Elise Girard came to the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation when she was in between jobs and was using the time to complete her undergraduate degree. She had been involved in the corporate education market for many years and had just left a Product Management position at a small collaboration software company. Elise was about to start a similar job at a new company. She was reasonably comfortable in her profession, but she decided to have her aptitudes measured to gain better understanding of how to work with a new team in the new company, as well as to gain some insight about the types of graduate programs and schools she should consider.
The results of the assessment confirmed that the professional field she was in and the work she had been doing did provide adequate outlets for most of her abilities. Some of the results confirmed her self-estimations much in the same way as Daniel’s results had for him. What we were able to tell Elise, though, went beyond just knowing where her strengths lie and what types of work or roles would be satisfying to her. She said, “As we discussed my results and certain high scores, I gained a new and valuable perspective into how I think and how my aptitudes affect my relationships with my co-workers and fellow students.”
Elise also possessed the ability to generate a rapid flow of ideas. Her responsibilities in software design and development are right in line with these results. She agreed with our assessment, saying, “I’m great with the brainstorming, and getting going once a decision is made, but sometimes I have trouble letting the other ideas go—I often try to do too much instead of selecting the best option and moving with it, and now I understand exactly why that is.” She told us that this knowledge would significantly help her when assembling project teams at her new company. She now would make the effort to identify a co-worker she felt would be able to “… manage the pace and flow of the team and help run with the best solution.”
Another important piece of self-knowledge for Elise involved her ability to find the connection between a set of facts or ideas quickly. This aptitude, Inductive Reasoning, is useful in fields such as medicine, consulting, and trial law. For Elise, it meant that she could adjust rapidly, solving problems as they occurred.
During our discussion of this aptitude, she said she knew she was a fast thinker. She often felt that every problem needed to be decided right now: “I do sometimes have difficulty slowing down and perhaps taking more time to discuss what would be the best solution, rather than follow my natural inclination to do the first thing that comes to mind.” She admitted she sees value in a more careful and deliberate approach at times; she would keep that in mind when working with others and facing situations at work.
Elise’s average score in Structural Visualization also provided valuable insight. People who score high in this area visualize the structure of three-dimensional objects, an ability useful in, for example, the fields of architecture, engineering, and medicine. People who score low tend to be more comfortable in non-spatial professions such as law, marketing or accounting that deal more with words, abstract concepts, or ideas. Someone who scores average tends to be more adept at spatial aspects than people who score low are.
For Elise, her average scores indicated to her “…with a little effort I can understand the more technical aspects of the software and in turn I would be able to communicate these aspects to non-spatial people.” Additionally, she is able to “…interpret non-spatial questions in such a way as to be able to ask the relevant technical questions of the engineers.” This “go-between” ability was something she felt would be an asset in her new position.
Today, Elise is the Director of Educational Services for an international software company. She reports that this new position not only builds on her work experience, but also takes advantage of her aptitudes. “When I was approached about this position…I took the time to review my test scores to see how well the job fit with my aptitudes, and to evaluate how what I learned about my work style fit in with that of my peers and managers. The knowledge I gained from my testing experience helped me make the decision to switch jobs and continues to help me as I interact with colleagues and customers.”
Although she is still in the same field, Elise said she feels able to work more effectively. She told us that because of what she learned—in particular about Ideaphoria and Inductive Reasoning—she is more aware of herself, and would try to use these insights when making choices in her new position. She agreed with our suggestions about being mindful of her aptitudes not just in terms of the actual work that she does, but also in terms of her personality and relations with co-workers.