Choosing the best career for you

1. Matching people and careers is becoming a science of itself, not before time, either. What are your basic principles for a career match?

Taking the time to understand your inborn drives, needs, talents and potential challenges provides a valuable framework for choosing the right career.

You will understand why you are more energized and naturally sucessful performing certain functions and less so in others.

So for example if you are interested in psychology, you may be more gifted at the research end or the one-on-one therapeutic work with clients. Same field - two different functions.

2. Define Who You Are as an assessment; do you qualify Who as a skill set, or personal qualities?

It is both - for example if you are a Gold, you typically have what I call logistical talents - the ability to get the right resources, to the right people, in the right amount at the right time. You keep organizations and teams goal focused and on track, taking care that details and plans are followed.

If you are blue you have an ability to see what needs to be done in the future to bring about needed change into society. Your are theoretical, competitive and gifted at seeing the big picture.

If you are Red you have unusual abilities to observe details, solve immediate problems and get things done based on current information/conditions.

If you are green you have a higher than average ability to understand human motivation and know how to integrate different points of view. You also have well developed communication skills - oral, written and graphoic

3. How does the color test assessment work?

You answer 18 questions for your primary style. then another 9 for your backup style and another 7 to determine if you are an extrovert or introvert.

The combination produces one of 16 personality groups Each group has it own strengths, ideal work environment, ideal boss, appraoch to change, range of suitable careers, entrepreneurial style, approach to money, leadership style etc.

4. What if you're a dark green?

Dark Green is good. It means that you have strong preferences and it should be easy to define what you do well and what you don't like to do.

5. Trying not to go off topic here, how did you hit on color as an assessment method? What's the methodology based on?

The model is based on the work of Carl Jung, famous Swiss psychiatrist who in the early 1900 observed that there were distinct patterns in the way people take in information and make decisions. The information was then picked up by the Myers Briggs community which has conducted extensive research over the last 40 years to further refine these categories.

I use colors because they are non judgmental and easy to remember.

6. There's a series of rave reviews on Amazon about your book, and one very pointed comment about how personality assessments have been overdone, saying yours was a real improvement. Do you think the personality approach, important as it is, should be getting away from the Self Help Support Group methods?

Personality is one of many tools. I have tried to simplify the information so people can get it quickly and remember it.

Understanding personality has been a key factor in my life not only in terms of career satisfaction but also in taking leadership roles in non profit organizations, putting together good teams and enjoying all my personal relationships. When you know where someone is coming from, you get a lot less irritated by your differences.

7. Productivity studies are showing that people are much more productive, as well as much happier, in jobs where their talents are developed. Many people complain about their wasted talents. What do they do about it?

Not only are they happier, studies show it is a KEY component of happiness - I believe one of the top 3.

So we are back to taking time to understand our special talents. Some can be predicted thourgh the Color Q model but others are specific to your own DNA - i.e. musical, theatrical, athletic raw talent are all part of your gene pool

8. If you're at entry level, where do you start in a personal assessment of yourself?

Take my assessment or the Myers Briggs and attend workshops where possible. View your working life as a tapestry where every job will contribute to your skills and the next step. Network as much as you can to find out what people do and why like their jobs.

9. Mature age workers and other experienced cynics often feel left out of the loop in terms of careers, and restarting their working lives in other fields. How do they get over their reservations?

There is no reason why mature cannot go back and take classes and follow up on new interests. I help people do it all the time.

Usually by this time they have a better sense of themselves and are eager to develop other talents. It is important to just start and associate with others who are doing that activity so as learn as quickly as possible and develop a network of contacts - great for making new friends as you get older as well.

10. What You'll Love To Do sounds like there might be a lot of things people love to do, that they just haven't considered turning into jobs?

Sometimes things should remain a hobby - i.e. gardening.

Sometimes it can be a paying hobby - such as painting has been for me.

Sometimes you start as hobby, keep your day job and continue on a full time basis after retirement - such as people who suddenly offer a course at their local community college.

Other times you start as a side interest and find a way of morphing it into a full career.

There are many formulas that can work depending on the nature of the talent, your financial needs and other time commitments.

People lives should be a 'portfolio' with as many interests as they want to pursue. The key is to be tuned into those interests - typically looking back at what has captured our attention as a child and young person.

Shoya Zichy's Website