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2 Understanding Your Drivers

Understanding Your
Understanding Your Drivers
Understanding your drivers and values is fundamental to finding satisfying work that will drive
life-long flourishing. This section will examine your work preferences and values, and your
personality to determine what role, organisation, sector or alternative career path may be
most satisfying to you. Understanding your values and preferences will allow you to highlight
the factors that are most key to who you are to bring out in your resume. This will also allow
you to determine whether a particular role or organisation may be of a good cultural fit for
By learning about your preferences and values, you will be better equipped to make
informed career choices, three tools that may be of use to you are:
Holland's Self Directed Search (SDS) Career Inventory
Work Values Inventory
Myers-Briggs Type Personality Indicator
VIA Signature Strengths
Motivated Skills Card Sort
Saville WAVE
Speak with your coach about which tool may be appropriate for your career and life stage.
Holland’s Self Directed Search (SDS) Career Inventory
Interests play a key role in occupational choice. By looking at your interests, you can
discover who you are, find work that you enjoy, and make meaningful career choices.
John Holland, professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University, is a psychologist who devoted
his professional life to researching issues related to career choice and satisfaction. He
developed a well-known career theory that suggests that people and work environments or
occupations can be categorized into six types. Holland calls these types themes: Realistic,
Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. These themes or categories
provide a framework for matching interests to characteristics or aspects of different positions
and career fields.
Listed below are the six Holland Occupational Personality Types. The descriptions of pure
types will rarely be an exact fit for any one person. Your interests will more likely combine
several themes in varying degrees. To get a better picture of how your interests relate to the
types and identify your dominant type, underline the phrases in each description that are
true for you.
Realistic individuals are active, stable and enjoy hands-on or manual activities
such as buildings, mechanics, machinery operation and athletics. They prefer to
work with things rather than ideas and people. They enjoy engaging in physical
activity and often like being outdoors and working with plants and animals.
People who fall into this category generally prefer to learn by doing in a
practical, task-oriented setting, as opposed to spending extended periods of
time in a classroom. Realistic types tend to communicate in a frank, direct
manner and value material things. They perceive themselves as skilled in
mechanical and physical activities, but may be uncomfortable or less adept
with human relations. The preferred work environment of the realistic type
fosters technical competencies and work that allows them to produce tangible
results. Typical realistic careers include those in the military, electrician, engineer
and veterinarian.
Investigative individuals are analytical, intellectual and observant, and enjoy
research, mathematical or scientific activities. They are drawn to ambiguous
challenges and may be stifled in highly structured environments. People who
fall into this category enjoy using logic and solving highly complex, abstract
problems. Because they are introspective and focused on creative problem
solving, investigative types often work autonomously and do not seek
leadership roles. They place a high value on science and learning, and
perceive themselves as scholarly and having scientific or mathematical ability
but lacking leadership and persuasive skills. The preferred work environment of
the investigative type encourages scientific competencies, allows independent
work, and focuses on solving abstract, complex problems in original ways.
Typical investigative careers include medical technologist, biologist, chemist,
and systems analyst.
Artistic individuals are original, intuitive and imaginative, and enjoy creative
activities such as composing or playing music, writing, drawing or painting, and
acting in or directing stage productions. They seek opportunities for selfexpression through artistic creation. People who fall into this category prefer
flexibility and ambiguity, and have an aversion to convention and conformity.
Artistic types are generally impulsive and emotional, and tend to communicate
in a very expressive and open manner. They value aesthetics, and view
themselves as creative, non-conforming, and as appreciating or possessing
musical, dramatic, artistic or writing abilities while lacking clerical or
organisational skills. The preferred work environment of the artistic type fosters
creative competencies and encourages originality and use of the imagination
in a flexible, unstructured setting. Typical artistic careers include musician,
reporter and interior decorator.
