Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cognitive dissonance was a friend of mine

I showed my CV to a friend at work. She thought the opening statement could do more to sell my abilities and personality, and she was right, of course; the problem with it was that it was too unfocussed, as if I didn’t really know what I want to do.

Which I don’t. I mean I know - ultimately - what I want to be doing, but in the interim, how am I to live? So she gave me a book, Take Your Own Aptitude Test, which contains loads of exercises to test verbal reasoning, acuity skills, spatial ability and so on, as well as a section on personality profiling and a thorough motivational exam. It’s supposed to help you know yourself, your skills and limitations, and give you some idea of what you might be happy doing. I spent two hours doing all the exercises, and in the end it told me I was a highly literary motivated loner with strong verbal reasoning and acuity skills. A born script reader, in other words.

Interestingly, the tests were also good at pointing out what jobs you’re not likely to be good at, won’t enjoy doing, and are psychologically unsuited to. Imagine my surprise when all the results indicated that if there were any career from which I should be prepared to gnaw off my limbs in order to escape, it’s sales and account management. Under no account should I attempt the job I’ve been doing for over three years and expect to do it well or, indeed, to be happy. Well, I guess that confirms I’ve just been faking it all this time.


  1. I've been doing various admin-y type jobs for the past three or four years and every time I do any of those kind of tests it tells me to avoid desk work! I've found though, that since I became partially freelance I have very little tolerance for the admin work and I'm desperately trying to get to the stage where I can be freelance full-time.

    If you actually want to be a script reader I'm sure Danny, Lucy or I could help a bit.

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  3. Lee,

    Quick guidance on your personal statement on your CV. It should have 3 sentences.

    1 - your successes and achievements
    2 - a bit of character stuff - personal stuff
    3 - your future goals

    Use it as a guide.