Hey blog, it’s been awhile.
After graduating in May, I started my full-time job as a Professional Development Assistant at a law firm in NYC’s financial district. So far – it’s been a whirlwind. I love my managers and my Professional Development team within the firm’s human resource group. I’m one of the youngest on the team, so it’s a blessing to be surrounded by mentors and colleagues that can share wisdom from their years of experience.
My job is a mix of admin and interpersonal work – mostly dealing with attorneys’ CLE (continuing legal education) requirements and tracking their progress in our Micron database. However, there’s also a lot of fun event planning for weekly professional development activities and the creation of new orientation programs for incoming associates. As I learn the ins and outs of PD in the legal industry, I’ve started looking into next steps – where do I see myself in 5 years and how can I get there?
Last week, I took a practice LSAT. However, after talking to attorneys and researching practice areas, I’ve realized – no, I don’t want to be a lawyer. While I’m interested in human rights and public policy, I can’t see myself wading through hundreds of pages of legalese each day or pursuing corporate law (the most bang for your buck if you’re investing in law school). That path requires insane meticulousness and provides little to no work-life balance.
Throughout college, I realized my love for career coaching and professional development. As VP of Professional Development for TCNJ’s American Marketing Association, I thrived in giving presentations on interview skills, resume formatting, and LinkedIn. However, my current position deals more with the admin side of PD – organizing events, ordering refreshments, and coordinating external and internal speakers. Since we aren’t experts in the legal industry, we can only play a supportive role throughout the process. I realized that I crave the interpersonal aspects of PD – mentoring others, creating and distributing curriculums, and watching growth occur firsthand. I’ve also realized that I don’t need a law degree to teach professional development. Instead of pursuing a JD, I’m hoping to get an MBA in management/consulting or marketing and enter a role within one of those fields that allows me to focus on investing in others rather than simply dealing with the administrative side of event coordinating.
Taking online personality tests helped me understand myself a lot better. 16 Personalities offers a free test and I was slightly spooked at how accurate my results were. I tested as a Protagonist Personality (ENFJ-A / ENFJ-T) and as I read the description of my strengths, weaknesses, and motivations, I felt like I was looking in a mirror.
This paragraph, along with many others, reinforced my conviction to pursue a leadership role with mentoring components (and avoid the extremely detail-oriented careers that may suck away all my joy and life).
Another great resource was the Enneagram Institute where I realized that out of nine personalities, I’m Type Three. Reading the description helped pinpoint my weaknesses – primarily my basic fear of worthlessness and tendencies towards workaholism in striving to prove my value.
These tests not only confirmed the environments I thrive in, but pitfalls to avoid and characteristics to improve. If you’re currently job hunting – or even questioning whether you’re studying the right major/pursuing the best career, take a few personality and aptitude tests. Talk to others in the industry (when I was considering law, I reached out to my aunt who worked in corporate law for years!).
During my final year of college, I was stressed that I had chosen the wrong major (Communications/Marketing/Management) and wished I picked finance, or another field that imparted “hard business skills.” However, unless your field is so specialized that it requires technical knowledge and expertise (medical, engineering, accounting) – you can learn most skills on the job. If you’re interested in marketing, human resources, public relations, or anything within that field – feel free to reach out! Coffee on me; I’d love to hear what motivates you to wake up each morning and where you see yourself in 5 years 🙂
Other helpful personality tests:
- This free DISC personality test determines your profile based on your tendencies towards Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance tendencies – explaining and predicting your daily behavior.
- Similar to the Myers-Briggs Indicator, the Jung personality test evaluates how you deal with people, process information and make decisions. Are you an extravert or introvert?