Social individuals are humanistic, idealistic, responsible and concerned with the
welfare of others. They enjoy participating in group activities and helping,
training, curing, counselling or developing others. They are generally focused
on human relationships, and enjoy social activities and solving interpersonal
problems. Social types seek opportunities to work as part of a team, solve
problems through discussions, and utilise interpersonal skills, but may avoid
activities that involve systematic use of equipment or machines. Because they
genuinely enjoy working with people, they communicate a warm and tactful
manner, and can be persuasive. They view themselves as understanding,
helpful, cheerful and skilled in teaching, but lacking mechanical ability. The
preferred work environment of the social type encourages teamwork and
allows for significant interaction with others. Typical social careers include
teacher, counsellor and social worker.
Enterprising individuals are energetic, ambitious, adventurous, sociable and selfconfident. They enjoy activities that require them to persuade others, such as
sales, and seek out leadership roles. They are invigorated by using their
interpersonal, leadership and persuasive abilities to obtain organisational goals
or economic gain, but may avoid routine or systematic activities. They are often
effective public speakers and are generally sociable, but may be viewed as
domineering. They view themselves as assertive, self-confident and skilled in
leadership and speaking, but lacking in scientific abilities. The preferred work
environment of the enterprising type encourages them to engage in activities
such as leadership, management and selling, and rewards them through the
attainment of money, power and status. Typical enterprising careers include
salesperson, business executive and manager.
Conventional individuals are efficient, careful, conforming, organised and
conscientious. They are comfortable working within an established chain of
command and prefer carrying out well-defined instructions to assuming
leadership roles. They prefer organised, systematic activities and have an
aversion to ambiguity. They are skilled in and often enjoy maintaining and
manipulating data, organising schedules, and operating office equipment.
While they rarely seek leadership or spotlight roles, they are thorough, persistent
and reliable in carrying out tasks. Conventional types view themselves as
responsible, orderly, efficient and possessing clerical, organizational and
numerical abilities, but may also see themselves as unimaginative or lacking in
creativity. The preferred work environment of the conventional type fosters
organisational competencies such as record keeping and data management
in a structured operation, and places high value on conformity and
dependability. Typical conventional careers include secretary, accountant and
Work Values Inventory
A value is a principle, standard, or quality considered to be worthwhile or desirable. Jobs that
align with your values will typically be more gratifying and satisfying to you. Your values can
be thought of as embodying what is important to you. They provide the basis from which you
make decisions.
The checklist below is a simple inventory from lifeworktransitions.com that you can use to
help you clarify your work values. The following list describes a wide variety of satisfactions
that people obtain from their jobs. Look at the definitions of these various satisfactions and
rate the degree of importance that you would assign to each for yourself, using the scale
1 = Not important at all
3 = Reasonably important
2 = Not very important
4 = Very important in my choice of career
Help Society: Do something to contribute to the betterment of the world I live in.
Help Others: Be involved in helping other people in a direct way, either individually or
in small groups.
Public Contact: Have a lot of day-to-day contact with people.
Work With Others: Have close working relationships with people as a result of work
Affiliation: Be recognised as a member of a particular organisation.
Friendships: Develop close personal relationships with people as a result of my work
Competition: Engage in activities that pit my abilities against others where there are
clear win and lose outcomes.
Make Decisions: Have the power to decide courses of action, policies, etc.
Work Under Pressure: Work in situations where time pressure is prevalent and/or the
quality of my work is judged critically by supervisors, customers or others.
Power and Authority: Direct the work activities of others and have the authority to
make decisions.
Influence People: Be in a position to change attitudes or opinions of other people.
Work Alone: Do projects by myself, without any significant amount of contact with
Knowledge: Engage myself in the pursuit of knowledge, truth and understanding.
Intellectual Status: Be regarded as a person of high intellectual prowess or as one
who is an acknowledged "expert" in a given field.
Artistic Creativity: Engage in creative work in any of several art forms.
Creativity (general): Create new ideas, programs, organisational structures or
anything else not following a format previously developed by others.
Aesthetics: Be involved in studying or appreciating the beauty of things, ideas, etc.
Supervision: Have a job in which I am directly responsible for the work done by others.
Change and Variety: Have work responsibilities which frequently change in their
content and setting.
Precision Work: Work in situations where there is very little tolerance for error.
Stability: Have a work routine and job duties that are largely predictable and not
likely to change over a long period of time.
Security: Be assured of keeping my job and a reasonable financial reward.
