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Key questions

  • How do you ask critical questions that will help the exploration and discovery process?
  • What are the differences between open and closed questions and their different applications?
  • How do you find and connect with your nearest industries?
  • How do you construct and use questionnaires to gather relevant data?
  • How do you match the traits and preferences from Module 1 to studies of industries and jobs?

2.1 INTRODUCTION

Guiding the career seeker to match the information, which he or she has explored and discovered in Module 1 to a suitable job in an industry (which requires workers), is the career guide’s challenge. How does the career guidance practitioner (this is you!) set about doing this?

Career seekers need information about industries, work and gaps in work skills. Career seekers also need an executable plan whereby they can get the necessary access, learn the required skills and eventually thrive in the industry and work of their choice.  Critical questionnaires and questions will assist to challenge various possibilities and at the same time expand their choices.  Critical questioning and the selection of questionnaires can also help the career seeker make informed choices during the exploration and discovery process.

The questions and questioning should challenge and expose the career seeker to various industries and types of work. This will enable him or her to choose between possible jobs within almost any industry.  The questions and questionnaires acquaint the career seeker with the industry words, key phrases and concepts on the Internet. Knowing the words and concepts about the industry or industry jargon makes the next step possible. The career seekers can map out their goals and meet with the relevant people in the chosen industry, while paving the road to their desired careers.

2.2 CASE STUDY

Let us revisit our career seeker, a person with much potential and talent, who does not know much about soccer but wants to participate in it. (PCAR01V, Unit 3)

Not everyone is made to be a professional soccer player. There are, however, aspects relating to the game that may suit a wide variety of talents and can open the doors to many careers. It is with this in mind that you as career guide have to engage your client. The person is interested in sports, soccer in particular. It is possible to find suitable careers around that main interest that matches the person’s other interests, aptitudes and abilities in a clear and practical way. A questionnaire is a useful way to engage with a client.

2.3 TYPES OF QUESTIONS AND QUESTIONNAIRES

A questionnaire consists of a series of questions compiled by researchers the world over. In this course, you are the guide who should assist the career seeker to complete the questionnaires you have chosen on behalf of the career seeker or client. So you need to help your clients identify information regarding their aptitudes, interests, personalities and values. Once this has been done, you will have to help them find information regarding possible careers. The questionnaires must be carefully selected and critical questions must be derived from the structured results that you explored and discovered during PCAR01V.

There are two main types of questions in questionnaires: Open (unstructured) questions and closed (structured) questions.

Module 2, Unit 2, Activity 1

  1. Study open and closed questions, keeping in mind that you will assist and establish matches to a specific Industry with the career seeker’s traits and preferences.
  2. Discuss your findings with your colleagues who are studying with you.
  3. Use Dictionary and Wikipedia or a Google search extensively to learn more about the subject. Remember that you are exploring and discovering. The information will inspire you to think about the manner in which you formulate questions that you ask your clients. It should also create an awareness of the level at which you function.
  4. Answer these questions:
  • Where and how do you use open and closed questions? Write down two specific points.
  • Use open and closed questions at home to establish a family member’s interests.  Share one example.
  • Explore questioning more widely.

Record your experiences by completing the above activities in your MiCareer Book as part of your assignments.

Module 2, Unit 2, Activity 2

  1. Refer to your own information from your MiCareerBook gathered in PCAR01V.
  2. Act as the candidate and match one item from your areas of personality, interest, talent and aptitude with your study area, industry, and work choice.  Ask your facilitator to use open and closed questions to assist you with this process.
  3. Use Dictionary and Wikipedia or a Google search to explore and discover matching areas. Remember that you are exploring and discovering. The information will inspire you to think about the manner in which you formulate questions for your clients. It should also create an awareness of the level at which you function.
  4. Write down an open and closed question challenging and verifying the match for each area.
  5. Record your experiences by completing the above activities in your MiCareer Book as part of your assignments.

Module 2, Unit 2, Activity 3

  1. Refer to your own information from your MiCareerBook gathered in PCAR01V.
  2. Be the Facilitator and guide the candidate to use open and closed questions to match one item from the areas of personality, interest, talent and aptitude with his/her area of study, industry and work choice.  Discover more about being a facilitator.
  3. Use Dictionary and Wikipedia or a Google search to explore and discover matching areas.
  4. Remember that you are exploring and discovering. The information will inspire you to think about the manner in which you formulate questions that you ask your clients. It should also create an awareness of the level at which you function.
  5. Write down how you facilitated in the formulation of an open and a closed question to challenge and verify the match for each area.
  6. Record your experiences by completing the above activities in your MiCareer Book as part of your assignments.

Module 2, Unit 2, Activity 4

  1. Refer to your own information from your MiCareerBook gathered in PCAR01V.
  2. Be the Observer while the facilitator guides the candidate to use open and closed questions to match one item from the areas of personality, interest, talent and aptitude with his/her area of study, industry and work choice.  Discover more about being an Observer.
  3. Use Dictionary and Wikipedia or a Google search to explore and discover matching areas.
  4. Remember that you are exploring and discovering. The information will inspire you to think about the manner in which you formulate questions that you ask your clients. It should also create an awareness of the level at which you function.
  5. Write down how you observed and gave feedback during the formation and answering of the open and closed questions, challenging and verifying the match for each area.
  6. Record your experiences while completing the above activities in your MiCareer Book as part of your assignments.

Although there are endless variations of the exploration processes, we leave the rest for you to discover in a similar way using the Internet and with local experts.

We recommend you learn about questionnaires and their construction to be able to choose and use them with greater effect. As an example, we chose the Likert scale as type of questionnaire.  In this questionnaire, two opposites are stated and the respondent has to position him or her self on a continuum, which links the two opposites. In this manner, a visual profile then represents the respondent’s personal opinion regarding the topic.

Module 2, Unit 2, Activity 5

  1. Study the Likert scale and its uses during the exploration and discovery process that you do with your clients.  You may find many new words and concepts.
  2. Use Dictionary and Wikipedia or a Google search extensively. Remember you are exploring and discovering! You grow even more when you discuss uses, concepts and words with experts near you.
  3. Answer these questions:
  • Where is the Likert scale used? Write down two specific points.
  • How can the Likert scale be applied to ensure the career seeker’s traits and preferences are matched with the studies, industry and work which they do?
  • Name two other scales you can use and state why you chose them. Find two study and career verification questionnaires that use the Likert scale. Why did you choose them?

Record your experiences by completing the above activities in your MiCareer Book as part of your assignments.

Gaining an understanding of the types of questions and where they are used will provide you with a framework from which to work when choosing questionnaires. Being aware of other scales will help you  to choose the best one for your specific purpose. Being knowledgeable about these tools will make your job a lot easier and your service much more effective and reliable. It is important to work from established examples to prevent yourself from ‘re-inventing the wheel’ for questionnaires.

2.4 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF     QUESTIONNAIRES

We include a brief study of questionnaires, their purpose and their construction should you require them in your career guidance quest. The course modules include many web-based questionnaires for you to use and you should be able to find for most purposes. A good knowledge of questionnaires will help you choose and use them.

Advantages include the following:

  • It is a relatively ‘quick’ way to help people explore and discover new things about them and gather information since any number of people can complete them simultaneously and exchange and discuss the information.
  • If the chosen questionnaires are carefully compiled, or chosen from the web and along with other local sources, you can ask someone else to administer the exploration and discovery questionnaire on your behalf.  This is not possible with, for example, an interview or observation.
  • It is generally regarded as a reliable instrument for the career seeker to gather information, gain insight and quickly expand awareness of self and industries.
  • A questionnaire puts less pressure on respondents because they can complete it in their own time.
  • Questionnaires can help to focus the attention of the respondents on the main issues involved.
  • If the responses are structured, it is relatively easy to interpret the results.
  • It is repeatable and includes knowledge and experiences from many people worldwide. You become part of worldwide fraternities and by doing so, expand your networks.

Disadvantages include:

  • It takes a lot of time to construct a good questionnaire. Learn from the questionnaires you used and attempt to construct your own brief (five questions) localized exploration and discovery questionnaire. This will be good practice for future implementation of questionnaires. Refer to 2.5 for further assistance. Check the questionnaire with people in your community. Use the processes from Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/102/2008 and Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/103/2008 when you approach them.
  • If questions are incorrectly understood, nothing can be done about it.  However, in interviews misunderstandings can usually be cleared up.
  • It is difficult to determine whether respondents answered honestly.
  • You cannot ask secondary questions to probe the career seeker’s responses.  When you are interviewing someone, you are able to check your understanding, clarify meaning, and confirm the accuracy of your information.
  • Questionnaires can only be used interactively with people, who are illiterate, have low vocabularies and who are low on industry exposure.

2.5 COMPILING A QUESTIONNAIRE

Read about how a questionnaire should be constructed.

You should keep in mind a few guidelines when constructing or assessing a questionnaire:

  • Keep questions or instructions relevant to the career seeker and the issue under research.
  • Keep questions or instructions clear and simple.
  • Sequence questions or instructions in a logical way.
  • The format is clear (e.g. how and where to fill in required information).
  • The nature of questions/instructions shows sensitivity to issues of race, class, religion and gender.
  • Questionnaires are administered in a proper and ethical manner.

2.6 SUMMARY

In this study unit, we discussed questioning and questionnaires as methods to determine knowledge of the interest, aptitude, personality and values of students.  We discussed the two main types of questions, namely open and closed questions.  We also addressed the issue around choosing a valid and an effective questionnaire.  The advantages and the disadvantages of questionnaires were highlighted. During the use of questions and questionnaires, the career seeker gains new insights and information.  As observation yields valuable information, it is often used in conjunction with other evaluation media.

1.1 OUTCOMES

After completing this module, you should be able to do the following competently:

  • find jobs with matching earnings potential that relates to traits and attributes explained in Module 1.
  • ensure the match by cross checking and using critical questioning.
  • communicate interests to attract and access resources.
  • identify the obstacles preventing access to industries and jobs.
  • know how to access industries and jobs.

1.2 CASE STUDY

Bongani is uncertain of how to manage his life after school.  He is in Grade 12 and does well at school and wants to continue his studies after school.  However, Bongani cannot decide what he should study – whether he should play sport professionally, farm or study for a career in the technical, scientific, medical, legal or engineering fields. With so many opportunities it is hard to choose. Bongani does not really know the requirements for entry into the various industries and the multitude of job possibilities within them. What are the gaps in his knowledge? How can he bridge them? Where can he find the necessary resources?

Consequently, he decides to visit his Career Guidance Practitioner where he explores and discovers his interests, values, aptitudes and career preferences. He then finds Ezines, White Papers, magazines and other literature about his career preference and interests. He finds the companies nearest to him and organises a group to visit them. He learns more concepts and terms about the industry in which he is interested and gains clarity about the work of his choice and how to build a career. He realises that jobs are plentiful and he becomes aware of the gaps he needs to fill to find a job. As a result, he tackles his studies diligently as the direction he wants to follow becomes clearer. He even attends extra classes where needed and improves his grades. Bongani intuitively knows what he wants. His prior decisions in family and school activities have indicated strongly to him what this is and he will obtain feedback from them during the Career Practitioner processes.

Bongani can also get a professional opinion from an educational psychologist if he requires further information.  The tests used by these psychologists are graded against a norm based on Western standards and norms.  However, this means that the outcome is not always applicable to local people.  There is also a range of personality tests on the Internet.  Knowledge is power and being knowledgeable about oneself is paramount in utilising that power.

In this module, you will practise job-finding skills with someone in your group or with a friend or family member. It is important that you gain practical experience and knowledge in a safe and controlled environment.   This will demonstrate to you how to find, organise and communicate by the process of awakening your own interests and then accompanying a group member, friend or family member through the same process. This will reflect the process that Bongani has to go through in the above example. Remember your personal exploration and discovery process in Module 1 and try to re-apply that process. In addition, always remember to capture the results and your experiences in your MiCareer Book and MiActivity Book. This module also indicates the beginning of the accumulation of a long reference list of accessible resources. These resources would include the introduction on access to money and the expansion of possible work opportunities (from your exploration and discovery in Module 1).

1.3 PROCESSES TO FIND JOB CHOICES AND ORGANISATIONS

It is important that you are aware of the benefit of exploring and discovering. The Career Guidance Practitioner uses these formalised processes to gain a greater vocabulary to describe the interests and talents of his/her clients. It is the Career Guide’s task to help the career seeker use the information to identify and locate suitable industries and the jobs within them.

After the career seekers have learned about their various aptitudes, skills, strengths and communication abilities, the Career Guide can help them become aware of the requisite attributes and current gaps.  The Career Guide will also assist them to bridge those gaps while they become conscious of the available opportunities. Remember some people only need to become aware of opportunities to get moving. Others will need more guidance and support over an extended period.

Remember that your aim is eventually to guide your client through the same processes as in Module 1.

Moreover, always remember to capture the experiences with your career seeker or client in your MiCareer Book and on your Blog. This will eventually grow into a list of experiences that you can re-apply during your dealings with other clients.  The process to identify a list of job choices is discussed in more detail in Module 2 Unit 2.

After you have made your client aware of the opportunities and gaps, you can expand the search for more work options and opportunities. Apply your own expertise on the web and the information regarding career guidance to guide your client through the web while using his/her own interests and aptitudes and relevant descriptive words. This will ensure that your client grows independently and that he/she will remain interested because it is his /her personal journey with you as a guide.

