Updated: Sep 5
“Learning about your personality type is fascinating, but there’s a deeper purpose to it, too – because self-understanding is what helps you ensure that you don’t miss out on whatever it is that you were put on this earth to do.” -16Personalities
Self-assessment tools have become a popular tool for educators, professionals, coaches, and individuals, as they are useful for team building and personal growth.
As a result, the market is flooded with options. For example, there is Myers-Briggs, Strengthsfinder, Keirsey Temperament Sorter, Big Five Personality Assessment, Holland Code, and Strong Interest Inventory, just to name a few.
If you’re interested in taking a personality assessment and don’t know where to begin, I recommend 16Personalities. This tool is free, easy to complete, and provides comprehensive, insightful results. There is an option to pay if you would like a deeper insight into your results, but the free version is a great starting point. I also recommend the Strong Interest Inventory, which you can take at The Assessment Site for $40.
Regardless of which tool you choose, there is value in developing a strong sense of self-awareness, as it can be effective when working with others, and help you succeed in your career.
The 16Personalities assessment provides results in different categories, and one of them I found incredibly helpful and accurate was “Workplace Habits.” This illustrates your most important values and top needs for a satisfying work environment. Since we can’t always have it all, and don’t always love every element of a position, it’s helpful to understand what is most important and nonnegotiable for you.
Another common insight provided by these assessments is your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, or natural preferences. Understanding your strengths is essential, because strengths have limitless potential for growth. When you think of a strength, this is something you enjoy doing, that feels natural, and often - you’re so zoned in and in-tune while doing it that you lose your sense of time. Your strengths energize you.
We all have weaknesses, and being aware of weaknesses is also key. When you think of weaknesses, they are something you often dread doing, and afterward, you feel exhausted and depleted. Working on enhancing your weaknesses can be beneficial. We can certainly always improve. However, it’s more important to simply be aware of your weaknesses so that you can 1) work effectively with others, and 2) intentionally select work that requires less of your weaknesses and more of your strengths.
When you are aware of your weaknesses, and you work with teammates who are also aware of their weaknesses - that is the optimum setting for success. Good teams are more concerned with accomplishing their goals than feeding their egos. They purposefully assign tasks to members in areas they are skilled in. They have teammates who know one another, and lean on each other for their strengths.
Additionally, being self-aware helps you to build a career more centered around your strengths. For example, my first job was planning educational trips. I loved the planning, organization, and logistics. But occasionally, I would have to serve as a Tour Guide. As an introvert, I absolutely dreaded and hated being a Tour Guide. It took everything out of me. Since developing this awareness, I have leaned more heavily toward one-on-one experiences and behind-the-scenes work. Trying to enhance your weaknesses can feel like swimming upstream, while working on your strengths can feel like you’re in rhythm with your soul.
Our self-assessment results can evolve and change as we do. If you take one test at two different stages in life, varying results may signify growth. It’s also common to receive similar results at different stages. Either way, developing your sense of self-awareness is a continuous practice that can be valuable in many of life’s stages.