Testing times

Getting to know your ideal working patterns and learning how to adapt your communication style is so important for freelancers and independents.

We know how easy it is to become introspective and lose sight of the very aspects of your personality that you can draw on when you work for yourself, and spend a lot of time working at home.  More than that, if you work for yourself, then it will help you to figure out some of the things you should be doing more of and what things you should delegate to others.

We know what it’s like to try and do it all yourself.  Recognising what you are brilliant at, and how you complement other people is crucial for moving your business forward.  It’s also important to know whether you are suited to an independent career.  Much as we love the independent life we understand that not everyone is.

Personality and/or psychometric tests have long been used by HR departments to find out how suited you are to join a company and whether you are likely to fit in.  But perhaps they could also be useful for the free-agent.

Life coaches and trainers often use personality indicators and psychometric tests to help their clients understand more about what makes them tick.  If you have to rely on yourself, then it’s all the more useful.  So, we’ve tested the tests, and here’s our little review of the best ones we found.

1. The Big 5

The Big Five appears to be the leading industry personality model, because it works across different cultures, geographies, and languages. In this model, the personality attributes of a person are ‘measured’ in five traits: Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability and Openness/Intellect. The Signal Patterns test extends the model to 45 facets, each mixing two of the Big 5 traits.

The Big Five studies personality in terms of how it changes over time and how it relates to other variables like how confident you are feeling at a certain time.

You can find a free test at outofservice.com.  It’ll take around 10 minutes.

2.  Human Metrics MBTI Test (Myers Briggs)

The MBTI is the precursor to the Big Five and remains the most widely administered personality test, with about 2 million tests taken every year. This is the mother of all personality tests – we’ve done it time after time throughout our careers.

According to the MBTI, all people are classified using four criteria: Extroversion/Introversion, Sensing/iNtuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. Your ‘type’ is then defined depending on how you score in these four criteria.  For example, ENFP.

There are lots of websites devoted exclusively to each of the sixteen MBTI personality types, but The Myers-Briggs Foundation people are quite strict about the way it is applied and communicated.  Their site is the authentic source for further information.

However, the Humanetrics version is free – and widely used.

3.  Keirsey Temperament Sorter

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) is closely related to the MBTI, and uses four temperaments extended to eight roles to model your personality. KTS is also a popular assessment test, taken by 40 million people across universities and companies worldwide.

You might be an Artisan, Guardian, Idealist or Rationalist. Wikipedia provides further information about KTS, including a comparison with MBTI.

4.  The Colour Quiz

Whether you agree with the results of this colour quiz or not, this is surely a fun quiz to take! It was developed by Dr. Max Lascher during the early 1900’s. For most of his life he studied how colour affects behaviour

The test itself is based upon fundamentals in colour psychology. The characteristics of certain colours have been identified to cause an emotional response in people.

Simply go on choosing the color you like the most, in a two step process.

In the results, you get an assessment of your existing situation, stress sources, restrained characteristics, desired objective, and actual problem.

5.  Testdex Personality and Intelligence tests

If you want a complete overview, start here. The site has a complete list of every conceivable test. You can choose just about every type and you can choose your test based on how much time you wish to spend, as you know the number of questions in each test beforehand.

Apart from personality tests, you will also find a handful of Intelligence, Amusing, and Compatibility tests here.

6. Queendom

Like Testdex, Queendom is a website maintained by a company providing psychometric services and psychological assessments. There are tests for everything under the sun on this website (Personality, Love, Health, IQ, Career etc).

Beyond the many tests that make this an attractive site, you will also find that there is an active community, articles, and advice related to all aspects of our life.

7. VisualDNA

This lovely UK born site offers image-based quizzes to let you express the real you instinctively, without the need for precise wording. You can take a series of tests but there’s a free personality test which is great fun.

You need to register with the site to see your results.  It looks like they are ideally suited to the free-agent – there’s a test coming soon called Shape your Life, The which they say is the first step towards helping you to identify which areas of your life need change and how to work on them, and how different areas of your life have a knock on effect on others.

8. Forbes Test of Entrepreneurship

You know we aren’t huge fans of the term entrepreneur – at least when it comes to describing what we are and do as free-agents.  But..

Thomas Harrison, a former cell biologist turned marketing guru at Omnicom Group explores the link between entrepreneurship and genetic architecture in his book, Instinct.  While Harrison concurs in his book that there are indeed born entrepreneurs, he concedes that others may have latent traits, which can be teased out and developed by using the eight techniques described in his book. In that respect, we thought that the Forbes Test of Entrepreneurship was worth including.

Forbes developed an entrepreneurial personality quiz, adapted from Harrison’s book. The 30 questions are geared toward measuring five broad aspects of personality: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. You just choose an answer for each question, and check the results when you’re done.

So, get yourself a cup of tea, settle in with no distractions – and enjoy getting to know yourself again!

Who is Alex Butler

Hello, I'm Alex Butler and I founded the KindredHQ community and blog back in 2011 after I re-started a freelance career. I LOVE freelancing and I wouldn't swop the freedom, control and joy of working for myself for anything. But I realised how much I missed the company and energy of other people - of having a team around me. So, I got a few people together one day with our laptops, a jar of coffee and some jelly babies and we sat and worked together one afternoon. We've been doing that every week in London, UK since then! I am still 100% freelance and I like to share the everyday highs and lows of being a freelancer here on the blog.


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