In Pursuit of Happiness My Lesson in the Importance of Measuring Motivation Talentoday 1

In Pursuit of Happiness: My Lesson in the Importance of Measuring Motivation

For as long as I can remember, I have had an insatiable urge to maximize my potential for achieving a meaningful and happy life. My mom will recount stories of gritting through the parent-teacher conferences of my adolescence with my teachers cautioning her to put “less pressure” on me due to the intensity I brought to spelling tests and class projects. My mom would assure them that there was no pressure; it was all driven by a little fourth grader with an intense motivation for personal achievement. 

Over the years, the devotion to fulfillment of potential never waned. I found myself driven by achievement, influence and responsibility, and I had successfully scouted out professional and educational opportunities to satisfy that. However, I approached a pivotal point in my personal growth when I was by all appearances in the prime of my career, building a life in the United States with a wonderful partner and our loving, loyal pets, leading teams of brilliant people while also pursuing a graduate degree to deepen my business acumen. Yet, somehow, something was missing. As I reached a point along the path I had been going down for years that was supposed to open me up to more in life - more opportunities, more success, more joy, it hit me. 

I had been misdiagnosing my motivation. Somehow during the years of chasing personal achievement, my motivational needs evolved. With unique perspectives and education in my toolkit, my new driving force was combating complacency, seeking out new challenges and adventures. My previous solutions for happiness and fulfillment were no longer going to suffice. The cure was taking a hard look at not only who I was, but who I had become, and who I might become next, to truly identify the drivers and motivations that would lead me to a content and happy life.

Defining Motivation

Motivations are often defined as the desires and needs that help determine how an individual behaves. Examples of motivations can include external things, like receiving recognition for your work, or internal factors, such as working on projects that challenge you. When these different needs are met, we become more engaged. This leads to more energy, commitment and creativity, as well as higher levels of productivity and satisfaction.

Motivation is most often discussed in professional settings, and with good reason; companies are always searching for new ways to encourage their employees to achieve more. However, recent research from Gallup indicates that about 80 percent of the global workforce is not engaged in their work. The cost of this mass malaise goes well beyond dollars and cents, with effects that touch our lives outside of the workplace, as well.

In Pursuit of Happiness My Lesson in the Importance of Measuring Motivation Talentoday 2

Motivations Mean Something Different for Each of Us

In the spring of 2019, I had just finished earning my executive MBA and was ready for a new challenge. After more than a decade spent building my reputation as a detail-oriented marketing professional, I needed to add some variety and excitement to my career. The previous summer, Medix, the U.S.-based workforce solutions company I had spent my entire career with up until that point, had acquired Talentoday, a science-driven people analytics company headquartered in Paris, France. It was a bold step forward for a company I thought I knew like the back of my hand. Was this new opportunity the spark I had been searching for? Ready to take on a new adventure, my husband and I packed up our bags and our pets and made the move from Chicago, Illinois to Paris. 

Throwing caution to the wind to cross the Atlantic was energizing and fulfilling for my need for personal challenge. Working with individuals who had different backgrounds than my own and taking on obstacles that I had never faced was by definition challenging, but thrilling at the same time. 

At that time, I also came to the realization that this wouldn’t have been the case for everyone in this same scenario. Another professional who was instead motivated by consistency in procedures, attainable goals or predictable environments might have struggled with such a dramatic career change. To me, the lesson was clear. If most companies give employees frequent recognition, bonuses or other types of incentives, then why are the majority of us not engaged at work? This is where things get personal. In order to properly motivate someone, you need to know what it is that inspires them! 

Share Your Motivations!

Whether you are setting professional or personal goals, there are the standard questions that are covered on a regular basis. How much do I need to earn to live comfortably? How hard do I need to train to hit my fitness goals? What’s my five-year plan?

Unfortunately, we very rarely ask ourselves direct questions about whether we are feeling fulfilled and, if not, what the factors are that are discouraging us. Only after identifying our core motivations can we turn this attention outward in order to inspire and encourage those around us.

Being transparent about our differences in motivations is an essential first step to better engaging with those around you on their own terms. Sharing individual needs and making that a regular part of the conversation is going to not only help your colleagues and loved ones feel seen and heard, but it’s a practice that promotes wellbeing in every facet of life. 

People Change, and So Do Motivations

When I first moved to Paris, I was invigorated by my new environment. I was taking on a new industry in a new country with a new team. However, within a few months, I started to experience that feeling again that something was missing, that something was holding me back from true happiness. I knew I couldn’t give my best effort to those counting on me without figuring out what needs weren’t being met to ensure personal fulfillment. 

Working at Talentoday, I thankfully was surrounded by resources dedicated precisely to this mission. I had access to an assessment built on the science of psychometrics designed to unearth insights on your personality, motivations and behaviors as an individual. When I had first stepped into my new role, I had taken the assessment to get a better sense of our product offering. To my surprise, I actually ended up learning a lot about myself along the way. After retaking it, I learned something new - people change, and so do our motivations.

While I was once motivated by change, my heart and science were telling me these needs had evolved. With a major life and career shift satisfying my previous need for challenge and excitement, my need for a sense of belonging grew. When I was back home in the U.S., it was effortless for me to pick up the phone to check in with my mom or grab lunch with a friend. Now, with an ocean between us, that was no longer possible. Once I realized what was missing for me in France, I focused on creating that sense of family I was longing for with my new teammates and put more effort into regularly keeping in touch with my loved ones back home. 

