Personality Test
George Washington - Guardian Supervisor (ESTJ) Mother Teresa - Guardian Protector (ISFJ) Albert Einstein - Rational Architect (INTP) Margaret Thatcher - Rational Fieldmarshal (ENTJ) Mikhail Gorbachev - Idealist Teacher (ENFJ) Eleanor Roosevelt - Idealist Counselor (INFJ) Elvis Presley - Artisan Performer (ESFP) Jacqueline Onasis - Artisan Composer (ISFP) Dolley Madison - Guardian Provider (ESFJ) Queen Victoria - Guardian Inspector (ISTJ) Walt Disney - Rational Inventor (ENTP) Dwight David Eisenhower - Rational Mastermind (INTJ) Thomas Paine - Idealist Champion (ENFP) Princess Diana - Idealist Healer (INFP) Charles Lindberg - Artisan Crafter (ISTP) George S. Patton - Artisan Promoter (ESTP)

The Career Planning Process - What Are My Options?

First we looked at your Current Situation and Your Dreams. Next we examined the question of Who Am I?. If you are new to the world of work, if you need to change jobs, or if you are at mid-life and thinking of making a significant change in your life, the next step is What Are My Options?

Start by brainstorming all sorts of possibilities. Get others to brainstorm with you. At this stage you want to avoid saying, "Yes, but..." Jot down ideas that seem wild and crazy. There is usually a seed of truth in them - some aspect of yourself that you want to express. Don't worry about being practical. If you narrow the brainstorming too early, you cut down on possible new opportunities. Write your list on a piece of paper. Aim for at least 20 options.

Natasha, a Guardian Inspector, who is at mid-life explained, "I'm a successful project manager. In my career I've moved upward to continually earn more money and have higher responsibilities. My last child will graduate from college next year and I'm wondering if I'll have to do the same thing for another 10-15 years. My husband is older than I and we have plenty of money for retirement. I experienced freedom when I made this wild and crazy list of options. I don't have to choose any of the options, but I no longer feel so trapped."

Next select the three to five options that seem most appealing. Many people put money as their first criteria, but they may only be thinking in terms of salary. People doing start-up business need a good business plan to grow the business and to fund it. Be sure to put one option on the list that seems a little bit like a stretch.

Bobby, an Artisan Composer, who was responsible for his wife, mother, and young children, hated his job as a computer operator. But he made decent money. He was a history buff and loved reenactment. One of his options that he dreamed about was working at a historical site or moving to a more rural area. He definitely wanted out of the city. The element that kept Bobby from taking any action was he never spent any time getting any real information about his options - they were just dreams. "As soon as I started talking to people that worked at the historical sites I was interested in, I found that many were retirees who could get along with a smaller paycheck. That wouldn't work for me. Then we took trips to some rural areas and my wife and I started keeping records about housing costs, jobs available, school situations, etc. We settled on an area that we liked and saved up for two years. When we sold our house in the city and added some money to it we found a wonderful place with some land. We're raising lambs and I do carpentry which has always been a hobby. We're much happier."

Most people try to skip the reality check. They might do research in books or the Internet, but actually talking to people and checking out the possibilities saves a lot of grief.

Says, Arletha, an Idealist Healer, "My husband Joe just assumed that when he moved to a new city that I could easily be employed at a new hospital. Sure things are similar at hospitals, but the people aren't. And the pay varies to some degree. His salary has gone up, but mine has gone down and prices are higher here. We were better off before and I liked the people better. I made a big mistake not going with him to investigate the possibilities."

If change is being forced upon you through no fault of your own, generating options can help you deal with the change.

Jesus, a Rational Mastermind, says, "I am fascinated with computers and data manipulation. Our company was bought out and I knew many of us would be on the chopping block, so I didn't wait like some others. I'm not a great networking guy, but luckily I had kept up my membership in my professional organization so I had people I could talk to. I told them I was looking for a place where they needed someone who could really dig into data and get effective information out. I love solving puzzles and need to be intellectually challenged. Eventually I identified three companies that could use my help so I investigated them. I am now happily employed at one of them and I never had to go through the lay-off process like some of my colleagues. Thank goodness my wife was a good coach and didn't just let me stick my head in the sand!"

The keys to What Are My Options? are 1) generate a list of 20 options - not all of which need to be practical; 2) select 3-5 options on which to gather in-depth information; 3) use more than books and the Internet - get info from real people and expand your network to others. The networking will bring opportunities that you might not have considered.

Next article: Evaluation and Choices. How do you decide what bests matches your style and needs? What are you missing in order to achieve the option? What are you willing and able to do to actualize the option?


Temperament and Careers

Planning Process
Finding Your Passion
Your Current Situation
Who Am I?
What Are My Options?
Evaluating Options
Creating an Action Plan

Selection Process
Informational Interviewing
The Toughest Question
Evaluating an Offer
Salary Negotiations

Succeeding On The Job
Your Boss
Dress For Success
Successful Presentations
Working From Home
Dealing With Stress
In a Shrinking Job Market

Making Changes
When to Take Risks?
Taking a Job in a New City
Who Will Get Laid Off?
Is Your Job a Poor Fit?
Networking is Key

Where the Jobs Are
Healthcare: Many Opportunities

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Team Assessments
Temperament Certification
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