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Many people go to work every day because they have to, not because they want to. They have to pay the bills. They have to earn a living. These people don’t enjoy what they do. Or maybe they like it okay — they don’t hate it — but it doesn’t generate excitement and enthusiasm in them.

Maybe it’s the job that’s boring. Maybe they’re not in the right career. Or maybe they just don’t know their Sparketype.

Are You In the Right Place?

What’s a Sparketype, you ask? Good question. The other day, I caught the tail end of a podcast featuring the author and entrepreneur Jonathan Fields. He was talking about his new book, Sparked. My ears perked up when he mentioned that knowing your Sparketype can help you get more enjoyment from the work you do, whether it’s work you get paid to do or some other type, such as watching the kids or caring for aging parents. Fields says that the more your work aligns with your Sparketype — a word he coined to describe the personality categories he developed as a result of his research — the more alive you’ll feel.

According to Fields’s book, the act of being sparked exists at the juncture of five separate domains:

  • Purpose. Knowing you’re moving toward something you believe in.
  • Engagement. Excitement, energy, and enthusiasm for the pursuit of that something.
  • Meaningfulness. The feeling that what you do and who you are matter.
  • Expressed potential. The sensation of being fully you and not having to hide, bringing all your potential to the experience, leaving nothing untapped.
  • Flow. The blissful experience of getting lost in an activity, losing time, and becoming absorbed in the task.

From the time we’re young, we have certain characteristics and impulses for work that either make us come alive or exhaust us. These characteristics tend to come with certain traits and behaviors that either work to your benefit or hold you back. Understanding these characteristics better provides insight into the type of work that attracts your interest or sends you running in the opposite direction.

Sounds interesting, right?

Figuring Out Who You Are

If you want to learn more about yourself and what drives you, Fields has created the Sparketype Assessment, a questionnaire that helps you determine which Sparketype shapes your work activity. The Sparketype Assessment is not like other personality tests you may have taken in the past. This one focuses on identifying the primary factors that drive you to action and make you feel excited about your work. Through a series of questions, this assessment helps people figure out both their primary and their secondary, or shadow, Sparketype. It also identifies your anti-Sparketype, that soul-sucking activity that drains you, leaving you worn out at the end of the day.

Fields has identified ten different Sparketypes:

  • Scientist
  • Warrior
  • Nurturer
  • Performer
  • Sage
  • Essentialist
  • Maker
  • Maven
  • Advocate
  • Advisor

Uncovering your primary and secondary Sparketypes leads you to new insights about yourself and your behaviors, your work, and your motivators. You may find yourself exploring new opportunities as a result, or looking at current situations in a new way. The same is true when you identify your anti-Sparktype — that thing you’d rather not do. Understanding all these and how they relate to the work world you live in gives you new tools to make your life (not just your work) more fulfilling, more enjoyable, and much more interesting.

Learn More About Yourself

I think the book might be worth a read. If you do, too, check out Sparked by Jonathan Fields. And if you want to live life to the fullest, check out the Sparketype Assessment on the author’s website. If you have any breakthroughs as a result of learning about your Sparketype, drop me a line and share your story. I’d love to hear it!

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