Human beings are constantly evolving with their environment, and the same goes for our motivations. This is why it is important to continuously check in with ourselves, the people we work with and those who are with us at our most vulnerable moments to ensure that we are adjusting along with these evolutions. Changes in perspective can also lead to changes in priorities. Once you’re cognizant of this and make a point of keeping your finger on the pulse of these motivations, you’ll be more successful in regulating your environment, activities and life to achieve true happiness and fulfillment.

This article originally appeared on the Bonjour Sophy blog. Bonjour Sophy, a Talentoday partner, is a program that helps individuals discover their life mission. Learn more by clicking here


Unpacking Your Personality: How Do You Address Tasks and Projects

Unpacking Your Personality: How Do You Address Tasks and Projects?

Even if you think that you know a lot about yourself and your personality, it is always good to be open to an unbiased opinion about how you respond to the world around you. This can include how you interact with others in class or during meetings, the way you handle pressure of deadlines or tests, and how you organize projects. Taking a personality or soft skills assessment, like MyPrint, can help to uncover strengths you were unaware of or reinforce what you already knew. 

What are your strengths and how do you use them on a daily basis? Are there any skills that you are missing or want to improve upon? These are just a couple of the questions that you can ask yourself to get the most out of your soft skills assessment results. 

Understand how you approach tasks and projects. 

Personality and soft skill assessments help us understand ourselves better by using basic psychological models, such as the Big Five Model of personality. At Talentoday, we have organized our personality dimensions into four groups, called the personality axes, to show how understanding your different traits will empower you to navigate your day-to-day life using science and technology. The four personality axes in MyPrint help us understand how we interact with other people (“Express” - yellow), our tasks and projects (“Address” - blue), ourselves (“Dare” - red), and our environment (“Adapt” - purple). 

August B2C Article Personality Radar

The Address section of the personality axes is helpful for understanding the way someone approaches issues and undertakes their tasks or projects. This can be beneficial when starting a fresh school year or new job, or if you’re just generally interested in making meaningful improvements in your day-to-day responsibilities.

The four personality dimensions that make up the Address axis are: Structure, Abstract-Thinking, Perspective, and Thoroughness. Being on the high or low end of each of these dimensions does not make you better or worse at planning or conducting your tasks; rather, it helps you to understand your strength in each of those areas so that you can lean into the things you are good at, while pinpointing the areas in which you may want to improve. Remember, you can always leverage an assessment to help understand your personality with an unbiased, scientific approach. 

Structure

The two ends of the structure dimension are Spontaneous and Orderly

Structure Dimension Personality MyPrint

If you are a spontaneous person, then you are naturally intuitive. You like to stay flexible in your schedule by avoiding planning things too far in advance, and you often leave a lot of room for improvisation in your working methods. If you are finding that you need a little bit more structure when organizing your week, start by writing down your most important objectives, and do your best to accomplish those even if other things come your way. 

On the other end of the structure dimension are the orderly people. If you are orderly, then you are very organized and show no tolerance of ambiguity in your work. You always plan your tasks and projects well in advance and rarely deviate from your schedule. Although this may seem like it is the best way to organize and plan, there are certain times when flexibility is beneficial. When creating your to-do list, determine what is an absolute priority and what you can be flexible with; stay open to opportunities that may come your way. 

Abstract-Thinking

The two ends of the abstract-thinking dimension are Practical and Imaginative.

Abstract-Thinking Dimension Personality MyPrint

If you are a practical person, you are realistic and don’t like to waste too much time wondering why things are the way they are. You rely on concrete examples to solve issues. If you find yourself stuck when working on an assignment, try to tap into your imagination a little bit. Think of some out-of-the-box ideas for your projects that you might not normally entertain. 

On the other end of the abstract-thinking dimension are the imaginative people. If you are imaginative, you often conceptualize problems and try different approaches in order to solve them in the most relevant, but not always the most realistic way. Imaginative people are very creative, but if you find yourself unable to solve an issue, try to only look at what resources and solutions that you actually have available. 

Perspective

The two ends of the perspective dimension are Focused and Big Picture

Perspective Dimension Personality MyPrint

If you are a focused person, then you are action-oriented. You probably prefer to concentrate on achieving short-term results, rather than spending time to anticipate their future implications. While it is beneficial to focus on those immediate outcomes, there is also a lot to be learned when looking at the long-term impacts of what you are doing. When learning something new or working on a project, think about the relevance and meaning it will have a few years into the future. 

The other end of the perspective scale is where the big picture thinkers are. If you are big pictured, you are naturally thoughtful in your work. You will anticipate the long-term consequences of what you are doing as much as possible to have a clear vision of the final outcomes. At times it can be exhausting to think about the future when there is so much uncertainty. If you find yourself being overwhelmed by this, try to focus on the pieces of a project that you can immediately impact regardless of their long-term implications. 

Thoroughness

The two ends of the thoroughness dimension are Easy-Going and Precise

Thoroughness Dimension Personality MyPrint

If you are an easy-going person, you are typically tolerant of imperfections. You prefer to value your productivity at work by focusing on the bottom-line, rather than dwelling on every little detail. Having a quantity-centered approach to your work can be beneficial at times, but it is always good to be cognizant of which projects might require a little more attention to detail. When these types of projects come up, schedule some extra review time into the end of your day! 

