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Career Fulfillment Starts With Identifying Motivations

Posted February 20, 2018 by

One of my favorite ads about career fulfillment is the Monster commercial that shows children aspiring to mediocrity. In dripping irony, they describe a job future that’s all about settling for less: “When I grow up, I want to file all day. I want to crawl my way up to middle management. Be replaced on a whim…”

The message resonates because it describes what happens to a lot of people. The dreams of youth give way to the realities and responsibilities of life. We take the job we find instead of doing what fulfills us most because there’s a mortgage to pay, a family to raise, or a life to get on with.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There are natural opportunities to change direction—if you know where you want to go. And that means understanding what really motivates you.

Careers At The Crossroads

There are at least three inflection points you can seize to set or change the course of a career and find greater fulfillment:

  1. When you’re in your late teens and early 20s, first weighing your educational options and later applying for jobs when you’ve almost graduated.
  2. A few years into a new career, when you’re young and flexible enough to change without losing much.
  3. In midlife, when hopefully you’ve accumulated some financial security, perhaps your children have grown, or you’ve figured out that you don’t need much in life but to be happy in what you do. There may be additional impetus in midlife because many employers devalue experienced people in favor of younger candidates who are more malleable (in the minds of employers), and cheaper.

Doing What Sets Your Heart On Fire

Fortunately, new tools can help you identify your deepest needs while you consider career options. Positive psychology is the current trend and it offers a different frame for thinking about your professional life. A 2005 study of motivations and goal-attainment by social psychologists Judge, Bono, Erez and Locke offered the following conclusion:

“A growing body of research suggests that people who choose goals that are concordant with their ideals, interests, and values are happier than those who pursue goals for other reasons (e.g., extrinsic or defensive reasons).”

In other words, when you understand your motivations, you have the opportunity to fulfill your deepest needs. Following that path is bound to feel a lot happier than taking or keeping a job primarily because of the pay or other external rewards it may offer.

We created the Inside8™ test and formed a community around eight personality groups to help you identify and understand your “ideals, interests, and values”—in short, your motivations.

Applying Inside8™ Test Results

A quick look at each Inside8™ group provides insight into an array of possible career choices that may be fulfilling to you. Here are just a few examples:

  • Primal Enterprisers® tend to have a strong sense of self and a willingness to try new things. At their best, Enterprisers can be curious, courageous, collaborative and action-oriented. If you’re an Enterpriser, a bureaucracy or “corporate” structure may not be for you, and you might consider entrepreneurism, consulting, coaching, counseling or a similar field where your authenticity can flourish.
  • Primal Guardians® tend to be high-energy social protectors. At their best, Guardians care about the well-being of others and work hard to maintain a competitive edge. If you’re a Guardian, you can explore many careers that contribute to the betterment or protection of others, such as the military, law enforcement, teaching and coaching.
  • Primal Harmonizers® tend to seek balance in everything, including work and life. At their best, Harmonizers use their ingenuity and creativity to solve problems and bring together different points of view by facilitating discussion, negotiation and agreement. If you’re a Harmonizer, you might want to explore career opportunities in diplomacy, law, arbitration and conflict resolution. Or, you might want to grow where you’re planted. For example, if you’re in a union, you can look to be more involved and become a lead contract negotiator.
  • Primal Holistics® tend to be resourceful and can thrive as part of a group, or while working alone. At their best, Holistics can be creative catalysts who contribute to team projects by inspiring others. If you’re a Holistic, you might want to consider a career in the creative arts (e.g., product design and development), as an advertising/marketing creative director, or as a writer.
  • Primal Ideators® are often the quintessential “idea people” who can envision and articulate big-picture concepts. At their best, Ideators lead, inspire and influence others with their thinking and ideas. If you’re an Ideator, think about finding a great entrepreneurial partner who prefers the business side of things (hint: Primal Originator®), and leverage your leadership and creative talents to invent new things. Or look for the big companies that have the deep resources and corporate culture that celebrates invention. (Whether they know it or not, Google is calling you.)
  • Primal Individualists® tend to be fulfilled by helping others, while staying grounded by their strong sense of individuality. At their best, Individualists can encourage others with their positive outlook, while taking calculated risks and acting as collaborative leaders. If you’re an Individualist, think about exploring a career in private equity, management consulting or nonprofit management. Those sound like three very different career tracks, but the common denominator is that all of them provide professional settings where you can help others succeed on a large scale.
  • Primal Nourishers® often focus on making themselves better by promoting physical and mental health. At their best, Nourishers inspire others by sharing their knowledge and skills for nurturing personal well-being. If you’re a Nourisher, you have a lot to explore. Athlete, coach, sport psychologist and motivational expert are just a few of the options that might fulfill you.
  • Primal Originators® tend to value personal freedom, while being creative, caring and forward-thinking. At their best, Originators are resourceful, foster collaboration and know how to plan for the future. If you’re an Originator, entrepreneurism is a clear option. There might be a Primal Ideator® out there with a great invention you can appreciate and help bring to reality. Or you can leverage your capacity for planning for everything from becoming a financial advisor to event planning.

