Sometimes it feels as if there are too many people up there in my brain

by Vandy on 17 November 2011 · 1 comment

We thought we would share this review received from Lori Bentley, who took the Highlands Ability Battery:

I do not fit into the box of “people who should take a psychometric test”. Those, in my opinion, were the managers, consultants, jargon-titled corporate people out there. The men and women in suits, swarming up the corporate ladder. I am an out of the box, creative, artist, designer. Struggling to make money from ideas. Having brainwaves about odd little concepts. Anything from developing an effective advertising campaign to coming up with a concept to solve a display problem for one of my children’s science fair projects. Sometimes it feels as if there are too many people up there in my brain. Funnily enough, the Highland Ability Battery pegged this – It states : “You have a high number of ideas flowing through your head any any one time. You cannot turn this ability off at will”. Yippee! I’m not going crazy after all.

We are innundated with self help gurus advising us to find ourselves, whether it’s a north star, a bliss or a navel gazing meditation. Another person’s perfect way to success and fulfillment is not necessarily going to make sense or work for you, and there are times when I think that the age of the individual that we are living in now, does nothing to help us find our place in the larger arena of a business.

Back to the Highlands Ablility Battery. This not an IQ test, or a right or wrong test. What I find fascinating about it is that it measures that which is inate in all of us. Our abilities, not our skills. Skills change, we build on them or forget them if we don’t use them, but abilities are with us from the beginning. Very often, abilities are things we don’t recognise in ourselves or they are aspects of ourselves that we know, but had not thought of as a defining aspect of our own make-up. For example, one of the aspects of my personality that emerged from the test was that I am not suited to any job that involves repetition. I know that I hate repetition, but having it emerge from a test as one of my driving abilities (which are very powerful and influence every part of our work lives), crystalised a whole lot of things for me. Why I chose painting as a major in art school instead of printmaking (because each painting was a new immediate experience, each brush stroke an individual mark in the whole, while printmaking involved hundereds of impressions of the same image). Why, if I am given a task that involves repetition, I get antsy and unhappy and have to find ways to change the process every 10 minutes or so for fear that I might start screaming and tearing my hair out.

Most of the test confirmed that I am more or less doing what I should be doing – testing high on spatial relations theory and visualisation, design memory, observation, verbal memory, vocabulary means that working with images and words in a creative setting is where I should be. Low number memory means that I am lucky no-one insisted I become an accountant!

What I had not anticipated was how I was going to apply the results of this test. If you are miserable in your chosen career then it is definitely the test to take, however, I like my daily creative challenges, so what was the point? I was headhunted to go and work for a large publishing company as a senior designer. The people were great, the interview went well, the money and benefits were a huge incentive, I even designed a sample page of their publication for them. Unfortunately, my gut feeling was not all fizzy and excited. I was having severe anxiety about accepting this job. I thought maybe I was being wimpy about change and tried to psych myself out of it. I got as far as having a contract in hand, still feeling terrible, when I remembered my little Highland friend, sitting on my computer, probably screaming “READ ME” if it had a voice. So I read it again and suddenly realised that the job I was about to accept was one that would turn me into a gibbering, mouth-frothing, hair-tearing wreck in about two weeks because I would be turning my back on all my key abilities.

Who’d have thought that I would use this test to reject a job offer instead of actively seeking a specific path? Either way, it is an invaulable tool.

Article by Vandy Massey

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Peter 11 May 2013 at 1:04 pm

You need to clearly distinguish between research and a personal review. This is a personal review. The Highlands Battery has not been researched and the fact that someone quite likes the test should be neither here nor there.

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