First, a clarification. I’ve been saying I’ve been going to an outplacement service, paid for by my former employer. As they keep reminding the hoard of jobless denizens, they don’t do job placement. They offer “professional career management services.” That is, they help you clean up your resume, offer interview coaching and provide “career assessment,” which is identifying your interests and skills. They do also list open jobs that aren’t always advertised widely. But they leave the actual getting placed in a job up to you.
One of those assessments, according to that company’s site, is “The Birkman Method®, which consists of a 298-question personality assessment and a series of related report sets that facilitate team building, executive coaching leadership development, career counseling and interpersonal conflict resolution.”
After you take it, it breaks your responses into colors that represent your interests, your usual style, your needs and how you react under stress. It seems I’m a “planner” who likes to innovate or create, plan how to do things, consider the future, create new approaches and look at things theoretically. All that is represented by the color blue. I’ve got a little green when it comes to how I do my job. Apparently, when I’m working effectively, I tend to be assertive and enthusiastic. However, under stress, I’m overly sensitive to criticism.
Okay, it’s all true. I answered nearly 300 questions to find out what I already knew about myself and that I’m best off in a creative field like… media. Well, it may help, and I didn’t have to pay for it.
Good cover story in the April 13th issue of Fortune. “How to Get a Job,” reviews effective strategies for the job seeker. Those tips include targeting specific jobs rather than throwing out a bunch of resumes and expanding your network as much as possible.
A friend called a company we both used to work at on my behalf. The top person there, who has known both of us for 20 years, suggested to my friend that I stop by the front desk and fill out an application. Ouch. Even if there are no openings, that seems a bit impersonal. Am I being overly sensitive?