9 Lives for Women Blog

What Floats Your Boat? | April 4th, 2012

When I was a newly minted college graduate with an English degree, I thought that I launched a very logical job search.  I knew that I liked to write, so I searched for jobs at any company or department that focused on writing and editing.  I figured that as long as I was in an environment where people were writing, I would be happy.

What I didn’t realize at that young age was that to be really, truly motivated, productive—and happy—I have to be in an environment where creativity is constantly flowing, new ideas are welcomed and there are lots of opportunities to think up new approaches, products or services.  That’s not what I found at a big accounting firm’s training department, which was very sterile and “by the book”.

Had I known more about my Unconscious Motivators® at the time, I would never have joined a lot of rigid accountants.  A recent assessment from the Florida-based Paul Hertz Group tells me that I should not be in an environment where there are too many rules and constraints, narrow-minded thinkers or low energy people—just what I found at the accounting firm.

Debra Levine, executive vice president of Paul Hertz, tells me she had a similar first job experience.  She spent all of her college years preparing for a career in medical research, and landed a plum job at a very prestigious institution.  To her great surprise, this job—and the industry she chose to work in–was not at all what she expected.

Levine now knows that she has a major Unconscious Motivator®  to be strong and self-reliant.  In her first job, she found that the institution did not foster independence–nearly everything was accomplished in a team setting with a high degree of interdependence and micromanagement.  These and other factors caused her a lot of heartache and stress—and she left the industry she had painstakingly prepared for after only one year.

There are many skills assessment tests in the marketplace, but I am told this is the only assessment that focuses on core and unconscious motivations–to bring out your best and most productive self.  I’ve never found one that is as easy, straightforward and inexpensive as the Paul Hertz “PRINT®” assessment.  You take a 10-minute online test,  print out a two-page, easy to understand report, and have a one-hour phone session with a coach who helps you interpret and apply the results–all for $275.  (Read more about the Paul Hertz Group at www.paulhertzgroup.com and click here to purchase the assessment.)

At any point in your career—and especially when you’re looking to reinvent yourself—this kind of assessment is invaluable.  Armed with our PRINT® reports, Levine and I could have asked our first employers pointed questions about their culture, work processes and overall work environments.  The answers to these questions would have told us to put on our sneakers and run.

We all tend to focus on our skills and what we like to do more than our core needs and where and how we should be working.   Many women go through the motions of several jobs before realizing that it’s the poor fit, not a personal failure that makes a job grueling and unproductive.  If you’re not sure where to play out your next act, or you’re just not happy where you are—know that it’s never too late in your career to find out what truly floats your boat.  —KAS


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