The Birkman: Affirmation & Awareness

The Birkman Method: Affirmation and AwarenessFirst off: the winner of the book with the free report included is Kathryn! Congrats – contact me with your address and I will put the book in the mail for you!

To wrap up September and our series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) on the Birkman, I want to talk a little bit about how to use assessments like this. More specifically, how you use the information about yourself.


I was able to do the mini-consultation that I gave away at the beginning of September this past week and had a blast as usual. It is so neat to see how affirmed people feel when they see how much the report “gets them.” The Birkman Method has an excellent accuracy level so I’m not surprised by that. What does continue to surprise me is that sometimes people are just waiting for an outside confirmation to really do what they already know about themselves. It’s like they just need that extra boost of confidence that they really are right about their own needs and interests. The Birkman is a great way to get confirmation if that’s what you’re looking for.

There’s a warning that comes with this though: If you don’t know what you want to do, the Birkman is not a blueprint for what you should do. It can tell you how much more interested in Social Service or Music you are compared to others. It can tell you what careers you are most similar to in your responses. But it won’t tell you that there’s just one perfect job for you. That’s because many people are successful even in their least similar career matches. These people will most likely feel different than the other people doing that job, they will bring a unique set of skills to that job and by extension face some unique challenges because of their differences to their peers, but that doesn’t mean it can’t or shouldn’t be done.

For example, I did the Birkman recently with someone whose entire career was in a job that showed up last on his Job Families Report. Did that mean he had spent his entire life in the wrong job? Absolutely not. It meant that he had faced a lot of stress integrating into an environment that wasn’t natural for him but that he had brought wonderful gifts that weren’t usually seen in that department. His career has been fruitful and rewarding. So taking the Birkman as your Bible for which jobs you should take and which ones to write off is a dangerous game, because you might miss out on opportunities that you should explore even if they don’t necessarily look like an exact fit.

That’s why I prefer to focus on awareness as the best part of the Birkman. With the Birkman by your side, you’ll know when you’re not a “typical” fit in a certain role, and that awareness will help you  leverage your unique strengths and manage the unique challenges that arise.


When I looked at John and my Birkman reports this month, I was more aware of which factors contribute to our ability to handle this crazy entrepreneurial life and which factors contribute to our downfalls. I get affirmation that if anyone has the personalities to make it work, we do. We have high Freedom scores (comfortable with being uncoventional), low Structure scores (flexible with routines). But better than that, I gain awareness to watch for our common struggles. The low Structure score is as much a liability as an asset. I dream of being so much more organized than we are. We both have high Thought scores which makes decision-making a longer drawn-out (and sometimes painful) process even when it doesn’t need to be.

I actually had to laugh out loud during certification training when we were looking at the Organizational Focus report and my pattern of having very short bars showed that I was not typical to workers in any of the four work environments (Operations/Tech, Sales/Marketing, Design/Stragey, Administrative/Fiscal), “This pattern does NOT mean the individual will not be satisfied in any work environments; rather, she enjoys a mixture of tasks across conventional work environment types and, potentially, will be more likely to create her own distinct work environment for her chosen profession.” I felt affirmed about my career path, but more importantly it made me aware of my need to diversify and not get bogged down in only one type of work. It helped explain my restlessness in the corporate world.

Tell me about affirmations you’ve received in your life that you were going the right direction – where did they come from? What insights and awareness about your own personality have helped you the most at work?

And again – if you’re interested in taking the assessment yourself and meeting with me for a consultation (in person or via skype), simply check out my services page. If you want to read up more on the Birkman, you can head over to my info page or their website.