Personality just one piece of the career puzzle

Personality just one piece of the career puzzle

Nicky Gumbrell has spent a long time studying what makes people tick and she reckons she can tell quite a lot about someone before she even brings out her Personality Puzzle cards.

She has used her skills and qualification in speech and language therapy in various ways in the community – as well as speech therapy, she has helped senior students at local colleges think about what type of job they may be naturally wired to do.

Nicky uses the Myers-Briggs theory of personality types (focused on the strength of nature, as opposed to nurture) as a basis for her work but uses the Personality Puzzle rather than questionnaires.

She says that the puzzle cards help identify key personality traits such as whether you are introverted or extroverted, organised, creative and so on. She can then indicate the type of work that may suit you as a person.

She emphasises that it is only part of the picture – which is also made up of a person’s skills and abilities, interests and goals.

“I’d never exclude any career or tell someone who had their heart set on a particular career not to do it, but I would point out the possible challenges based around their strengths and weaknesses,” Nicky says. “People can fit into all sorts of jobs but when you go against your natural personality it can cause a lot of stress. This process helps you find where you may flourish.”

There are times when a consultation can lead to new discoveries, as happened recently with a former hairdresser who was looking for a new career direction and ended up realising IT would suit her best – something she had never considered before.

There was also a 17-year-old boy who came to Nicky devastated that he had interviewed poorly for the Army, when that job had been his long-held goal.

“The Army gave him feedback that he didn’t come across as having the ‘drive’ to be a soldier,” Nicky says. “During our session, using the Personality Puzzle, it became clear that this young man’s personality preferences were not likely to be fulfilled in the Army. Instead, he enrolled in a graphic art courts and went on to enjoy a career in an advertising/marketing company.”

She says that while many people eventually find their perfect fit for a job, it can be an expensive and time consuming process involving a number of wrong turns.

“Degrees, training and courses are a big cost, so having an idea of the path beforehand can save money,” she says.
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