On the other end of the thoroughness dimension we have the precise folks. If you are a precise person, you are naturally diligent. You set high-quality standards for your work and spend time to refine it. However, sometimes it is hard to turn off the ‘perfectionist’ switch. Determine which areas of your work need the extra attention to details, and try to only spend the necessary time on the rest.

Putting it all into action.

Now that you know a little more about the personality traits used to understand how you take on tasks and projects, as part of MyPrint’s Address dimension, it is time for you to take action. If you haven’t taken a MyPrint just yet, you can take it for free in just 25 minutes! There are many other helpful insights besides the ones we discussed here, such as what motivates you, or getting a better understanding of your professional behaviors. Take a look at which soft skill strengths you have and what motivates you, and use that information to help you improve as you take on your next project!


Letting Your Personality Shine in a Remote Work World Talentoday

Letting Your Personality Shine in a Remote Work World

How do you remain unique in a remote work world? In the pre-pandemic workplace, many of us may have taken the casual ways of letting our personalities shine at work for granted. You probably didn’t even think twice about it as it happened! Maybe you were the social butterfly stopping by multiple desks en route to your own. Maybe you were the ‘first in and last to leave’ person who was always striving for the next career opportunity. Whatever style you worked with, there were little moments each day to bring your identity to life.

Now, the expansion of work from home opportunities has changed the ways we interact. How do you show who you truly are through small screens connected by the internet?

Although it requires more work to let your personality shine in a remote environment, technology has made the transition a little less painful. They may not be the same as those face-to-face interactions, but our virtual personalities are just as important!

Make meetings work for you.

Meetings have not disappeared from office culture in the last year, but they certainly have evolved. Video calls underwent an unprecedented expansion during the COVID-19 pandemic, For example, Zoom reported growing from 10 million peak daily meeting participants in 2019 to 300 million by April 2020. While virtual meeting tools may have helped to keep teams connected during this time, the repeated virtual interactions on screen can take a toll even on the most outgoing of people. Is it any shock that ‘Zoom fatigue’ quickly became a part of our vernacular?

These countless virtual meetings present new challenges, including finding ways to you distinguish yourself from the faces staring back at you from the video grid. If you are a social person, try logging in a minute before the meeting starts. This way you can greet people with some small talk as they join in the meeting. For our curious individuals out there who like to learn new things or ask a lot of questions, if the virtual meeting doesn’t allow for your normal cadence, take notes with your thoughts and questions and send them to the meeting host in an email at the end of the call. For our introverted folks, it’s always okay to turn the camera off and stay muted every now and then. 

In other words, make these video meetings work for you!

We are used to adapting to multiple personality types in a conference room, so this adjustment to accommodating multiple personalities in the virtual space is something we are all learning together. If you find yourself in a position where this format is hindering your work performance or wellbeing, talk with your manager or HR department to discuss potential adjustments. 

Email is still essential.

Email may not have ever been the working world's favorite way to communicate, but at least there were opportunities to smooth out unclear communication and tension face-to-face in the office. Now, our virtual communication is often lacking that in-person context or interaction, and we find ourselves communicating complex messages via text alone. 

If you are a straightforward or direct communicator, your emails might come across as being abrasive if you don’t have the ability to smile at the recipients as you pass each other in the hallway later that day. In this situation, you would want to make sure that you include some warm greetings or salutations to your emails. 

Are you or someone you know an "email blackhole?" This phenomenon can be described as an inbox where messages are sent, but no replies ever return. If this sounds like you, it may be time to reconsider your approach to email! In a physical work environment,  a lack of responsiveness could be a minor annoyance. However, when your coworkers are dependent on emails as a main form of communication, you might need to shift your email personality to being quicker with follow-up.

While email has long been the go-to virtual setting for sharing our work personalities, it’s only becoming more essential as teams embrace hybrid and remote settings. Before sending that next message, take a moment to consider how to personalize your text communications. 

Be transparent

The most important aspect of any relationship or work environment is transparency. Although you might need to work a little bit harder to let your personality come through in a virtual space, stay true to your authentic self. Check in with yourself regularly, and communicate with your boss or coworkers if you feel as though your personality strengths or motivations are not being used or met. By doing this, you will allow yourself to not only be fulfilled in your work, but also help to form an environment that you can perform the most effectively in. 

Rethink your office culture.

Historically, office culture has started in the physical environment. We create a ‘second family’ at work by getting to know our coworkers through team building activities or simply chatting over a cup of coffee. As offices continue to embrace hybrid and remote work models, the idea of building culture on the basis of these social interactions alone may be on the way out, 

Now more than ever, the organizational culture you are a part of has the ability to develop and grow in any direction you choose. Take this opportunity to really understand your personality strengths and what motivates you, and curate a culture with your virtual team to ensure you are and finding purpose in your work! 

Want to learn more about your personality strengths and workplace motivators? Click here to take a MyPrint! 


Are Your Personality Traits Right for Your Career Path?

Long gone are the days of separating “life” and “work” into two separate buckets hoping to achieve some sort of balance. Employers and employees alike are now becoming increasingly aware that the personality traits that make each of us unique at home are the same things that can make us successful in the workplace. This shift has been highlighted as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic further blur the line between professional and personal.

