There are a number of theories about why we like and how to choose a career. In some instances, it’s being in the right place at the right time, having connections/contacts, as a consequence of the subjects that we’ve studied in a tertiary institution, following on in a family business, pursuing a career dream that we’ve had from a very young age, etc.
Career practitioners use a number of methods to find the right job for their client. These methods are called career profiling tools. Seven of these profiling tools will be presented in this article and they will range from the basics, the bizarre to the bleeding obvious.
When we were in secondary school there were some subjects we loved, some that we liked, some that we disliked and others that we loathed.
To find out whether school subjects could lead us to a career we need to ask the question, “WHY did I like that subject? What was it about the content which made it interesting to me?” Often, if you find out the ‘why’, you will discover another element of what makes a career fulfilling to you.
Interests & Hobbies:
Do not discard some of your hobbies as being potential indicators to a future vocation - they could form the foundation of, or a major part of, a potential profession.
My brother always told me that you can adapt to any profession. This is partly true. But when you’re in the career which really matches you, it’s like slipping into a perfectly designed suit, tailored just for you; instead of trying to fit into an ill-fitting suit, one or two sizes too small or too big. Therefore, what are some of the job factors which could fit ‘just right’ for you?
Working in a job that is:
- With a team environment
- By yourself
- Static and staid
- Includes lots of variety
- Using mechanical equipment
- Driving trucks
- In a dirty environment
- In a clean, sterile environment
- Used to heights
- Potentially dangerous
- Caring for others
- Instructing others
Think of a profession which would accommodate these personality traits.
- Is a good listener
- Is energised by being alone or with only a few people
- Needs to be with others (all of the time)
- Is a good talker
- Evaluates work scenarios using intuition
- Evaluates work scenarios using common sense
- Makes decisions using their emotions
- Makes decisions using statistics, logic and facts
- Operates in their work environment to schedules, time limits and within strict guidelines
- Operates in their work environment casually, flexibly and motivated by creative urges
Have you come up with a list of professions for each personality type? If you combined a mixture of these personality traits, you could come up with a number of specific professions.
If you then combined these personality traits with some of the above indicators, i.e., education subjects, interests and hobbies, and job factors, you might discover some unique occupations.
The Seed Theory:
There are many theories in Career Development. One of them has been dubbed the ‘Seed Theory’, i.e. if you plant an orange seed in the correct position in the garden, in fertile soil and with the appropriate amount of water, you will find that an orange tree will grow ... producing oranges.
The seed theory proposes that each individual on the planet has been ‘implanted’ with a career-destiny seed.
According to the theory, the expression of one’s career calling is more clearly expressed between the ages of 1 and the ages of 10, 11 or 12.
During this time in their life the individual is apparently communicating more through their subconscious and not their conscious mind. It is no wonder that when a teenager is asked “What do you want to do when you leave school?” that the usual response is, “I don’t know!” That’s because the 15-year-old teenager is operating predominately out of
their conscious mind.
Some career practitioners recommend that clarity on this matter can be acquired by asking the parents of the client what their son/daughter gravitated to during their ‘subconscious years’ (years: 1-10, 11 or 12)
In line with the ‘seed theory’, it is postulated that every individual on the planet has acquired innate gifts ... possibly to assist them in fulfilling their career vocation.
Examples of this can include:
- A deep empathy for those in grief or suffering;
- Inspirational leadership;
- Someone who really ‘listens to you’;
- A desire to naturally encourage others;
- Teaching and communication;
- Someone with a servant’s heart;
- Financial giving;
- Insight and/or wisdom;
- Organisation/facilitation, etc.
The good news about innate gifts is that we ALL have them. The challenge is that we often don’t know what they are.
The Combination of ‘Seed Theory’ and ‘Innate Gifts’:
How audacious … the thought that we have innate gifts to help us in fulfilling our career calling – bizarre!?
One of the dictums of our present generation is, “I want to make a difference!” From a careers point of view, my response to that is: “Discover... and develop your ‘career calling’ and innate gifts!"
In addition, when you discern the innate gifts within a friend, family member or stranger tell them what it is (because they probably don’t know what it is); and encourage them to also develop their calling and gifts.
Could you imagine what would be the result if the majority of the people on the planet had been encouraged to discover, develop and deliver their innate gift(s)? Maybe we’d have an effective, fulfilled and productive workforce!
The Bleeding Obvious
So, if after all of these career factors, you still can’t figure out a career-type, to whom do you go to ask for advice? Do you ask a guy at a pub, the lady at the corner store, a school friend, a bus driver?
You shouldn't. Instead go to a professional. Careers practitioners are university-trained, requiring practical experience to qualify for their degree. A good careers practitioner will use highly effective career profiling tools to assist them in their client analysis process. A very good careers practitioner will also be able to use the intuitive experience gleaned over many years of practice.
An excellent careers practitioner will combine all of these traits, humbly building a trust and rapport with their client; believing that their client is a unique human being, who has a future and a hope and who has a contribution to make, in and through their community.
I encourage you to dare to dream ... and to fulfil your innate vocational potential!