Daniel Taylor September 5 2023

When I grow up, I want to be…

I’ve recently been preaching the virtues of understanding your Facet5 profile to some groups of interns at one of my clients in the engineering sector. It reminded me of those lessons at school which were designed to help you prepare for the future where you answered a series of questions that were fed into a computer which, two weeks later, spat out a series of jobs matching the way you had answered the questions.

I’ll never forget the one that came out top of my list. Shop window designer. Other than stints working in Woolworths, Dixons & Virgin Megastore it couldn’t have really been further from the truth. What I never got to the bottom of was what my answers were saying about me, my preferences, motivators, and drivers.

WARNING: Facet5 will not and was not designed to tell you that you should have been a rock star, bank manager or Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Let’s see how it can enhance understanding and generate conversation around careers, job choices and development.



Firstly, let’s take a look at the final page of the full Facet5 report which details work preferences. This is a great add-on to the profile and especially good at describing what will engage a person in their job. Remember: it is based on the four main factors and reflects your score each time.

POWER:                               Do you like to have a lot of influence or prefer to take direction?

PARTICIPATION:               Do you enjoy collaborating, or prefer to work by yourself?

PEOPLE:                               Do you prefer to share information, or gather for your own use?

PROCESS:                            Do value organised, or freer environments?


Using these four values, your work preferences are then outlined in terms of your drives, motivators and demotivators.

Here’s one of each which struck a chord with me:

  1. I enjoy persuading and influencing others; it motivates me when I know my opinion is valued and I have the chance to contribute.
  2. I will like working in a dynamic and informal environment; informal is important here, it has to be fun at the same time.
  3. It will demotivate me to deal with too many people issues; I would definitely find this more of a distraction than something to relish!


The information above becomes valuable because it offers an interpretation of your results which can be shared with both your line manager and anybody else who needs to know what makes you tick.

I often speak to frustrated line managers who struggle with some aspects of career & development discussions; often it is knowing where to start and having the right questions up your sleeve. Armed with the Facet5 profile and Work Preferences report, it is much easier to ask questions and open conversations about current and future development.

Here are some ideas:

  • What do you enjoy most about your job and would do more of if you could?
  • Which aspects of your job do you find the most challenging?
  • What are the non-negotiables about your next role?
  • What are your least favourite parts and could do without?
  • Which parts of your role do you most look forward to?

There are also wider applications here when considering internal talent conversations and thinking about internal mobility; it can help to ensure that individuals have properly thought-through their next role, making it ultimately a more satisfying and engaging move.

So, next time you look at your profile go to the back page and see what it tells you about your work preferences. Next, think about your current role and see how it overlaps with your drivers and motivators; you may want to make adjustments, have a conversation with your manager about how it lines up OR you may even decide to follow a new path…shop window designer or otherwise!

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