Now, instead of simply checking boxes of required technical abilities and education, job seekers are having to ask themselves deeper questions about their personalities. These questions can include:

“Am I more reserved around new people or do I feel at ease when I’m in the spotlight?”

“Am I comfortable when things are not organized or do I prefer instructions in unfamiliar situations?”

“Do I simply focus on getting a task done or do I take time to focus deeply on the details?”

This amount of self reflection can be overwhelming when there’s a ticking clock for finding work! How can job seekers better understand themselves in order to prepare for the new world of job searching? Thankfully, there is more information than ever to identify which personality traits are more likely to lead to success in a given career path.

Identifying Your Personality Traits

Most job seekers are familiar with the standard questions they’ll likely face in a job interview, such as, “What are your strengths/weaknesses?” However, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of telling meandering stories that are heavy on details but light on proven takeaways.

What hiring managers are really looking for in job interview responses are what are known as, “transferable skills.” These are the types of skills that are not specific to a single industry or role. Rather, transferable skills — such as personality traits — can be used in a variety of settings.

In order to go deeper when identifying your transferable skills, consider taking an assessment backed by science, such as MyPrint®! Supporting anecdotal evidence from your experiences with tools built on data-driven people analytics can add credibility to your claims. Furthermore, the MyPrint assessment evaluates individuals on 13 distinct dimensions of personality, and gives information on 26 total personality traits. Pinpointing your personality traits can help narrow your job search to roles that are more likely to be the right fit for your career.

Popular Fields and Noteworthy Personality Traits

Once you have a better understanding of the personality traits that make you unique, it’s time to connect them to jobs that will allow them to shine! Based on our Talentoday user database, here are the key personality traits that align with 14 of the most in-demand career paths today:

  • Administrative: Compliant, Structured, Conventional Thinker, Practical
  • Art Design: Imaginative, Spontaneous, Critical-Thinker, Precise
  • Education: Empathetic, Modest, Extroverted
  • Engineering: Precise, Confident, Determined, Positive, Individualistic
  • Finance/Bank/Accounting/Audit: Confident, Positive, Relaxed, Determined, Individualistic
  • HR/Purchasing: Positive, Extroverted, Confident, Striving
  • Health and Social Care Provider: Empathetic, Extroverted, Imaginative, Big Picture, Striving
  • Information Technology: Confident, Relaxed, Positive, Striving
  • Legal: Determined, Relaxed, Big Picture, Compliant
  • PR/Writing/Editing: Empathetic, Imaginative, Extroverted, Spontaneous
  • Production: Positive, Practical, Confident, Extroverted, Striving
  • Research Science: Critical-Thinker, Imaginative, Assertive, Big Picture
  • Sales: Extroverted, Practical, Positive, Determined, Striving, Patient, Confident
  • Security: Confident, Positive, Relaxed, Striving, Assertive, Determined, Practical

Do any of these personality trait groupings sound like you? If they do but you’re currently on another path, it might be the right time to consider a change! With the transferable skills needed for a successful foundation, all that’s left is to fill in the hard skills gaps you may be missing. If you’re currently working in any of the fields above and are lacking some of the soft skills that are prominent in your position, that’s okay too! This is the perfect time to start developing your strengths in the areas critical to your industry.

Are you interested in learning more about the personality traits that make you…you? Click here to take MyPrint and receive a detailed assessment of your unique personality, motivational and behavioral traits! Then, you’ll be able to use that information to connect your unique strengths to today’s most in-demand jobs.


Tell a Soft Skills Career Story in Your Next Job Interview

What makes for a great job interview? You know, one of those interviews that makes you say, “I totally nailed it. I know I’ve got the job. It’s time for a happy dance!”

Well, for one, it’s not about reciting your resume word-for-word like some sort of business robot (even if “the robot” is a fantastic choice for a happy dance). Instead, it’s about going beyond the resume to bring the story of your career to life. Then, taking that story a step further to connect your future to the goals of the employer.

The best storytellers don’t just list off events in the order in which they occurred. Instead, they draw the audience in by sharing the unique qualities of each character. In that same way, it’s time to transform your next job interview into an engaging story of what makes you unique as a candidate! To get there, you’ll have to shift the focus from a rehashing of professional milestones to what truly sets you apart — your soft skills!

Chapter 1: Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills

First and foremost, let’s lay out the difference between hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills, also commonly referred to as technical skills, are straightforward requirements for a position that employers can easily check off of a list. Does this applicant have the necessary degree? Did they complete training in this particular area? How many years of experience do they have in the industry?

Hard skills may be a prerequisite for getting your foot in the door, but soft skills are the key to unlocking the full power of your career story. These are the skills that touch on the less tangible elements of the way we work together. Soft skills bring to mind things like communication, leadership and teamwork. In other words, the elements of a great story!

Chapter 2: Identifying Your Soft Skills

If job interviews are all about storytelling, then every job candidate needs to build a narrative with a compelling beginning, middle and end. To start telling your story, think back to previous experiences in your work, education and outside activity history. What made you successful during those experiences? When did you fall short and why? What are you hoping to improve upon as you turn the page to a new chapter in your career?

