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Career Planning for Uncertain Times

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Transcend in Twenty-Ten: Intrinsics – Why Personality Matters

Posted by drwoody on January 26, 2010

One of the commonly missed steps in the career re-engagement process is introspection. I’m a firm believer in the power of stepping back to gain perspective on where you are presently, where you are actually going, and where you really want to go. As part of this introspective process I firmly believe you need to take stock in what you bring to the table. In other words, you have to get to know your intrinsics.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I use the word intrinsics as a catch-all to describe what you bring to the table as a unique individual. We all have our own mix of personality, experiences, training… that combine to create a unique value proposition in terms of what we are able to bring to bear in our career endeavors.

In my last blog post I also outlined the six elements that make-up what I refer to as your career intrinsics. I call these six elements your career pacers: Personality, affiliations, contributions, experience, relationships, and SKAs.

In this post I’m going to focus on personality.

Although there are many influences on human behavior, I believe that personality is one of the most significant. Other influences include experience, culture, upbringing, education, religion, social norms, expectations, and trauma. The reason I believe personality is so critical is that your personality is really responsible for driving how you respond to those other influences. It shapes how you act and interact within your environment.

Personality is really about your natural inclinations. We all have natural leanings and comfort zones. Quite simply, you have certain actions and activities that you tend to be comfortable performing. Having a good sense of what these are is critical to your success. The last thing you want to do is put yourself in a position that requires you to spend most of your time operating outside of your comfort zone. When you are in your element, you are going to be at your best.

In my upcoming book, The YOU Plan, I talk about the role of personality in my work as an executive coach:

“Whether I’m working with corporate executives or personal clients, I always begin by assessing their personality and natural strengths. I’m certainly not unique in this approach. The study of personality and its application to the world of work has enjoyed a substantial resurgence, with many theories and approaches. What’s important is this: Personality does matter.”

When it comes to assessing personality, there are literally thousands of personality assessments on the market. The unfortunate reality is that the majority of these assessments likely provide as much intellectual insight as reading your daily horoscope or taking the latest quiz in Cosmopolitan magazine. So, when looking for a good assessment, consider the source. Simple on-line assessments can sometimes do more harm then good.

One of the most well researched models of personality is the Big Five. The Big Five consists of five high-level factors that can be remembered as OCEAN: Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion/introversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism or emotional stability. The model states that we all have varying levels of each factor that operate together to create our individual personalities. The model has gained such wide acceptance that even the psychologists at e-Harmony use it as part of the matching system. Thus, when looking for simple personality assessments, keep the big five in mind.

For more information on the Big Five and one of the more popular Big Five assessments see: http://www3.parinc.com/products/product.aspx?Productid=NEO_FFI

Some other well-known models include:

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: https://www.cpp.com/products/mbti/index.aspx

The DISC assessment: http://www.thomasinternational.net/1/Resources/DISCAssessmentTheory/tabid/4012/Default.aspx

Both have enjoyed a tremendous amount of popularity and use in the business world.

The bottom line is that career success requires really knowing the value you bring to the table and how to leverage and communicate that value in a way that helps others want to utilize it. Really knowing your personality is a good start.

Over the next couple of weeks I will address each of the other career PACERS in more depth, so stay tuned!

Cheers,

Dr. Woody

To find out more about Dr Woody’s upcoming book, The YOU Plan, check out www.TheYouPlan.com

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Transcend in Twenty-Ten: Intrinsics – What You Bring to the Table

Posted by drwoody on January 19, 2010

In my January 11 blog post I spoke about the importance of introspection in the career planning process. I focused on how assessing your values can play a role in the career choices you make. The next step in the introspective process is examining your intrinsics.

I use the word intrinsics as a catch-all to describe what you bring to the table as a unique individual. We all have our own mix of personality, experiences, training… that combine to create a unique value proposition in terms of what we are able to accomplish in the marketplace. Spending the time to really understand your intrinsics is a critical component to successful career planning. 

In my upcoming book, The YOU Plan, I describe intrinsics in the following way:

“Think of your intrinsics as a deck of cards. All of our lives are shuffled differently, which means our cards are all spread across our life decks in very different ways. Some of your cards are close to the top and readily accessible whereas others are buried somewhere near the bottom and haven’t been played in a while.”

In other words, your intrinsics are that which you have within you that can be leveraged for value by potential customers, partners, or employers. However, in order for others to be able to see the value you bring to the table, you have to be able to articulate it in a way that is meaningful. Having a good handle on your intrinsics is an important part of career planning, particularly in a tough economic environment.  

For the sake of simplicity, I have broken intrinsics down into six factors. I believe these six factors impact the pace of your career development, thus I refer to them as your career PACERS.
Personality
Affiliations
Contributions
Experiences
Relationships
Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities (KSAs)

Career success requires really knowing the value you bring to the table and how to leverage and communicate that value in a way that helps others want to utilize it.

Over the next couple of weeks I will address each of the career PACERS in more depth, touching on how to really identify and leverage them. So, be sure to stay tuned!

Cheers,

Dr. Woody

To find out more about Dr Woody’s upcoming book, The YOU Plan, check out www.TheYouPlan.com

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How to Shine in 2009: Dealing with Job Loss

Posted by drwoody on February 27, 2009

We are entering a time of great uncertainty. Scare words like recession, downturn, crisis, and turmoil all evoke fear and pose challenge. With all of this uncertainty abound, it’s easy to fall prey to the trap of hopelessness and desperation. The purpose of this blog series is to help you cerate your own certaintly through planning! If you want to shine in 2009 it’s time to take control!  

  

As an organizational psychologist, I believe there are three ways you can react to the challenge of uncertain times: 

 

          – you can cower and hide,

          – you can buckle down and survive, or

          – you can step-up and thrive

 

For those looking to step-up and thrive, it’s time to start planning. Planning begins with assessing your values, intrinsics, passions, and then leveraging your essence (brnad) and creating a roadmap. I like to refer to this as the VIPER approach to re-establishing your career in the new economy. So, look out for more information on the VIPER model in upcoming blogs! 

         

Remember, if you want to shine in 2009, it’s time to step-up and start planning.

 

 

-Dr. Woody

 

To see my Shine in ’09 speech go to www.DrWoody.com

 

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