Mapping your motivations helps with career decisions

There are a seemingly endless number of personality and career tests out there. Often an absolutely overwhelming number to choose from. This in itself can be rather debilitating, especially when you feel under pressure to work through career issues and the fear of making the wrong choice already weighs heavily. It clouds your ability to make career decisions rather than enhancing them.

I have tried a few paid tools and assessment tests and have also found some quite useful free ones (check them out in this post). Most of these are quite similar. They focus mostly on your interests, then try to predict potential careers that interest you.

The challenge is, you can become overwhelmed with recommendations of a huge number of job titles and begin to get stuck focusing on the matching instrument itself, rather than seeing it as a starting point for exploration to support decision making.

There are two instruments that I recommend. The first is Morrisby Profile. Typically used with high school students, unlike most online tools, the long-form version provides a high degree of insight into capabilities and aptitudes, not just providing generic job matches based on interest. This makes a lot of people uncomfortable, it does counter the “you can do anything you stick your mind to” narrative because it does give a viable indication as to academic performance and the results can be challenging for some people. This tool itself is also useful for adults, however, the use in high schools provides a really great way to provide younger people with some practical starting points to acquire some self-knowledge and for career decisions.

The second instrument is Motiva (Motiva Individual 2). In my career transition, I tried a lot of tools, this is the one I found the most useful to support the decisions I was about to make.
This helped me unpack my different motivations, as well as the usual interests. It confirmed some things I already knew and added new information that helped refine tasks that I used in creating an action plan. What I found particularly unique in the process was comparing things that motivated me, to the job I was in and my level of satisfaction in that role. I knew that I was not happy where I was, though getting clarity about why and really pinpointing it was difficult. This gave me the insight I needed to manage some decisions.

The other really valuable piece of the puzzle that helped me, was to understand the type of environments that would suit me. In my working life, I’ve tried lots of different things. From working with children in foster care to the hyper-competitive world of advertising, taking small insights from each along the way.

Some clearly didn’t align with my values, particularly advertising. I was entirely the wrong fit, yet I persisted because I didn’t want to give up or be seen as a quiter. I was miserable in those environments and focused on trying to change and adapt myself. I’d invested so much time to find a way into an industry I thought would be a fun place for a creative thinker and didn’t want that investment to be wasted. It took a while before I admitted that my attention could have been better directed at determining more suitable places to contribute and design steps to move in that direction.

Overall, the Motiva tool helped place some rigour around my experiences and examine what I could learn from them, it provided a jumping off point to accelerate collating all the different elements to know my self better in a work sense. This is the reason it is now my go-to career tool to use with clients, where required.

Check out these two Career packages that include access to Motiva. Feel free to call me on 0418 678 611 to ask any questions or talk about my approach to career counselling. Thanks for reading – Mark

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