As a starting point, consider using your resume as a reference. Then, begin writing out these key career moments from memory with soft skills as your focus, going beyond the bullet points to fill in the rich details. Unfortunately, our memories can only tell ourselves and our audiences so much about the way we interact with others in professional settings. In order to go deeper when identifying your soft skills, consider taking an assessment backed by science — like MyPrint®! Supporting anecdotal evidence from your career and experiences with tools built on data-driven people analytics can add credibility to your claims.

Chapter 3: Putting Soft Skills in Action During Questioning

Once you start seeing the job interview process through the lense soft skills, you’ll notice how many of the most common and difficult questions can be easily answered with soft skills in mind.

Here are five of the most common job interview questions, as well as the areas of soft skills employers are look for in your response:

  • Can you tell me about a time when you overcame a significant challenge at work?
  • What happens when you have multiple deadlines and how do you prioritize?
  • Give me an example of when you had to work closely with someone who was difficult to get along with. How did you handle interacting with that person?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you had to ask for help?
  • What is your preferred management style?

When you answer questions like these, answer with your soft skills! If you are unsure what your strengths are, look at your MyPrint One Pager. What are your top three personality strengths? For example, if you are Empathetic, you might excel working with difficult people because you can put yourself in their shoes and understand why they behave in certain ways. If you are Easy-Going and know that details aren’t your forte, you might be more inclined to reach out to a detail-oriented colleague when you have projects that require precision. The more concrete the example you can share, the better!

Writing an Ending with Confidence

It’s a tale as old as time — the job candidate makes it to the end of the job interview journey only to feel like they missed out on a golden opportunity. One way to avoid this tragic fate is to turn your job interview into a story about soft skills! Prepare for your next meeting with a potential employer by thinking about your career as chapters, each highlighted by the traits that make you unique.

Are you looking to turn your next job interview into the story of your soft skills? Click here to take MyPrint and receive a detailed assessment of your unique personality, motivational and behavioral traits!


The Soft Skills Resume is Here to Transform Your Boring Job Search

Resumes are boring! There, I said it. Job seekers know it. Hiring managers know it. Heck, the entire working world knows it! Why, then, are we all creating the same, cookie-cutter resumes over and over again expecting different results?

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way anymore. Toss out that boring, black-and-white career document and say hello to the soft skills resume!

Why Soft Skills?

First things first, let’s sort out why soft skills are so important in today’s hiring landscape. Years ago, the conventional wisdom was that finding a job was a straight-forward process. Either you had the skills to do the job or you didn’t, simple as that! This way of thinking only accounted for technical skills, also known as hard skills. Think of hard skills as the nuts and bolts of how to do the functions of a job that a person could learn through formal education. For example, before a doctor practices medicine, they should definitely go to medical school first.

Soft skills, on the other hand, relate to the unique ways we connect to one another while we work. Examples include communication, leadership and teamwork. While hard skills like education and previous work experience might help you book a job interview, it’s actually soft skills that will ultimately help you land the job.

Unfortunately, identifying soft skills remains a challenge for everyone involved in the job search. In fact, a recent survey from LinkedIn found that while nearly 75% of job seekers polled feel it’s important to highlight their soft skills, the same percentage of hiring managers believe a standard resume is insufficient in evaluating a candidate’s soft skills. Clearly, both sides of the interview table need to find a new way to communicate with each other.

Identifying Your Soft Skills

Soft skill-focused resume writing requires self reflection. To get started, think back to previous work or education experiences and consider the things that made you successful in what you did. Was it your ability to communicate with your peers that set you apart? Did you rely on a knack for scheduling and organizing your day? Maybe you’re a pro at paying attention to all of the details or you found a way to adapt and be flexible when situations changed. The moments of preparation and execution that stand out in these memories are probably going to be your soft skill strengths!

However, the pictures in our minds can only tell a small portion of the soft skills story. To go deeper when identifying what makes you unique, consider taking an assessment backed by science — like MyPrint®! Supporting anecdotal evidence from your career and experiences with tools built on people analytics and strong data can add weight and credibility to your claims.

Creating Your Soft Skills Resume

Once your soft skills are identified, it’s time to transform your resume by making them the stars of the show. This can be accomplished with two key changes to the typical resume format: creating a separate “Skills” section and sprinkling soft skills throughout the rest of your resume.

  • Skills Section: At this point in your jobs search, you’ve most likely come across templates for standard resumes that include flashy sections for education and work experience. It’s time to set aside an equal amount of space for a section dedicated to your skills — both hard and soft. To build out this section, start with an exhaustive list of all of your skills. Then, add or remove the skills that best apply to the particular job opportunity.
  • Sprinkle Skills Throughout: While facts and figures will provide powerful takeaways in the work experience and education sections of your resume, soft skills can add depth to these areas as well! For example, instead of leaving a bullet point of information feeling cold without context, like, “Compiled spreadsheets for 6 accounts” add a bit of soft skill spice by rephrasing the same bullet point this way, “Applied detailed-orientated thinking during data entry across 6 key accounts.”

Let’s face it, the old days of boring resumes are rapidly falling to the wayside. Today, job seekers and employers alike are putting a premium on tapping into what makes a workplace unique. The best way to highlight your true self in the limited space of a resume is to transform it into a document that puts soft skills front and center!

Do you need more help turning your resume into a showcase of your soft skills? Check out our recent blog post on steps for infusing your MyPrint results directly into your resume!