Fast Pace: Work in circumstances where there is a high pace of activity, work must be
done rapidly.
Recognition: Be recognised for the quality of my work in some visible or public way.
Excitement: Experience a high degree of excitement in the course of my work.
Adventure: Have work duties which involve frequent risk-taking.
Profit, Gain: Have a strong likelihood of accumulating large amounts of money or
other material gain.
Independence: Be able to determine the nature of my work without significant
direction from others; not have to do what others tell me to do.
Moral Fulfilment: Feel that my work is contributing significantly to a set of moral (to be
defined by your) standards that I feel are very important.
Lifestyle: Find a place to live (town, geographical area) that is conducive to my
lifestyle and affords me the opportunity to do the things I enjoy most.
Community: Live in a town or city where I can be involved in community affairs.
Physical Challenge: Makes physical demands which I would find rewarding.
Time Freedom: Have work responsibilities which I can work at according to my own
time schedule; no specific working hours required.
Challenging Problems: Engage continually with complex questions and demanding
tasks, trouble-shooting and problem solving as core part of my job.
Exercise Competence: Demonstrate a high degree of proficiency in job skills and
knowledge; show above average effectiveness.
Job Tranquillity: Avoid pressures and "the rat race" in job role and work setting.
Creative Expression: Be able to express in writing and in person my ideas concerning
job and how I might improve it; have opportunities for experimentation and
Status: Impress or gain the respect of friends, family and community by the nature
and/or level of responsibility of my work.
Advancement: Be able to get ahead rapidly, gaining opportunities for growth and
seniority from work well done.
Work on Frontiers of Knowledge: Work in research and development, generating
information and new ideas in the academic, scientific, or business communities.
High Earnings Anticipated: Be able to purchase essentials and the luxuries of life that I
Family: Insure that the type of work I do and the hours I work fit with my family
Spirituality: Work in a setting that is supportive of my spiritual beliefs.
Work-Life Balance: A job that allows me adequate time for my family, hobbies and
social activities.
Environment: Work on tasks that have a positive effect on the natural environment.
Honesty and Integrity: Work in a setting where honesty and integrity are assets.
Fun and Humour: Work in a setting where it is possible (and appropriate) to joke and
have fun.
Structure and Predictability: Do work with a high level of structure and predictability.
Steep Learning Curve: Be presented with new, unique or difficult tasks to be quickly
Personal Safety: Have a high probability of being safe and healthy at work.
Teamwork: Work with a group to obtain team (rather than individual) results.
Tradition: Be involved in work that is consistent with the social traditions in which I was
brought up with.
Practicality: Be involved with work that yields a practical or useful result.
Diversity: Work in a setting that includes individuals of diverse religious, racial or social
Name the four values of most importance to you:
Help others & society
Knowledge & Intellectual Status
Excitement, Exercise
Stability & security
Competence & recognition
Myers-Briggs Type Personality Indicator
The Myers Briggs model of personality is based on 4 preferences.
The Focus of Attention and Source of Energy
Where do you prefer to direct your energy?
Do you think first and speak later or think out loud?
The Ways of Collecting Information
How do you prefer to process information?
Do you see things as they are or as they might be?
The Ways in Which Decisions Are Made
How do you prefer to make decisions?
Do you base your decisions on facts or values?
The Preference for Collecting Information or Deciding
How do you prefer to organise your life?
Do you prefer to plan or go with the flow?
Outer vs. Inner World
 Expresses views
 Tends to seek social contract
 Interacts with the environment
 Develops ideas ‘out loud’
 Acts things out
 Keeps own opinions
 Tends to seek privacy
 Concentrates on things
 Expresses conclusions
 Thinks things through
 Interacts with others
 Open
 Acts
 Does
 Is well understood
 Independent
 Diligent
 Works with ideas
 Careful before acting
 Careful of generalisation
Potential areas for development
 Avoids independence
 May not enjoy working without others
 Needs change, variety
 Can be impulsive
 Can be impatient with routine
 May see introverts as reclusive
 May not always understand an introvert’s
need for quiet, privacy
 Avoids others
 Reserved & private
 May be misunderstood by others
 Needs quiet work
 Dislikes being interrupted
 May see extroverts as too loud or even
Information Processing
 Looks for facts
 Acquires the details first
 Tends towards realism
 Uses trusted solutions
 Asks: What is real?
