Five Useful Tools for Self-Evaluation

By: Celine Tarrant

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Whether you are entering the workforce, making a career change, or considering post-graduate studies, self-awareness is critical. You need to understand what motivates and inspires you and what weaknesses and obstacles might prevent you from succeeding. Engaging in some honest self-reflection is essential to making good decisions about your career, higher education, and relationships.

Introspection and self-awareness can be difficult without a starting point. The resources below are ones that we have found most helpful for evaluating and learning about ourselves over the years:

1. The Four Tendencies

The Four Tendencies is a framework that was developed by best-selling author Gretchen Rubin. She believes most people fall into one of four categories when it comes to matters of motivation and habit forming: Questioners, Upholders, Obligers and Rebels. Figuring out which tendency best represents you will help you develop habit-forming strategies specific to how you respond to outer and inner expectations.

We both identify strongly with a particular tendency, but they really came out when we were applying to b-school, so this framework is a femBA favorite!

Emilie: I realized I was an Obliger (readily meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations they impose on themselves) and used this knowledge to tackle the GMAT. I started sharing my goal of scoring 700+ on the GMAT with others and ultimately, my fear of letting people down forced me to study when I felt like quitting. 
Celine: As a staunch Questioner, I tend to only meet expectations if they make sense, thereby turning everything into an inner expectation and resisting outer expectations. For me, this meant that I spent a lot of time questioning studying methods/school choices/the overall case for b-school. Once I found satisfactory answers, I was able to dive in and succeed with minimal external accountability. 

Which tendency most represents you? Find out here.

2. The Grit Scale

Angela Duckworth, the best-selling author of Grit, defines grit as passion and perseverance for long-term goals. In her book, she shares research that shows how Grit, as opposed to other metrics, can be a good predictor of long term success. Gritty people, according to Duckworth, sustain their passion and hard work over long periods of time.

How gritty are you? Take the test here.

3. 16 Personalities

This personality test is one of the most robust free online options out there! The methodology blends popular theories including Myers-Briggs and The Big Five to provide a comprehensive overview of your personality type. The output is a very detailed report of your personality type and how it relates to all aspects of your life from work to romance to family and beyond.

Celine: Starting on a new team at work or school? This is a great test to take together - and then plot out your individual results on a chart to see the overall makeup of the group! I had the opportunity to try this at work via a facilitated session. Not only did it serve as a great icebreaker, but it really helped us get a better sense of the roles we would play on the team and foresee potential areas of conflict.

Find your personality type here.

4. Project Implicit

Project Implicit is a non-profit organization that studies individual’s implicit biases. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) can measure your natural responses to everything from gender to race to weight. While your results might be surprising and maybe even difficult to own up to, this is  great resource to bring some of your own biases to light. Awareness is the first step to change!

Discover your hidden biases here.

5. Truity

Truity is amazing resource with a combination of paid and free options. In addition to a classic personality test based on the popular Five Factor model, their quizzes can help you dig into your career interests, behaviour style and strengths and weaknesses.

Explore the offerings here.

At femBA, we believe self-awareness is crucial for successful business school applications as well as career performance. Have you used other tools we’ve left off our list? Share with us in the comments below.