While exploring ways to find my calling in life (aka my meaningful path) I discovered the Enneagram of Personality. It is a typology of nine personality types where each type is represented by different points of a geometric figure called an enneagram. I discovered that this model of personality can be particularly useful in finding your ideal career since it examines people’s strengths and values rather than simply describing personality traits.
After reading a bit about each of the nine personality types here I immediately identified which type I am. After completing a free online test at enneagraminstitute.com my suspicions were confirmed. I’m a Type 4, an Individualist. Reading the description of a Type 4 blew me away. It was so accurate it was almost unbelievable! How the hell do these people know everything about me?! The descriptions of each personality type outline the basic fears and desires of that person as well as their key motivations. The descriptions even explained how each type feels and acts when they are at their best and their worst. It can be a little confronting to read about your basic fears and unhealthy behaviours but I know that what I read is accurate for me (based on how well I know myself) and I will definitely take it on board.
I decided to delve deeper into this model of personality and uncover ways to directly link it to finding an ideal career. I came across a book called ‘The Career Within You: How to Find the Perfect Job for Your Personality’ by Elizabeth Wagele and Ingrid Stabb. The book uses the Enneagram of Personality to help the reader find a career that suits their strengths, needs and objectives. Elizabeth Wagele’s blog is also quite helpful since it outlines the three elements each personality type looks for in a job. According to Wagele, the needs of my type, the Individualist (aka Romantic), are:
Working for money and contributing compassion
Affiliating and following a meaningful profession
Following one’s passion and creating beauty
That sounds about right to me! The needs listed above are quite broad though so I will need to look into it further (I literally just bought the book online before I even finished this sentence). While this method of finding my ideal career can be useful because it focuses on values (which I think are relatively stable) I believe that a person’s strengths, weaknesses, fears, desires, motivations, emotions and behaviours are all malleable. So I will continue exploring a variety of resources to ensure that I don’t overlook anything and stay on the right track.
How do you find your calling? I have been pondering this question for some time now as I have never really found what I want to do with my life. I have many interests and a lot of ideas for projects and career paths but I struggle to stick with one idea and run with it (at least for an extended period of time!). Like most people, I want to do something that is enjoyable and meaningful. I want to create, learn, explore, help people, have fun and have as much freedom as possible. I just can’t seem to find a way to have all these things and make money at the same time! Surely there is something out there for me!
I have been trying to work out what I want to do with my life by thinking about my skills and interests. This has not been very effective and I feel more like Lost Lisa than Crazy Lisa right now. So, I’m going to do what I usually do when I feel lost and helpless. I’m going to research. Rather than sit around hoping that one day I will miraculously discover (or fall into) my ideal career or spend money on careers counselling I am going to do it myself. I will explore my psychological and personality traits, my interests and values, my skills and talents and whatever else I find relevant along the way. What I discover may or may not lead me to the answer I am looking for. I may come up with a formula to find my calling, I might stumble upon it during my research or I might not find anything at all. Whether I work out what I want to do or not, I am sure I will learn a lot about myself in the process.
I will try to ensure that all of the resources I use are online and free. This is so that you can use them if you wish to go through the same process. As we all know, there is an enormous amount of information that is accessible to us, we just have to take the time to find information of quality (which I intend to do). I will use the resources I find useful as a guide and will employ critical thinking to ensure I don’t blindly accept everything I read. I will also use the existing knowledge I have about myself and my intuition to help me through the process. As I discover useful resources, I will share them with you and explain how they are helping me in my quest for finding my new meaningful path.
Are you doing what you absolutely love? If so, how did you discover it?
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