These are just a few ideas. If you’re at a career crossroads, we encourage you to look within yourself so that your next move will better align with what really motivates you. It’s the key to making work feel like fun.

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Sean M

Sean Murphy is the founder of Inside8®. He has an M.A. in organizational psychology from Columbia University.

All stories by: Sean M

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PRIVACY POLICY

Leadership Counseling Services, LLC Privacy Policy

Leadership Counseling Services, LLC ("LCS", "we" or "us") knows that you care how your information is used and shared. We appreciate your trust that we will use your information carefully and sensibly. This Privacy Policy ("Privacy Policy") describes our policies with respect to your personal information that LCS collects through its website at www.inside8.com ("Website"), any personality assessment you take that is made available through the website (each, an “Assessment”), and any other tools, assessments, or services we make available to you (collectively, the “Services”).

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INTRODUCTION

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INFORMATION WE COLLECT

Automatically Collected Device Information

When you visit or use the Services, you can explore pages of the Website without providing any information about yourself.  However, when you visit or use the Services, LCS automatically receives and records information from your device and use of the Services, including information about your web browser, IP address, cookie information, unique device identifiers, software and hardware attributes (including the type of operating system you use), mobile network information, what websites or search terms referred you to the Website, date and time of your request and referral to the Website, pages or products that you view, and information about how you interact with the Website and Services. We refer to this information as “Device Information.”

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We also use two third party services, Google Analytics and Piwik, to collect certain Device Information.

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In addition to Device Information, there are instances in which we either collect or require you to disclose “Personal Information.”  Personal Information is information that could personally identify you, for example, your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, birth year, and requested payment information.

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Information We Receive or Collect from Third Parties

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OUR USE OF YOUR INFORMATION 

Device Information

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Personal Information

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We also use the Personal Information you provide us in connection with an Assessment to process the assessment data as well as conduct comparative analytics.  We may strip your assessment data of any personally identifiable information and combine it with other users for research and evaluation purposes.  We do not share your Personal Information provided in connection with an Assessment to third parties without your explicit prior consent.

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Any third parties to whom we may disclose Personal Information (identified herein) may have their own privacy policies which describe how they use and disclose your Personal Information. Those policies will govern use, handling and disclosure of your personal information once we have shared it with those third parties as described in this Privacy Policy. If you want to learn more about their privacy practices, we encourage you to visit the websites of those third parties.

AGGREGATION AND/OR ANONYMIZATION

In addition to the uses and sharing of information set forth above, we may also aggregate and/or de-identify any Personal Information or Device Information (including assessment data) that we collect, such that the information no longer identifies any specific individual. When we do this, we may use, disclose and otherwise process such information for our own legitimate business purposes – including historical and statistical analysis and business planning – without restriction.  We may also share this aggregated and anonymized data with third parties for marketing purposes, and you may see advertisements from companies that align with your interests.

