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  • Diana Schneidman

Freelancing and consulting: I’m conscientious and proud of it!

One of the luxuries of self-employment is that I can allow myself to answer honestly on personality assessment instruments.

Back when I worked full-time for a company or was under consideration for a job opening, I would tweak my answers to fit what I thought they were looking for.

The experts would claim there is no single right or wrong answer, but I knew better. If one set of answers would get me the job I had applied for but another set of answers would deselect me, I knew which answers I would choose. (It worked!)

Earlier this year I took the Everything DiSC Workplace assessment. This instrument assesses the individual’s workplace priorities and preferences as organized around four styles: dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness.

I was not surprised that my primary style is Conscientiousness, but I was surprised at its strength relative to the other styles. I see myself as multifaceted and flexible, able to take on multiple roles in the office and work well with all types of people.

However, this assessment portrays me as very solidly Conscientious.

The style report states that no single orientation is better than another and that all styles are equal and valuable in their own ways. Still, I’d feel more comfortable with more of a somewhere-in-the-middle status, especially with more of a dominance or influence strength since those two styles are the extroverted styles and tend to be more valued (in my opinion) in the American workplace.

Still, there is something to be said for being conscientious, especially as a solopro. No one is on hand to monitor my work, direct me or remind me of deadlines. I do it for myself all by myself. Being conscientious is handy in doing the highest quality work and submitting it by deadline as well as in analyzing what is needed and planning for research and other input well ahead of time.

A lot is written about valued traits in freelancers and consultants, but qualities such as conscientiousness are seldom mentioned. It sounds sort of drab when compared to creativity, enthusiasm, passion, being proactive and other dynamic traits (which I also claim in my professional work, by the way).

I’ve actually seen websites in which freelancers boast about marching to their own drummer and their disdain for rigid deadlines. However, I’ve experienced quite a few assignments that fall apart midway through, essentially because of a participant’s insufficient diligence.

Conscientiousness doesn’t sound dynamic, but it works pretty well for me as fundamental to my work.

Originally posted 7-29-14

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