" /> Eric Plaut

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Written by Eric Plaut

Daniel Keyes discusses in his 1966 novel Flowers for Algernon about an exam the book’s protagonist Charlie Gordon has to take.  This exam is known as the Rorschach test where a person tries to identify objects he or she sees through a series of pictures with inkblots.  There is no right or wrong answers.  It only matters from what a person perceives each drawing to be.  Charlie tells the doctors that he can only see inkblots.  He then concludes in his day’s journal entry that he thinks that he failed the “raw shok” test.

During my job search at one point, I had been given a series of questions by Mike, a job counselor.  As with the Rorschach test, there are no right or wrong answers one can give.  The answers were about me, my interests and what was important in my life at the time of the test.  In other words, it was a time to step back and really learn about myself.

There were three sets and on each page, I set up the page in a T-form.  If you had taken an Accounting course at college, you’ll understand this concept.  Remember the old theory: “Debit, left; credit, right”?  (Debit and credit are derived from left and right in Latin.)  Using a legal pad or a notebook, draw a horizontal line where the top line of the notebook is, then draw a vertical line from the middle of the top line to the bottom of the paper.  Do this with three pieces of paper, and you’re ready to go.

On the first page, write What am I good at? on the left column and at the right put down What am I less good at?  For page two, on the top of the first and second columns, write What do I like to do? and What do I like less to do?  The final page shows two more questions about oneself: What is the most important at this stage in my life?  and What is the least important at this stage in my life?  Upon starting this test, you might have noticed something important about each question in the right-hand column.  Certain words have been replaced.  “Bad” is replaced with “less good” on the first page.  “Like less” substitutes “hate” or “don’t like” on page two, and “least important” takes over for “not necessary” on the final exercise.  Mike explained to me how the exam doesn’t contain negative words (i.e. bad, hate, don’t like) since each response varies per person.

Each of these questions requires serious introspection.  The questions tend to get one to seriously think about their talents, interests and priorities in their life.  Make sure to do this test with as minimal distractions as possible.  Don’t worry about having more answers on one side than the other when you fill up each column.  It doesn’t need to have an equal number on each side.  Just be honest with yourself as you write down your responses. 

You might be surprised with some of your answers.  Maybe it was something you hadn’t thought about before.  You may have heard people mentioning something to you which may not have made sense to you at the time.  But all in all, it feels good to see something about yourself in writing.  It’s a way to follow up and set some goals for yourself.  Just make certain to update your lists every now and then.  It’s important to keep recreating yourself.

See you in the next issue of Consciousness magazine.  Got to go and update some of these lists for myself!

Consciousness or I will not accept any responsibility for any of the material written in this article.  This writing just tells of ways of innovation to help one with the job search.  It’s considered, by all means, a learning piece.  So enjoy and best of luck on the job search!