How’d You Score that Gig?“Analyzing what you haven’t got as well as what you have is a necessary ingredient of a career.” – Orison Swett Marden

Mondays are my favorite day to review career books. Why? Because most people are at work and if you landed at Queercents during business hours: 1. you have too much time on your hands, 2. you’re more interested in what’s “out there” than what’s on your desk, 3. you truly believe that you can multi-task with your feedreader maximized on the monitor. You’re probably listening to an iPod too. What am I going to do with you twentysomethings?

Ok, kiddies gather around. Maybe it’s time to find the right job and here’s the book that will help you. In How’d You Score That Gig?, Alexandra Levit deconstructs sixty of the greatest, coolest, I-want-one-of-those jobs. Here’s how she did it:

I selected the cool jobs via an online survey in which I asked nearly five hundred twenty- and thirtysomethings to tell me about their dream careers. Based on the responses, I generated a list of the top sixty careers and constructed a fairly comprehensive profile of each using the information I gathered from written sources and in-depth interviews with more than a hundred individuals currently holding the jobs.

Then I researched various personality-type measures to develop my seven “passion profiles”… and placed the sixty cool jobs into the appropriate categories.

What are those categories? It’s easier to cut and paste from the Amazon editorial review:

  • an Adventurer: You’re spontaneous, free-spirited, and you always ready for change = foreign services officer, oceanographer, news correspondent
  • a Creator: You’re always looking for a way to express yourself = video game designer, book author, landscape architect
  • a Data Head: You have an uncanny knack for gathering and organizing information = computational linguist, meteorologist, urban planner
  • an Entrepreneur: You have business savvy and don’t want to be chained to a desk = blogger, boutique owner, inventor
  • an Investigator: You excel in science, logic, and learning = futurist, classic-car restorer, field archaeologist
  • a Networker: You’re a people person–outgoing and a team player = lobbyist, speechwriter, TV producer
  • a Nurturer: Selfless and compassionate, you make a difference one person at a time = physical therapist, life coach, nutritionist

Stay with me now. I know it could be a challenge for those that aren’t data heads. Alexandra then put together a 20-question quiz (technically it’s an assessment) to help you figure out which passion profile best defines you. This is at the beginning of the book. It takes about 15 minutes to complete.

I photocopied the Answer Key and then Jeanine and I took it together one night during dinner and Larry King. While we’re fortysomething and a bit beyond Alexandra’s target market, we both found it fascinating. Here’s what we learned.

Jeanine is an attorney by day, but according to Alexandra, she’s a blend of Adventurer and Data Head. I sell software, but her quiz pegged me for an Entrepreneur. Makes sense. How many times have you had to listen to my Quiznos franchise fantasy?

Jeanine’s first response was that we’re nothing alike. And we’re not… when it comes to work. We have a fantastic, satisfying relationship, but whenever we try to do a work-like project we fight. For example, the past two weekends we’ve been putting together our adoption profile – which is a booklet that basically “markets” us to the birthmother. I’ll write a separate post about it later, but we totally approached the process from two different perspectives. Her’s was all Data Head and mine was Entrepreneur. Funny thing is, it will probably take that combination to snag our birthmother… but now I’m getting off topic. More another day on that… I promise.

Back to our dream jobs that were suggested in the book. Jeanine’s was Urban Planner and mine was Blogger. Jeanine said if she hadn’t gone to law school at 28, her second choice was going to be getting her Masters in Urban Planning. For me, hello? Queercents. Blogger. All makes sense. Her quiz actually works! Smart woman, that Alexandra.

One final thought. I scored a big fat zero in The Nurturer category. Jeanine’s observation was that this was really strange because she said in our relationship, I am a nurturer. And in past relationships, I’ve been a freako co-dependent. But with work, I’m the total opposite. It’s all about me and making money. Go figure. Everything is adding up.

So scoot on over to Amazon to get your own copy. It’s on sale for $10.20. Ten bucks! The price of three lattes can change your life. Or at least your work day.

Further reading: 6 Tips for Landing Your Dream Job at BrazenCareerist.com

Freebie Alert: While Alexandra isn’t quite the famewhore that Alan Corey is, she personally got in touch with me and had a review copy sent. I’m please to pass it on to someone who needs to score a new gig. So leave a comment about your dream job and I’ll pick one of you to send it to. Now isn’t that nurturing?!