Module 2, Unit 1, Activity 1

Work with your group and make a list of five possible job opportunities in accordance with the client’s interests and attributes.

  1. Enter his/her favorite work keywords using Google as a search engine.  Scan the first few hits for interesting websites.  This will produce new and relevant keywords, industries and opportunities.  Use these words in more searches.
  2. Use the results and search for businesses in a specific geographical area (nationally or internationally).
  3. Write industry specific words and combine them with words in the client’s talent and interest area.
  4. Use Dictionary and Wikipedia or Google search extensively to learn more about the subject.
  5. Capture your personal experiences and discoveries in your Blog for the CV exercises.
  6. Record your experiences from completing the above activities in your MiCareer Book as part of your assignments.

Feedback:

This is a practical experience of the type of situation you will encounter as a Career Guide. You will need to build up your experience with the process and other people to succeed in this field.  This exercise is merely a tool to achieve that goal.  Moreover, to help others you must understand and believe that there are many opportunities up for grabs. One of the ways to grasp these opportunities is to repeat the exercises with your clients in order for them to be enabled to access industries and production.  In the following units, we will examine how these exploration processes can enable you to help students gain knowledge about themselves as unique individuals and make informed and realistic career decisions.

1.4 OVERVIEW

The overview gives you a broad picture of what you will explore and discover in this module.  Refer to this after completing each unit and see where everything fits in.

UNIT I: INTRODUCTION

The expected outcomes for the PCAR02W (Module 2) are summarised.

The first unit’s aim is to help you become more aware of your role as a career guidance practitioner.  The concept of finding jobs and organisations are therefore introduced and experienced.

UNIT 2: QUESTIONNAIRES AND QUESTIONING TO MATCH JOBS IN INDUSTRY TO TRAITS AND PREFERENCES

Explore and discover through questionnaires and questioning how to expose the career seeker to various industries and types of work.

UNIT 3: INTERVIEWS TO VERIFY STUDY, INDUSTRY AND WORK

Prepare the career seeker for successful entry into university or college and access to the work place through interviews.

UNIT 4: SOCIOMETRY AND SOCIAL NETWORKS

Explore and discover interpersonal relationships throughout existing and new networks with sociometry and social networks while also learning the value of selected networks.

UNIT 5: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER – A CASE STUDY

Integrate your knowledge, complete the assignments and get ready for the next Module.

1. INTRODUCTION

The processes of communication are vital to the Career Guidance Practitioner and the career seeker. Both groups require access to people with resources and opportunities. Communication skills form the basis of gaining access to people with resources and opportunities. PCAR01V/103/2008 introduces the minimum required communication skills you require to access people with resources and opportunities.

We chose the minimum communication processes to get you started. We included sources of the processes to assist you to pass these communication skills to the career seekers.

Practise the competencies during PCAR with your work groups and the working experts you need to reach. Refer back to the communication application processes all the time. Make these skills your own.

2. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

Choose to develop trust and then to trust each other

  1. When the chemistry between you and the others is not as it should be, admit it and make provision for it. You are often going to be faced with similar situations in the workplace. Learn to use differences to everybody’s advantage. Stick to the task and learn from the various differences that exist between the team members. Bring in external people for resolution when it looks like you may be stuck. It is a natural process in the workplace and is an acceptable part of most cultures.
  2. The goal is to experience, practise and grow, not endure. Experience how we learn quicker when the processes are applied and the rules are consistently adhered to. Remember that learning is a process accompanied by setbacks, but you learn the most when forced to overcome adversity. That is how we learned everything we have mastered throughout life, such as walking and talking.
  3. Be aware of the differences between each one in the group as facilitator, observer and as the candidate.
  • You are not trying to change each other whether you are facilitators, observers or candidates. You are developing, accepting and accommodating each other. Each one uses his or her learning style(s) in order to complete the activities.
  • Since each one relies on the processes (one is applying an external process and relying on external expertise), it is each one’s challenge to adjust, adapt, and find a way to be open and honest.
  • Refrain from using sarcasm and arrogance. It is contrary to the exploration, discovery and consequent learning experiences.
  • Acknowledge your fears; admit unknowns and admit when you do not understand. This kind of admission is powerful in the work environment and calls for immediate attention. However, in our cultures, it might be regarded as weakness.

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 1

The interactive session

You should repeat the following process with your clients.  Keep records of this process in your MiCareer Book for future reference.

  1. Listen closely to work out the real problem.
  2. Check to see if the client has prepared and invested time and effort in assignments.
  3. Assess the situation.
  4. Together think in terms of realistic objectives; develop a “contract” of: Agreed upon learning outcomes and Expectations of communication.
  5. Decide on availability and amount of sessions (one or several).
  6. Decide on the means of communication (face-to-face, e-mail, telephone, etc.)
  7. Assist each other to: Demonstrate or model similar processes & Ask when you do not know something.  You can refer the candidate to more sources, including other experts.  In addition, you can take the opportunity to learn problem solving.  Bring back answers, and demonstrate that you are in a learning process as well.
  8. Give positive feedback and use encouraging vocabulary.  Find success and reinforce effort even with minor accomplishment.
  9. Summarise and review.
  10. Enable follow-up.
  11. Celebrate accomplishment!

Tutoring strategies for the facilitator and observer roles

  1. Become a more effective tutor by obtaining suitable training material.  This includes subject matter as well as tutoring procedures.
  2. Help and encourage the candidate to get into situations where effective communication in English is paramount. When in these situations clearly establish the roles of the candidate, observer and facilitator. Always keep in mind the background of the candidate and the role of classmates, department, school and family.
  3. Keep and follow a consistent set of processes. Refer to the processes listed later on. Clear processes with rules are necessary, but must be mutually agreed upon with the candidate. They must be fair and enforced consistently.  These processes along with clear rules reduce unnecessary struggles.
  4. Have a clear idea of the strengths and limitations that you can apply in the processes.  Establish for yourself what skills or knowledge you can offer in the role of facilitator and observer.  Remember that one reward of facilitating and observing is the opportunity to learn and to apply what you have learned in similar situations.
  5. Learning is a process that almost always involves unsuccessful attempts. It is often called failing forward.  But this is actually not failure, since options are eliminated with a view to arriving at the correct solution.  Learning and problem solving require passing through a period of sorting facts and options necessary for success.
  6. The whole group (facilitator, observer and candidate) must discover their strengths and challenges in learning.  Discover for yourselves under what circumstances each one learns best from the processes and exercises you apply.  And when do you perform poorly?

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 2

  1. Become aware of all the different learning styles each of us use. Use VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinetic) methods.
  2. Know that most of us learn verbally. Never forget the importance of body language and tone of voice.
  3. Use your MiCareer Book to write your and your groups learning styles.

3. EXPLORE AND DISCOVER

In this course your will learn how to explore and discover in order to make informed choices. These exploration exercises will utilise the web.

You will become aware of what you like to do and what your strengths and weaknesses are.  You will gain experiences and awareness and subsequently enable yourself to make your own choices.  This is what you should be doing for your future clients.  Make them aware of their choices and of the tools available, guide them through situations where they can experience, practise and make their own choices.

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 3

  1. What do you like to do? Find words describing what you enjoyed about past activities.
  2. What are your strengths?  Find words describing your strengths.
  3. Use the results from www.assessment.com to find more words.
  4. Ask your group, friends, and family for input.  Different views are always very informative!
  5. Search for these words and their meanings and synonyms under www.wikipedia.org & www.dictionary.com.
  6. Use those words in the Google search engine and find White papers, web sites, and online magazines to broaden your search on the words.
  7. Choose three websites that you like and say why you choose them and what you enjoy about them.  Try persevering until you find something that really looks interesting to you!
  8. Use your MiCareer Book to write your words, websites, and answers.

Now that you have made use of the search words, you should be more comfortable using the search engine for this purpose.  You also had your very first exercise in exploring and discovering.

In the later modules, we will use these words to search for local and global companies/businesses of your choice.  During these exercises you will find we use these explore and discover exercises to connect to the real world.  You will have to help your clients to grow an awareness of opportunities, their talents, their skills and gaps. Teach them to explore, discover and engage.  Your client must be able to find a business they like and make successful appointments.  This course and these activities will teach you how to do this.

4.     NETWORKING

Gain access to people with resources and wisdom within a safe environment. Start accessing the elders in your community and people in the industry of your choice.  You will gain from their wisdom and the safety of their knowing what you should do. They will be able to guide you and show you what to avoid.  Continue doing this throughout your career.

You will need to use some basic skills to access these experts, professionals and elders.  Follow these guidelines, not only for this course, but also for your whole career path and you are guaranteed success.

  1. Always use the Task: “To relax” by breathing and moving your fingers. This tool will help you to put your thinking brain in charge of all responses. In other words, you will not react emotionally and rashly.  For fun: http://library.thinkquest.org/C0114820/logical/ We will explain the “To relax” task in more detail in task 6.
  2. Start communicating and growing relationships with your local elders, cultural leaders, and professionals (psychological services, legal profession, accounting, civic leaders, and business leaders).  Other people will automatically trust you if you work with the elders, leaders and professionals.  Your business will grow faster and you will earn more by maintaining these relationships. Remember: always meet with the above people and discuss what you are busy doing.  This will increase your access to resources, and you will gain insight from the wisdom of elders.  You will stay connected with locals and those people that can form part of the value you will add to career seekers. You will need them to complete your career expo participation in the last assignment.
  3. We use language to communicate with the above people.  Use  www.dictionary.com all the time to learn new words.  Learn from  www.bbc.co.uk to pronounce English correctly.  Remember to share your own culture and home language with mother tongue English speakers.  They can help you with your English and you can teach them your language. Grow together!
  4. You will learn to use your interest and curiosity to search, read, discuss and develop the choices you have with local professionals and elders. This is what lifelong learners do. This is what you should keep on doing, even after you are finished with the course.  Remember: never move too far away from your local way of thinking.  Always grow in concert with local wisdom while applying it. Keep growing and searching for new ways of thinking.
  5. When you have finished this course, you will have used a lot of free information.  It is then time for contributing in a value exchange. You always attempt to contribute more than you receive. That way your family’s work capacity grows, the community’s income grows and your country’s economy grows. Now you must make your experience available to others to make it easier and quicker for them to learn.  You are contributing and attracting resources by becoming visible to your clients and future partners. During the course, you will publish what you have learned on your Blog.  Remember:  all your future clients and other career practitioner learners will come to your Blog to learn from your blogged footprints. You will also in turn learn from their blogs, and this is what value exchange means in practice.

5.     START GROWING YOUR COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS!

Remember to relax!  Breathe deeply while you move your fingers and toes. Feel the relaxing effect. Your thinking brain is now in charge. Do this whenever you feel anxious during the many new experiences.

Through whole communication (The four elements of whole communication: observed facts, perceived facts, what each one feels and thinks.) you will understand your preferences, what is important (what do you want from your life), and how you are going to choose work and responses on the way.  You will learn to communicate with others, understand them better and in return grow increasingly meaningful relationships.  There are many tools to aid you with whole communication.  We have chosen a few examples for the purpose of this course:

  1. The Johari window (Ask for information and share information)
  2. Transactional Analysis (How we interact and grow understanding)
  3. Venn diagram (Segmenting and organising what we want, facts and feelings)
  4. Learn from Victor Frankl and the African bush

JOHARI WINDOW

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johari_window

A. Manali’s Johari window

The Johari window is a comparison tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham — thus the Joe-Harry/Johari window — in 1955 in the United States. It is used to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as an investigating exercise.

For this exercise you will need to work with a group of two friends.

Quadrants (the four divisions in the Johari window)

Terms selected only by you, but not by any of your friends or family, are placed into the Façade quadrant (the mask quadrant).  This represents information about you that your friends or family are unaware of.  Only you know this about yourself.  It is up to you whether or not you want to disclose this information to your friends.

Terms that are not selected by you but only by your friends and family are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information of which you are not aware, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform you about these “blind spots“.

Terms which were not selected by either you or your friends and family remain in the Unknown quadrant.  This represents your behaviors or motives which were not recognised by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply, or because none of you are aware of the existence of trait.

Johari Adjectives

The Johari Windows consists of 55 adjectives used to describe you.  Five or six are used by each peer, in alphabetical order:

  • able
  • accepting
  • adaptable
  • bold
  • brave
  • calm
  • caring
  • cheerful
  • clever
  • complex
  • confident
  • dependable
  • dignified
  • energetic
  • extroverted
  • friendly
  • giving
  • happy
  • helpful
  • idealistic
  • independent
  • ingenious
  • intelligent
  • introverted
  • kind
  • knowledgeable
  • logical
  • loving
  • mature
  • modest
  • nervous
  • observant
  • organized
  • patient
  • powerful
  • proud
  • quiet
  • reflective
  • relaxed
  • religious
  • responsive
  • searching
  • self-assertive
  • self-conscious
  • sensible
  • sentimental
  • shy
  • silly
  • spontaneous
  • sympathetic
  • tense
  • trustworthy
  • warm
  • wise
  • witty

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 4

Get to know your preferences in work and behaviour and your friends’ preferences in work and behaviour, using the Johari window.  By using the words in the table above, each person, including you, should choose six words that describe the candidate (this is you!).  These words are then written in the applicable quadrant (*a quadrant is one of the smaller blocks contained within the large block) in the table below.  The words that all three group-members chose come in the Arena.  The words that only your friends choose come in the Blind Spot.  The words chosen by you, but not your friends, come in the Façade – refer to the method described above.

