After a bachelor’s degree and several years as a student collaborator, I thought that testing the Navigator could bring no surprises. But after completing the personality test, the results were very different from what I had expected. Was it my fault, was the system inaccurate, or did I not interpret the results correctly? I investigated the matter using the personal profile interpretation option.
Path to the spider web
The story begins with a personality test, which takes no more than 20-30 minutes exploring areas such as your role in your friendships, your everyday habits and behavioural traits in different situations, as well as your communication skills and personal competences. You are asked to rate on a scale of one to ten how relevant you think the statements are in relation to yourself, and it is important not to think too much about the answers but to go with the first instinct. There are no right or wrong answers in input measurement, but only typical or less typical options, as the test is not intended to assess cognitive abilities or competences, but only personality.
Having completed the questionnaire, your profile is created, reflecting your preferences and skills. One element of the profile is the characteristics map, which is more like a spider’s web and contains 5 character pairs, that is, 10 character traits altogether. The generalist-specialist axis shows whether you aim for comprehensive general knowledge or whether you prefer to go deeper into a particular focus area. The theoretical-practical axis represents a duality of timeless skills and competences close to application. The associative-analytical axis distinguishes established patterns of thinking, while the interpersonal-intrapersonal axis is concerned with social competences and skills in the context of university community and professional career. Finally, the pragmatic-idealistic axis examines the internal motivations behind major choices during your life path as a student and later in your career.
Your personal map is then compared with 5 specific modes of behaviour. These include thinking, representation, entrepreneurship, creating, and building. Depending on the percentage of matches between your personal map and the different modes, the Navigator also assigns some career anchors that can help you choose your possible future career.
How could I be a consultant?
After completing the test, I found a 78% match with consulting as a career anchor apparently closest to me. Before that I had always been sure that if anything I would never become a consultant. Did I make some mistakes by filling in the questionnaire? Well, it was nothing like that.
Navigator also has a profile interpretation option. To get a better understanding of the results received, my spider web, I booked an appointment through the platform within a few minutes. In my case, the consultation was conducted online, but it is also possible to arrange face-to-face meetings. The whole thing took about 45 minutes and certainly revealed some new insights.
The consultation starts with a short introduction where you describe your academic history, career, and goals. It is important to note that there are no wrong answers during the interview and that you can always ask questions with feedback on your results.
The second part is about interpreting the characteristics map. You may also reflect on the results you receive to see how much you agree with the description of your character traits. This helped me a lot to better understand the axis pairs and to reflect on my own behaviour patterns. After discussing the axis pairs with the consulting mentor, I realised that in most cases the results indicated by the map were actually relevant, so it had nothing to do with making mistakes in the questionnaire.
The next step was to interpret the five modes of behaviour. Each mode is associated with a characteristic map that the system compares with your own. Finally, you get percentage results with a ranking of the modes of behaviour that are most typical for you. For me, entrepreneurship, representation, and thinking were the most typical modes, and as there was a tie for the first place, it indicates that there is no single right answer. In a way, all modes of behaviour are present in your life, even if not necessarily to the same degree.
Your typical modes of behaviour provide the basis for your career anchor list, which also indicates some more concrete career directions. Again, it is important to note that there is usually more than one direction that can be right for you, and so the results can help with orientation and thinking.
The career anchor that is most typical for me is consultancy, but it does not mean that I will have to work for a consultancy firm. Based on the description, “a consultant’s greatest strength is his steady focus on goals and results. Despite his thorough and structured method of thinking, he tends to take a creative approach to issues from time to time that is outside the box. In addition to creating abstract theoretical systems, he also has a realistic vision of the path leading to them. He can get on well with people in general, and there is not a single complex, abstract concept, or issue that he cannot easily convey to his audience.”
Therefore, career anchors are not about a specific career, but rather a career direction based on current competences, and a personality can fit several career directions. For example, a consultant’s typical modes include thinking, entrepreneurship and representation (these were the most dominant ones for me), but the same can also be found in relation to Ambassador, Coach/Instructor or Startupper modes.
It helps to think, but it doesn’t tell the future
After the consultation, I realised that my results were not so far fetched; I just needed help with interpreting them. That is why I recommend using the profile interpretation option: It provides an opportunity to reflect on yourself, your personality, and your competences in your own time, assisted by an expert.
But the journey doesn’t end there, as the Navigator also offers various courses and extracurricular activities to develop the different modes. These can help develop your focus areas, but also give an opportunity to develop certain less characteristic behaviour modes. If you are unsure about your goals and career direction, you can also participate in an orientation session with educational mentors and later in a career consulting session provided by Student Support. We will come back with an article on these at another time.
Your spider web, and therefore your matching behaviour modes and career anchors change with your academic progress, and looking back, you can reflect on how much and in what ways you have improved during your university years. Meanwhile, you can also make discoveries, as I did during my consultation. This is how I realised that certain traits, such as interpersonal communication, were not among my strengths at the beginning of my undergraduate course in Communication and Media Studies. But over the years, it turned into one of my strongest character traits.
And just because I ended up consulting as my anchor, it does not mean that I should become a consultant. A career anchor is not the same as a job, but it provides a general direction to guide your progress in whatever way. And a successful career choice takes more than a moment’s decision: it requires continuous reflexion, resilience, and adaptation to a constantly changing world, a process in which the Navigator platform can support you through profile interpretation, orientation, and career consultation.
Author of the Hungarian version: Máté Kovács