By Edmund Zhen
Published: March 13th, 2019
It’s your senior year in college, graduation is around the corner and you find yourself in need of a full-time job. A heavy feeling settles in and shame and uncertainty fill every crevice in your brain. You’re lost. Disoriented. Angry. That was exactly what went down when I had my first encounter with an existential crisis. Confusion and horror quickly replaced my serenity and carefree attitude as I stopped to think, what’s next? What does the future hold for me? Will I turn out to be a bum when I grow older? Will I become expendable in my profession?
I’m sure many of you understand what I mean, as it’s a phase we all go through. But sometimes, I find it silly of myself to ask those sorts of questions since no one can read the future. One might say that understanding ourselves in terms of what hobbies or interests we enjoy can be a solution to this, but it’s proven that passions and interests don’t always stick with age. Statistics by the US Department of Labor reveal that the average person changes jobs on an average of 12 times during his or her lifetime. So what can be done in order to be more prescient for the future?
There is really no one answer to this, but I believe the answer can be found by understanding your traits.
A good way to go about with that is through a personality test, and a friend of mine recommended me a good one when I came to them for advice. It broke down major characteristics about me into categories and gave a personalized report that helped me reach a substantial level of understanding of myself and others. This test can be found online at www.understandmyself.com. It has 100 questions divided equally into 10 pages that force you to see yourself as a third person, and you judge yourself from there. There are 5 major aspects with 2 subcategories in each. Those are Agreeableness: Compassion and Politeness, Conscientiousness: Industriousness and Orderliness, Extraversion: Enthusiasm and Assertiveness, Neuroticism: Withdrawal and Volatility, and Openness to Experience: Openness and Intellect.
After going through all the questions, their system compares your self-ratings to thousands of other people across different spectrums. This test was created by psychometrists, people who administer and score various tests to assess your neuropsychological functioning, with a concept called the Lexical Hypothesis. According to Psychology Dictionary, a Lexical hypothesis is “the theory that important natural characteristics and traits unique to individuals have become intrinsically embedded in our natural-language lexicon over time.” To simplify, its a model used to study personality traits in a number of cultural and linguistic settings. The only downside to this test is that you have to pay $10.00 to take it and can only take it once. If you want to take it again, you would have to pay for it, which is why I recommend to take it the second time after substantial time has passed (personally for me, a year or two).
This sounds like I’m trying to sell you something, but I assure you that I’m not. If you have $10.00 to spare, I suggest you try it out and if you don’t, pull back from spending a $6.00 drink or food and invest in this test where it’s more worthwhile; you will thank me later. Now, this won’t guarantee that you will find a job or you will like whatever job you get. But it will definitely help you understand other people’s perception of you and help you understand more about yourself.