Discuss the terms Arena, Blind Spot and Façade; make sure all involved understand all three terms (Discussed in the previous paragraphs).

The Johari window has four quadrants – what do they do with the fourth one?

Publish this (your old and new insights) under the heading Johari window in your MiCareer Book and your Blog.

TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS

We enjoyed the book “The Games People Play” by Eric Berne. We learnt a great deal about transactional analysis. Using transactional analysis you can appreciate the different ways in which we communicate, whether it is the nurturing parent, adult or playful child. Being aware of these ways of communication helps to build and mature our ways of communicating.

Read the web site against the guidelines below. Find the information for yourself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_analysis The model or theory is used for exploration and discovery of communication as well as for finding personality preferences. The awareness is half the battle. Once we know and are aware of that we do it automatically.

What are the games in “Games People Play”?  In Games People Play, Berne defined games as the following:

“A game is an ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions progressing to a well-defined, predictable outcome. Descriptively, it is a recurring set of transactions… with a concealed motivation… or gimmick.”

To explain Berne’s definition, think of a game as a series of interactions (words, body language, facial expressions, etc.) between two or more people that follow a predictable pattern. The interactions ultimately progress to an outcome in which one individual obtains a “payoff” or “goal.”  In most cases, the participants in games are unaware that they are “playing”.

What does “Payoff” or “goal” mean? You eventually become aware of different aspects of life, which were previously unknown or not clearly defined.  This can be positive or negative.  A “payoff” is something you are subconsciously looking for in relationships: affirmation, love or a critique, anything you are not aware that you lack.

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 5

  1. Use the information you gathered and identify what interested you.
  2. Record everything in your MiCareer Book.
  3. Over time, you will grow your insights as to what happened in your life and the effect it had on you.  You will sharpen your ability to answer honestly about these experiences and how they contributed to who you now are. The processes and tools that you use to complete your PoE and MiCareer Book generate content for you to talk about, to learn from and from which you might differ.  For you, the value of this exercise lies in the challenge to face personal facts about yourself.  You are required to look at your answers and the facts neutrally by using structured thinking.

Read and understand Transactional Analysis. We all play the games and some of which we did not choose for our best interest. Learn to consider your responses and take action to grow and produce more value to others and thus to earn more.

VENN DIAGRAM THINKING SKILLS

Adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venn_diagram:

Sets A and B

The orange circle (set A) might represent, for example, all living creatures which are two-legged. The blue circle (set B) might represent living creatures which can fly. The area where the blue and orange circles overlap, (which is called the intersection), contains all living creatures which can both fly and have two legs — for example, parrots. (Imagine each separate type of creature as a point somewhere in the diagram.)

Humans and penguins would be in the orange circle, in the part which does not overlap with the blue circle. Mosquitoes have six legs, and fly, so the point for mosquitoes would be in the part of the blue circle which does not overlap with the orange one. Things which do not have two legs and cannot fly (for example, whales and rattlesnakes) would all be represented by points outside both circles. Technically, the Venn diagram above can be interpreted as “the relationships of set A and set B which may have some (but not all) elements in common”.

The combined area of sets A and B is called the union of sets A and B. The union in this case contains all things with legs and things that can fly and things that can fly who have two legs.

The area in both A and B, where the two sets overlap, is defined as A∩B, that is A intersected with B. The intersection of the two sets is not empty, because the circles overlap, i.e. there are creatures that are in both the orange and blue circles. Sometimes a rectangle called the Universal set is drawn around the Venn diagram to show the space of all possible things. As mentioned above, a whale would be represented by a point that is not in the union, but is part of the Universe of living creatures. A Venn diagram is a diagram used to divide up two or more objects to view similarities and differences.

Using the Venn diagram

Later in this module you will explore your interests, values, aptitude and abilities.  This will all be entered in the Venn diagram to see overlaps and determine your passions.  You will use the words in the Johari window to enter into the Venn diagram.

http://www.logictutorial.com/

Relax to get the thinking brain in charge

During changes and when confronted with an unknown situation we all get anxious and start breathing quickly and we tense up the muscles in our bodies. Have you ever felt that happen? Breathe deeply and slowly.  Move your fingers and toes and feel the relaxation pass through your body. Your thinking brain is immediately in charge. For interest find some relaxation web sites and read more about relaxation.

Learn from Victor Frankl and the African bush:

  • Being jungle savvy will keep you alive in the real jungle of life. We live in Africa and find great inspiration from African nature – the bush and the animals. We will mention more about that in later tutorials.
  • Twinkle and breathe during your day to stay relaxed and focused.
  • What you think is who you are. Viktor Frankl knew this and chose how he thought and what he thought of,   even when he was in the most extreme of conditions.  Read about Victor Frankl in his book: “Man’s search for        meaning”.

Read about him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

Breathe, twinkle and wiggle!

Also, see “motivation” on Wikipedia

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 6

Always act in your best interest under any circumstance.  Do this quick Twinkle and Breathe exercise:

  1. Sit or stand with your back nice and straight.
  2. Move your fingers and toes and feel control shift to your rational brain.
  3. Now take a deep breath and hold it for ten seconds. Breathe out slowly and take 10 normal small breaths. Repeat both processes five times.
  4. Simply be in charge of your brain and body to make good rational choices in your own best interest at all times.
  5. Repeat the processes to keep the body serving the brain for productive choices and your actions. Do it before meeting people or calling people and when you sit down to work or during your lunch break.

You can work more, play more and have more fun. Most stress related diseases could not affect you since you stay relaxed and do more.

In addition, look at how different people are motivated. We believe what comes into our minds drives desires and fears. Your desires and fears drive your actions. Actions leads to habits and habits lead to your character (or who you are), what you value and what you believe. It really does matter how you allow stuff to come into your mind, because it drives what you think. It is an awesome thing, to know you have the power to choose.  This is the building blocks of who you are and what you will become. Choose carefully what you allow into your mind.

DEALING WITH YOURS AND OTHER’S FEELINGS

“Acting in best interests”

Always act in your own and others best interests for value preservation and growth.  Dealing with yours and others inputs, thoughts, feelings and appreciate any kind of feedback through the conversion processes below.

The purpose of “Acting in best interests” module:

Respond versus react.

Find the value in interactions.

Grow relationships through contact with other people.

Whole communication means we take a moment to look at the four broad categories driving our choice of words. The process also forces our rational brain into action.

  1. Observed facts.
  2. Perceived facts.
  3. What we feel.
  4. What we think.

We share useful practices to stand back and keep acting in your and others’ best interests all the time.

Implement “Act in best interests”

Always get your body and brain calm and ready for best interest choice of action.

Breathe deeply, move your fingers and toes (Twinkle) sit upright and move your back or waggle. Feel yourself relax. In extreme situations, we can recommend more intense exercises.

Now you are ready for the issue at hand.

What is the issue? Who is impacted or affected? Will it still matter tomorrow, next week or next year? If it does not matter let it go, picture the problem in your hand and gently blow it away.

If it matters, proceed to find alternatives with solutions and test for implementation. The alternatives are required as a fall back, if the chosen alternative is too tough to implement. Grow from any event, opportunity, difference or conflict by pulling resources into your implementation plans. People like solutions and participation. While any situation is viewed as a problem without a solution, you will stand alone.

Where to use “Acting in best interests”?

This process works for most interactions and it also turns good situations into great ones.

When you feel overcome with anger or disillusionment, apply the process and maintain a solution based mindset. People around you will also be affected in a positive way as you will reduce tension in the workplace while finding solutions to befit all involved.

Remember to use sites like www.assessment.com and learn more about your work preferences.

Share the results with friends and work colleagues for higher returns and impact.

Share the solution based mindset with two friends and find out how it will benefit them.

PCAR01V/103/2008: Activity 7

A thought process exercise.  When you are confronted with challenging situations or statements at work:

  1. STOP! Do not answer or react immediately. Always inform the other person or group you are with what you observe your perceived facts, feelings and thoughts.
  2. Say, “Just give me a moment; let me gather my thoughts.”
  3. Now think about the answer that will benefit all in that specific situation. You can use the list of processes and questions in the last chapter to help.
  4. Attempt to understand, in terms of whole communication, what is meant or what drives the statement. It is never personal. It is always perceptions. Defence and attacks are the enemies of growth and relationships.
  5. Acting defensively will not help either. Rather get more information through calmly asking about what the other person thinks and how he or she feels. Find clarity before acting.
  6. Ensure you have as much information as possible before suggesting a solution.
  7. Run through a compressed version of Explore – Discover – Engage in your mind.
  8. Remember the Games People Play and Transaction analysis of Eric Berne.

6.     SUMMARY

This is the third tutorial letter, which is linked to PCAR01V. The subsequent modules rely heavily on the information that you have been given in the first three tutorial letters in PCAR01V.

Tutorial letter PCAR01V/103/2008 required you to think about the communication skills that you need to be a successful career guidance practitioner.

You have been given tips on how to build relationships. This entails choosing to develop trust and then to trust each other; it means developing tutoring strategies for yourself in the facilitator and in the observer role; and this might mean that you have to use the Visual, Auditory and Kinetic method to identify the different learning styles of your clients; , how to explore and discover

Secondly, you learned how to explore and discover in order to make informed choices. This was done by means of accessing the information that is available on the internet and assessing whether it is suitable for use in your own future.

Thirdly, the importance of networking was explored. You discovered how to gain access to people with resources and wisdom within a safe environment in order to make it possible to establish yourself as a community based career guidance practitioner.

Fourthly, we explained to you how to start growing your communication skills. In order to do this, you investigated the Johari Window, gained an understanding of Transactional Analysis, practised to segment and organise what you want by using the Venn diagram, and finally, you learned from Victor Frankl and the African bush. A vital part of this was dealing with yours and other’s feelings as you learned to act in other’s interest by using whole communication.

I hope that you find this information stimulating and helpful in your journey towards establishing yourself as career guidance practitioners.

FIRST ASSIGNMENT 01

SECTION  A

Carefully plan a series of five discussions that you intend to hold with a group of people (work or career seekers, etc).  In these discussions you will give a theoretical explanation on the topic of the discussion, and also illustrate how the career seekers themselves will conduct an interview with a person in an industry in which they are interested and may use to build a career.

[You will have to do research in your community to ascertain in which way these discussions can be presented:  you may find career seekers at youth centres, churches, youth groups, e.g. Scouts, political groupings etc.  Try to get at least two learners to participate as career seekers and help you with this assignment especially with Topic 5.]

Each learner receives a MiCareer Book and finally publishes it on their new BLOG. Once this has been done, the learner stores it on Gmail just as you did. Your task is to help them create their Gmail account and use the storage space just as you did in PCAR01V/102/2008.

After you complete your course you could charge a fee to repeat similar processes with and for people as career seekers buying a service from a career guide. You can complete the process for whole families and groups since you can use Internet Cafes or Internet at the nearest school / college / business. Find and use Internet with your mobilised groups.

TOPIC 1:  PERSONALITY

1.1 Plan a forty-five minute exercise on the topic of Personality. Write out the experiences and include web sites and other material you use to illustrate the information (e.g. visuals, games, etc). Personalise the experiences to engage the career seekers and make your discussion pleasant, e.g. a relevant quick web test of each topic.

1.2 Summarise the discussion on a single sheet of flip chart paper (or transparency).  The summary can be a diagram, flow chart, table, sketch or any other suitable manner in which the essence of the talk is represented.  Indicate to the listeners how the information on the summary sheet ties in with the exercises which they have just done.

1.3 Create a ‘test’ to establish whether your audience has understood the content of your talk.  You can use any method, but use a different method for each cycle of discussion.  Some examples are:

  • incomplete sentences (leave a keyword out of a sentence)
  • multiple choice questions
  • rephrasing in own words
  • complete a table (draw up a table/flow chart, but leave some information out)
  • answer the following questions
  • decide whether the following statements are TRUE of FALSE
  • ask them to make a quick speech and a list of the positive knowledge that they have acquired about the specific topic. Evaluate the results and facilitate those who did not gain from your presentation. This will also help you learn how to improve on it next time.

TOPIC 2: APTITUDE

Follow the same method as given in Topic 1

TOPIC 3: INTEREST

Follow the same method as given in Topic 1

TOPIC 4: VALUES

Follow the same method as given in Topic 1

TOPIC 5: CAREERS

5.1 Use the structure and communication elements from PCAR01V/102/2008 and PCAR01V/103/2008. Plan a discussion with at least two career seekers. You may do this exercise with your work group. Your work group members become career seekers for you. Ask the career seekers to consider the impact of the exploration and discoveries.

  • Personality traits early discoveries shared
  • Interest explored and discussed
  • Aptitude discovered and discussed
  • Values explored, chosen and discussed (This I believe …)

You will repeat the exercise and match the answers to a growth industry later in PCAR.

Complete the assignment by taking two or more people through the stages of exploration and discovery of their own personal traits and attributes.

In summary:

Congratulations on completing your first module!

What have you gained?

