Who thought one’s career could be determined by a color? That’s exactly what Shoya Zichy proves in her new book, Career Match: Connecting Who You Are With What You’ll Love To Do.
On Friday, April 13, 2007, Baruch’s Women in Business (WIB) society held an event called “Pearls of Wisdom,” a woman’s leadership conference headed by WIB’s president Kelly Ifill. The event included various speakers, among them Zichy, Dr. Kathleen Waldron, president of Baruch College, and Carla Harris, managing director of Morgan Stanley.
Falling into a career you don’t love or that doesn’t suit your persona is a common occurrence among young people like ourselves on the verge of graduating, or Generation X “kids” just coming to this realization.
When asked in an interview if Zichy had ever found herself in this described predicament, she responded, “I always knew I wanted to work with people but did not know in which area. While I don’t regret any of my careers as teacher, journalist, private banker and now seminar leader, I would have moved forward with greater confidence had I understood earlier the special talents of my personality style.” You don’t have to remain stagnant and unfulfilled, as students learned with Zichy’s model.
Zichy conducted exercises around the Color Q personality model, a derivative of the Myers-Briggs methodology, that serves as the basis of the book. Participants take a 10-minute either-or quiz to determine if they are either of the green, red, blue, or gold primary personality and whether they are either an introvert or extrovert. From this they can define their work- related strengths, ideal work environment, best boss, interviewing style and a broad range of careers suitable for their color group.
Don’t distort perception of personality, though, as I learned from Zichy: “ Your personality type does not determine if you are going to be successful. Your awareness of it does. A recent study of 500,000 people showed 82% of top performers where highly self aware; only 2% of low performers were . So it is not about changing yourself; it is about putting yourself in situations where you can use your natural strengths.”
The fifty people profiled in the book include famous news reporter Diane Sawyer, business moguls and CEOs of successful companies such as Donald Trump, along with our own president, Dr. Waldron. After using Zichy’s assessment procedure, Dr. Waldron was able to assess her personality as a gold, who is generally characterized as responsible, thorough, and wanting to pass on tradition. When discussing her Color Q personality this past Friday, Dr. Waldron stated she believes she is a rising blue—this may mean many transformations for Baruch, as blues are characterized by wanting to change things.
Dr. Waldron, who spoke of leadership at the conference, says to explore your options if you are a student who has not yet chosen a career path. “Research fields of interest, reach out to individuals who are in those fields and ask lots of questions. Find out what the challenges are in those specific professions, and the insight into the true job requirements. Then you’ll know better if a good fit is likely, also how to market yourself appropriately and if a graduate degree is needed for career advancement. Entry level positions can give a college graduate a unique perspective on possible career paths and are essentially a ‘foot in the door,’” she added.
For more information, read Career Match, available in Baruch’s Bookstore, Amazon.com and other book retailers in your area.