How Our Personalities Were Transformed By COVID-19

Human beings are incredibly adaptable. Consider all the ways life has changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From shrinking social circles to becoming comfortable wearing face masks to learning what six feet of distance really looks like, our society has found ways to adjust to a new way of living out of sheer necessity. However, these transformations run even deeper than just what the eye can see. Beyond the obvious signs of physical distancing, people have been adapting to our changing world in other ways — especially when it comes to their personality.

What Our Research Reveals

Based on MyPrint® personality assessment data from the last year, while the core of what makes most individuals unique may have remained intact, there are clear trends that point to changes occurring in our personalities happening broadly. In particular, our research points to changes in the grit, thoroughness, structure and optimism dimensions of personality.

Here’s what the four most prominent changes we’re tracking in personality mean for individuals moving forward. Have you recognized any of these changes in your own personality?

Developing an Opportunistic Approach

Being opportunistic is an important part of the grit dimension of personality. Think of grit as an indicator of how determined an individual may be to stick with something they’ve started. A high level of grit can be a wonderful trait for anyone who is known for seeing every project to its completion. However, as the realities of life during COVID-19 became apparent, most individuals dialed down this particular trait. One explanation is that the situations many people faced required a shift in plans. That determined, or “gritty,” mindset has been shifted to an opportunistic approach, as the need to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances outside of anyone’s control have become more prevalent. In other words, rather than seeing each particular challenge to the end, many of us moved onto new opportunities that fit better into our new world of work.

Becoming More Easy Going

In a year in which many people put on sweatpants and embraced a more laid back approach to their work from makeshift home offices, it might not be all that surprising to learn that thoroughness moved closer to the “easy going” end of our personality scale. What this means is not necessarily an increase in sloppiness, but a preference for a higher quantity of work outputs over the quality of that work. After all, in many roles, the shift in work environments presented any number of new challenges, and an unfamiliar amount of unstructured time with which to get them done.

Prioritizing Spontaneity

Speaking of structure, raise your hand if you forgot which day of the week it was at least once in 2020. If your hand is in the air right now, don’t worry — you are not alone! Our research indicates that personalities dipped in their levels of structure over the course of 2020, leaning further into the spontaneous end of our scale.

Personally, I know my entire routine was completely upended in the last year. In a matter of days, my morning alarms, commute plans, meeting schedule and meal prep strategy went right out the window. Suddenly, if I wanted to sleep an extra hour, that was okay! If I felt like having a homemade omelet for breakfast on any given Wednesday, I could bust out the eggs and get cracking! However, this shift towards less structure also had effects well beyond extra snoozes and creative meals. The lines became blurred around which types of projects needed to be done when. The boundaries between work and home were breached.

Increased Optimism

On the bright side, personalities appear to have been pushed to the positive end of our optimism scale! At first glance, this trend might appear to be counterintuitive. After all, in a year filled with so much darkness, how could optimism be on the rise? It turns out that this may be the greatest indication of human resilience revealed in our analysis. When faced with adversity, individuals have time and time again shown the ability to find even the smallest silver linings in a given situation. As our goals collectively shifted from narrow-minded personal achievements to group survival, small wins became reasons for real celebration.

As vaccinations are administered, the world stands poised to step forward into another stage in the fight against COVID-19. Even as we remain hopeful that this virus will someday fade away entirely, the changes we experienced in our personalities will remain long after the masks are put away. Human beings are incredibly adaptable. While that means individual traits may shift in response to situations beyond our control, what makes us unique carries on.

Are you interested in learning more about how your personality has evolved over time? Take (or retake) the MyPrint® soft skills assessment today to unlock personality insights. Click here to get started.


Social Awareness in the Workplace: Do You Have These 5 Critical Skills for Fostering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?

Following the mass protests and grassroots social movements that have come to define the summer of 2020, many businesses felt compelled to speak up and reevaluate their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Not only was it the right thing to do, but recent research from Monster found that, “more than 86% of candidates say that diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace are important to them and 62% of people would go as far as turning down a job offer if it came from a culture that didn’t support a diverse workforce.” It’s feedback like this from job seekers that earned DEI a spot on Medix’s list of the hiring trends that will define 2021.

Thanks to individual employees, many organizations have recognized the importance of these efforts in the last year; however, achieving the kind of progress being asked for across all industries is another story. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “Organizations cannot become multicultural by proclamation. It takes concerted effort.” In other words, while posts on social media talking about creating a diverse workforce may be a positive step forward, real change requires action at a personal level.

To get there, individuals within an organization need to develop the skills that allow for real growth within a company culture. SHRM identifies five traits leaders and employees alike must focus on when adopting a diverse mindset: Openness, Flexibility, Social Dexterity, Emotional Awareness and Curiosity.

Here’s what research behind soft skills tells us about each of these five critical traits. Through self evaluation, you can identify which areas are strengths for you, and which ones may need some development. By bringing more awareness to these five traits within yourself, you and your teammates can help drive DEI efforts in any organization:

Openness

When it comes to openness, it’s a characteristic that points to a person being “receptive” in terms of their communication style. These people tend to be low in dominance in terms of their personality and don’t feel a need to influence others in order to be motivated. Employees who are able to tap into this sense of openness can be powerful allies as organizations expand their DEI efforts. A workplace that embraces these receptive communication styles allows different opinions and thoughts to be heard in a group, rather than having each person simply caring about their own opinions and trying to convince others to see things their way. Ultimately, the goal is to open up more opportunity for diversity of thought to be expressed and implemented in group settings.