  • You know about core communication processes.
  • You know about exploring and discoveries for personal traits and attributes.
  • You know how to repeat the exercises for your clients.
  • You practised a first round of group facilitation based on the discovery process you encountered      in this module, which you will reapply in the final assignment of this course.

Now you should be ready for the exciting experiences that will follow.

6.1 INTRODUCTION

The previous four units introduced you to the following concepts: abilities, interests, personality and values.  You also obtained some knowledge about how these topics relate to careers.  It is impossible to describe all the careers in existence as they are continuously changing.  A vast number of people are looking for jobs while the creation of jobs is also important.  In the global context where there is great social and political change, many career possibilities can be used to activate the economy and uplift people in all communities.  It is fun to guide and watch a person explore and discover new work and career directions. However, integrating or combining the available growth opportunities, resources and steps required to access careers of choice is a challenge.

Wikipedia on Career gives a useful definition. Please read more.

“The Oxford English Dictionary says one’s career is one’s “course or progress through life (or a distinct portion of life)”.  As of 2006, the word usually only pertains to one’s remunerative work (and sometimes to formal education).

A career is traditionally seen as a course of successive situations that make up a person’s work life. One can have a sporting career or a musical career without being a professional athlete or musician, but most frequently ‘career’ in the 20th century referenced the series of jobs or positions by which one earned one’s income.

6.2 CAREER CHOICE

A lot of work opportunities exist to enter an industry of choice and build a career.  The success of identifying and engaging a preferred industry depends totally on you.  Firstly, you have to know what you want and secondly, you have to be prepared to work hard to develop the skills and abilities required for success in the industry and the work you choose. Furthermore, you have to be flexible in your approach because you will find opportunities to accelerate, or even setbacks to overcome. It is an adventurous game so do not hesitate to play it. Our soccer player needs to practise with others and on his or her own.  An option is to also use family and friends as ‘practise’ partners. It is highly unlikely that you will immediately find exactly what you want.

For example, you may start with a clerical job and do part-time studies in order to qualify as a prosecutor and that could later lead to a career as a lawyer in a private firm.  This process of growth/improvement in career is referred to as a “career path”.

Module 1, Unit 6, Activity 1

  1. Think about these concepts; job, occupation, career, career fields, career path, services, productivity and services.
  2. Write down what you understand about each word and explore and discover those using Wikipedia, white papers, magazines, ezines and association exhibitions on the web for a better understanding of the wide use of the various concepts.
  3. Find a professional, using the processes in Tutorial 103 if you struggle with this exercise.
  4. Capture core sites and opinions in your MiCareer Book.

6.3 GETTING TO KNOW A CAREER

Explore and discover the changing work opportunities you can use to develop a career. Exposure and awareness of work will let you increase your choices and ways to access your traits and preferences as discovered in previous units.  As your awareness increases so will the knowledge concerning areas these of work and the skills required to do them. This will in turn help you choose what you enjoy doing and teach you how to gain access to the current workplace.

You may more or less know what a doctor or dentist does because you have visited them, but how well do you really know their daily routine or the problems they face? Can you find out such detail or become familiar with lesser known careers before making the big decision? Career satisfaction surveys can provide clues on how much people know about different occupations. Use these tests as discussion and discovery documents. Although there are many different ways to investigate careers, only three are mentioned here:

  • What about getting to know a particular career by doing holiday jobs from an early age? Or you can do volunteer work and seek part-time employment? Would you work for free in exchange for experience and to grow your Curriculum Vitae? Experience is priceless and it is also directly proportional to your life income.
  • What about “networking” within the career you want to investigate? Notice the difference when utilizing Networks Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/102/2008 and the Johari Window from Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/103/2008.
  • What about consulting civic leaders, community development workers, local business chambers, career centres, community builders, schools, traditional leaders, faith healers, religious people, teachers etc. Use Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/103/2008 modules to maximise value from the interactions, help with preparation and acquire the competencies.

In the following example, the method of investigation by means of “networking” is used. Use Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/102/2008 Networking and the Johari window processes Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/103/2008.

Let us assume that you would like to enter the industry to build a career in advertising.

Step one The web is a useful source as shown in the above activity.  Find the word “advertising”. You will then probably find the Advertising Standards Authority.  Email or telephone them and ask them for the names of five of the largest or best-known advertising agencies in the country.  Explain to them why you are doing this.  Ask their advice on how to effectively achieve your goal.

Step two Give two agencies a call and ask to speak to the secretary of the person running the company.  As this can be expensive (depending on the distance of the call), you might start with those firms closest to you. Tell the secretary that you are running a research project to find out exactly what advertising is.  If necessary, ask her to refer you to someone who could give this information.  Tell the secretary that you are talking to all the top agencies so that she does not just try to get rid of you.

If possible, make an appointment to see the relevant person. Ask specific questions about the career.  For example:

  • What attributes are required to succeed in the industry?
  • Ways for entry into the industry? Can I work my way up while I study?
  • Where does a person get knowledge to grow in the job?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the career?
  • What aspect you like and dislike about your career?
  • What career opportunities are there?
  • What are the opportunities for entrepreneurship?
  • Are there alternative prospects available?

Even if you spend only a few minutes with them, ask a few of the people at the agency what they do every day, whether they enjoy it and how they would advise you to get started. You can find more detail at the Career Vision Job Satisfaction Survey as given in Module 3.

Step three Keep a careful record of each relevant conversation and add it to your MiCareerBook as it will serve as a comprehensive account of your findings for you to refer back to at any time.

Step four Most people do their career research through established contacts such as family members or friends of a parent.  This is a good start, but the career research must extend into the world of work. The ideal situation is to have personal contact with five individuals in five advertising agencies so that you end up with a fairly balanced picture of the business.  Reality often makes the ideal situation impossible to achieve.  However, the mere fact that you have established contact with so many agencies will count in your favour: you also have the beginnings of an excellent “network”.  Cultivate these contacts as much as you can.  One of them may offer you a scholarship, or a vacation job, or could even end up being your career role model for the rest of your life.

However, be careful not to expect any material reward.  Make sure they get reward from you transaction with them. They get recognition and the chance to grow their industry. You get knowledge and exposure. A good transaction is where both parties feel that they gained from the interaction. Think about it and capture what you gained in your your MiCareerbook.

6.4 HOW TO LOOK?

Simply use the exploration and discovery processes and engage the web.  Use the words and concepts you that you accumulated about yourself to search the web for news, white papers, magazines, Ezines, associations, exhibitions and companies.  It is almost guaranteed that current areas with a real future will emerge from the above process.

Repeat this process and share your experience with family and friends to gain and share while you practise.

Module 1, Unit 6, Activity 2

  1. Refer to your MiCareerbook and use words and concepts from your knowledge about aptitudes, interests and values that you accumulated about yourself to use in Google searches to find White papers, Magazines, Ezines, exhibitions, associations and interesting companies. Deliberately set out to find growth industries and work entry opportunities..  Capture what you like and dislike.
  2. Write down what you now know using the following as a guideline:
  • the daily routine of people in that industry and the work they do.
  • the status, salary and benefits the industry affords people doing the work.
  • their training and further opportunities
  • the satisfaction and problems they encounter
  • why this specific career appealed to them
  1. Now you need to use the information to prepare your actions and engage people in the industry. Find companies within reach to visit and engage people that are currently active in the industry.  As you get exposure, you will intuitively know what you like and dislike. The more you repeat the above activity, the better choices you will be able to make. Remember that you are following the same process that you will guide your future clients though. The experiences and networks you build will serve as tools to better serve your clients. Experience is the best way to learn and makes for relevant teaching and advice.
  2. Capture the findings in your MiCareer Book.
  3. Capture self-discoveries in your BLOG as a footprint and for future use.

It may not always be possible for you to visit people, contact them by telephone or email them.  This process takes a lot of time, but it can be very rewarding and will form the beginning of a very important relationship with one of your possible future careers.  You may research different career possibilities.  Whatever career you are trying to research, the best starting-point is a public institution, association or newspaper.

An advantage of establishing contact with these various sources is that you will be able to get in touch with all related jobs.  They will broaden your horizons and guide you towards new insights into the various possibilities in a career field.

Module 1, Unit 6, Activity 4

  1. Write down the industry you choose to engage.
  2. Find three careers in this industry.  Remember to apply your aptitudes, values and interests. Work or jobs form the foundation on which you build your career. The industry is like the suburb you choose to live in. It must fit the life style you have chosen for yourself and your family. Remember that every industry is like a suburb. There are various activities in any suburb that is essential for its daily functioning. This is also the case with all industries. The industry is therefore something worth giving thought to, but keep in mind that your skills and preferences can be applied to different industries in different ways. Keep broadening your horizons and use this concept to build your career.

To get you started here is an example of the journalism industry and its various opportunities

  • Writing skills to document content
  • Specialist magazine journalist (fashion, economics, cars, etc)
  • In-house journal writer
  • Television journalist
  • Public relations consultant
  • Media manager
  • Freelance journalist
  • Lecturer at university or college department of journalism
  • Radio journalist
  • Newspaper editor

What jobs would you find in the field of law, economics, education, science or sport?

6.5 LEVELS OF SKILL

Grow your knowledge; engage, and apply your knowledge to grow your skills and apply the skills to grow competencies. To engage in your industry of choice and you must continuously grow and acquire skills. Follow this process to facilitate your growth and skills acquisition and remember to choose with whom you engage.

When selecting an occupation it is also important to bear in mind the level of skill which is required to do the job. These are explained below in more detail. There are four levels of skills involved, each depending on the difficulty of the work and the training required.  Remember to take the four aspects (personality, aptitude, values and interests) into consideration when choosing a career because the level of skill will be influenced by your abilities.  You cannot become a doctor if you are not good at physical science, and you cannot become a pilot with bad vision.

The web now affords everyone the knowledge to grow in his or her careers. People will promote you and you can formalise your education with UNISA.

Enter your industry of choice at your current level of skill:

  • An unskilled person entering an industry is one for which no further training is necessary, e.g. cleaner, labourer, bus conductor, hospital porter.  On the job, web based and formal training is done when it is required in order to maintain standards and stay abreast of changes.
  • A semi-skilled entry of industry is one for which a certain amount of basic training is required, e.g. factory machine operator, typist or waiter.  At this level refresher courses are given so that the person improves his or her capabilities when necessary.
  • A skilled entry of industry is one for which several years of training is necessary for example jeweller, electrician, carpenter, secretary or building supervisor.  During training people become aware of the commitment which is necessary for them to maintain the expected standard of service.
  • Professional and managerial entry in industry normally requires high qualifications (either from a technical university, university or Further Education and Training college) and specialisation in a certain direction, e.g. lawyer, social worker, teacher, doctor, engineer, optician or chemist.

Module 1, Unit 6, Activity 6

  1. Identify industry entry for the career seeker fit to the levels of skill which are present in the   person.
  2. Show how a person can engage and reach the next skill level.

Feedback:  Remember that your level of skills is influenced by your abilities.  To become an engineer you may have to work as a cleaner in the engineering industry of choice. Then you can start improving the skills you need concerning literacy, numeracy, communication and industry knowledge. It is important when serving future clients that you make the above mentioned and the following concepts clear to them. You crawl before you walk and walk before you run. It is a process with reachable goals when tackled with a clear plan of improvement and promotion.

6.6 CONCLUSION

In this module, you were introduced to a process, which everyone can use to explore, discover and engage in work/jobs in respective growth industries. It is important that when you assist someone through their exploration and discovery that they engage and choose a career. Moreover, the individual should be allowed to follow their intuition and keep using new exploration, discovery and engagement techniques to facilitate the transition from unaware to subconsciously aware.

You should always keep in mind that people have unlimited potential which develops as they gain knowledge and understanding. The process helps them to turn a casual job into a permanent competency as they access opportunities in the industry of choice.  People will create unique careers around themselves and as they mature and move along their career path, while enjoying new challenges and thriving on change.

The assignment you have to complete after finishing this module prepares you to assist others in their exploration, discovery and engagement to the world of work/jobs, enabling them to build careers and businesses by using the experiences they gain.

5.1 INTRODUCTION

In the previous study units, we have seen how personality, aptitude and interests influence people’s choice of career.  Another aspect that demands attention is the personal values that often drive our decisions. The decisions you make to act get involved, say no, etc. Are based upon what is currently important to you. These decisions reflect current values. If you believe that having a lot of money is important, then money is one of your values and will drive your decisions.  If you believe that your family comes first in your life, then family is an important value and decisions will be influenced by that value.  What you value is an accumulation of past experiences – almost circumstantial.

A value or virtue is a “habitual excellence”. It is something practised at all times. The virtue of perseverance is needed for all and every virtue since it is a habit or characteristic and must be demonstrated continuously in order for any person to maintain other virtues. Perseverance stimulates other values or virtues, which are required to be successful.

When you increase your global exposure through exploration and discovery there will be changes in what you value. You will, and should get good at changing your responses to serve your best interests and this might change what you value. We are all driven and guided in our actions by the forces of what we currently value to be important or true. We need to realize that past events, and beliefs influence what we value and thus our immediate decisions. We view certain behaviours, choices and activities as acceptable and others as wrong because they fit into or they are in conflict with what we value.

It is therefore important that information about work choices in building careers guide and drive awareness of what we currently value. Acting in one’s own and others best interests often requires a rational considered response rather than simply reacting according to past patterns or “given” values.

