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The 10 Sparketypes: Which One Are You?

love your career sparketype Mar 14, 2023
The 10 Sparketypes

Sparketype is a personality psychology modality developed by Jonathan Fields, a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and founder of the top podcast, The Good Life Project.  Over several decades, Jonathan’ sought to understand “what it means to live a good life”, and narrowed his focus to the domain of work. He became fascinated by the nature of work that makes people come alive, which he defines as "the intersection between meaning, flow, excitement and energy, expressed potential and purpose". And that's where his work around Sparketype comes in. 

Your Sparketype is the unique imprint or impulse for the work that makes you feel the most alive. We all have source-code level impulses for the type of work that Sparks us, and wrapped around each of these impulses are common mappable and definable tendencies and preferences that form archetypes that are sparked (hence the name Sparketype!). 

Through his decades long research, Jonathan identified 10 unique Sparketype impulses: Maven, Maker, Scientist, Essentialist, Performer, Sage, Warrior, Advisor, Advocate, and Nurturer.  

The Sparketypes serve as a valuable tool for understanding our drivers and sources of joy in both our personal and professional lives. This dynamic set of archetypes empowers us to recognize our unique strengths and motivations, allowing us to create fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. In fact, after taking the Sparketype assessment, many people describe reading their profile as like meeting their true self - and explanations for experiences and aspects of their past lives start to click into place. 

The Sparketype Profile:

Each of us has a distinctive Sparketype® Profile consisting of three elements:

  • Primary Sparketype
  • Shadow Sparketype
  • Anti Sparketype.

Your Primary Sparketype is the strongest impulse for work that makes you feel alive, while the Shadow Sparketype amplifies your Primary Sparketype. These two elements work together to fuel your passion and flow in work and life.

On the other hand your Anti Sparketype represents the type of work that requires the greatest amount of recovery and leaves you feeling drained. Understanding what sparks and stifles the expression of each element is crucial to aligning your work with what makes you feel the most alive.

It's important to note that there are no inherently good or bad Sparketype pairings, and we all have elements of each Sparketype inside of us that we can access and use. It's about understanding how we each have Sparketypes that when we use them make us feel more alive, energized and fulfilled - and Sparketypes that when we use them make us feel more drained and uninspired.  

Sparketypes and the Satisfaction Spectrum:

The Sparketypes are arranged in a specific order along the Satisfaction Spectrum, which spans between the Sparketypes that are most illuminated by process (the process of doing something) and the ones that are most illuminated by service (serving other people or groups). At the beginning of the Satisfaction Spectrum, we find the Maven, Maker, Scientist, and Essentialist, driven by the process of learning, creating, experimenting, and streamlining information into efficient systems, respectively. These Sparketypes thrive on the journey and the satisfaction of expanding their understanding of the world around them.

In the middle of the Satisfaction Spectrum, we have the Performer, Sage, and Warrior, driven by the act of energizing, illuminating, and leading others, respectively. These Sparketypes are fueled by engaging with others and making a significant impact on the world around them.

At the service end of the Satisfaction Spectrum, we find the Advisor, Advocate, and Nurturer, driven by coaching, championing, and nurturing others, respectively. These Sparketypes are powered by connection, relationships, and being of service to others.

It's Not About Putting You In a Box - It's About Understanding the Impulse Behind What You Do:

It's important to keep in mind that your Sparketype is not about telling you which career is right for you or putting you in a box. Instead, it's about the impulse behind what you do, and this impulse can be manifested in nearly any type of job or career.

For example, the Nurturer impulse includes supporting and holding space for others, and the Scientist impulse includes solving problems and figuring things out. So which Sparketype would make a better coach? Both! It's about how they bring their impulse to coaching.

A coach with a Primary Sparketype of Nurturer may have a practice where they hold space for their clients so they can work through deep emotions and support them over a longer period of time (one example). On the other hand,  a coach with a Primary Sparketype of Scientist may have a practice where they ask the right questions to help clients work through pressing problem that needs to be solved, and work with them over a shorter period of time (one example). 

So while understanding your Sparketype can give you valuable clues as to the career direction that might light you up, where it's most powerful is as a decision making tool. You can use your Sparketype as a decision making tool around your career in two main ways:

  1. To help you evaluate whether a career direction, a job or a specific position with a specific company will allow you to use the impulses of your Primary and Shadow Sparketypes as much as possible, and your Anti-Sparketype as little as possible. 
  2. To evaluate your current work and identify where you may not be using the impulses of your Primary & Shadow Sparketypes enough, and where you may be using your Anti-Sparketype too much - and then identify whether there are ways to bring in your Primary and Shadow Sparketypes more to what you're doing now and use your Anti Sparketype less. 

You can do the same evaluation above for your coaching practice or business.  

I always recommend evaluating your current situation first. It's amazing how many times small tweaks can be made to what you're doing now that can bring back that spark! So while you may be so frustrated that you think you need to completely change career directions, you may find that there are ways to love what you do again by just making some small tweaks.  