Flexibility

No, flexibility doesn’t just refer to a person’s yoga skills! Rather, it’s an indication of people who may appear lower in grit in terms of personality and have a low need for competition to be motivated. While a lack of grit or competitiveness may sound like a negative to some, what this means is that this person may be more likely to change what they are doing in order to move onto whatever is more valuable for them to be working on — showing that they are flexible and adaptable to their environment.

Think of it this way: When someone is able to switch their focus to what is best for the team, and is also motivated by doing things as a collective effort, then the group as a whole is going to be more open to success. This creates a culture of support for one another, which is key when making diversity a top priority.

Social Dexterity

One of the ways organizations become closed off from the principles of DEI in the workplace is through the forming of cliques — small social circles designed to exclude those with differing interests and opinions. Thankfully, one of the most powerful weapons for breaking through the clique mentality are individuals with high levels of social dexterity. These people energize teams by having highly extroverted personalities and an intense need for relations to be motivated. With social dexterity in a group, there’s less of a chance for ‘outsiders’ to be pushed aside, since those energizing individuals will seek out connections with everyone.

Emotional Awareness

One crucial element of social awareness is emotional awareness, or the ability to make decisions and base actions first and foremost on how it impacts others. In other words, people who understand emotional awareness have highly empathetic personalities and are motivated by their need for belonging. Individuals who put an emphasis around being emotionally aware of those around them are going to help empower an inclusive culture by making sure that nobody is forgotten. By finding ways to allow everyone in a group to feel as though their thoughts and opinions are being considered, these individuals help to make others feel seen and heard within an organization.

Curiosity

Critical thinking personalities are naturally curious; they are motivated by a need for variety in their daily activities. Curious people ask a lot of questions, and this can be an invaluable trait as organizations seek out a path to DEI efforts that work for their organization and team culture. In most cases, curious thinkers are not interested in having cookie cutter individuals on their team. Instead, they are energized by people who have different backgrounds, skills, cultures, and opinions from their own. This helps to empower an inclusive workplace by fostering a culture of learning.

Identify Your Soft Skills to Empower DEI

These five traits — Openness, Flexibility, Social Dexterity, Emotional Awareness and Curiosity — may be the key to unlocking a new era of diversity in the workplace. Do any of them sound familiar to you?

To begin developing these skills within yourself, the first step is measuring where you stand in each category. With that baseline knowledge, it will then be easier to find ways to apply your areas of strength to DEI efforts within your control at an organization. For areas in which you may be deficient, this is a time to create plans for developing in the areas critical for fostering the type of work environment so many are fighting to make a reality.

Looking to learn more about how you can use your soft skills to grow diversity, equity and inclusion at your organization? Take the MyPrint® soft skills assessment today to unlock personality insights that can drive change! Click here to get started.


Show your traits, not your type

Show Your Traits, Not Your Type

Show your traits, not your type

“What’s your type?” In the world of dating, this is the first thing people want to know. An easy answer, right? Intellectual, athletic, artistic — as humans, we typically begin with broad categories to describe ourselves and others. However, once you actually start describing what you’re looking for, you find yourself being more specific. “Likes to have philosophical conversations,” “enjoys outdoor activities in warm climates,” “likes to cook new recipes,” — in reality we are much more complex than those one word generalizations. The same philosophy should apply to soft skill assessments in the workplace. Instead of being bucketed into a generalized type, your traits are the best indicators of your unique strengths. Let’s break down the difference between types and traits.

Type Theory

Type theory is based around the idea that personality is a combination of qualities or dimensions that can be grouped together into a certain number of categories (or types). All people fall within one type based on which group they share the most specific attributes with. Think Myers Briggs or Enneagram, where you are one of 16 combinations of letters (ie, ESFJ) or one of 9 number types.

Yes, type theory is helpful for an organization to get a generalized idea of a person, but does that mean that a company really understands who you are, and more importantly, if you will be successful in the role? For example, if an assessment identifies you as an introvert, the assumption may be that that you are quiet, would prefer to work alone, and you need time to reflect on your thoughts before speaking. It’s a generalization, and while some of those assumptions may be true, chances are not all describe you.

The concern with using types in personality assessments is that humans are much more complex. Instead of Introversion and Extroversion being a dichotomy, it is better understood as a spectrum. That is where trait theory comes into play.

Trait theory

Rather than using broad categories to define human behaviors, trait theory focuses on the individual differences between people and eliminates the ‘boxes’ that type theory tries to fit people into. Going back to the introverted/extroverted example: trait theorists will say that a large majority of people actually fall somewhere in the middle and show qualities of both introverts and extroverts.

Graph showing Probability vs. Extraversion Score

Research over the years has shown that there is enough of a variation in human personality for most of the scientific community to favor trait theory. Additionally, the most widely accepted theory of personality, the Big Five Theory, is part of trait theory. The Big Five is a theory in which five broad categories are the building blocks of personality, which most people have heard of using the acronym OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Everyone falls on a spectrum in each of these categories, and sometimes these are broken down into smaller and more specific scales. This personality theory is the backbone of many of the personality assessments that are used today, like MyPrint® or the Big Five Inventory.

