The Ontology of Value: Discovering Your Source of Value for the Society & The Environment That Values You (ODYSSEY) Test was based on strong methodological grounds. It is rooted in Alfred Adler’s school of psychology. Its central concept is that we all have a strong inner motivation to build value for others and prove ourselves to the world — in our own, individual ways.
Following this concept, we found a method for building your individual profile as a natural value-provider. Discovering your profile can have a tremendous effect on your career dynamics, as it will help you find your edge in the job market and excel.
THE TEST IS BASED ON FOUR FUNDAMENTS OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY
- 1. Flexibility in Working Style
- 2. Ability to Conform to Others’ Working Style and Expectations
- 3. Independence in Problem Solving
- 4. Self-discipline, Short- and Long-Term Planning
- 5. Focus on Work in Life
Your Natural Working Style
- 1. Ability to Multitask
- 2. Improvisation & Resilience to Stress
- 3. Adaptability
- 4. Creativity, Novelty Seeking & Thinking Out of the Box
- 5. Competitiveness & Self-confidence
Your Type of Mind
- 1. Relations with Superiors and Authority
- 2. Leadership Skills
- 3. Peer Relations at Work
- 4. Conflict Management
- 5. Internal Motivation
Your Relations With Others
- 1. Capitalistic Attitude
- 2. Social Aptitude
- 3. Mental Closeness to Your Job
- 4. Career Management
- 5. Spirituality & Connection with Intuitive Mind
Your Values And Beliefs
MODEL DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION
Creating the testing set
After two years of field research, we developed a set of 140 questions covering all areas of professional life and tailored them for white-collar professionals working in today’s job market.
Collecting the data from a large group of professionals developing careers in 14 countries and representing all market sectors.
Data analysis and development of the model
We used psychometrics to analyze the results and craft the final list of 128 questions (reduced to 96 questions in the “Student” version of the test).
We validated the final version of the test on a large group of professionals developing careers in 14 countries and representing all market sectors.
Based on this data, we used machine learning to develop the final set of model parameters and we standardized the results.
Building the test
We built our test in a user-friendly way that allows the user to view their results in a way that gives the most useful information and advice.
THE MODEL OUTPUT
YOUR INDIVIDUAL PROFILE AS A VALUE-CREATOR FOR THE SOCIETY
CREATOR (a.k.a. Hipster, Visionary, Designer, Inventor, Innovator) is an individual whose biggest driving force is novelty. Creators can be found in all areas of the job market—from politics, through arts and sciences, to all branches of industry including IT. Creators’ minds circulate around high-level concepts. They feel the happiest when they derive new ideas and produce new, original content that amazes their environment. Creators treat professional life as a life-long pilgrimage: a journey from solving one type of problem or developing one concept to another.
SPECIALIST (a.k.a. Hacker, Developer, Expert, Problem-solver, Engineer) is a professional whose biggest drive is tackling specific, specialistic problems. Specialist’s ambition is becoming an expert or the to-go-to-person in a certain domain. Specialists can independently come up with new solutions, i.e., hack problems. They find utter joy in finding geeky tricks to solve the issues encountered by their colleagues and astonishing people in their environment by making unexpected fixes to everyday problems.
LINCHPIN (a.k.a. Hustler, Communicator, Deal-maker, Community-builder, Connector) is a communicator and a deal-maker whose biggest drive is growing projects and building impact by developing and managing communities, finding collaborators and followers. The term “linchpin” means the central, pivotal piece of a wheel. Linchpins are, indeed, the hearts of their communities. They have strong interpersonal skills, are empathic, and easily take other people’s perspectives. They enjoy expanding projects by increasing the outreach and finding potential new clients or beneficiaries of the organizations that they represent. Linchpins love people! They are usually well-connected and gifted with the ability to find the right people at the right time.
MANAGER (a.k.a. Executive, Leader, Principal) is an individual whose biggest passion is managing a functional team and steering it in a way to reach the chosen goals. Managers feel the happiest when they can orchestrate a group of people to reach their targets efficiently and in a friendly, collaborative atmosphere. They are good at finding synergies between people and putting the team members in the right roles. However, managers also take an individual approach to optimally motivate every team member.
ACHIEVER (a.k.a. Role-model, Performer, High-flyer, Go-getter) loves to compete and win. Achiever’s biggest drive is to become the leader in some disciplines and serve as a role model to others. Some achievers (e.g., Olympians) aim to become world-renowned professionals in their field and inspire young people around the globe. Other achievers don’t seek public attention, but rather, prefer to be recognized in a narrow, specialistic field. In either case, achievers have the ambition to get to some level of measurable success and influence others in a positive way.
MISSIONARY (a.k.a. Mentor, Helper, Guardian, Protector, Supporter) is an individual whose biggest drive is to help other people directly. Most missionaries have a strong personal sense of mission (as the name suggests!) and are eager to compromise on their level of comfort or sacrifice a large portion of their free time to serve others. Missionaries feel the happiest when they see the smile on the face of the person whom they have just helped. They highly value non-material qualities at work, such as integrity, equality, and diversity.