It is important to know which values you regard as significant in your life when choosing and building careers. You need to guide people through their own exposure, exploration and discoveries to become aware of what they value. They need to decide whether these values serve them in today’s environment. For example, if you place a high value on helping others, do not choose a job that requires a very assertive approach, regardless of how much money you can make.

5.2 VALUES AS PART OF YOUR CHARACTER

Values are those beliefs and moral principles which determine how you understand and see the world.  Lindhard and Dlamini (1987:47-50) state that values are a person’s personal standards of conduct.  Values are also the standards by which we measure other people, their actions and their behaviour.

Your current or past value system is formed and influenced by:

  • your parents and upbringing
  • other family members
  • religious affiliations
  • political affiliations
  • schools, friends and peers
  • figures of authority in your life
  • your community
  • major social changes as we have had and still face in South Africa.

New values should add to existing values and not replace them.

Your future values are formed by your choices of activities and responses. Choose how you respond to change and what you value in accordance with your personal growth and expanding network.

Understand that we value different combinations of values. It is therefore inevitable that we may make different decisions in similar circumstances. Awareness of what you value and why you value it will help you think and act in your own and others’ best interests. Respond with rational thought and not in accordance with past beliefs or values.

Remember to relax, breathe deeply and move your fingers and toes. Feel yourself relax. The rational mind will now operate and take the place of an impulsive/quick reaction. Remember to teach this concept to all career seekers as it will benefit them as it should benefited you

Module 1, Unit 5, Activity 1

  1. Read about personal and cultural values.
  2. Now think of someone you know or admire.  What values do they demonstrate?
  3. Choose two values/virtues from the list on the web page that you observe to be present in the chosen person..
  4. What are his/her values and virtues in work and business? (Successful people usually have several clearly set out values. We recommend that you go and ask them.)
  5. What do those values/virtues tell you about the decisions he or she makes?
  6. Which five virtues do you appreciate most?  Why do you appreciate the specific values?
  7. Capture two thoughts about Values and Virtues in your MiCareer Book for future assignments.

Since self-interest drives us, we always adapt our values to current needs and circumstances.  The values you currently hold influence responses, reactions and choices.  Values determine:

  • Your views of life and the world
  • What is currently important to you
  • What you regard as right and wrong
  • What is regarded as good or bad
  • What kind of person you would like to be
  • How you behave, think, feel, experience and understand

Your current values and virtues determine whether you are liberal, motivated by money, conservation-minded, conservative, charitable, ambitious, considerate, or politically active.  No one is born with these attributes. What we value forms part of a system that has been imposed onto us by  the society we were born into and especially by influences and exposure during our formative years.

Become aware that you can now freely choose what you value and why. Exposure, exploration and discovery allows you to become aware and allows you to choose the beliefs that serve you and others best.

Simply relax and use your rational brain and newfound knowledge to change the way you respond in any situation. You now value access to careers, resources and opportunities. These are typically new values and they need to be applied in your study groups and career seeker groups.

Complete the values exercise below and become aware of what you believe and what others believe. Discuss and state the value of the belief in growing a career. Use the Johari window to share your beliefs and discuss how they serve you in your best interests. Learn what others believe and how this serves their best interests. Now understand how your responses, thoughts, what you read and talk about influence your beliefs and therefore choices of work.

Module 1, Unit 5, Activity 2

  1. Open and do the career vision work value survey. Be the candidate and do your quick values awareness exploration and discovery. The information gets us thinking and creates an awareness of where we are.
  2. What did you and your friends agree upon? Write down two specific points.
  3. Where did you disagree and why?  It is normal to agree and disagree since the test is based on certain circumstances and is very culture specific. South African society is multicultural and thus we must be very good at knowing what we like and what we do not like. As in soccer or other sports, you must practise with others to gain insight and develop skills.
  4. Capture the personal experiences and discoveries, and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

Module 1, Unit 5, Activity 3

  1. Repeat the aptitude tests on career vision work value survey.
  2. Be the facilitator and let a new candidate in your group do their quick natural aptitude awareness exploration and discovery. The other person is to observe and provide feedback.  The information gets us thinking and creates an awareness of where we are.
  3. What did you and your friends agree upon? Write down two specific points.
  4. Where did you disagree and why?
  5. Capture the personal experiences and discoveries, and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

Module 1, Unit 5, Activity 4

  1. Repeat the aptitude tests on career vision work value survey.
  2. Be the observer, scribe, and let a new candidate and facilitator in the group of three do the quick values survey awareness exploration and discovery.  Observe and act as scribe for the MiCareer book. The information gets us thinking and creates an awareness of where we are.
  3. Give structured feedback (What is feedback? Look it up on Wikipedia and Dictionary).
  4. Choose two values you and your friends agree upon. Write down two specific points.
  5. What do you not agree with and why?
  6. Capture the personal experiences and discoveries, and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

Too often, we look at peer behaviour for values to deal with new situations.  This is enhanced when young people explore and discover new ideas about most topics. They will always go through a phase of differing from their parents’ and community’s ideas and agreeing with peer groups – peer pressure.

Exposure, exploration and discovery rapidly changes what we value. These differences in exposure lead to differences in what we currently believe to be true and thus what we value. What we currently value also appears in choices of the life-styles of people who live in urban areas and that of people in rural areas.  For example, in rural areas, people tend to stick to their traditional beliefs or what works and in urban areas, people embrace new trends that bring about success. It is important however that we retain our roots while we adapt for global success.

It is important to realise that values are very much a matter of culture and this is evident in a multicultural society such as South-Africa.  One of the greatest indicators of emotional maturity is learning from and finding joy in other people’s values.  You will always meet people whose values are different from yours. The challenge lies in understanding those values in comparison to your own. Can you see we need the diversity to grow to our full potential as humans?

It is interesting to note that there are different kinds of values, for instance, terminal and instrumental values.  Terminal values represent a goal or purpose in the life of a person.  Instrumental values represent the means or manner in which a person can achieve these goals.  In other words, terminal values are what you consider important in your life and instrumental values are your standards of  behaviour in reaching those goals. Extra reading to help you guide your career seeker clients,  “Instrumental value” and “Priorities and Integrity“.

We need to realise there are many attempts to define and classify beliefs and values.  Let us look at one more.

Nelson (1993:46-47) provides us with the following classification of values by creating six basic groups, namely security, status, money, independence, sociability and creativity.

Security This person could well reject bigger opportunities in life for the safety of a secure monthly income, a guaranteed pension and medical insurance.  This can be accomplished by working for a large institution such as a leading bank, insurance company, the public service or a large company.

Status The need for status differs from person to person. Status can be achieved in several ways.  Your profession may give you automatic status in the community, such as doctors and ministers of religion.  Alternatively, it may happen through your level of power and influence, such as being a director of a leading company.  Alternatively, status can be sought through symbols such as expensive cars and clothing.

Money Money, as a value, often increases in priority as we advance through life.  As a student, one’s financial needs are less than when one becomes a parent.  A large salary can be taken as a reflection of any employee’s value to a company.  However, to some people money is an end in itself, to be stored and invested, but seldom enjoyed.  If money is your highest priority, you must try to define “how much”.  Someone accustomed to wealth all his or her life could see an amount, which seems like a great deal of money to a poor man, as paltry.

Independence Some people find it difficult to work under constant supervision.  They are never happy in large organisations with many rules and regulations.  They are not lazy or unmotivated and will often work extremely long hours in their own businesses.

Sociability People with high social values enjoy working with people.  They are likely to be happy in fields such as journalism, social work, teaching, nursing, etc. However, some of these professions might not be well paid.

Creativity These people must find an outlet for their creativity. They can be creative in the arts and sciences.  They are often deeply drawn to nature and actively involved in conservation.  Many artistic/creative people live a precarious existence from a financial and job perspective, but are willing to pay this price for the deep satisfaction they gain from pursuing their specific talent.

What do you value? Where do these specific values come from? Does it fit your current environment and choices that are in front of you right now?

5.3 MAINTAINING A BALANCE

The way you do any work leading to careers should respect your well-chosen values. With awareness and knowledge, most careers can be adapted to suit the career seeker’s Personality, Aptitude, Interests and Values.

After taking notice of the different main groups of values, it is very important in choosing a career direction in a growth industry of your choice, to take into account your aptitude, interests, personality and values.  Here are some examples:

  • If your major interest is business, but you also feel that helping other people is very important, do not give up either aspect.  Rather aim at becoming a businessperson with a strong involvement in charities and community work.
  • Do not give up the idea of a career in law, engineering or computer science because you strongly believe in protecting the environment and wildlife.  You could be a conservation-minded lawyer or an engineer who is involved in ecological issues.

Also, remember that your value system has a very important effect on your lifestyle and will show in the way you live, no matter what your career. For example:

  • If you are motivated by money and you happen to be a teacher or a poorly paid social worker, you may find a part-time way of supplementing your income by doing your job in some private capacity that might pay better, or by developing a lucrative or well-paying hobby.
  • If you are a stockbroker who is strongly involved in your church, you will be known as such in the stock broking community.
  • If you want to go into advertising, but you value job security above any thing else, you could become the advertising manager for a government-controlled enterprise or a large stable company (cf. Redelinghuys 1991:36).

Module 1, Unit 5, Activity 5

In the table below, you will find five different groups of values with a number of values in the column next to each group.  Find the right values to fit to the different groups and match them e.g.  1 – b etc.

GROUP

VALUES

1 Security A putting a high value on money, taking a risk, being shrewd, enjoying your possessions, getting in first, being your own boss, going for a bargain, viewing money as the best security, living well, making money
2 Status B honesty, sincerity, openness, good manners, cleanliness, respect for authority, politeness, modesty, charity
3 Social values C physical fitness, hard work, healthy mind in healthy body, having fun in life, living in beautiful surroundings, eating in glamorous restaurants, enjoying yourself
4 Money D leadership, social standing, being sociable, sticking with your kind, buying the best, dressing well, speaking well, living in beautiful surroundings
5 Outdoor life and enjoying yourself E security, living carefully, having regular habits, avoiding getting into debt, not owing anything, always economising, viewing education as the best security, planning for the future

The correct combinations:

1 – e, 2 – d, 3 – b, 4 – a, 5 – c

5.4 CONCLUSION

What you currently value will influence your life choices and thus everything you do. That means that your whole life style is based on what you currently value. What you value is acquired from parents, teachers and other people around you; especially those whom you regard as important.  In choosing work that builds careers, it is important to include the influence and importance of what you currently value. It has a major effect on our choice of work. If you do choose a career that is in direct conflict with your current values, you could be very unhappy in your job while you adapt or change what you value.

4.1   INTRODUCTION

A person’s current Interest inventory is directly related to his or her exposure to work choices and the language of work. Growing the Interest inventory means exploration, discovery and exposure to work opportunities in many growth trends within selected industries.  People are the only experts on their own interests. Everyone should repeatedly learn to explore, discover and connect to new work that can grow new careers. This is a recipe you repeat for increasing financial and personal growth for the rest of your life. This process will help you clarify your goals and where you want to go with your career, especially if you are cinsidering a midlife career change.

So, how do you align your work with your field of interest?  Look out for the following aspects:

  1. Choose a growth industry that interests you most.  Choose work that you would enjoy doing within that industry. It becomes easier as you get more exposure to terms, opportunities and the workplace.
  2. Everyone knows intuitively what he or she enjoys most: working with people, things or being creative. People know whether they like new projects, like to join new projects, like working in established projects, finish projects or maintain what is already working.
  3. Past decisions to get involved in home and school projects give strong indications of your basic work interests. Your past decision will assist you in finding the trigger words to get you started.
  4. Current awareness of interests is closely linked to a person’s natural personality combined with his or her current knowledge built up by previous exposure to knowledge, experiences and the workplace. Exercises that give exposure quickly changes ones expressed interests.
  5. Interest cannot be considered on its own, but must be taken in conjunction with the other aspects of the module. (Please refer to the puzzle at the beginning of the Module 1, Unit 1. It also appears in Module 1, Unit 2).

Choosing work involves various personal aspects: a person’s interests give some motivation and direction to his or her personality. Interests will also determine the amount of enthusiasm with which one will continue with an activity. It is therefore very important to consider interests when career choices are made throughout one’s working life.

4.2   DEFINITION

Gous and Jacobs (1985:79) define interest as a psychological state of the personality, which creates a tendency, striving or driving-force towards an object, cause, or ideal, which is of importance to the person.  Also of importance are the person’s emotions, which can influence the strength of an interest.

Read the Wikipedia Introduction to interest inventory

Interest can also be described as an aspect of the personality, which is directly influenced by its physical, psychological and spiritual constitution.  It is obvious that a person’s current health, physical strength and skills influence his or her abilities to do certain work and emotional drive (motivation).  These factors along with others integrate to influence a person’s interest and related choices.

In order to expand the career seekers’ awareness of interests, you should guide them to use an interest inventory to keep on expanding awareness while they explore and discover more interests and related career choices. Make sure they understand the words and concepts while they complete the tests. Use Google search and Dictionary to establish the meaning of words and concepts.

4.3   EXPERIENCE AN INTEREST INVENTORY

The career seeker’s intuitive feeling, together with current exposure guides the choices to integrate all the factors. Family and friends know much about your responses and behaviours. Always apply the Johari window to structure the sharing of what you have discovered or know, with friends and family who may not yet know. You also explore and discover what others know and you don’t!