You are Unique!

Personality Radar example

Now that you understand the differences between Types and Traits, which theory do you prefer when it comes to showcasing your soft skills? The one that generalizes you in a standard box, or the one that lets you expand outside those walls to showcase your unique qualities? If you want to discover more about your soft skill strengths, take a free MyPrint® assessment today! Once you have completed the questionnaire, you can begin using your traits to be more productive, improve your interpersonal skills, and set your personal and professional goals specific to your individual attributes. Additionally, you can see how your personality radar and motivation scales show the special qualities that make you YOU!

Looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!


Personal Growth Using Soft Skills

It’s human nature to hit a ‘reset button’ when time gives us a new beginning. That’s why gyms are the busiest on Mondays¹ and personal motivation skyrockets around birthdays². I can’t be the only person who has put off a personal goal for a couple of weeks because it’s the middle of December and January 1st is just around the corner.

Having those reset points are great for helping people set certain milestones and goals for themselves! However, self-improvement and professional development should be ongoing and not dependent on the start of a week, month, or year. There are many ways to go about continuous development: reading books or articles, finding a mentor, or watching videos and webinars are a few great places to start. Although you can take a guess at what areas you should focus on, today we are going to use science to help determine your strengths and improvement areas!

First Thing’s First: Take MyPrint®

If you haven’t taken MyPrint® already then stop reading this and take that first — it’s FREE! All you have to do is go to talentoday.com to create your free account. The assessment itself will only take about 30 minutes to complete. If you are reading this and your MyPrint® is over 6 months old we would recommend spending 30 minutes on a retake.

If you have previously taken MyPrint®, compare your two results and see what you find. Look for the areas where there is the most difference and see if you can determine what the reasons for areas of growth have been. Maybe you have had a life change, a new position, or even relate it back to the global pandemic that took over 2020 — try to pinpoint why those scores have changed.

Discover Your Strengths

Now that you have taken MyPrint®, download your One Pager (soft-skills summary). We are going to be focusing on the personality and motivations section first and then we’ll look at the personality radar in the app later on.

Take a look at your top 3 strengths in the green Personality Summary section of your One Pager. Write down unique ways that those can be useful in your current position at work or in your personal life.

Next take a look at the Top Motivators on your One Pager. Your top three motivators are listed out in orange. Determine if those needs are currently being met in your work life and if they are not, then write down some examples of how you can incorporate those into your daily work environment.

Find Your Improvement Areas

Now that we’ve looked at your strengths from the One Pager a little bit more, we’re going to go back into the app to spend some time looking at the personality radar! If you aren’t sure how to read your radar you can get an in depth overview by clicking the ‘About personality’ button in your profile.

Essentially each of the bars in the radar represents a different personality dimension. You are either towards the inside of the radar, or the outside. Although your first impression might be that the areas towards the inside of the radar are the areas that you need to grow — that is not always the case! For example, someone who needs to be providing concrete solutions to a team might struggle if they are extremely high on the ‘Abstract-Thinking’ dimension.

After you have taken some time to read your radar for a little bit, find those areas that you want to move either up or down on that radar. For example, when I look at my radar I see that my Critical-Thinking scale is a little bit lower than I would like. I am a Conventional Thinker — which isn’t bad at all! However, there are a lot of aspects in my role where I am called upon as a subject matter expert, so I want to ensure that I am not going to just go along with things because that’s what the majority wants. So this year I am going to make a conscious effort to ask more questions about the things that are presented to me so that I can get into a more naturally critical mindset.

Now it’s your turn! I can find about 4 other improvement areas when I look at my radar, but they are all based on my current work situation. Again, this doesn’t mean that I think my current soft skills are bad, it just means that I am aware that in order to grow professionally, I need to be continuously working on my development!

Put Together A Plan

Now that you know your improvement areas, focus on them! Find some books, TED Talks, or articles that you can spend time on each week to help you grow and develop. The second step here is to put together some concrete examples of how you can grow. For example, if you are a Focused individual but want to be more Big Picture — the next time you are planning out a project make a note to specifically think of that Big Picture outcome as you plan and go about your work.

Make a note of people that you work with or know who you think have those traits you are looking for. Does your manager seem to have those Critical Thinking skills that you desire? Make a note to pay attention to how she gives feedback or responds to new ideas in meetings. Maybe your coworker seems to be the most relaxed person on the planet. Take note of how he handles those times of stress and busy times.

Watch Your Growth!

Take MyPrint® again in 6 months. See how much you have grown and developed in those areas, and think of some concrete examples of how your soft skill strengths have helped you succeed in your professional life. The goal here is not to be perfect or ever be done, it is to get yourself into the mindset of continuously growing and developing your strengths.

Looking for additional resources and support? Email Talentoday at customer@talentoday.com to learn more about our assessment and services!

Sources

¹ https://www.techtimes.com/articles/18867/20141028/monday-worst-day-go-gym.htm#:~:text=The%20report%20found%20that%20Monday,to%20grab%20a%20dreadmill%20treadmill

² https://everydaypsych.com/birthday-psychology/#:~:text=The%20researchers%20attest%20that%20birthdays,our%20future%20selves%20will%20have.