues bar, stock clerk at a car parts warehouse, retail sales person in clothes, sporting goods and music, catering server/bartender, photographer’s assistant, hotel sales person, Army private. I was not very good at any of them.

Other jobs I seriously considered but rejected as unrealistic ways to make a good living include photographer, newspaper reporter, television weather guy and history teacher. I have actually been a paid freelance photographer a few times and I got as far as a second interview for a part-time TV weather job.

All things considered, I’m better off doing what I now do and continuing to improve my technical and networking skills.

What about you? Do you work in the field you enjoy? Do you struggle with it sometimes but stick with it because it’s the right thing for you? Do you need encouragement? (hmm, back to that psychologist thing again – maybe I could do that if I learned patience). Do you often wonder why these life choices seem so complicated? If you won Power Ball would you say “WTF” and just take a 5-year vacation?

2 comments:

elizinashe said...

yes, yes, yes, and um..yes. took same & similar tests...suited for bartender/server, teacher, psych therapist, social worker and medical field. HA!!!! best suited in small groups.....and if I did win the lottery I would TOTALLY say WTF!! Italy here I come!

Bernie said...

Venice, Florence, San Gimignano, Volterra, Sienna, Pisa ... from expresso through vino daily, with conversations, laughs and photographs ... excuse me while I go buy a lottery ticket.