 Looks for possibilities
 Acquires the overview first
 Tends towards idealism
 Invents own solutions
 Asks: What might be?
 Attends to detail
 Practical
 Remembers facts
 Patient
 Systematic
 Sees possibilities
 Imagines easily
 Enjoys complicated tasks
 Works out new ideas
 Solves novel problems
Potential areas for development
 May not always see possibilities
 Can lose the overall objective
 Mistrusts intuition
 Struggles to understand the new
 Frustrated with the complicated
 Prefers not to imagine the future
 May see intuitive types as impractical or
 Inattentive to detail
 May miss the actual
 Impatient with detail
 Loses sight of the here & now
 Jumps to conclusions
 May see sensing types as too detailed or
hemmed in
Decision Making
 Sympathy/appreciation
 Subjective values
 Friendly approach
 Assesses impact on people & their feeling
 Asks: Do I want to do it?
 Logical analysis
 Objective logic
 Businesslike approach
 Assesses impact on goal achievement
 Asks: Is it the right thing to do?
 Logical, analytical
 Objective
 Organised thought
 Has critical ability
 Stands firm
 Considers others’ feelings
 Understands needs & values
 Interested in conciliation
 Demonstrates feeling
 Persuades
Potential areas for development
 May not notice others’ feelings
 Misunderstands others’ values
 May not show feelings
 Shows less mercy
 Uninterested in persuading
 May see feelings as illogical or very
 Not as guided by logic
 Not as objective
 Less organised
 Uncritical, overly accepting
 Bases justice on feelings
 May see thinking types as very formal,
uncaring, or very critical
Structure vs. Flexibility
 Makes decisions
 Brings closure
 Plans & controls life
 Structured
 Follows plan
 Sets goals & works hard to achieve them
 Acquires information
 Maintains openness
 Goes with the flow
 Unstructured
 Flexible in approach
 Explores issues and maximises opportunities
 Decides
 Plans
 Orders
 Controls
 Makes quick decisions
 Remains with a task
 Compromises
 Sees all sides
 Is flexible, adaptable
 Open to changes
 Decisions based on all data
 Is not judgemental
Potential areas for development
 More inflexible, may not adapt
 May decide with insufficient data
 Controlled by tasks or plans
 Wishes not to interrupt work
 May see perceiving types as indecisive,
procrastinating, sometimes even unreliable
 May be indecisive
 Has limited order/structure
 May not control circumstances
 Is easily distracted from tasks
 May not finish projects
 May see judging types as compulsive
Where do I fit?
Go through the descriptions of each of the 4 personality preferences and tick all that apply
to you. Select the side of the continuum that you feel most closely matches you.
Type Descriptions
Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness
and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact,
realistic, and responsible. Decide logically
what should be done and work toward it
steadily, regardless of distractions. Take
pleasure in making everything orderly and
organised – their work, their home, their life.
Value traditions and loyalty.
conscientious. Committed and steady in
considerate, notice and remember specifics
about people who are important to them,
concerned with how others feel. Strive to
environment at work and at home.
Seek meaning and connection in ideas,
relationships, and material possessions. Want
to understand what motivates people and
are insightful about others. Conscientious
and committed to their firm values. Develop
a clear vision about how best to serve the
common good. Organised and decisive in
implementing their vision.
Have original minds and great drive for
implementing their ideas and achieving their
goals. Quickly see patterns in external events
perspectives. When committed, organize a
job and carry it through. Sceptical and
independent, have high standards of
competence and performance – for
themselves and others.
Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a
problem appears, then act quickly to find
workable solutions. Analyse what makes
things work and readily get through large
amounts of data to isolate the core of
practical problems. Interested in cause and
effect, organise facts using logical principles,
value efficiency.
Quiet, friendly, sensitive, and kind. Enjoy the
present moment, what’s going on around
them. Like to have their own space and to
work within their own time frame. Loyal and
committed to their values and to people who
are important to them. Dislike disagreements
and conflicts; do not force their opinions or
values on others.
