So per my father’s recommendation, I took what’s called the “Strong Interest Inventory”. It’s a personality test–often used alongside the Myers Brigg–to help you identify the professional roles and environment that best suit you.

It breaks down your results into “General Occupational Themes”, “Basic Interest Scales”, “Occupational Scales”, and “Personal Style Scales”. They preface the results with a disclaimer that the information serves to help identify your interests and not your skills or abilities. 

As a clinician, I understand that all tests and research are flawed; however, I figured I had nothing to lose, it might provide interesting information, and will at least either confirm suspicions about myself, or encourage me to revisit the drawing board.

Sure enough, it confirmed certain traits I had identified in myself during my professional and personal journey.

So here’s how it panned out.

General Occupational Themes: Describes your interests, work activities, potential skills, and personal values in six broad areas: Realistic (R), Investigative (I), Artistic (A), Social (S), Enterprising (E), and Conventional (C).

My results? By far the highest was Enterprising, followed by Social and Artistic, making me an “ESA” in this test’s vernacular. This piece of information alone explains while the Nursing field [particularly working in a gargantuan system] satisfied me to only a certain extent. It certainly fulfilled my social needs. Working as a cog in a giant hospital, which was a cog in the enormous healthcare system at large is the complete antithesis of anything remotely entrepreneurial. It systematically squelches innovation and stagnates movement–albeit sometimes for good reason. And creativity? The more creative you are in practicing medicine, the worse of a provider you are! Let’s not reinvent how to treat Asthma, for instance–follow the guidelines and never deviate until it’s discovered that Long-Acting Beta Agonists [a type of inhaler previously ubiquitously presided] is linked with DEATH! Whoops. Ok, guidelines change–now we follow…

Basic Interest Scales: Identifies specific interest areas within the six General Occupational Themes, indicating areas likely to be most motivating and rewarding for you.

My results?

  1. Sales: a profession my father strongly discouraged me from entering but I am now strongly considering
  2. Entrepreneurship: hence my continual search for the next big idea
  3. Writing and Mass Communication: uh, this blog speaks for itself
  4. Marketing and Advertising: where my professional career began!
  5. Athletics: where my heart belongs! And how I spend a good 12-20 hours a week…

Occupational Scales: Compares your likes and dislikes with those of people who are satisfied working in various occupations, indicating your likely compatibility of interests.

My results?

  1. Broadcast journalist – don’t think I want to work in that environment!
  2. Restaurant Manager – I’d eat all the profits! Also, not the type of life I’m seeking.
  3. Wholesale Sales Rep – seems kind of randomly specific… I could do sales! I think I’d kick ass…
  4. Flight Attendant – has always been on my radar. Getting paid to travel?! Wonder how much leisure time it would allow, though. I hear the perks aren’t what they used to be…
  5. Parks & Recreation Manager – this would be cool! However a bit lonely, I imagine…
  6. Sales Manager – yup! I think this is me.
  7. Advertising Account Manager – my previous job… perhaps I should return?
  8. Instructional Coordinator – I’m looking at Clinical Educator roles to train pharma/device sales teams, to teach Nursing, and other related functions. Translating medical information in entertaining and understandable ways to the lay person is, I believe, my greatest strength as an NP.
  9. Arts/Entertainment Manager – this sounds super fun! Not sure how you get started in this type of gig..
  10. Human Resources Manager – gets a pretty bad rap, although I think I could potentially be good at it. Except when it came down to hurting people’s feelings and negotiating.

Personal Style Scales: Describes preferences related to work style, learning, leadership, risk taking, and teamwork, providing insight into work and education environments most likely to fit you best.

My results?

  1. You likely prefer working with people. Duh.
  2. You seem to prefer to learn through lectures and books. Hmm that explains my three bachelor’s and one master’s degrees…
  3. You probably prefer to lead by taking charge. Ha! I bet certain friends and family members could comment on this one.
  4. You may like taking risks. May?! Absolutely.
  5. You probably enjoy participating in teams. Yup! Although only when I have the freedom to also get my sh*t done–and get rewarded for my individual contributions.

All in all, I enjoyed taking this test! As a Nurse Practitioner, though, I’ve learned that all tests need to be taken within context. An isolated laboratory result, for instance, must be interpreted in conjunction with the patient’s history and physical exam in order to be truly meaningful. And also, the test needs to be questioned for validity.

So I won’t take this information as bible, but it certainly confirms certain views I’ve had about myself, which provides relief and focus. Now, just gotta find the way to churn this information into income!