Choices

Are you one of those lucky people that have too many job opportunities? For your career to thrive you need to make the right job choice. Let master career coach, Unre Visagie, show you how to make the right job choice.

Slide 1 (The solution to grab new exciting challenges of your choice)

We are looking at people that say, they have too many choices, and how do they choose? When we all work and invest together for the benefit of everybody, we will get more benefits. The key thing is to do first for others. When making these choices in your own best interest there is a solution where you can look at the exciting challenges and the great returns you can have from making your choices. You have to know what you currently do for whom. Why did you get into the position where you have all these choices?

You prepare and communicate to influencers. You engage and communicate the work that you enjoy doing and that is valued. Recently, with John, who had a fantastic position, it was very clear that if he keeps on doing the same he will have less than he can have. Referring back to Einstein’s old saying that if you keep on doing the same thing expecting different results it may be close to insanity. It is something to keep in mind.

Slide 2 (Know what you currently do for whom)

Let’s look at people who have too many choices and have the perception that it’s difficult to exercise just one choice and lose the others. When you make the right choice it becomes clear that there’s no doubt. You don’t have any feeling of loss, you move from those perceptions, because they are just perceptions, to the great spaces where you know exactly why you’ve made the choice and what you expect back. You can communicate clarity to everyone around you.

You have to know what you currently do for whom. Why is it so valuable that you have all these choices? Let’s look at simple ways to understand and discuss what you say no to and what you say yes to. That is where a man with a plan has all the benefits. ‘No’ is probably one of the more profitable words in the English language, as mentioned by Jack Welsh. When I sat with John and said, “Ok, let’s look at what you say no to” it was great stress because he didn’t want to say no to anything. What do you say yes to? What are the consequences when you say yes to certain things? Yes often means a three year commitment and where are you going to be in three years? You can never quite control it but at least you can make the best choice with your current insight.

Slide 3 (Prepare to communicate to the influencers)

Let’s look at those choices. When moving from the perceived boxes to the great spaces you have to prepare to communicate to the influencers.  How do you prepare? You discuss it with people around you. You can start right now. It’s amazing what the people around you know. When John discussed it with people around him, including some of his clients in big mining companies and clients in big IT companies they collaborated with, he was amazed to find that his choices were even more than he was aware. However, they also helped him to understand the future of the industry, the future of the consequences of his choices with much greater clarity, factual and grounded in reality. When John practiced, he could approach the company he wanted, that didn’t even have a job at that time. He should have the job shortly, in January or February.

Slide 4 (Engage and communicate)

Lastly, John engaged with his clear, prepared stories. A man with a plan is welcome everywhere, a man without a plan people usually  leave alone to figure himself out, they’re just kind to you, it’s not as rude as some people think. He approached companies with his clear, practised plan and showed respect and acknowledgement to the people he recognized as leaders in the broad industry, whom he could see was on the fast track. Why are they on the fast track? Learn from them. They guided him and introduced him to the right people that can give him the job. It’s a very straightforward process but people need that clarity.

Slide 5 (Start with the purpose, the why)

You need clarity of purpose, with objectives and tasks, dynamically calibrated with your own long-term career vision and mission. This helps you to align with the company’s long-term vision and you’re seen as a strategic contributor, which further puts you up the ladder. We find this is a very important process, like in John’s case, he really couldn’t answer this three months ago, now he can tell you in one minute.

Slide 6 (The right change thinking discussion)

This is the second tool amongst the list of templates we use that you can re-use with your friends, because they are free on the web. There are rules in every company, every industry, every client environment; every team has its subculture of rules. Understand those rules, influence them perhaps slowly, but don’t waste your time fighting and being angry. John was very unhappy with his current company because he could see he contributed more, but their compensation structure didn’t allow for him to earn more, so their rules made John earn less.

It turns out that he can influence the rules, we prepared him to influence the rules in the meantime, to say that I am experiencing stress, but show that I care, show that I respect, how do we go forward? He then proceeded anyway, without the rules being changed, he didn’t waste time, he played where he can make decisions. He played where he has influence and it’s known, he started contributing more and communicating better. He’s moving his line to where more becomes known to him, so his space for production grows and he’s now very much a strategic player. That is the other alternative, where his current company may treat him in a way where it will not be practical for him to leave. At least he has all these choices.

Slide 7 (The approach to engage people should be)

Let’s look at a simple way that you can use right now. John identified the people that he admired and why he admired them, he went to them with clear respect, recognition and acceptance. All of us love respect, recognition and acceptance. One of my favourite professors always said: “Applause, applause, anything for applause!” Everybody is a sucker for that. Use it, but be genuine, if you go with false thank yous you will have problems. When you have a plan, you’ve done your homework, you’ve talked to people around you, you’ve prepared, then you approach the people with open and closed questions. All of this detail is available free on the website; use it. The reason we made it free is that you need these tools to talk to people around you, it’s critical that you can freely engage the people around you. They can also watch the videos and do it free. We come into the game when we can accelerate you and add extra value. Let’s look at the website quickly. There are specific, measurable, accountable resources, time and rewards.