Idealistic, loyal to their values and to people
who are important to them. Want an
external life that is congruent with their
values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can
be catalysts for implementing ideas. Seek to
understand people and to help them fulfil
their potential. Adaptable, flexible, and
accepting unless a value is threatened.
Seek to develop logical explanations for
everything that interests them. Theoretical
and abstract, interested more in ideas than in
social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible,
and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus
in depth to solve problems in their area of
interest. Sceptical, sometimes critical, always
Flexible and tolerant, they take a pragmatic
approach focused on immediate results.
Theories and conceptual explanations bore
them – they want to act energetically to
solve the problem. Focus on the here-andnow, spontaneous; enjoy each moment that
they can be active with others. Enjoy
material comforts and style. Learn best
through doing.
Outgoing, friendly, and accepting. Exuberant
lovers of life, people, and material comforts.
Enjoy working with others to make things
happen. Bring common sense and a realistic
approach to their work, and make work fun.
Flexible and spontaneous, adapt readily to
new people and environments. Learn best by
trying a new skill with other people.
Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. See
life as full of possibilities. Make connections
between events and information very
quickly, and confidently proceed based on
the patterns they see. Want a lot of
affirmation from others, and readily give
appreciation and support. Spontaneous and
flexible, often rely on their ability to improvise
and their verbal fluency.
Quick, ingenious, stimulating, alert, and
outspoken. Resourceful in solving new and
challenging problems. Adept at generating
conceptual possibilities and then analysing
them strategically. Good at reading other
people. Bored by routine, will seldom do the
same thing the same way, apt to turn to one
new interest after another.
Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. Decisive,
quickly move to implement decisions.
Organise projects and people to get things
done; focus on getting results in the most
efficient way possible. Take care of routine
details. Have a clear set of logical standards,
systematically follow them and want others
to also. Forceful in implementing their plans.
environment; work with determination to
establish it. Like to work with others to
complete tasks accurately and on time.
Loyal, follow through even in small matters.
Notice what others need in their day-by-day
lives and try to provide it. Want to be
appreciated for who they are and for what
they contribute.
responsible. Highly attuned to the emotions,
needs, and motivations of others. Find
potential in everyone; want to help others
fulfil their potential. May act as catalysts for
individual and group growth. Loyal,
responsive to praise and criticism. Sociable,
facilitate others in a group, and provide
inspiring leadership.
Frank, decisive, assumes leadership readily.
procedures and policies, develop and
implement comprehensive systems to solve
organisational problems. Enjoy long-term
planning and goal setting. Usually well
informed, well read; enjoy expanding their
knowledge and passing it on to others.
Forceful in presenting their ideas.
Career Review
Keeping in mind your values and preferences, the following activity will highlight elements of
your most recent role that satisfied/motivated you, or dissatisfied/demotivated you.
Thinking of your most recent role:
What aspects of the job satisfied and motivated you?
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER: freedom to plan and deliver lessons the way I
wanted (even though I didn’t do anything crazy). Reduced hours (15h/week) and
proximity to my house, which allowed me to have more time for myself. Classrooms
where modern and they offered great resources. Time with students was MY time, I
felt in control and enjoyed teaching the same group for longer periods of time (the
more connected I felt to the students, the more I liked teaching them).
What aspects of the job dissatisfied or demotivated you?
Lack of training and guidance, I felt forgotten by management most days and
sometimes didn’t know what they expected me to do in terms of marking,
reporting (admin stuff, not related to teaching).
As I was a casual teacher, I was given a new class almost every other week,
which made it difficult for me to connect with the students. I really disliked
teaching ‘the first day’ so many times. no continuity, didn’t see the students
growth. no recognition
What did you enjoy about the:
What did you not enjoy about the:
Freedom to teach the way I wanted to.
Casual role, unstable.
modern classrooms
nice materials and textbooks
lack of training, no recognition
Your Manager?
let me decide which classes to
teach in a few opportunities.
never gave me feedback
Repeat exercise for two significant prior roles.