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Everyone should participate in career exploration because it gives structure and direction. The result from an assessment prioritizes and identifies which careers will best suit an individual mentally, physically and emotionally. Career exploration is a life long process. I say life long because as time passes so does ones views, abilities and skills. Career exploration is beneficial to a career, because it enhances a person’s ability to become aware of their values, interests, skills, aptitudes, abilities, strengths and weaknesses. It aids in the guidance of career matters such as geographic location, job autonomy, work hours, and growth opportunities to name a few. Once one finds the skills and ability they would like to utilize they can use them as a lead way to the profession that you would bring them both success and happiness. An individual is to remember that when doing this exploration to keep in mind that that money is only a temporary fix, at the beginning it may seem to bring happiness, however in the long run it most likely will not sustain personal enjoyment in their career. In simple if an individual does not like what they are doing and do not have a drive to get up, go and enjoy their work they shall become unhappy. This unhappiness will become apparent in the workplace and eventually trickle down to their personal life.
There are several preliminary ways to start a career exploration. First one may want to ask a question along the line of, if they are mathematically inclined, like to assume leadership roles, help others, express themselves creatively, etc.. Questions such as if they would prefer a flexible or fixed work schedule, to work predominately on their own, or in a team, or with supervisor overseeing their work, and if they prefer a strict corporate or relaxed work environment
Another way to uncover abilities is to take a look at ones involvement. Extracurricular activities provide an insight to individuals’ skills. Take for instance if the debate team, the drama club or participating in the campus newspaper is enjoyed. Those activities show strong communicating with others, that a person is outgoing, that they are firm and pursuant in their interests. It also shows that they have strong verbal abilities and are flexible in work situations. An athlete would show that they are work well with others that is especially important in this new millennium work environment that is gearing more towards teamwork on projects.
Course work can also enable one to enhance their perception of which career they may enjoy or dislike. They should start with the classes they enjoy. What was it that they enjoyed most about those classes? What classes did they find that were most challenging however that they succeeded in? Did the class provide them with something that can later me developed into a career? What classes did they dislike, what was it that made them dislike it.
Talking to family or friends that may be in a career an individual may have considered is also good. Asking questions such as why they choose their profession, if they are happy in it and what is a typical day like for them can provide pictorial overview of profession. It is also important to ask about their likes and dislikes about it, this will help to give a less biased overview of the career.
Internships, current and past jobs, are existential part of assessing your career. With these one has had hands on practical experiences. They know personally what a typical workday is like, what the job entails and if this is something they can see themselves doing in the long run. They should draw on what they liked of disliked about their job duties, work schedule, work environment, and superiors. Volunteer work is also especially important because this was work that was done, that time was taken out for and enjoyed even though not paid for the services.
A noted career counselor Richard Leider has developed a formula for good career decisions. The formula is (T+P+E)*V. T stands for talent. Talent asks for your strengths? P stands for passion or purpose. In other words what area do you think needs improvement in the world, what would you be devoted and rhapsodic to change. E stands for environment. What work environment is best nurtures and enhances your views, temperament, values and style. V stands for vision. How your career corresponds with your future happiness. Leider states that when one applies all four elements they do your very best work. They are using your talents on something you believe in, and are in an environment supports their effort. That is another way in which to perform a career assessment.
Last but not least there are more structured, researched and more easily evaluated and categorized tests that one can take to provide them with a career assessment. Many of these tests are available at career counseling centers. These tests can be provided by a career counselor manually or computerized. A career counselor will sit down and evaluate the test results. The counselor will be able to show individual different career options that are geared towards them depending on their test results. There are three computer guidance programs that I know of the are SIGI Plus, Discover, and Career Key. Some manual test are Strong Interest Inventor, Campbell Interest, Kuder Occupational Orientation, Skills Survey, Strong Interest Inventor and Myers Briggs Type Indicator to name a few. To provide an overview of the general direction of these survey I shall explain in brief the Strong Interest Inventor and the Myers Briggs assessment.
Remember that in general these assessment tools are the same. They are to provide an individual with an insight of their strengths and weaknesses. Match their strengths with their interest, clarify their motivator’s values, and work habits. When this is all done tally and apply all to a career that corresponds with their answers.
The Strong Interest Innovatory assessment test basically matches a person whom has found success and happiness in a career that has similar likes, dislikes and interests as the test taker. This test is provided in three informational parts. Part One is to provide an overall profile of the persons values, interests, and preferences. Such a profile will aid in finding out if a person is creative, conventional, social, enterprising or a realist. The second part helps in narrowing the test takers interests so as to find the most desirable potential area of career opportunities. It narrows the search into categories such as leaching, computers and public speaking just to name a few. Section three provides the test taker with a list of ten careers that corresponds to a three letter code that may further explorer even more careers.
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator helps to determine the test taker strengths, preferences and preferred word environment then apply them to a career that corresponds to them. This test is based off of four specific personality dimensions. The first is the focus of energy is a person falls in to the introversion or extroversion category. The introversion person focuses what makes them content versus an extroversion person whom mainly focuses on well being, and happiness of others, and the environment. The second dimension is the method of gathering information. Whether if the information that was gathered from concrete facts versus meanings and possibilities. The third dimension is a person’s decision making style; whether they are objective meaning basing decisions based off of facts versus a person whom is subjective. A subjective person involves external forces in their decision making process.
There are many benefits to assessing your career. Below are some reasons why every one should participate in career assements.
My long run advice to someone that is partially based on my research and what I have read is applying seven basic elements when assessing oneself. One is to discover what ultimately makes you happy and pursue it. Two do not let outer forces such as money, status or public opinion sway you from what makes you happy. Three find out what your talents, strengths and motivators are and apply them to your everyday living. Four don’t sell your-self short, persevere in the mist of all obstacles. Fifth make your decisions in a way that when you are old and retired you don’t have regrets about not trying to pursue something. Sixth discover your inner self by taking the time out to go to a place that brings you peacefulness and serenity this shall aid in relaxing, relieving stress and your much more likely to deal with the above three. Seventh and the most import and don’t let anyone steel you joy whether in your career or personal life.
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