Work Assessment

So in looking for new work, I’d applied to a position at another nonprofit that seemed to have its act together. I wasn’t sure if the position was right for me, but as I got to know the company, I felt like it was a really good fit. Read: they pay well and offer benefits.

But the hoops to go through in applying for the job were borderline ridiculous. In addition to the usual cover letter and resume, phone and in-person interviews, I had to take an enormous battery of personality assessments. I had been told that regardless of whether I was offered the position, I’d be given the results. After I’d gotten word that I wouldn’t be offered the position, I hadn’t heard from the HR folks, so I finally called to inquire and had a phone consultation with them today to go over the results. The first thing the HR woman asked (excitedly) was, “So! Did you get the job?!”

Um, no.

“No? Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.”

(Um, why the hell didn’t you know that already? Weird!)

“Do you know WHY you weren’t offered the position?”

No. I simply received a letter that stated that another candidate had been offered and had accepted the position.

“Well, we’ll see what we can find out on our end and give you a little more feedback on that at another time. In the meantime, just try to understand not to take this personally and ….”

I tuned out. It’s hard not to take this sort of thing personally.

Anyway, on to the results. I was shocked at how accurately the results reflected my work style and personality. I was measured in four cognitive ability areas: vocabulary, numerical and visual analysis, verbal reasoning, and critical thinking. For these four tests, I rated “far above average” in these areas. But that wasn’t the interesting part. The assessments also measured my work personality in several areas.

As far as my leadership style, I am comfortable at being in charge but it’s not something that I have to have at work to be fulfilled. (Check). I am open and willing to challenge the status quo and challenge authority, not a blind follower. (Yup.) I am willing to voice unpopular opinions, but I am also concerned about what other people think of me and my work. (So far, three for three.)

On a scale of introversion to etraversion, I am in the middle. Which means I need to be around people and be given the opportunity to work on teams, but I also require alone time to think, contemplate, and do the tasks that contribute to the overall project. Sounds right.

I am not only comfortable working among people who are different from me, I actually prefer that because I am inspired and fueled by the diversity of approaches and ideas brought to the table. I have strong empathetic skills. I am good at listening to and understanding others, I am concerned about others’ feelings, and I am approachable. I am dependable and see that follow-through is important, but I’m not overly concerned with details to make me a perfectionist. I am highly focused on achievement and strive to exceed my goals. I prefer to be self-directed and independent, but I like a lot of variety in my work — I get easily bored with the same thing or repetitive tasks. I am naturally curious, I am skilled at understanding myself, my thoughts and feelings, and reading non-verbal cues. The tests even revealed that I’m quite sensitive, that it is difficult for me (though not impossible) to address sticky or sensitive issues and I take constructive feedback way too personally.

While I may not have landed the job, I think all of this info is a really key takeaway as I look for other work, particularly since I’m considering bailing on the museum, and even nonprofit, sector altogether. The problem is I don’t know how to find work that best suits me…