COMMUNICATIONS

In General

When you register for our Services, you may elect to receive promotional, marketing, or other similar emails or notifications that we think you will find useful and interesting, including newsletters, new blog posts, eBooks and other updated content, as well as notifications about our products and services (“Marketing Communications”).  If you voluntarily opt-in to receive such Marketing Communications, you consent to receive these communications from us. 

Opt-Out

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You should understand data via online transmission is not completely secure. We cannot guarantee full protection and security of data, only that we take all reasonable action to protect information sent to us electronically. Transmission of any data by you is at your own risk. Where applicable you may be given access to sections of our Website that require a password. You are responsible for the password’s safety and confidentiality.

THIRD PARTY LINKS

Third party links may be discovered on our Website. These third party links have their own privacy policy, which you agree to when you click on the link. We are not responsible nor do we accept responsibility for third party links. Our liability covers us only on our Service, and thus we do not accept liability for third party links, their privacy practices, or the content of such web sites, as we have no control over them.

DO NOT TRACK

Please note that we do not alter our Website’s data collection and use practices when we see a Do Not Track signal from your browser.

YOUR RIGHTS TO THE PERSONAL INFORMATION YOU PROVIDE

If you are a European resident, you have the right to access personal information we hold about you and to ask that your personal information be corrected, updated, or deleted. You also have the right, where technically feasible, to have Personal Information that you provided based solely on consent to be transferred to you. If you would like to exercise these rights (which you may do at any time) or inquire as to any additional rights you may have under applicable law, please contact us through the contact information below.  We will respond to any request as promptly as possible.

Additionally, if you are a European resident we note that we are processing your information in order to fulfill contracts we might have with you (for instance to fulfill an order), based on your express consent herein, or otherwise to pursue our legitimate business interests listed above. 

Finally, please note that your Personal Information will be transferred outside of Europe, including to the United States, where it is stored.  When we transfer your information to the U.S., we will protect it as described in this Privacy Policy.  We also are working to and have worked to incorporate appropriate safeguards such as standard contractual clauses with any third party processors identified herein.  We further will make best efforts to protect information from EU residents in accordance with applicable law.   

DATA RETENTION

When you purchase the Assessment through our Website or otherwise use our Services, we will maintain your Personal Information for our records unless and until you ask us to delete this information. We may also retain any anonymized and/or stripped data that is not personally identifiable for so long as we deem necessary for our research, analysis, and business planning purposes.  

MINORS

The Services are not intended for individuals under the age of 18, and we do not knowingly collect any personal information from users under the age of 18 years. 

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You have several options when deciding how you can best protect your Information.  One option is simply not to volunteer it.  This approach would allow you to still visit our Services, although it may prevent you, for example, from placing orders or taking the Assessment.  The Federal Trade Commission’s website, www.ftc.gov, also offers useful information about how to protect personally identifiable information provided to a website. 

SUSPECTED VIOLATIONS

If at any time you believe we have not adhered to the policies and principles set forth in this Privacy Policy, please notify us using the contact information provided below.  We will make all commercially reasonable efforts to promptly respond to your concerns. 

CHANGES IN THIS POLICY

We may update this Privacy Policy from time to time in order to reflect, for example, changes to our practices or for other operational, legal or regulatory reasons.  We suggest that you review the current Policy at the start of each visit to our Website.  We will also notify you of material changes to this Policy by posting them to the Website or via email. Unless we clearly express otherwise, we will use Personal Information in accordance with the Policy then in effect.  YOU ARE HEREBY ADVISED THAT YOUR CONTINUED USE OF OUR WEBSITE CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF ANY AMENDMENTS TO AND THE MOST RECENT VERSION OF THIS POLICY.

 

CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS

Under California’s “Shine the Light Law,” California residents have the right to receive information that identifies any third-party companies or individuals that LCS has shared your Personal Information with in the previous calendar year, as well as a description of the categories of Personal Information disclosed to that third party. You may obtain this information once a year and free of charge by contacting LCS by sending an e-mail to connect@inside8.com, or by writing us at Attn: Customer Service Dept., P.O. Box 617691, Chicago, Illinois 60661.

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Effective Date: August 14, 2018.

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