When answering an interest inventory you should be careful that the answers to the questions do not only focus on your feelings and ambitions within certain areas. The answers should reflect your true interests.  The review of past choices of activities and the use of the interest inventory to explore and discover may only give a report of your current interests as you see them at present. It is therefore important to ask other people (such as parents, friends, teachers, etc) to give their evaluation of your interests.

The explored and discovered interests will create an awareness of what you would be happy doing and in which area your motivation is likely to be the strongest.  It is useful if you can relate your interest to some or other activity, e.g. a love of animals, a tendency to spend your time drawing pictures, etc.  Interests seem to develop around the things you are good at and to which you have had exposure.  An interest pattern may give an indication of possible work choices leading to careers. It is important to have insight into the requirements of that field of study, e.g. you may love animals and want to become a veterinary surgeon but lack aptitude in the natural sciences. You can still work in the veterinary industry in many other management and support careers.

Interests tend to develop with exposure whereas aptitude and other personality characteristics evolve very slowly with practice. It is therefore easier and quicker for you to adapt or change your interests.  If you faced the veterinary career problem, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, it may mean you can still work with animals. You just have to make adjustments and find an alternative career while still working with animals.  You might even have to look at acquiring gap bridging proficiencies to access the work of your choice. Firstly, spend time with people in the field you want to access.

We will use the Internet Career Connection web site as an information and experiential learning site.

Ensure you agree on the meaning of words and concepts by using information from an online dictionary and Wikipedia. Make exploration and discovery a lifelong activity!

Module 1, Unit 4, Activity 1

  1. Open www.iccweb.com (Click on the drop down menu called “Department” scroll down and select “Career focus 2000 career interest inventory.”
  2. Be the candidate and do your quick Interest inventory awareness exploration and discovery.  Use Dictionary and Wikipedia or Google and search extensively. Remember you are exploring and discovering! The information gets us thinking and creates an awareness of where we are.
  3. What did you and your friends agree upon? Write down two specific points.
  4. Where did you disagree and why?

It is normal to agree and disagree since the test is very specific to certain circumstances and cultures, which may differ from yours.  South African society is multicultural and thus we must be very good at knowing what we like and what we do not like. Similar to developing skills in soccer or sport through interactive exercises, you develop clarity by sharing your insights with others.

Capture the personal experiences, discoveries and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

Module 1, Unit 4, Activity 2

  1. Repeat the web site above as the facilitator, and let a new candidate in the group of three do their quick natural aptitude awareness exploration and discovery. The other one is the observer.  The information gets us thinking and creates an awareness of where we are.
  2. What did you and your friends agree upon? Write down two specific points.
  3. Where did you disagree and why?

It is normal to agree and disagree since the test is very specific to certain circumstances and cultures, which may differ from yours.  South African society is multicultural and thus we must be very good at knowing what we like and what we do not like. Similar to developing skills in soccer or sport through interactive exercises, you develop clarity by sharing your insights with others.

Capture the personal experiences, discoveries and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book..

Module 1, Unit 4, Activity 3

  1. Repeat the above activities.
  2. Be the observer and scribe and let a new candidate and facilitator in the group of three do the quick natural aptitude awareness exploration and discovery. The information gets us thinking and creates an awareness of where we are.
  3. Observe and act as scribe for the activity and career books. Give structured feedback. (What is feedback? Look it up on Wikipedia and Dictionary.
  4. What did you and your friends agree upon? Write down two specific points.
  5. Where did you disagree and why?

It is normal to agree and disagree since the test is very specific to certain circumstances and cultures, which may differ from yours.  South African society is multicultural and thus we must be very good at knowing what we like and what we do not like. Similar to developing skills in soccer or sport through interactive exercises, you develop clarity by sharing your insights with others.

Capture the personal experiences, discoveries and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

Repeat the candidate, observer and facilitator exercises with the following fun activity. You can share the exercise at home and with friends to grow your insights and experiences. Remember to structure your communication with the concepts from the Johari Window in Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/103/2008.

Module 1, Unit 4, Activity 4

  1. Do the VAK check and become aware of the differences in working and learning techniques.
  2. Could you identify and confirm each other’s preferences from your responses and actions, during the above exercises?  Awareness of a preference in learning styles is important. You must be aware to adapt and assist people with different styles.
  3. Use the same process to bridge gaps. Give an example of where you required a chosen ability or experience and got the knowledge and experiences using the above identified learning trait.

You now know how to repeat the activity for the roles of candidate, facilitator and observer. Try using the roles in this activity.  Capture the personal experiences and discoveries, and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

Use this exercise and many like it as free marketing tools for fun and to grow and mobilise clients for your practice.

Facilitating increased exposure through exploration and discovery will expose interests evident in your past choices.  Your interests should be aligned with growth opportunities, resources and simple steps to gain access to work opportunities where you can contribute more which coincides with earning more. It will make it easier for you to master a wider variety of knowledge and experiences. Should you not enjoy reading, work with someone who does and then discuss the content with him or her. You can help them verbally and they can help your reading. Always use your natural abilities to assist others with other aptitudes to help them to achieve the same balance as what they give to you.

However, for your purpose, the skills can be acquired to access any or most opportunities of your choice.

4.4   LONG-TERM PLANNING (CAREER-PATH)

People require regular response to changes in the industry. Repeating the exploration and discovery processes allows people to find new growth careers with ease. Most people will be comfortable to come back to the self-exploration and discovery guides.

Simply repeat the above exploration and discovery processes as you will understand them in more depth and with increased awareness. Apply the same concept to all the processes and exercises you encounter in this course. You will find that your point of view and increased understanding will change the way in which you view yourself and the processes

Although some interests stay with you for most of your life, it is important to realise that they may change with increased exposure, opportunity and access to resources. Interests are never cemented in time. Things that were once a passion may lose their attraction when you get older.  It is therefore essential that you think of current growth in your career and earnings and keep on reviewing them. Be very responsive and aware of changes. You will notice a loss of motivation and other signals, such as work becoming an effort instead of fun! When this happens, implement the exploration and networking processes.

Think of someone who starts out playing soccer. Later he or she may change from playing to organising soccer or a team, promotion, coaching or administration. The same happens in all industries and sport. People naturally seek new interests as their lives progress. When one considers the career of professional sports people, one realises that they can only take part in competitive sport for a limited time and then naturally move on to the next interests related to the same sport or even new careers.  They explore, discover and develop other related interests. The same happens in most careers.

Activity: Find someone who changed career interests and discuss the changes with them. Develop your understanding of how dynamic interests and careers interests really are.

4.5   VARIOUS INTEREST FIELDS

The opportunities and types of work are much wider today than ever before and are changing all the time. As more opportunities come to the forefront more opportunities become available. Can you see how this process can be self-propagating up to the point where it can end unemployment? There is therefore work for everyone when they know and acquire competencies to be employable.

Careers develop from work. Careers are chosen by consciously choosing your work involvements. Due to the rapid changes and new growth opportunities, very few people end up doing what they studied. The studies are simply a valuable formal entry to the current work place.

You will find many interest inventories on the web and locally from job assessment companies.

Qualified professionals use models like the Human Science Research Council’s 19 Field Interest Inventory (19FII). This instrument is widely used (but only by qualified people who are registered with the South African Medical and Dental Council) to determine a person’s interest fields.  Gous and Jacobs (1985:81-84) use the 19 Field Interest Inventory and apply it to the four main areas of study, namely the Humanities, the Natural Sciences, the Biological Sciences and the Commercial Sciences.  They also concentrate on technical directions and outdoor life.  The purpose of this classification is to make it easier to relate interests to the same three main areas that were identified for classification of aptitudes.  As a career guide practitioner, you drive exploration and discovery as a lifelong process. Exploration and discovery is best served by using web based low cost and free tests. It brings your client international, national and local exposure and the discovery of work based in wider geographic areas, matched to specific interests.

http://www.self-directed-search.com/sdsreprt.html

 

Often school leavers show interests based upon subjects taught by their best teachers.

Connect him or her with what they really enjoy about the subject rather than the subject itself. Our potential soccer player enjoyed physical games and tasks. The career candidate must then explore and discover as widely as possible. They must meet people in the various industries to gain experience. Only the career candidate can choose in which industry he or she would like to get involved. The career guide can only guide the exploration and discovery processes. Use the web based processes to explore, discover, and widen exposure. Connect the career seeker with their interest and industry of choice, and expand their choices. Should the career seeker be very uncertain in their choice, grow their certainty with web exploration and discovery techniques.

4.6   WHEN IS MY INTEREST A “REAL” INTEREST?

We discuss the process to help verify real interest.

A true test is to experience the interest area in real life. Please refer to networking in PCAR01V/102/2008 and connect the client to real exposures of their expressed interests.

People are often attracted to one aspect of a career e.g. if a person likes animals and outdoor life as a hobby, a career such as farming, veterinary science or nature conservation may sound ideal.  These careers take on a different perspective as a full-time, lifelong occupation.  One has to try to distinguish between those interests that make satisfying hobbies and those which offer good career possibilities.

Another influence, which needs to be considered, is that some people have not been exposed to many fields of interest.  If one considers that there are family traditions regarding career choices, then the influence of exposure/familiarity with a specific field or lack thereof, is clear.  The following illustration shows what is meant:

Be careful not to be prejudiced when judging a specific career. Most young people fear having to sit behind a desk.  An active, preferably adventurous career is much more appealing.  What people do not realise is that many careers develop in such a way that they will end up behind a desk for at least part of the time.  For example, a good doctor could become the superintendent of a hospital; a geologist may become a mine manager; an electrician may end up as a works manager of a big plant.

As people are settled in their careers and grow in confidence, they become better prepared to take up leadership or managerial positions.  Sometimes as they climb the career ladder, other needs and interests develop.  For example, an engineer might end up doing more management than engineering after a few years.  Thus, he or she needs managerial skills and possibly will be interested in acquiring them.

Take your own areas of interests and apply the questions below to your own situation. Determine for yourself which your real interests are and which might just be of a passing nature.

Some of the questions one could ask oneself to determine whether an interest is real, are the following:

  • How long have I been interested in this activity?
  • Have I been overcome by the glamour of the activity?
  • What are the physical and academic demands involved in the specific activity?
  • Have I previously experienced intellectual problems with similar activities?
  • Am I really motivated to undertake this activity and succeed with it?
  • Can I feel at home with the environment or culture where I may eventually find myself?
  • Is this interest in line with my long-term planning for my future?
  • Do my friends/parents/teachers see this interest reflected in my life?
  • How many interests have I been exposed to?

Module 1, Unit 4, Activity 5

  1. Verify the interest and the growth with the exploration and discovery exercises on the Internet.
  2. Find White Papers, magazines, Ezines, exhibitions and associations. To achieve this you must use the internet and type the keywords describing your interests, aptitudes, preferences and traits from previous exercises, into the Google search engine.  Type your interest word/s alongside words like white paper, magazine, ezine, exhibition, association.  What do you find? (The information will help you realize deep interests versus casual interests. Strong interest will release energy that keeps you going to read, study, discuss and engage working people. The career seeker should join Ezines, news feeds and other sources of information to get her linked to work in their industry of choice.)
  3. Ask at least two people in your family or among your friends the above questions.

Capture the personal experiences and discoveries, and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

It is very important to be honest with yourself about how you feel about a certain activity, matter or subject when trying to establish your real interest(s).  It is also true that a person’s interest pattern is not static and may change with learning and experience.  This is one of the reasons why we speak of a career path.  Not only does the individual change, but also the circumstances, the environment and society. Moreover, technological advances also open up new possibilities.

 

SUMMARIZE YOUR INTERESTS

Carefully choose the interests you want to develop further. Summarize the interests in your MiCareerBook. Remember to state why you chose the particular interests.

In future, you will help the career seeker (Your client) to explore and discover and apply their interests. The career seeker will choose interests they want to develop and implement an access plan which you will develop during Module 4.

4.7 CONCLUSION

From the discussion, it is clear that one does not necessarily fit into a specific area but can have a number of different interests. It is important to establish which areas of interest are the most important and to make a work access choice that will lead to career choices aligned with the interests. Your motivation will be higher when your interests go together with all the other aspects (personality, ability, values, etc.)

3.1 INTRODUCTION

As you read this unit, you should bear in mind that aptitude is only one of many concepts that you will encounter during the exploration and discovery of personal work preferences.   However, it will add to the information about work choices. It will be useful when choosing an occupation within broad based career directions. People’s personality traits and preferences (Unit 2), their current interests (Unit 4), their current values (Unit 5), their current aspirations and exposure to various careers (Unit 6) stimulate their growth in mental capacity and awareness. Increase your own as well as your future client’s awareness of each personal exploration category that is discussed in each unit. This will facilitate their journey of exploration and discovery with regard to a career choice. One’s sharpened awareness will increase one’s capacity to choose the right work, contribute to the workplace and be productive.

You can link to the two distinct useful applications and meanings of aptitude:

  1. Natural aptitude to learn new abilities. We can talk about tests, exploration and discoveries and a currently revealed abilities inventory.

and

  1. Workplace aptitude, which is a norm to a specific industry and level of entry. This means that each industry creates its own benchmark for successful workers.