Slide 8 (careerdevelopmentplan.net)

When you look at the website, you will see the tools and the resources. We have organized each block of tools on the website to focus on a specific area of a stress or growth opportunity. When you look at your career choices, we go to Career Planning and Performance. To demonstrate the free tools that is available which John also used in his coaching. We’ve bundled them into big, logical groups where you can look at various career level changes, resumes and the smart goal setting, which I want to point out specifically. You must have specific, measurable, accountable resources time and monitor, planning, performance etc. Every aspect is organized into groups like this. When we look at approaching people with open and closed questions, it is part of that group of tools.

Slide 9 (I have too many choices, how do I choose?)

Having too many choices, how do I choose? Let us summarize the whole process. People normally have perceptions of difficulty of choice and the solution is: get more information, talk to more people, get clarity and get rid of any fears and uncertainties. Fear just stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Fail just stands for First Attempt in Learning. Everything that we have learnt we learnt through trial and sometimes losing some skin in trying to ride a bicycle. It never stops, but as we go higher, we get more concerned about what people will think. We get more worried about coming across as someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. The process is simple and clear and it avoids most of those risks.

The process is: know what you do, prepare to communicate what you do, engage influencers and communicate to them. I find very few people can tell you their store of assets and their expertise. In John’s case, his top skill is probably that he has a very good interface, people enjoy being around him, that is a core skill for him. He was very uncomfortable to put that in his CV, so we got nice examples, now it’s in his CV. The other thing that he had difficulty with was his golden thread.

The golden thread leading to your key to success is simply where John made decisions in the same direction from a very young age. A service to people, a great curiosity to understand things, that’s what’s been driving him since school days. He never realized that he could put in his CV that he’s been consistent in how he made decisions. He had quite a few job changes, that is why we had to show consistency with the golden thread, this is built into the stories on the site. He had an awesome asset list that only became clear when he talked to clients, colleagues and friends. This caused him some discomfort, but he now has a very powerful story to tell around his CV.

He realized his external resources, the number of people who were prepared to help him and introduce him, introduce him to people who can introduce him, all of that and learning some skills that he now requires knowing where he wants to go. It’s all available, he just had to have a plan and engage. He’s building his own staircase and climbing it, which could be scary, but we explained that fear and risk could be managed.

Start with exploring, preparing, engaging and in the process you will grow like John did. Your job, company and industry must align while growing your asset list. Secondly, you must align your job, work and career. You are continuously in charge of your future; you keep on doing preparation, exploration and engagement. You will always be secure and safe, and a desired employee. You will get huge increases, like John, in a time when nobody around you will get increases. John ended up with insight, knowledge and confidence because he had a plan and a clear story. John moved from the perceived boxes and too many choices and uncertainty to absolute certainty about where he’s going next, how he’s going to use and grow his asset list.

Slide 10 (Business toolset, personal toolset)

Having too many choices and choosing comes to down the business toolset and the personal toolset that I’ve shown you on the website. Please watch out for the next Career Maker System email. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and I hope you will realize the privilege of having too many choices deserve that you go and explore, prepare and engage these choices to get absolute clarity about the one that will work best for you. Thank you for listening.

Career Change at 40

Is career change at 40 possible?

Let master career coach, Unre Visagie, guide you through the process of getting started with a career change. If you apply these steps, you will create an effective and peaceful start to your midlife career change.

Watch the video below to get started with your career change at 40…

Career Change at 40

We are looking at the subject of career management and career change at the age of 40. I have gone through that myself and looking back at my life I would never have started all those businesses, I would have managed my career towards wealth, fun and profit, if only I knew how at the time. Let us look at typically what defines the age of 40.

If I remember all the people and myself in our companies it is an age of big responsibilities; where we are busy helping the new generation, being responsible for the current generation and its difficulties and we are helping the old generation on its way out. It is something we want to do. It is also the time I am forced to look at the rest of my life, we have found that it always happens around age 40, plus or minus a few years.

We are mid-career when we are in our forties and we have to look at what we are going to do for the rest of our working life. We are often in a trap where I have become my job title and my job title defines me. Whereas I am actually many things: I am a friend, a parent and so many other things. Work is just one of the things I do; it does not define me.

What I am, what I think, what I feel and what is within me define me and work as a small part of me. What I would’ve liked to see when I look back, I would’ve like to have seen that my work was more aligned, with nice challenges, while having fun, earning more money and building wealth. I would have liked to see that I have grown in myself, in what I do, with whom I do it, where I do it, and that I had more choices about it. Choices really are the spice of life.

Let us look at a quick process to define and start your career change at 40.

