Moving Your Job Search Forward
In Your Information Gathering Style & Your Job Search you learned that your personality style can play a role in information-gathering for your job search. Your first inclination might be to pay attention to specific details and facts or, instead, to see "big picture" patterns. Striving for a balance between these two styles will ensure that you do not overlook important elements for your job search.
After you have amassed and reviewed your job-search information, what do you do next?
Do you make a plan with timelines and goals? OR
Do you "go with the flow" so you can "keep your options open"?
These are two different ways of moving forward with your job search. Why is it important to know which camp you fall in?
The bottom line for your job search is lessened anxiety and stress, and customized motivation.
Once you understand your preferred style, you can choose to conduct your job search in a way that motivates you, while still incorporating some of the methods of the opposite approach for much-needed balance.
How Do You Deal with Your Job Search?
The following sets of descriptors can serve as a guide to clarify your preferred style, so you can then choose to use them to your advantage in your job search.
Keep in mind that you may not fit each descriptor exactly; in fact, you may be a combination of some items in both lists.
If, according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator™ (MBTI®) assessment, you prefer Judging (J), then your tendency may be:
- Seek closure on events, relationships, and ideas
- Make decisions quickly
- Enjoy decision-making
- Feel an urgent need to make a quick decision
- Set measurable goals and deadlines
- Take methodical action immediately towards those goals
- Make plans and be on time - always
- Find comfort in an orderly environment and predictable routines
- Value structure and plans as the guidepost for actions
- Get things done
- High work ethic
- Finish work before taking time to play
If, instead, your MBTI® preference is for Perceiving (P), then your inclination may be:
- Seek to keep your options open in a relaxed environment
- Curious about ever-emerging data, so you keep gathering more information
- Enjoy process of learning more and adding to your information treasure trove
- Take a "wait and see" attitude about decision-making
- Second-guess your decisions a lot
- See deadlines as just a starting point with plenty of time to act
- Prefer to be spontaneous and let things work out on their own
- Have a high tolerance for ambiguity and change
- Value being "open" to what may come
- Get pulled in many different directions
- Work does not "trump" play or rest
- Work tasks and workplace need to be enjoyable
Make the Most of Your Preferred Type
The point is to understand how you prefer to conduct your daily life, including your job search, and how to leverage those strengths in your job search.
In addition, you may want to identify some opposite-type areas for further development. The following questions can alert you to potential motivators for your job search, as well as important gaps you may want to close.
If your MBTI® preferred style is Judging (J), you may want to ask:
- Is my job search workplace set up to be efficient and orderly? Is it uncluttered and organized? Does it make me feel comfortable and high-energy?
- Do I have a job search plan for the day and week? Do I use checklists to get through my daily job search tasks? Do I reward myself for each item I check off?
- Is there "breathing room" for last-minute additions or changes to my schedule? How can I make that a routine part of my schedule?
- Can I allow myself a "cooling-off" period to reflect before I jump to a decision and act on it? Who else needs to be involved for accountability purposes to make sure that happens?
- What "guilty pleasure" activity can I structure into my job search day and/or week to rejuvenate me?
- Can I make changes in my daily or weekly schedule without extreme anxiety? Will I allow myself to make low-impact changes voluntarily as "practice sessions" in adaptability?
If Perceiving (P) is how you prefer to live your life, you could benefit from asking yourself:
- Is my job search workplace sufficiently organized so I am not wasting time or resources? Does it make me feel comfortable and energize me?
- How do I actually use my job search time? Can I track my activities for a week and figure out a) which tasks are most productive, and b) what time of day I am most productive?
- What repetitive activities or tasks can I consolidate, eliminate, or delegate?
- Am I willing to set limits to my research time so I can set aside time to act? If not, why not?
- Will I design mini-goals and mini-deadlines so I do not feel overwhelmed in trying to attain them?
- How will I reward myself for actually reaching those mini-deadlines and mini-goals?
Motivate Yourself - Get Moving!
The above list of questions is not all-inclusive; think of how you can use your natural J or P preferences to build motivators into your job search surroundings, activities, and relationships.
Brainstorm with others who know you well for additional suggestions. Then, add in special rewards for yourself whenever you try some of the opposite-type behaviors.
The idea is not that you will become the other personality type preference. Instead, think of it as using personalized aspects of both Judging and Perceiving modes to move your job search forward.
For example, you may decide to re-design / re-organize the space you use for your job search so it saves time and maybe even paper (think green), while making you feel comfortable in whatever way works best for you as a J or a P.
Putting up a visual schedule for the week on your wall, perhaps on dry erase board, rather than ink or a computer printout, allows for flexibility in planning.
Another tip: put that schedule up where you can see it from your desk or computer station. Build in blocks of time (set off with color or photos or some other tickler device) to remind you when you need to re-energize (play)!
Consciously choose to accept and leverage the natural strengths of your personality type in your job search, rather than decrying that you are not more (fill in the blank) like someone else you know. Decide you will use every ounce of YOU to get what you want - and start today!
© Copyright, 2010, Susan Guarneri. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
About the Author
Job-Hunt's Career Assessments Expert, Susan Guarneri, known as the Career Assessment Goddess, specializes in using personal branding and career assessments to empower professionals, executives, and budding entrepreneurs with career insight and action. Author of the Career Goddess Blog and co-author of Job Search Bloopers, Susan holds 16 career certifications, including National Certified Career Counselor, Master Career Counselor, Certified Master Branding Strategist, and Certified Online Identity Management Strategist. She has a Masters Degree in Counseling from The Johns Hopkins University and 24 years of experience.