From Wikidictionary :

Definition of aptitude

1. natural ability to acquire knowledge or skills

2. the condition of being suitable

Synonyms for aptitude

1.  talent

2.  appropriateness, suitability

From www.dictionary.com :

Definition of aptitude

1.  Capability; ability; innate or acquired capacity for something; talent: She has a special aptitude for          mathematics.

2.  Readiness or quickness in learning; intelligence: He was placed in honors classes because of their         general aptitude.

3.  The state or quality of being apt; special fitness.

From http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/aptitude :

Definitions of aptitude: (Click on the blue highlighted words or look it up in a dictionary.)

INCLINATION, TENDENCY <an aptitude for hard work>

1: a natural ability: TALENT
2: capacity for learning <an aptitude for languages>
3: general suitability: APTNESS
Synonym see GIFT a natural or acquired capacity or ability; especially: a tendency, capacity, or inclination to learn or understand

In this unit, we focus on your guidance of the processes only for natural aptitude in self-exploration and discoveries.  Professionals can give advice and determine workplace aptitude – you cannot do tests and give advice if you are not qualified and registered. Refer your clients to registered work readiness testing professionals such as SPEEX. Workplace aptitude is often localised, so you must speak to your local professionals.

You will notice that, as we are exploring the concept of natural aptitude, related concepts automatically spring to mind such as current abilities to do work, potential to grow, skills acquired and explored talent.  In this study unit, you will explore and discover the valuable concept of aptitude. You will discover its relationship to other concepts in the other units that help you explore and discover your choices of work.

People explore and discover the complexity of humankind by studying different theories. The various theories are an indication of how people have struggled to describe the human and his inner workings. We learn from all these efforts. Each theory pushes the boundaries of understanding of our individual traits and preferences. You learn to understand, appreciate and apply your natural strengths.  It is important that you learn where you must delegate or collaborate with others to compensate for your current knowledge gaps or natural weaknesses.  Projects or tasks normally require a much wider range of traits and aptitudes than any one individual possess.

As you are exposed to wider choices, you get to know your preferences, traits and aptitudes better.  This is true for every person who wishes to experience a wider range of choices.

All that is required is facilitated exploration and discovery of each one’s unique combination of traits, preferences, aptitudes, talents and growing competencies. This process of exploration, discovery, choice of competencies and choice of work repeats itself throughout our lives. We need to be able to repeat the processes easily with no (or little) financial cost. By using the Internet, you can stay up to date and share these processes with your clients throughout their career development.   Exploration and discovery brings understanding, insight and clarity of expression. The insights, awareness and clarity help each individual to increase communication with more people. People expand their chances of connecting with the world of work; thus increasing their own unique contributions.

Let us use the concept of sport to describe aptitude and ability. You may decide on any sport of your choice to explain to your clients the difference between ability and aptitude. Adapt the stories to your client’s culture and known references. Known references make the learning safer and the lesson clearer.  With the 2010 Soccer World Cup around the corner, I would like to take aptitude for soccer as an example.  Say someone has a natural aptitude for soccer.  He has a natural awareness and talent for running, sidestepping along with quick reflexes. However, if he has never actually seen or played a game of soccer, he will not realise his natural aptitude for it.  Creating this awareness and providing exposure to different choices are what you are aiming for as a Career Guidance Practitioner (CGP).

People cannot answer questions that are based on soccer until they have seen and experienced a game. Not until they have practiced and understood the moves can they play for a team. Practice allows people to grow their ability which they apply their natural aptitude.  Practice takes time and hard work. They must find people with whom they can play, as they cannot practice soccer alone. Natural aptitude is a talent; practising and exercising this talent creates skill and ability.  Aptitude only reflects potential talent until you develop it by using tasks and exercises that grow your aptitudes and competencies.

Everyone can be involved in the soccer industry.  You can be an organiser, mobiliser, spectator or part of a fan club. You can sell the products that advertise the teams’ brand names.

Keeping and maintaining the soccer grounds is important. The team requires transport. You can venture into the career path of a player, janitor, salesperson or even a secretary.  In the same manner, every industry offers many different career paths. A wide variety of work choices are offered in any industry. Anyone can find work in the industry best suited to his or her natural aptitudes.

Now let us show people how to identify their game of work!

People might know their natural aptitude. If not, it can come to the forefront with exposure. You can introduce them to tasks and exercises to get ready for the game of work. Once they have seen the game they like, they need to exercise and practise some work moves. In this manner, they keep moving towards a goal by learning and growing competencies.

Now it is time for you to find and work with at least two more people. This ensures that you (as a future Career Guidance Practitioner) understand that your future clients must also work with at least two people in order to be facilitated, observed and guided towards a suitable career.

People practise for the great game of work together with other players! It is difficult to practise in isolation. Grow yourself and others within a group for maximum growth and benefit.

Read about muscle memory in Wikipedia.  You acquire competencies of the mind in a similar way by exercising processes repeatedly. Look at the way you learned to use a cell phone: you learned by engaging, observing and mimicking others!  Then you started using the phone yourself and as your confidence grew, others started engaging, observing and mimicking you. Now you are learning and teaching the natural way – the same as you learned to walk and talk. You simply need to keep on repeating the same learning processes.

Skills, abilities, and aptitudes are related, yet different.  Skills describe what a person has learned to do in the past.  Abilities describe what a person can do now at the present time.  Aptitudes look forward.  The description of a person’s aptitude describes his or her potential.  Aptitudes describe what ability a person has to do something in the future.  In other words, aptitudes describe what a person can learn to do.

If you develop competencies in line with aptitudes, life becomes productive and much easier.  Competencies lead to the development of skills and abilities.

Module 1, Unit 3, Activity 1

Describe a person who is doing well in his/her chosen workplace as he/she is building a career (he/she has a recognised aptitude.) Find out what else the person is good at doing – perhaps as a hobby (this could be another aptitude, but the aptitude may still be developing to the level where it can become a competence and ability).

  1. What aptitude can you identify in them?
  2. What are their skills and abilities? (Usually a successful person has several competencies to reflect the aptitude).

Write your description of this successful person in your MiCareer Book. Capture two thoughts about aptitudes in your MiCareer Book for future assignments.

I hope that this informal description of the link between these concepts has given you an idea of the importance of each person’s aptitudes and skills. Moreover, you are now aware how aptitudes can link to skills for various work purposes.

We must take care not to let a person’s current exposure levels influence career choices or access rather than people’s innate or natural aptitudes to learn. Please use web exploration and discovery to find your own interests. Use the public domain’s free tests for exploration and discovery of your own interests. You can repeat the tests and share the results with others just as you shared in the Johari Window (see Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/103/2008). Repetition and sharing allow your personal exploration and discovery process to grow. While you explore and discover, you also increase your current functional literacy such as your language comprehension. You develop English and communication proficiencies through exposure to the new words and concepts.

Develop and use stories with pictures to teach others and stimulate learning. Most current tests relate to norms or standards derived from tests conducted on groups of people somewhere in the world. Simply learn from their stories, become aware of your gaps, and plan exercises for exploration and discovery.

Remember the soccer example? Create opportunities for people to explore and experience their own work related skills, abilities, aptitudes and competencies just as a soccer coach would expose people to soccer exercises!

Aptitude explorations and discoveries or tests reveal that students find certain jobs in their careers more productive and more fun.  They are attracted to these jobs naturally and learn because they are internally motivated.

Use the networking section in Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/102/2008 and find practicing experts in the human resources profession.  They usually work in companies or practice as private professionals.  They are the only people who are legislated to use work access tests.  You are not allowed to use any of the legislated tests.  So what is your role?  You simply become a facilitator for candidates.  This means that you help them to explore and discover themselves and possible career opportunities.  You must recommend your clients to access the local registered professionals in order to take locally normed workplace tests.

Module 1, Unit 3, Activity 2

Discuss the topic of Aptitude with your group.

  1. How is overall intelligence linked to aptitude or innate ability?
  2. Which of the following two concepts: skills and aptitudes, looks to the past and which looks to the future? Explain why.

Capture the answers in your MiCareer Book.

3.2 APTITUDES

Where are we, here and now, in terms of career choice and matched abilities and skills? What are the gaps in knowledge and skills between us and the career we want?

Let us go back to our potential soccer player. Aptitude to learn soccer contributes to how good people can become as soccer players. They only develop the aptitude into abilities if they keep on practising the right exercises with the right peer group, coach or mentors. The same applies to career choices and you are the guide or coach for career choice competencies.

All people benefit from a new inventory of their current revealed aptitudes regularly or yearly. In order to update your list of aptitudes and skills, you need to repeat the exploration and discovery process. Then you should discuss the results with the people around you. In this manner, you learn from what they know and share with them what you know. Apply the process of the Johari Window from Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/103/2008 to explore, discover and discuss your aptitude.

Use Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/102/2008 (for Gmail, group work and networking) and Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/103/2008 (for communication skills) to explore, discover and communicate.  You will use your new knowledge to increase your access to opportunity and resources.

Balance or wellness in life is essential. Exploration and discovery is to be repeated throughout our entire career lives. Additionally, professional checkups are very beneficial to calibrate and accelerate career choices. In future you should organise the career seekers into large groups to introduce them to professionals and to add to their self-discovery at affordable rates. Many professional tests are more affordable in such groups. At the end of this unit, we select and list some International and localized normalized professional tests. They are well worth the money in terms of exploration and exposure to new thinking and options from the extensive reports.

Module 1, Unit 3, Activity 3

  1. Do some of the free aptitude tests on Nicologic.
  2. Be the candidate and do your quick innate or natural aptitude awareness exploration and discovery.
  3. The information gets you thinking, creates an awareness of where you are and leads to interesting discussions.
  4. Answer the following questions and keep the process moving.
  • What did you and your friends agree upon? Write down two specific points.
  • Where did you disagree and why?

It is normal to agree and disagree since the test is very specific to certain circumstances and cultures that differ from yours.  South African society is multicultural and thus we must be very good at knowing what we like and what we do not like. As is the case in soccer or other sports, you must ‘practise’ (discuss) your insights with others.

Capture the personal experiences, discoveries, and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

Module 1, Unit 3, Activity 4

Repeat the aptitude tests on Nicologic.

Be the facilitator and allow a new candidate in the group of three to do the quick aptitude exploration and discovery. The third person is the observer.

The information gets us thinking and creates an awareness of where we are.

Ask the following questions and keep the process moving.

1. What do you and your friends agree upon? Write down two specific points.

2. Where did you disagree and why?

It is normal to agree and disagree since the test is very specific to certain circumstances and cultures, which may differ from your own. South African society is multicultural and thus we must be very good at knowing what we like and what we do not like. As is the case in soccer or other sports, you must ‘practise’ (discuss) your insights with others.

Capture the personal experiences, discoveries, and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

Module 3, Unit 3, Activity 5

  1. Repeat the aptitude tests on Nicologic.
  2. Be the observer / scribe and let a new candidate and facilitator in the group of three do the test (the quick natural aptitude awareness exploration and discovery). The information gets us thinking and creates an awareness of where we are.
  3. Observe and act as the scribe for the activity and career books. Give structured feedback. (What is feedback? Look it up on Wikipedia and Dictionary).
  4. What did you and your friends agree upon? Write down two specific points.
  5. Where did you disagree and why?

It is normal to agree and disagree since the test is very specific to certain circumstances and cultures, which may differ from yours. South African society is multicultural and thus we must be very good at knowing what we like and what we do not like. As is the case in soccer or other sports, you must ‘practise’ (discuss) our insights with others.

Capture the personal experiences, discoveries, and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

Repeat the exercises above in the following activity.  You can share it at home and with friends, to grow your insights and experience the Johari Window, from PCAR01V/103/2008, again.

Module 1, Unit 3, Activity 6

  1. Discuss and ask your group what they think of the areas of aptitudes.
  2. How do they rate themselves? Do they know other people with those aptitudes?
  3. Use the description of the aptitude categories to question yourself about your own aptitudes.  Summarise your own aptitudes that you can apply in the work setting of your choice.

What do I have a good aptitude for:                                              What don’t I have an aptitude for:

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Think of yourself and others in as many ways as possible. These aptitudes will help you and your future clients to explore careers in order to choose suitable tasks and work. Remember our soccer player example.

However, for your purpose, the aptitudes, which people show, need to be developed into abilities.  The problem lies therein that some people have not had the opportunity to develop their latent / hidden aptitudes!  Therefore, their lack of ability to do something might be due to the exposure they have had in specific fields – or the lack there of! This means that their potential is wasted. Facilitating the exploration and the discovery of a person’s possibilities gives them a better indication of the possibility of success than an average score on an aptitude test would give them.

3.3 ABILITIES

One grows or develops chosen abilities that match your aptitudes, by practicing or doing tasks. Typically, someone learns faster by observing and mimicking commercially successful people in the industry of their choice.

Guide people to explore and discover their aptitudes, traits and preferences and they will increase their available choices to choose where and how to gain abilities.  A minimum level of competencies, experience, or ability is needed to follow a specific course of study. The exploration and discovery processes help them to grasp the gaps and help them plan how to eliminate them. They can use the Internet for knowledge and access to successful people in their chosen field in order to observe and mimic them.

Once again, the soccer example is relevant!  You will learn to show them how to bridge the gaps with work experience, short courses, learnerships and internships. You, the guide, should be ready to link the client to these opportunities, relationships and resources and you will get an opportunity to do this in the last module.

