I owe Highlands Ability Battery a debt of gratitude!
I do not fit into the box of ‘people who should take a psychometric test’ – that is, the men and women in suits, swarming up the corporate ladder. I am an out of the box, creative, artist and designer, struggling to make money from ideas and having brainwaves about odd little concepts.
Sometimes it feels as if there are too many voices in my head and it’s hard to decide which ideas to take forward – or more importantly which ones will be more rewarding. That’s why I cast my preconceptions side and submitted myself to the Highlands Ability Battery. I was surprised, not so much by the findings as by the way I applied them.
Highlands Ability Battery is not an IQ test
First a brief explanation; there are no rights and wrongs with Highlands Ability Battery.
What I find fascinating about it is that it measures that which is innate in all of us. Our abilities, not our skills. Skills change, we build on them or forget them if we don’t use them, but abilities are with us from the beginning. Very often, abilities are things we don’t recognise in ourselves or they are aspects of ourselves that we know, but had not thought of as a defining aspect of our own make-up.
For example, one of the aspects of my personality that emerged from the test was that I am not suited to any job that involves repetition. I know that I hate repetition, but having it emerge from a test as one of my driving abilities (which are very powerful and influence every part of our work lives), crystallised a whole lot of things for me.
Most of the test confirmed that I am more or less doing what I should be doing – testing high on spatial relations theory and visualisation, design memory, observation etc means that working with images and words in a creative setting is where I should be. Low number memory means that I am lucky no one insisted I become an accountant!
What I had not anticipated was how I was going to apply the results of this test.
If you are looking for a change of career then it is definitely worth taking the Highland Ability Battery test. But I like my daily creative challenges, so that wasn’t my motivation. I simply wanted a better understanding of my innate abilities so I could get more out of my career.
I got more than I bargained for
I was headhunted to go and work for a large publishing company as a senior designer. The people were great, the interview went well, the money and benefits were a huge incentive. Unfortunately, my gut feeling was not all fizzy and excited. I was having severe anxiety about accepting this job. I thought maybe I was being wimpy about change and tried to psych myself out of it. I got as far as having a contract in hand, still feeling terrible, when I remembered my little Highland friend (aka my Highlands Ability Battery report), sitting on my computer, probably screaming “READ ME” if it had a voice.
The report immediately helped my focus my energy on projects that would match my innate abilities but I read it again and suddenly realised that the job I was about to accept was one that would turn me into a gibbering, mouth-frothing, hair-tearing wreck in about two weeks because I would be turning my back on all my key abilities.
Who’d have thought that I would use this test to reject a job offer instead of actively seeking a specific path? Either way, it is an invaluable tool.
Lori Bentley is a graphic designer and book illustrator and can be found at Lori Bentley Art.