Business/Finance

Does the Culture Index accurately describe me? You make the call.

My friend thinks personality tests are hooey, and he’s often right. This one hit pretty close to home, though.

So a couple weeks ago back I put in online apps for a couple of jobs. A new job isn’t plan A, but I will soon know if my first two months at the current gig are reflective of what the rest of my time there will be like. There is great potential here, but if it’s going to always be the way it has been so far it’s not going to be sustainable. Period.

I got an email from one of the jobs with a survey they wanted me to take. The “Culture Index,” it’s called. You first get a screen full of adjectives – dozens of them – and they ask you to click the ones that describe you. Cool – I do so.

Click to second screen. Same thing, except this time it says click the ones that are necessary for you to succeed in your current job. This, folks, is a very different question. Again, I do as prompted.

Holy fucking fuckety fuck. Turns out the two lists of clicked words have almost nothing in common. As in, maybe 2-3% overlap, if that.

I immediately think there’s a message in here somewhere.

Yesterday I got the results back. For the benefit of those who know me, let me just copy and paste and let you decide if they have me pegged or not.

Traits Summary

  • This person is a generalist and may avoid detail by delegating it to others. Naturally decisive, they may seem impulsive or fearless. They may require someone with greater follow up skills to support them, as closure is not something this individual is concerned about on a consistent basis.
  • This individual is analytically and socially inclined. They enjoy technical problem solving, but may delegate issues in order to spend time with people. Their communication style is coercive and at times, persuasive and dynamic.
  • This person is opinionated, but is willing to compromise especially in group efforts. Collaboration is important and this reliance on social skills is balance by their understanding of the situation.
  • This individual acts immediately and wants to complete work as it arrives, even if it means completing several tasks at once. They prefer variety in their work and are energized by pressure and altered demands. They can be a distracting force when placed in redundant work situations.
  • This individual wants problems to solve and may create one in order to have work. Assertive and visionary, this person is decisive and can accept responsibility for their actions.
  • This is a pleasant person whose communication revolves around persuasion and general concepts, although they are capable of using specifics if necessary.
  • This person likes variation in their work, but is capable of focusing on redundant tasks for short periods of time without losing interest.
  • This person may seem compliant in most situations but is capable of exhibiting more expeditious behavior when implied from the work assigned.
  • This person resists structure and regulations in any form. They enjoy a certain amount of chaos and are energized by it. They have little fear of being wrong or of criticism and may show no compunction about jumping into new situations with little information at hand.
  • This individual is behaviorally flexible. They can behave out of character and have some stress resistance. However, long periods of stress may tire this individual and such situations will therefore be avoided if possible.
  • This individual may favor logic over emotions, but can see the value in using both when problem solving.
  • This person thinks so far outside of the obvious pattern, they aren’t aware of what’s “normal”. They are the epitome of thinking outside the box. There is no box. Whether they work with concepts or objects, this person can find rare solutions that may bend business in unexpected directions. Be prepared for suggestions that may or may not be profitable, but always innovative. Ingenuity is enhanced by experience and education.

Job Behavior Summary

  • Due to the work culture, this individual is behaving in a more factual, less persuasive communicative style typically due to an increased focus on the more technical, factual, tangible aspects of their work responsibilities.
  • This person perceives the need to work at a more consistent methodical pace. This individual may also perceive that many facets of their work assignments are highly repetitive and routine.
  • A more methodical approach is seen as necessary within the work culture and may be seen as tiresome, due to the increased need for more repetitive, methodical, and predictable work assignments.
  • Due to the work culture, stronger attention to detail and greater follow through are perceived as a necessity in this position. The position is regarded as requiring an increased degree of structure, procedure, and compliance in the work assignments. This can also signify a greater need for accuracy and for taking a conservative approach to those same work assignments.
  • This individual perceives the need to be much more detail oriented and precise in their work assignments. This is typical of someone who also must be very concerned about the accuracy, specificity and finiteness of their work activities.
  • This individual is exhibiting a high degree of energy units and thus behavioral flexibility. They typically see a need to increase energy level, in order to work successfully within this work culture.
  • This person is not utilizing their natural level of Ingenuity in the work culture. This may result in feelings of under utilization and morale issues.

I shared this with a friend who is notoriously suspicious of personality tests. As in, he rejects them out of hand. In his defense, many are crap, and in my career I have taken more than I can recall. Some are useful, I find, and others you might as well be reading fortune cookies. So I understand his reservations. I do not share his shoot-on-sight mentality, though. Anyway, we went back and forth a couple times and he finally said send him the spreadsheet where I coded each statement so he could check me.

He was being a smartass, as is his wont, but I did. Here are the individual statements, followed by my assessment of how well it describes me and/or the job situation, and then any comments I might have. 1 is doesn’t describe me at all and 5 is describes me very well.