You should be very careful when guiding people according to their past or current exposure and mental capacity. As with our soccer player, people can develop a number of jobs into several careers, which are all related, directly and indirectly, to soccer.  There are too many different factors contributing to the totality and uniqueness of a person to use only one aspect (such as current mental capacity) to choose their future career.

Gous and Jacobs (1985:44) state:  “Intelligence is not a unitary factor and should rather be seen as a collection of different functions or factors of ability which contribute to a totality of abilities or intelligence.  There is however, a dynamic interaction between these factors, other personality factors and the environment in which the person finds himself”.

You now have a background to the concepts of abilities and aptitudes. I suggest that you go back to it throughout this module. As a Career Guidance Practitioner, you will revisit the process often and share the processes with others. They will keep on coming back since it is hard to do such exploration and discovery on their own. The returning clients/career seekers create repeat value added business for your practice or your employer. (You may want find “repeat business” on the web through Google search and learn ways on how to grow your income.)

Exploration and discovery is powerful and opens up choices. Analytical tests can be limiting, as they may seem to limit choices. Use such tests to expand your choices by challenging the answers and by growing from these challenges.  The given activities require you to do exactly that.

Look for the Ball Aptitude Battery on Careervision.  These tests cost money, but they are well worth it once your client has been prepared by using the free and simpler tests above.  Also, do the free version of the MAPP test.  Remember to study and discuss the meaning of the words and concepts used in the questionnaires to localize the information for your clients/career seekers.

It is important to understand the concept of talent – keeping the five aptitudes in mind.  Perhaps you need to go back to the explanation of the related concepts at the beginning of Unit 3 to refresh your mind regarding the links between abilities, aptitudes, intelligence, talents and skills.

3.4 TALENTS/GIFTS

A talent is a natural and special aptitude.  One could opt to build a career on a talent in many fields such as music, fine art, drama, sport and ballet, but one’s interest in the chosen field would have to be very high. Find experts in your or the career seeker’s field of giftedness and consult them.

The article below (in Activity 8) shows why everyone has to be very careful before deciding on a career built on a special talent. The demands of a career based upon special talents are very high. If you choose to do so, you should acquire fallback competencies. Such competencies make it possible for you to survive (by doing a related job such as stage lighting). You can develop your secondary competencies while working with people presently active in the field.  Your learnt skills can be useful to them.

Module 1, Unit 3, Activity 7

  1. Read the Gift or talent section in wikipedia
  2. Choose two talents or gifts you admire. Why do you admire these gifts?
  3. Choose two talents or gifts you do not admire. Why do you not admire these gifts?

Capture the personal experiences, discoveries, and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

You now know how to repeat the activity for the roles of candidate, facilitator and observer. Try using the roles in this activity.

Are you somewhat overwhelmed?  Perhaps you need to think quietly about these various concepts. You can also try to explain these concepts to a person who is sympathetic towards your ideals to be a CGP.  Once you have done this, you could do the following activity in order to test your own understanding of the concepts.

It remains very important to remember that a career choice might not represent only one of the main career categories, but that it can overlap with different categories at the same time. For example, careers in commercial law, psychology or town planning require developed aptitudes in specific abilities concerning mathematics as well as languages. Choose a growth industry and identify a growth trend. Then find work suited to your aptitude to learn abilities and competencies.

3.5 SKILLS

The word skill refers to “expertness, practised ability, and facility in action, dexterity or tact.”  Other meanings are talent, ability, aptitude, expertise, facility, prowess, skilfulness, art, artistry, cleverness, adeptness, adroitness, mastery, handiness, ingenuity, experience, proficiency, finesse, knack, quickness, deftness, technique, accomplishment, forte, strength, gift, capability, expertise, and faculty.”

I hope that this gives you an indication that whenever something is done so well that others notice and comment on it, this action can be called a skill.

Module 1, Unit 3, Optional Bonus Activity 8

  1. Read the skills section in Wikipedia.
  2. Choose two skills you admire. Why do you admire these skills?
  3. Choose two skills you do not admire. Why do you not admire these skills?

Capture the personal experiences, discoveries, and answers to the questions in your MiCareer Book.

You can increase the value of this exercise by using the roles of observer, facilitator and candidate in this activity.

3.6 PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE

Can you see that you can apply the explored and discovered aptitudes to a wide variety of careers?  After one has explored and discovered some of one’s talents, skills, abilities and aptitudes, it should be possible to transform this knowledge into a verbal or non-verbal aptitude profile. Verbal aptitudes relate to careers where one works with or among people, while non-verbal aptitudes relate to careers where one works with objects or figures.  A combination of verbal and non-verbal aptitudes relate to careers where one works with people and objects or figures, as in commerce.

Once the career seekers complete their explorations and discoveries under your guidance as CGP, they will know which knowledge and skills they possess and start to work on identifying the gaps towards work access with plans to bridge them. This helps them to access their work of choice en route to their chosen career.

Make sure you understand the words used within this context by visiting an online dictionary and looking them up.  If there is a particular word that appeals to you in the sense of a job you might enjoy, make a note of it in your MiCareer Book.

3.7 CONCLUSION

It is important to be aware of individual aptitude to choose the right work area and build a career overlapping with those abilities and aptitudes. Explored and discovered aptitudes direct people to choose work that enlivens their intrinsic motivation and releases energy to build a great career. Always remember that there is more to choosing your work and building a career than just aptitude. You also need to consider your personality, interests and values. We explore interests and values in the following units.  Awareness of these various aspects results in work choices that link to great careers that use the new understanding of each human puzzle piece!

2.1 PERSONALITY HISTORY

The complex uniqueness of every human being makes interacting and working with others exciting. Each one approaches his or her life and thus, his or her career differently. We all have choices to make and can respond to each interaction. With the right competencies, we can thrive by acknowledging human differences and uniqueness.

These days we have many career choices.  However, how do you go about making your choices? Learn to choose carefully what you involve yourself in and how you respond to an activity and feedback. Always relax, think and respond in your own best interest and in the best interest of your group. Remember also that it is nearly impossible to always satisfy everyone, use your rational judgement to make decisions that will benefit the maximum amount of people. Grow your personality traits and preferences by choosing from your experiences. Each individual or group has some level of choice about whom and what to become involved in and with. You yourself choose your actions and responses to a certain degree. Master the processes to exercise your choice of involvement, choice of action and choice of response. The outcome will be that you will thrive.  You will develop competencies in communicating with yourself and with others and will optimise your current personality traits and preferences.

You are aware of the following points. However, I want you to become even more aware that we differ from each other, have individual preferences and dislikes and can choose to change and adapt. When you operate naturally, there is neither stress nor low negative stress. However, should you stay in an adapted mode for too long, you will experience stress that ultimately becomes unbearable. Rather enjoy learning. Regard it as fun. Learn what you enjoy and choose work that reflects this enjoyment.

Personality theories have a history that reflects the context of the time in which they were developed. In this course, you will use this information as a guide to know and communicate your own traits and preferences better.  There is never a finite test that officially reflects your whole being. Rather it is an exploration and discovery of your traits, current preferences and choices!

Module 1, Unit 2, Activity 1

Gain an awareness of the richness of models and theories. The freedom exists to explore, discover and choose for yourself.

Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality.  Follow the links and read about personality.  This web site is a useful resource for your own exploration and discovery and that of future clients.

Find the headings: Big 5 personality traits and 16 Personality factors

1.  Discuss the personality traits and factors among yourselves in the work group. How can exploration and discovery of personality theories and of your personality type be helpful in work choices?

2.  Record your findings in your MiCareer Book under the roles of candidate, observer and facilitator.

Write about three sentences under each role.  (Refer to Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/102/2008 Activity 7 to define the roles clearly).

In this unit, you will get to know your preferences, as described by personality theories. You will apply this knowledge in practical applications and in discussions with others.  You can repeat the exercises and facilitate others in their exploration, discovery and communication of their preferences and traits.  You will learn to show other people the vast number of choices that are available. There are many suitable careers for you and you will learn to choose the work best suited to your preferences. You should start having fun right away.

Learn how to communicate and apply your preferences or traits. Communicating your preferences contributes to expanding your choices since others will get to know how much you enjoy your work. As you engage with more people with greater ease, you expand your opportunities and you gain knowledge. Seeing as we are all different, it is essential that you are always aware of your unique preferences and traits. Your work and career could be to give others the opportunity to explore and discover their unique preferences and traits, to guide them to access identified opportunities and explore and discover local opportunities and resources for themselves.

Remember to breathe deeply and slowly, flex your fingers quickly and then relax!  Our natural personality emerges when we are relaxed and thinking clearly.

Planning a career is a life-long process – you grow and slowly change over time.

So, how do we become adept at the very process of driving these life-long processes? You choose your responses, activities, work, your involvements and your network of support.  This is a patient, life-long process like learning to walk and talk.  Choose someone in the field you are interested in, get involved with them and learn from that person’s actions. Observe the person and understand how you can achieve your aims.

2.2 EXPLORE YOUR PERSONALITY

It is important to remember that there are many free personality exploration and discovery theories and tests on the Internet for you to use. It is your role as facilitator, to take your candidate to the internet and explore the suggested tests. Tests are simply a means of exploration and discovery where we are allowed to make our own choices and where we can enjoy the results and the new words we learn to describe ourselves.

The tests originate from many cultures, so I suggest you learn the words and the meanings from a dictionary.Once you have done this, discuss the concepts/words with your local leaders to improve your understanding. This leads to the best results. Enrich your understanding of terms and current workplace meaning of the words to help your potential clients better. The differences in meaning among terms might surprise you! However, please enjoy these differences in meaning and enrich yourself by making the additional meanings part of your understanding. You can even talk to business people, professionals and other community members to clarify your understanding. Dictionaries are a tool with which to further explore and discover wider meanings of the words and concepts used to describe your own and other people’s preferences and traits.

Keep in mind that your responses to these exploratory tests should be made within the context of your current situation. Your responses will depend on your mood, circumstances as well as how much you know about the current situation for which you choose the answers.  In other words, you can do this exploratory test again in the near future and you will probably get slightly different results. Simply discuss the changes and differences to learn from the changes. This is a great opportunity for exploration and discoveries.

Module 1, Unit 2, Activity 2

  1. Visit http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/.
  2. Explore and do the free tests and learn more about your own traits and preferences.  Remember to look up words and concepts in Dictionary, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enneagram_of_Personality) or using a Google search.
  3. Record what you have learnt about yourself in your MiCareerBook to use in your CV.
  4. Candidate: The facilitator ensures you read and state what you like and why you like it and what you do not like and why you do not like it.
  5. The observer records your likes and dislikes.  The observer helps you write your likes in your MiCareerBook.
  6. Record the activity as facilitator, observer and candidate in your MiCareer Book.
  7. Optional extra http://web.tickle.com/tests/picperson/

Watch out for advertisements! Say no to all advertisements. Never send your email address without checking with others.

It is important to get in touch with experts – people who have gained experience and are recognised in their industry.  Engaging such experts is a key method of gaining knowledge and experience and broadening your own knowledge.  Keep in mind that this is a value exchange meeting; in other words, try to give the expert as much value as you gain.  This can be in the form of referral to future business or by putting him or her in contact with someone he or she needs to meet whom you may or may not already know. There is a multitude of ways to make this meeting the beginning of a longer term value exchange experience. Be creative!

Learn from these professionals and keep your career guidance workshop and online exhibition in Module 5 in mind.  It will be very beneficial if the expert can explain his or her field of expertise to your candidates/potential clients.

Module 1, Unit 2, Activity 3

Get in touch with a registered expert in the field of personality tests and psychology.  You can use the person that you got in touch with in Tutorial 102 Unit 11 Activity 4.  This can be someone who is a psychologist, psychiatrist, Human Resources professional or a social worker.  Find a person working in the field of human resources.  Show him/her what you have done and what you have learnt. Discuss questions with them such as:

  1. What is the overlap and line between free discoveries while growing self-awareness, and professional tests with advice that only professionals may give?
  2. Why did they become involved in their current career?
  3. What can a person gain from doing personality tests?
  4. What do they suggest you do in a situation of conflict?
  5. Ask more of this type of questions – as many as five questions.
  6. Carefully record everything the expert says and write it down.  Put this in your MiCareerBook.
  7. What are your thoughts about the subject?
  8. You have to verify that you spoke to this expert.  This can be done by taking a photo of yourself and the expert and loading it on your computer.  You can also get a signature from the expert and scan it into your computer.  Add the address, telephone number and email address of the person you spoke to. Note that you may approach anyone at an internet café or someone you know with some IT knowledge to help you.

2.3 CONCLUSION

You have learnt about and that people have different personality traits and preferences. You also learnt that you can apply the results in your own life and that you can repeat the processes by facilitating the same exploration and discoveries for others. You learnt about the tools of exploring your traits and preferences, but more importantly, you learnt the reason why this is useful and where you are going to apply it.

Your unique complex traits and preferences make you a wonderfully unique person. Your chosen work in any chosen career should be a unique fit and experience.  The process of exploring and discovering your traits and preferences is a life-long one and this is the message you should give the people you guide.  Your traits and preferences continually develop, adapt and change. So will the work you choose and thus your jobs and subsequent careers.

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