I did a skills test earlier this week for a position at the Coolest Place Ever. After I turned in the computer portion of the test, they handed me Tom Rath’s Strengths Finder 2.0 with instructions to take the assessments at the website, and email the results to them.
My top five strengths were:
Intellection: “People who are especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.”
Input: “People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.”
Learner: “People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.”
Strategic: “People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.”
Ideation: “People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.”
When I read the total (much longer) descriptions, I found myself saying, yep. that’s me. Totally. Or at least mostly. The sentence that most startled me most was the one that said something to the effect that Learners thrived on being in situations where they were given short term assignments, expected to master them, and then move on. It startled me because it was pretty much what one of my bosses had said to me years before. As far as Ideation: I think this applies to most lawyers, or should. The entire process of law revolves around connecting and distinguishing ideas.
Tell me this: is it odd to daydream about how you would create or improve workflow for a completely fictitious online database project?* Or how you could create completely personalized paperweights for individuals in an organization? ** Or to pride yourself on knowing far too much really stupid stuff?
All of this is fascinating. But in the end, sadly, looking at what they stated they wanted, I don’t think I am a fit. Not that they don’t like me, and I them, but that they would wonder whether I could be happy working there long term.
If they offered me the job, I would take it, unless something came up in the meantime (not likely). Because a) I need a job and b) coolest place ever.
But it sounds like I really need to be a librarian. Which would require more schooling in a field for which there are no jobs anyway.
*First, determine what fields will be repeated when records are duplicated, and see in what ways you can import data from other places. Organize the workflow so that the records are in order so that you have to input the least amount of keystrokes from one duplicated record to the next. Better yet, see if there are ways that you can incorporate bar code readers that do not increase the upfront human capital. See? Wasn’t that very easy? I am not going to go into the details of the project I was thinking about — that would just be boring.
**Use a common form to start with — I was thinking a cube balanced on one corner. On one of the upper faces of the cube, stamp the organization’s name. On one of the other faces stamp the person’s initials. That’s where the fun begins. Have the remaining faces be the starting point for high relief scenes representing things about the person that have nothing to do with their work — a recognition that we are more than who we are in the office. For example, for someone who loves astronomy, on of the faces could be splashed out, and the opposite site could be roundly bulged — a comet splashing into the face of the cube. For someone who loved herpetology, a hollow with a branch in the center of the cube, with a snake whose center is on the branch but whose head and tail extend and wrap themselves around the exterior of the piece. For people who love theater, create an interior stage set. And so on. I spent a lot of time thinking about this last week. It really should be cast in aluminum or steel, but those are very hot and hard to handle. Besides, you would not want a shiny surface — too easy to show fingerprints. (Brushed steel — oh, my.) Pewter is easier to handle and is the right color, and might work nicely, except I would wonder whether you could get the crispness of detail I would want… Or you could use a globe shape that broke open: bronze might work. Exterior would be organization/initials, the interior the aforementioned scene. Sorry — I think about this sort of thing all the time. It is a distraction from a) job hunting and b) writing my Great American Novel (or my memoirs). (Just kidding about that last one.)