The 10 Sparketypes:

Here is an overview of the 10 Sparketypes. As you read through the list, make note of which one (or ones) most resonates or feel like YOU. Also make note of which ones feel the least like you. As you read through, keep in mind that Sparketypes are about the impulse behind what you do, and not a specific position: 

  1. The Maven: "I Live to Learn." This Sparketype is all about the process of learning and acquiring knowledge. They have a deep and insatiable thirst for knowledge and are driven by the pursuit of new ideas and information. They may have a broad fascination with many different topics or a focused interest in a single subject that they study in depth. For Mavens, the journey of learning is more important than any particular outcome or application of that knowledge. They are fueled by the process of discovery and the satisfaction of expanding their understanding of the world around them. They are stifled by shallow or superficial information and may become disinterested if they feel like they are not learning anything new.

  2. The Maker: "I Make Ideas Manifest." This Sparketype is all about creativity, innovation, and bringing ideas to life. They are fueled by the process of making and creating, from concept to finished product. They thrive in environments that allow them to tinker, experiment, and play with materials and ideas. They are skilled at using their hands and tools to turn abstract concepts into concrete objects, and they find great satisfaction in the act of making. They may be drawn to crafts, DIY projects, engineering, or any field that allows them to build and create. Makers are stifled by lack of resources or materials, rigid rules or procedures, and situations where they cannot experiment or improvise.
  3. The Scientist: "I Figure Things Out." This Sparketype is about the pursuit of burning questions, wicked problems, puzzles, and quandaries. They feel excitement, purpose, and energy by searching for an answer and arriving at it. They are fueled by time and space to experiment and problems to be solved and are stifled by restricted access to or limited data or others' aversion to experimentation.

  4. The Essentialist: "I Create Order From Chaos." This Sparketype is all about order, distillation, simplification, and clarity. They think in systems and processes and are fueled by creating efficient and effective solutions. They thrive in environments that require them to create order out of chaos and are stifled by avoidance or defiance of systems and needless and sustained inefficiency.

  5. The Performer: "I Turn Moments Into Magic." This Sparketype comes alive when animating, enlivening, and energizing an experience, interaction, engagement, moment, role, or pursuit in a way that makes it come alive with energy, emotion, and understanding. They are fueled by an engaged audience, stories, and detail and are stifled by a disengaged audience and rote tasks.

  6. The Sage: "I Awaken Insights." This Sparketype's impulse is to teach, illuminate, and elevate. They live to share insights, ideas, knowledge, and experiences with others in a way that leaves others in some way better, wiser, and more equipped to experience life differently. They are fueled by open minds and curiosity and are stifled by closed minds and disinterest.

  7. The Warrior: "I Gather and Lead People." This Sparketype yearns to gather people, organize them, harness their collective energy, assume responsibility, make decisions, and lead them on some form of meaningful quest or mission. They lead teams toward desired outcomes and are fueled by a challenge and taking the lead. They are stifled by passivity and avoidance, and people digging in their heels.
  8. The Advisor: "I Guide to Grow." This Sparketype is all about coaching, mentoring, and advising. They are trusted guides and catalysts who accelerate outcomes and add value. They are fueled by time and space to learn about the goals of others and uncovering questions and are stifled by lack of time to understand a person's needs and circumstances, or when their requested advice is not considered.

  9. The Advocate: "I'm Your Champion!" This Sparketype advocates, shines a light, amplifies, and champions individuals, communities, populations, ideas, ideals, causes, paradigms, institutions, etc. They give voice to the voiceless and translate their needs into awareness, energy, and action. They shine a light on what needs changing and are fueled by a cause to champion and a committed group ready to rally behind a cause. They are stifled by being censored or apathy.

  10. The Nurturer: "I've Got You." This Sparketype gives care, offers support, sees you, hears you, and holds you. They are deeply empathetic and help lift others up, walking beside them. Their most valued offering is their presence. They are fueled by connection and relationships, and by being of service. They are stifled by those who are cold or distant, and when they can't reach others.

Which one or two Sparketypes did you MOST resonate with? Which one or two did you LEAST resonate with? Make note of these and then answer the following questions:

For each of the top two Sparketypes that most resonated with you:

  1. How much of this impulse are you using in your current work? Where is it specifically showing up?
  2. Where are there opportunities to use this impulse more in your current work?

For the Sparketype that least resonated with you:

  1. How much of this impulse are you using in your current work? Where is it specifically showing up?
  2. Where are there opportunities to use this impulse less in your current work?

Take the Free Sparketype Assessment & Book a Sparketype Review:

If you want to dive deeper into Sparketypes, I recommend taking the free Sparketype Assessment. After you take the assessment, you'll receive an email with more information on your Primary, Shadow and Anti-Sparketype. 

After you've taken the assessment, make note of whether your Primary, Shadow and Anti-Sparketype matched the self assessment you did here? Make note again of what resonates or doesn't resonate for you. 

Afterwards, you can book an optional Sparketype review session with me. As a Master Coach and Certified Sparketype Advisor, I can support you in getting more clear on your Sparketype, evaluating your current work situation, and identifying ways to feel more alive in your work by bringing in more of your Primary and Shadow Sparketype - or identifying possible new career directions. 

And yes - your coaching practice or business is a career path and work as well - and the Sparketype is equally helpful with giving you clear ways to feel more alive and energized in what you do. 

You can sign up and take the assessment RIGHT HERE

By learning about the Sparketypes, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and those around you. This understanding will empower you to create a career and life that truly fulfills you. No matter what motivates you - whether it's the process of learning, the act of leading, or the joy of nurturing others - there is a Sparketype that will resonate with you. Embracing your unique strengths and motivations will help you finally do work that is truly satisfying and fulfilling.



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