If you’ve ever put together a jig-saw puzzle and found a piece missing, you know how frustrating it can be to find you don’t have a complete picture. Career decision-making is much like that jig-saw puzzle. While it has fewer pieces, you still need all of them to have the full picture.
In career decision-making, there are, essentially, three main puzzle pieces necessary to complete the picture of a career that will be a good fit: your personality, your interests, and your abilities.
Your personality, the description of what kind of a person you are, is an essential first piece of the puzzle. Do you like to work by yourself or with others? Are you a detail person, or one who focuses on the big picture? Do you like making decisions? Are you a self-starter or someone who works best with a little direction? What about your moral and ethical values? Knowing the type of person you are is essential if you want a career that will allow you to be yourself and do things that fit your personality.
Recognising what interests you is another important piece of the puzzle. What things spark your interest? Do you like taking things apart and putting them back together? Do you enjoy working with people, or ideas, or physical things? What academic subjects most interested you? Why does a particular career interest you? What do people in that field do that you think you’d find interesting?
Finally, we come to abilities. What are you capable of doing or learning to do? Answering that question can be difficult. Many people underestimate their talents and abilities, and this can cause them to rule out something they’d like to do, simply because they don’t think they can attain the level of expertise needed. But it’s important to remember no one enters any career as an expert.
Building a career is somewhat like building a house – as one brick after another is placed on a foundation, a house begins to take shape. That also means it’s important to be realistic about your abilities. Don’t sell yourself short, but also don’t choose a career for which you have little aptitude and for which the learning process truly seems overwhelming.
Career planning requires an understanding of the concerned person (the candidate) in terms of interest, academic potential, personality, talents & aptitudes, values, expectations and resources of the candidate.
As we read earlier, Personality plays a major role in Career planning – Holland Personality Type Test is a test which assess personality dimensions.
These Personality Types Can Be Described As:
Conventional Type: like working with data, have numerical ability, carry out tasks in detail, and adhere to instructions and rules. Professions: Finance, Accounting, Banking, Actuarial etc.
Realistic Type: interested in outdoor and athletic activities, have mechanical ability and a technical orientation; work with objects/machines, plants or animals. Professions: Engineering, Technicians, etc.
Investigative Type: like thinking, organising, analysing, investigating & solving problems; has a scientific outlook. Professions & subjects: Research, Computer Programmer, Systems Analyst, Economist, General Medicine, Chemistry, etc. workers etc
Artistic Type: creative, emotional, impulsive, like to have their own way and are innovative. Professions: Journalists/, writers, actors, Musicians, Photographers, Copywriters Designers etc.
Social Type: like interpersonal interactions, people & service oriented, are sociable. Professions: Therapists, Counsellors, Dieticians, Teachers, Social etc.
Enterprising Type: likes to influence others and be a leader, outgoing by nature. Professions: Self employment, Managers, Law, Public Relations, etc
This could be the first step of career guidance. This could change at later stage as the age increases and with different experiences.