The Job of Your Life with Karen Schaffer

Get out of your rut and find your passion

Posts Tagged ‘testing’

Musing over the COPES

Posted by Karen on February 7, 2009

Remember those tests you did in high school that told you that your best jobs would be a butcher, a circus clown and an interior designer?

I’m currently taking some assessments that are normally given to high school and university students to figure out who they are and what they like to do and how to connect that to potential work. In the middle I started flashing back to doing a similar test in my high school gym. It’s so weird to think of that period of time, when I had no idea who I was or how I might shape myself in the world.

Two thoughts…

1) It’s strange to take this kind of test knowing your interests and your path. The things that call me now practically jump out of the test, while other scores results are at zero because I’m so clear that they don’t interest me. It makes me wonder how much of that is “truth” and how much of that is that I’ve picked a focus and allowed these other parts of me (like the part that wanted to be a zoologist…just like my biggest crush Jason Bateman who said if he wasn’t an actor he’d want to be a zoologist…we were so MEANT TO BE) fall by the wayside.

2) I realize how much I’ve learned about myself in the last decade or so and one of the things I’ve learned is what I assumed about myself (i.e. that because I had taken leadership roles at school, I therefore must like directing people) were not in fact true. No wonder I balked at business school despite thinking that I might “go into business”. I’ve definitely learned that I have little or no interest in managing others. Managing people well is an under-appreciated art…and it certainly isn’t my passion. 

I also answered a lot of questions positively about wanting to always do things my own way without a lot of order, but the truth is that I also really like a certain amount of structure to my day, and I never admitted that to myself before either.

I think sometimes we get this impression of ourselves from things we do in our younger years, and it seems so solid and true, but as we get to know ourselves better, we find out that in fact what we knew as a certainty is different than we thought.

I would still instinctively say I don’t like “process” but the truth is that I like having a structure where I know what I’m doing, so long as the things I’m doing within that structure are done my own way. (And while I was absolutely certain Jason Bateman and I were meant to be, it seems that we’ve both found true love elsewhere. Of course if you’d told my 14 year old self I would actually be marrying someone who lived a block and a half away and Jason would be married to the daughter of someone from my Columbia House cassette collection, I would have dramatically slammed the door in your face and written atrocious but impassioned poetry about how my dreams were like dead leaves blowing down the street to be crushed under the wheels of thoughtless passing cars…).  

What have you been telling yourself is true about you, that may have softened or transformed since you last consciously checked in on it?


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