Gretchen Rubin’s book “The Four Tendencies“ provides a four personality types test for anyone curious about their own personality type.
For job seekers, the Four Tendencies is an insightful and practical guide to understanding personality types and how they affect your behavior.
The book is about the four different personality types that she believes most people fit into… The four personality types are:
Obligers: Obligers will do what others ask without much prodding. They like the external structure and expectations of others to drive them. They can have issues setting and meeting internal expectations and goals, though.
Upholders: Upholders can meet both internal and external expectations. They make great entrepreneurs.
Questioners: Questioners can meet internal expectations, but have trouble meeting external expectations unless they are congruent with their internal expectations. Questioners also like having a lot data and they question everything. Questioners can be tiresome because they want to understand things so much so that they can internalize it. The constant search for more data, combined with a need to understand everything can manifest itself in seeking “certainty” or a “guarantee”.
Rebels: Rebels have trouble meeting both internal and external expectations. Basically if you ask a rebel to do something, you’re likely to be disappointed with the outcome. Supposedly rebels make good independent salespeople because they’re constantly challenged with new environments, etc.
Rubin offers a free “Four Tendencies” four personality types test on her website that you can take for free.
I took it and confirmed what I suspected… I’m a questioner.
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What’s The Best Job Type For a Questioner?
I think the best types of jobs for questioners are those where you have a clear “why“, not just the “what“…
For instance, if you are interested in saving the environment, it helps to be able to apply this interest to your job – whatever that is… This way, you won’t necessarily be questioning why you’re doing what you do.
My personal story is that – after working for myself for many years – I found myself working as an insurance broker.
On one of my first few days on the job, one of the company founders gave me a bit of advice…
“Specialize“, he said.
Since everyone needs insurance, including for personal and business reasons, it’s applicable to almost any area of interest.
So, if you are interested in the environment, or cars, or sports, or construction or Internet startups, or healthcare or whatever, you can find an insurance niche this way.
As a questioner, knowing you have a “why” can help keep you on track in a new industry where you have a lot of questions about things… Such as if you don’t understand why things are being done a certain way.
For instance, many processes in the insurance industry are old and antiquated… The rules are complex, and governed differently, from state to state. There are forms required for everything to comply with local laws and regulations.
Questioners need to understand why they’re doing something and internalize the why.
Questioners and Upholders may make good partners because they both value reasoning…
While Obligers and Rebels can balance each other out by providing external motivation and challenging the status quo, respectively.
Summary of Four Personality Types Test
Gretchen Rubin’s “The Four Tendencies” introduces four distinct tendencies, each representing a different way of responding to expectations, both internal and external:
- Upholder:Tends to meet both internal and external expectations with ease
- Questioner: Needs to understand the rationale behind expectations before they can comply.
- Obliger: More likely to meet external expectations but struggle with internal ones.
- Rebel: Resists all expectations
As a job seeker, you can relate to real-life examples, anecdotes, and the four personality types test to help identify your own tendency, and then use that knowledge to choose the job that’s right for your personality type.
You may also learn how your tendency can collaborate with other tendencies to work together effectively.
Overall, I believe you will like “The Four Tendencies” because it’s an engaging and practical read… It may not only help you better understand yourself, but also be a valuable resource for your personal and professional development.