Statement Rating Comment
This person is a generalist and may avoid detail by delegating it to others. 5 VERY true. I’ll dodge detail work any time I can unless it interests me.
Naturally decisive, they may seem impulsive or fearless. 4 Not sure how I SEEM, but yes, I’m decisive.
They may require someone with greater follow up skills to support them, as closure is not something this individual is concerned about on a consistent basis. 5 I need a project manager walking along behind me at all times.
This individual is analytically and socially inclined. 4 Less socially inclined in a work environment than I used to be, but that’s learned behavior.
They enjoy technical problem solving, but may delegate issues in order to spend time with people. 3.5 Like problem solving, absolutely delegate. Spending time with people depends on the people.
Their communication style is coercive and at times, persuasive and dynamic. 4 I don’t like the word coercive but it’s probably true.
This person is opinionated, but is willing to compromise especially in group efforts. 4 Believe it or not this is true. Again, learned behavior. I’m probably instinctively less interested in people’s opinions, but this is how I have to be to survive.
Collaboration is important and this reliance on social skills is balance by their understanding of the situation. 4
This individual acts immediately and wants to complete work as it arrives, even if it means completing several tasks at once. 4 Generally, but it depends on the work. I do find myself trying to do six things at once a lot.
They prefer variety in their work and are energized by pressure and altered demands. 3 Not sure about “energized,” but variety is good.
They can be a distracting force when placed in redundant work situations. 5 Yeah, pretty sure this is very true. Also sure it isn’t my best quality. Distracting is a mild term.
This individual wants problems to solve and may create one in order to have work. 4 I like to think this “create one to solve” is less true than it once was. These days I rarely have a hard time finding a problem at work, though.
Assertive and visionary, this person is decisive and can accept responsibility for their actions. 5 With a caveat. I’m glad to accept responsibility so long as I have been empowered to act. If you give me $5 and tell me to corner a market I accept no responsibility at all.
This is a pleasant person whose communication revolves around persuasion and general concepts, although they are capable of using specifics if necessary. 4 I would say 5 except I’m not sure how pleasant I am anymore.
This person likes variation in their work, but is capable of focusing on redundant tasks for short periods of time without losing interest. 4 Emphasis on “short periods.”
This person may seem compliant in most situations but is capable of exhibiting more expeditious behavior when implied from the work assigned. 4 Probably true. I work hard to SEEM compliant on the outside, even when I want to choke people.
This person resists structure and regulations in any form. 5 I think we can safely accept this one as gospel.
They enjoy a certain amount of chaos and are energized by it. 5
They have little fear of being wrong or of criticism and may show no compunction about jumping into new situations with little information at hand. 4 Assuming the criticism is fair. The second part is on the money.
This individual is behaviorally flexible. 2 Well, depends. Sometimes yes, sometimes not at all.
They can behave out of character and have some stress resistance. 4
However, long periods of stress may tire this individual and such situations will therefore be avoided if possible. 5
This individual may favor logic over emotions, but can see the value in using both when problem solving. 4
This person thinks so far outside of the obvious pattern, they aren’t aware of what’s “normal”. They are the epitome of thinking outside the box. There is no box. 5 The langauge here is a little over the top for a business tool, but yes, compared to most in the professional world I’m very innovatively minded.
Whether they work with concepts or objects, this person can find rare solutions that may bend business in unexpected directions. Be prepared for suggestions that may or may not be profitable, but always innovative. 5 This is made very true by the note that the innovation may not be of any business value. I’ve had ideas that were useful and plenty more that were interesting academically, but nothing more.
Ingenuity is enhanced by experience and education. 4
Due to the work culture, this individual is behaving in a more factual, less persuasive communicative style typically due to an increased focus on the more technical, factual, tangible aspects of their work responsibilities. 5 And here’s where it gets into a run of 5s. This is EXACTLY how I perceive the current job.
This person perceives the need to work at a more consistent methodical pace. 5
This individual may also perceive that many facets of their work assignments are highly repetitive and routine. 5
A more methodical approach is seen as necessary within the work culture and may be seen as tiresome, due to the increased need for more repetitive, methodical, and predictable work assignments. 5
Due to the work culture, stronger attention to detail and greater follow through are perceived as a necessity in this position. 5
The position is regarded as requiring an increased degree of structure, procedure, and compliance in the work assignments. 5
This can also signify a greater need for accuracy and for taking a conservative approach to those same work assignments. 5
This individual perceives the need to be much more detail oriented and precise in their work assignments. 5
This is typical of someone who also must be very concerned about the accuracy, specificity and finiteness of their work activities. 5
This individual is exhibiting a high degree of energy units and thus behavioral flexibility. They typically see a need to increase energy level, in order to work successfully within this work culture. 5 If I understand what this means, it’s saying I’m having to expend a lot of energy adapting to something that isn’t natural to me.
This person is not utilizing their natural level of Ingenuity in the work culture. 4 Actually, there are a number of cases where I am because I’m having to deal with a contrary CMS, and my years of dealing with WordPress is coming in handy. In many ways, this is the best part of the job so far.
This may result in feelings of under utilization and morale issues. 5 Can I put a 6 here?

Do what you will with this. My friends, at the very least, will get a laugh out of parts of it.

In any case, I feel like it did a good job capturing some things about my personality – not all good, I fear – and it does a frightening job of describing my relationship with the new job a couple months in.

As I say, there’s a message in here….

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