Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gaming the system

I have an appointment next Wednesday at NYU's Office of Career Management. On recommendation from several people (thanks Barry, Ann and Maddy), I'll be taking the Strong Interest Inventory and then sitting down with a counselor to discuss what the results mean and where they could lead me.

That said, I'm a little curious about whether I'll game the results. In other words, will I answer the questions honestly, or in the way that I think will lead me to a certain outcome?

I have some history in doing that. Take, for example, my results from the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. I rather liked the results I got the first time I took it, and when I've done that or Myers Briggs again, I've prompted myself to answer the questions to replicate the first result. Silly, I know. It's one of the reasons I'm not taking Myers-Briggs at NYU, too. I don't know if I can trust myself to take it with no preconceptions about the result. Or maybe the real reason is that I'm worried the result won't be that cool assessment that matches only about five percent of the general population. (Yeah, I like being unique. Just like everyone else.)

Come to think of it, gaming the test is pretty consistent with some long-standing behaviors of mine. I've lived a lot of my life and career by doing what I thought was expected, rather than what I really wanted. What good has it done for me? It's part of what got me where I am, and part of what I am trying to break free of.

At least this time the 'gaming' is more about what I want, or think I want. I have a couple of ideas about what I like, and what direction it could take me in, and I do wonder if that will influence my responses on the Strong Interest Inventory. Then again, I don't have a huge amount of time or energy invested in those ideas, so there's no harm done if it turns out that the assessment points in other directions. Chances are good that it might, after all.

Another thought: One might wonder why I'm going to NYU for the assessment and counseling when I could more easily go to Rutgers, or even to the county college that's within walking distance of my home. I gave both some consideration but then realized that I need to make a break with the familiar. The Rutgers Career Center is the place I ignored when I was in school, and somehow going back there would be like returning to my high school guidance counselor (who I mostly ignored, too). The county college, well, enough said. New Jersey is starting to feel like a cocoon to be emerged from, and whether a departure is in the cards or not, looking for guidance in other places just feels like the right thing right now. You know how it goes: when you do things the same way you've always done them, you'll get the result you've always gotten. Sounds a lot like gaming the system.

1 comment:

  1. If you simply tell the truth as best you can maybe you will end p with something you love and are suited for. :)