With 300,000 job cuts planned back in June and July (sorry–statistics lag behind reality) and more cuts hitting the headlines every day or three, with the possibility that unemployment among young people will hit 17% later this year, never let it be said that the government isn’t trying to help the least among us.
And believe me, they think we’re all the least.
What are they doing for us? Why, they’ve created a quiz to help us figure out what jobs we’d be good at if our old careers have crashed and burned, or if we never had a career but our jobs are now cinders, or if we graduated to find the job market in flames and the fire department at half mast due to a decade of austerity budgets, or–
Well, you get the picture.
Ever anxious to help people (that was one of the questions on the test), I’ve taken the quiz so that you don’t have to trouble yourself. And by way of full disclosure, I should tell you that this is a test version of the test, so I’m sure–
I’m sure of nothing. Never mind. It’s a test version. We’ll leave it there.
What the test asks you to do is agree or disagree with a series of statements, and with each question you go deeper into the essence of who you are and what you’re capable of. Then an algorithm compares that with every available shred of information about the job market and spits out your own personal economic self-improvement plan.
How scientific a portrait of you does it build up? Oh, very. Especially when you pick the “it depends” box.
The questions include:
I am comfortable telling people what to do. (I am, but I sometimes need to wait until they’ve pissed me off. Then I’m very good at it.)
I make decisions quickly. (I had to switch to a different tab and type that question up for your benefit, so even though I claimed to make decisions quickly, I took my own sweet time with the question. I don’t think I was penalized for it, but they don’t really tell you.)
I take control of situations. (It depends. On what? Oh, lots of things.)
I like taking responsibility for other people. (It depends. On what? Time, place, and circumstance, mostly.)
I set myself targets and usually meet them. (I accidentally left that one blank and tried to go on. The test sent me back and I said that yes, of course I meet my own targets. But filling out the test correctly was never one of them.)
I think I am a competitive person. (I think I am? If they don’t trust me to know this about myself, why would they think I’m non-delusional about the others?)
I set myself goals in life. (You asked me this once already. Standardized tests often do that to see if you come up with the same answer when the questions come in different forms, but most of them are subtle enough not to hit you on the head with it.)
Doing well in a career motivates me. (Geez, no. What could be less interesting?)
I try to think differently to others. (I don’t try, sweetie. This is the brain I was issued. This is how it works. Yes, it can be interesting in here at times.)
And so on.
At about the halfway mark, I started hitting “It depends” on most of the questions. Because I was bored. Because I wanted to see what they’d do with someone in the absence of any discernible personality. And, of course, because it does depend. Everything depends. It depends on how we’re going to interpret the question. It depends on whether I want to make a good impression on myself. It depends on whether I want to play the game fairly.
Basically, yes, I cheated by not representing my real self, so I don’t claim that the careers scientifically chosen for me are entirely tailored for my oddities, but it turns out that I’d make a good soldier or a good cake decorator.
Also a nursery worker (to translate that, it means working in a preschool; you can see why someone who’d be a good soldier is a natural fit there), a judge (my lack of a law degree doesn’t seem to be a problem), or a dance teacher (the startling number of left feet that were included in the package when I was born present no problem).
And since the travel industry’s thriving right now, I could also retrain as a travel agency manager, a tourist guide, or hotel room attendant. That last one is career-guidance speak for a cleaner.
An assortment of other people who took the test report that they’d be good boxers, lock keepers, or movie projectionists. Lord Google left me with the impression that lock keeping’s a volunteer job. With time and dedication, you can progress up the ladder to be a volunteer coordinator, but probably still as a volunteer. And one of the big movie chains just closed its doors.
Reality has also closed its doors. Movie projectionists are looking to retrain as lock keepers.
That leaves boxing. I’d make a good boxer, competing in the overage runt category. But when they asked if I was competitive I said, “It depends,” so they didn’t suggest it for me.
If you’ll excuse me now, I have a couple of cakes to shoot. I don’t like doing this, but orders are orders.