CONTRIBUTOR (a.k.a. Workplace-Architect, Logistician, Coordinator, Planner, Trustee) prefers to create an infrastructure for others so that they can accomplish their projects and build their careers. Contributors usually avoid the spotlight—they prefer to work from behind the scenes. They care about creating a friendly atmosphere at work and are masters of multitasking. Contributors feel the happiest when they observe that their working environment develops in harmony, and when they live a balanced lifestyle. They enjoy hearing that it feels great working with them and that their contribution matters.
INVESTOR (a.k.a. Capitalist, Financial Libertarian, Patron, Philanthropist) aims to achieve full financial freedom and only focus on doing projects out of interest rather than out of need. Investors don’t search for fame and recognition for what they do. They prefer to build their wealth in silence and live a peaceful life so that they can enjoy a high degree of personal freedom and cherry-pick projects that are most exciting to them. They are also eager to support budding projects with their know-how and financial resources.
YOUR PERSONAL FIT TO EIGHT MAIN WORKING ENVIRONMENTS
PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AND NGOS include government-funded organizations, e.g., the Ministry of Education, the Chamber of Commerce, national grant agencies, data centers funded by the government, think tanks summoned by the government, and nonprofits. Some nonprofits don’t get funding from the government per se; they need to acquire financial resources independently through grants, crowdfunding, public tax benefits, and donations. Such organizations are often referred to as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). NGO space covers a broad range of societal problems, from the environment to social equality. Since both governmental institutions and NGOs are non-profit and share some characteristics, they are placed in the same category.
CONSULTANCY COMPANIES offer professional research and advisory within a certain field of expertise to other companies and public organizations. They operate on a project basis: as an umbrella agency, they summon a team of consultants or delegate a consultant for every contracted project. Consultancy is a broad term; consultants work in multiple areas: providing professional assessment and planning to the government, massive data science- and biotechnological projects, business management, general management, education, conflict resolution, market research, planning the public infrastructure, professional training, etc.
CORPORATIONS are, in public understanding, large companies, hiring more than 250 employees (although in legal terms, a “corporation” is defined differently, i.e., as a legal entity separate and distinct from its owners). Some corporations focus on manufacturing products and services for other businesses and the government. Other corporations work in the Business-to-Customer (B2C) model and deliver services straight to customers’ homes. Corporations function and legal persons, or “born out of statute,” and are governed by the corporate law.
SMALL TO MIDDLE-SIZED ENTERPRISES (SMES) are, by definition, companies with no more than 250 employees on board. These companies usually occupy a niche in their branch of industry, producing goods and services for their customers (Business-to-Customer, or B2C), for other businesses (Business-to-Business, or B2B), or public institutions (Business-to-Government, or B2G). Their main ambition is to become the leading provider of certain services or products in their geographical area or their niche of the market.
STARTUPS are companies in the early stages of development (hence the name)—usually, smaller than 100 employees. Yet, from the very start, the company’s founders aim to scale the operations and grow. Startups are usually born in highly competitive fields such as IT, healthcare, or agriculture. Moreover, they often start their adventure with a sort of debt, namely funds from private investors or bank loans. For these reasons, startups often fail; after 10 years from incorporation, only about 10% of startups survive on the market—and among those, many change owners by getting sold to larger companies. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of adventurous founders willing to try their luck launching a new enterprise in the hope to create the next unicorn company.
ACADEMIA was traditionally seen as an ivory tower: a monastery of sorts where you can only build your career if you join at an early age and stay loyal and committed for a lifetime. Now, the boundaries between academia and industry started melting. Today, companies often diversify and strengthen their R&D departments by collaborating with universities and running joint PhD programs. Furthermore, individuals who spent many years in industry and developed successful careers there, and are often willing to conduct a full- or part-time PhD as a part of their self-development.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP means solving new problems, coming up with solutions, and building new products and services around them—with the intention to grow. Entrepreneurs usually intend to gradually increase the revenue, hire more employees, and develop their products and services further so that the market share and the value of the company will grow as well. Developing startups is challenging; statistically, most startups fail. However, even though working in business can be a path through pain, blood, and tears, and requires strong intuition and some degree of luck, it can be a great adventure leading to an exciting lifestyle and deep satisfaction from work.
FREELANCING means offering your services to individuals, businesses, and public institutions as a self-employed professional. Freelancers work in all industries today, as many companies prefer to work with freelancers on specific, specialistic projects over hiring employees. Professionals such as artists, authors, professional speakers, or athletes also freelance. One can become a freelancer by establishing a sole proprietorship and promoting your brand to attract clients—or otherwise, by becoming a subcontractor to another business. Freelancing requires expertise in a certain domain and a great dose of self-management skills. It can be highly rewarding though, both in terms of remuneration and the overall satisfaction from work.