Navigating your career path (Part B)
Updated: May 5
In my blog on 25th September, I talked about some of the tools and techniques that I’ve learnt about and used personally for my personal and professional development. I frequently use these and some others in #careercoaching conversations with friends, colleagues and #coaching clients. Today, we will take a look at some more: career anchors, undertaking a competency based gap analysis and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.
Dr Edgar Schein developed the Career Anchors framework in the mid-1970s. The framework is based on a questionnaire designed to identify our main priorities and values with regards to work. Knowing what our #careeranchors are helps us to identify or rule out the types of sectors we would be happy to work in. It may also help us to identify the degree of autonomy, generality or specialist expertise we want to pursue in our careers.
The eight career anchor categories are:
· Autonomy / independence
· Entrepreneurial creativity
· General managerial competence
· Pure challenge
· Security / stability
· Service / dedication to a cause
· Technical / functional competence
When I first took this survey, it was at a time of major organisational change in the NHS with the very real risk of redundancy for many of us. The framework helped me understand just how strong my values are in being of service to others. In more recent times, the framework helped me clarify my drive for a good work/life balance with an entrepreneurial mindset.
Competency gap analysis
The other is to search for jobs that you think might be your ideal job. When you receive copies of job descriptions and person specifications for those ideal jobs, do a self-assessment against the person specification – to what extent do you have that level of skill, knowledge and experience to date? What gaps do you have and how can you fill those in your current roles (consider both paid work and volunteering opportunities)?
And please do remember, you don’t have to meet 100% of the criteria to apply for the job! Women are far less likely to apply for a job they want because they feel they don’t meet all of the criteria. Men are far more likely to apply for a job they want, irrespective of how much they meet the criteria. One of the ways you can find out whether it’s worth applying for a role, is to have a call with the recruiting manager. You can ask them what are the core requirements of the role and what are the most important attributes they are looking for in candidates.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) is based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type. It indicates your personality preferences in four dimensions:
Where you focus your attention, where you get your energy from – Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
The way you take in information – Sensing (S) or INtuition (N)
How you make decisions – Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
How you deal with the world – Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
There are two types of questionnaires – Step I and Step II. Step I will identify your preferred type of the above four dimensions. Step II goes beyond the Step I framework to reveal five facets within each of the four dimensions. This provides a bespoke understanding of all of your preferences, including areas where you might have a facet that is ‘contradictory’ to your overall preference at the dimension level. We describe this as being out of preference.
#MBTI is a helpful tool to understand yourself more fully. It is is also a fantastic tool to understand others and how you relate to them. For many, MBTI is a way to understand how they fit into their workplace and what they need from their environment to be productive and happy at work. To find out what your MBTI personality type is you need to complete the MBTI questionnaire and take part in a feedback session from a qualified MBTI practitioner, such as myself. Do get in touch if you are interested in knowing more.
To sum up then…
If you know it’s time to take control of your career path but not sure where to start, or it’s been a while since you’ve taken a look at where you are in your job, there are a number of tools and techniques you can try to help gain insights. Some of these are:
Strengths Finder assessment
Competency based gap analysis
Myers Briggs Type Indicator preferences.
If you would like to book a free 30-minute discovery call to discuss coaching on your career pathway and/or to discuss undertaking the MBTI questionnaire with feedback, please do contact me. I am currently availability on Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time until the new year. For those in the UK, this means I can take calls in the morning.
With best wishes