Your personal profile as a weapon in your work

CNN Expansión México

Identifying what characterises you is a fundamental step in becoming a part of projects that allow you to develop. Knowing yourself can help you define align your professional path with with your own personality.

Ivonne Vargas Hernández

MEXICO CITY (CNNExpansión) – With youth unemploymente between 15-24 year-olds standing at 9.4% in Mexico, many people feel a lot of uncertainty about their working lives and what paths to follow professionally. While some search for employment, others think of moving to different companies.

Mexico ranks second in largest labour mobility –that is, the possibility of being hired by a different employer– worldwide, according to a survey by Randstad Holding. At 125 points, it is 23 points above the world average, ahead of countries such as Japan (101st on the list), the US (102 points), and Argentina (112).

The Labour Mobility Index uses three variables in its calculations: how far workers trust they can find a different job, how much they fear being dismissed, and whether they are actively searching for new employment.

If you’re unemployed or wanting to make a change, you must consider that the market isn’t what it was fifty years ago when a certificate guaranteed you a position. Employers now talk of skills, proactiveness and self-knowledge -and all of that together comes at a price.

For every position offered, an average of 200 applications are received, and the recruiter will only take 10 seconds to look over each CV. This requires a more combative attitude in your job applications.

Knowing yourself is a fundamental basis for your professional life. “The problem is that we only begin to know ourselves when life strikes a blow,” says Álex Rovira, author of the book “Good Luck” and a specialist in talent management and self management.

The author affirms that there are few people or organisations that question how people feel at their work, why they are working in a particular place and where they are aiming.

Although this might sound like pure psychology, Rovira argues that segmentation is a measure that should be applied in the working world. In practical terms, you have to try to identify what you can do, where, why, and what you have to offer.

Álex Rovira, who develops projects with the Barcelona Football Club (FCB), points out that it is possible to identify what each person’s prime need is, and with that to generate better ways of interacting in the workplace.

“Few people allow themselves to get to know others,” and people often think others “are out to get them,” in both their personal lives and at work. As most companies don’t take the trouble to really get to know their staff, you can do the exercise yourself in order to understand what really motivates you to stay in a job, what you really need, and what kind of situations make you feel stressed.

Rovira speaks of the following profiles. See if you can recognise yourself or any of your superiors in them.

Empathetic. People who need emotion as a gateway to what they do. They seek personal recognition, need to work in stimulating environments, and expect their bosses to ask them about aspects of their lives, for example. They have a natural gift for serving others and like physical contact. They enjoy being part of a group.

What can go wrong with this personality type? Empathetic people think about how to please others. They will often take sick leave because their efforts to fulfil expectations can end up taking a toll on their health. It can happen that they start off as the office saviours and end up becoming the victims. When this kind of employee ends up in an office environment where he or she does not feel recognised, they can stall and make mistakes because of their keenness to please.

Methodical. These people build their lives around thought, structure and order. Their profile shows great organisation and they dislike too much closeness. They communicate differently. If asked by their boss, “How was your weekend, how’s your family?” they will wonder “What’s she wanting? Just tell me what you want me to do!”

What can go wrong with this personality type? Their premise is excellence. People in this group need structure – engineers are an example. They are very good at relating ideas, but when placed in charge of others can go to the extent of persecuting them. In general they find it hard to delegate and tend to be excessively controlling.

Leader. “Action” describes this profile. They are able to create positive transformation: they like taking risks and conquering and are good at withstanding pressure, though they can sometimes generate it.

What can go wrong with this personality type? They can get ill but carry on working anyway, because sacrifice is their premise.

Persevering. Values are extremely important for these employees. They like their efforts to be acknowledged and don’t like their frameworks of reference being questioned.

What can go wrong with this personality type? They can become too focused on getting recognition; they do and do, but don’t get round to specifying their projects.

The dreamer. These people find it hard to specify, and they normally aren’t the first ones to volunteer to act as they are afraid of making mistakes. If you work with this type of person, you need to be give them very specific requirements.

What can go wrong with this personality type? They prefer not to compete and to live in their own worlds. They like one-to-one type situations, and are inexpressive and quiet. As they are afraid to make mistakes, the more pressurised they feel the less they are able to express themselves.

The rebel. Attention-seekers, this profile tends to dislike teamwork. They are fast thinkers and frank talkers, and hate strict timetables, according to Rovira. Freelance workers can often be found in this group.

What can go wrong with this personality type? They like creative work, and can make contributions on occasions, but when put under extreme stress can be passive-aggressive in their attitudes.

“Taking this information into account can help you to select the people you work with according to the requirements of the job,” asserts Rovira. It can also provide insight into how to win certain employees’ trust; once you achieve this better relationships become possible in the workplace.

In labour relations, Álex Rovira points out that managers need to learn to treat people “taking into account their potential, what they can become,” and to generate areas of trust and respect which will allow people to form commitments.

What happens all to often, though, is that the relationship is focused on the employee’s complaint of “Don’t ask of me what you’re not giving of yourself.”

Do you see yourself in any of these profiles? Listing them doesn’t mean one is better than another. You might have a combination of several of them –the important thing is to learn to recognise them in order to understand what your principles are, how you work, and how you react in certain environments.