Stacy noted that she never felt comfortable around her colleagues. Largely because she was good at math and was pushed by her parents to find a career path, Stacy went to UCONN for engineering. She never fit in with her classmates and, while finding work in Connecticut was easy because as she put it “Connecticut doesn’t have a lot of female engineers”, she never clicked with her interviewers. Two years into her engineering job in the New London, CT area, Stacy found herself lonely at work and also convinced that while she could do her job, she wouldn’t be able to get promoted because of the mismatch between her and her colleagues.
When I ran her personality profile through the tests we give to our career counseling clients, it became obvious that engineering was not a match. Stacy wondered why no one had ever given these tests to her beforehand. I emphasized that tests do not provide magical answers but at least she could have been aware that someone with a very high F (feeling orientation when making decisions) in Myers-Briggs would have one mismatch with typical engineers who are almost always high Ts (thinking orientation when making decisions). with the test that I give to my clients, it became obvious why: she had the profile that did not match with most engineers. To be clear, you don’t need to exactly match but it does help to have some of the same characteristics and engineers find important. Regardless of the test results, Stacy knew that engineers were “not her people”.
I recall a similar view related to my own situation. When I was an attorney, I clicked with attorneys who worked in either public-service or public interest. I never fully connected with attorneys in large law firms. Different values. They were not my people.
Finding one’s people has become such a significant way to help our clients that we are developing an exciting concept will enable our clients to talk to people in different industries in order to explore whether they have found the people. We believe this will create an efficient and effective way for our clients to explore possible career paths.