Know Yourself - Continued

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Three scenarios in which I lacked motivation to accomplish something include:

  • When I worked all by myself after my boss died and my new supervisors were not accessible.
  • When I had to process details all day, day after day-entering data, completing forms, and other rote tasks that only challenged my patience but did not engage my mind.
  • When I felt like my employer was making decisions that sacrificed his employees.

I felt appreciated by people when:

  • I got a significant raise after having my value to the company reconsidered.
  • My supervisor and colleagues verbally praise my efforts and thank me for my way of working.
  • My supervisor expressed confidence in my abilities and did not micromanage me, but spent time helping me when I needed support or ran into problems.

By analyzing even these first five questions, we get a sense of what kind of job would fit Suzanne well. For example, we see that Suzanne enjoys influencing people; each of the accomplishments that she enjoyed includes affecting the way that other people think or act. She also feels gratified when she is able to bring people together for a common purpose they might have overlooked. The things that make Suzanne proud are a bit more diverse. Some include a sense of meeting difficult challenges-like learning French through immersion and raising the bar of performance or being in shape. Having vision means that she has something to offer that affects common purpose. Acting ethically toward people also seems important to her.

It already begins to make sense, then, that she would feel motivated to accomplish things when she initiates them, when she is accountable to other people, or when she needs to meet a specific goal. Deadlines appear to affect her in positive ways by helping her to focus when she might not otherwise. Contrarily, her energy and drive are sapped when she works in isolation without gaining feedback, when the tasks are rote and do not require creativity or initiative, and when she perceives that people are treated badly. She feels appreciated by her employer when her supervisor recognizes her vision, drive, and ability to focus and gives her the space she needs to excel while still staying connected with her. She feels appreciated when her company gives her a raise for good work, but also when others verbally praise her. And, even though she likes to work without tight supervision, she feels appreciated when her supervisor has time for her.

Intriguing as these discoveries might be for Suzanne, she cannot unload her personal psyche on the interviewer. She still has to formulate professional responses to specific questions. Knowledge about the company provides guidance for how to craft these materials. Self-knowledge provides the raw materials for devising compelling responses.

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