  • What I would have liked to do differently for all the people in the companies I built over the past 30 years.
  • What have I done in coaching since then have been very successful.
  • Typically, the people that follow this process grow their salaries by 20 or 30% over 18 months.
  • They look at work differently, they approach challenges differently and always respond in any situation to grow their options and increase their choices.

You always have a very big in internal “store” consisting of:

  • Your natural talents,
  • Your work and personal skills
  • Your work and personal relationships

You have built this big store using external resources and internalized it over time. To increase our the process all we have to do is identify what we enjoy doing, what the current situation is, what we feel and what we perceive. We can turn those into prepared action with the aim to engage, it only takes a little bit of effort. We talk to friends, do a bit of research, think about it a bit and then talk to people around us, remembering it is all externally available. All you have to do is get it and make it internal. The actual process consists of:

  1. Identify
  2. Prepare research
  3. Engage, communicate with the world

Where I personally coach people through the Career Maker process, I regularly work with people who never realized that they had choices. I recently had somebody who has so many choices and never realized that he had all these choices. All the choices threatened him, because he saw them as difficult choices to make. When we turned it around and aligned the choices with what he wanted, the choices quickly reduced to two or three. These we investigated and he engaged. He is on his way to double his salary from $150 000 per year to probably $300 000 per year by just looking at things differently, he went external to trusted advisors, and he internalized the advice they gave him. He is now comfortable that the road forward is clear, he knows what to do next.

Outcomes of the Career Maker process

The outcome is that you are organized, you take action and you ensure your growth. Everybody loves a man with a plan. Everybody loves a man who is positive, clear, committed, who finds joy and things to do and contributes. For whom there is always a solution, but at the same time, he clearly knows what work to say no to.

Change is so fast today that you may have to choose again in five years. When you have applied this process a few times, change becomes a simple and fun matter. If you look at your career, the company you choose, the industry you choose, yes you can choose them all, that is for sure. It is just a process of identify, prepare and engage. Go external, bring it internal, and at 40 you typically have most, if not all, of these skills and access to these resources.

The Career Maker Process in Short

When considering a career change at 40, you do not want to jump ship. You want to progressively change ships. Most people at 40 have big responsibilities. You need to view your career change as a process, rather than a moment’s choice.

You will use your current work base to gently shift careers. You do more and more of the work you want to do, and less of the work you do not like doing. I found in my coaching that many people can make small changes in their current careers which leads to them becoming very happy right where they are! They never had to change careers, just recognize the opportunities they already had in their current jobs differently.

If it turns out that someone really must make a career change at 40, they have no obvious opportunities in their current jobs, I coach them to use their current job platform and reach out to external sources of knowledge and opportunity. They do this while they stay at their current job and steadily build connections to the right people and places.

In both cases we need to align the work you want do with the job you want to do in the company you do it, even if you remain with your current company. There are some very simple, easy processes to delegate what you do not like. Well-executed delegation frees your time so that you can focus on the work you want to do. View delegation from the perspective of “Others must grow, do not steal other people’s work”. While you delegate the work you do not want to do, volunteer for the work you want to do. Also, get further expertise outside of the company, in specific places, investing in yourself, or just participating for the benefit of those you want to learn from; grow the skills that let you move the job progressively to what you really want and what aligns with you.

When you are clear on your career, company, industry, work and job in the company, you are on your way to building a long-term career, remembering a job is just something you do on your career road. If you look at a career aim once you are clear about industry, company and yourself, it is so simple to make your career aim visible. Use online tools like LinkedIn to make your career aims visible. You will find that jobs come to you to fit your career aim. The real change happens when in a few months you announce your career aim, your support structure: your family and friends are with you and you are prepared for a career change.  You have done your thing, you have engaged, and you are ready with the resources, to move in the direction of your career aim.

Remember that career aim is something that keeps on moving, because our environment keeps on changing. However, at any one time, you must have a clear career aim. You are going to adapt it to embrace change, love change; change is so exciting for the prepared. Change is so threatening to people who are not prepared, remember that fear of change at 40 is simply facts that present themselves as if they are real and they are actually perceptions. Therefore, if you overcome fear, that nasty four-letter word, you overcome the risk you perceive and the risks are never real.

If you move progressively, you identify, prepare, and engage, you never take a big risk. It is an incremental process, you move towards your career aim. You should probably aim to align your career every two to three years; that is about the change cycle now. New opportunities arrive as the industries move, some disappear and some industries arrive. Humans always need a challenge, a change, remembering that change is as good as a holiday. I hope we have shown you that at 40 there are typically these things happening in peoples’ minds. They can align with what, who, where. They can do a quick start, moving from their basal store, they can organize, take action and grow, and they can align perfectly towards a long-term career aim.

More career change at 40 resources:

Delegation resources:

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

4.1 BACKGROUND

In the changing world of work there is almost unlimited work available for people with the right competencies. How does it happen that people are perpetually complaining that there is not enough work to do? Perhaps the problem lies with the skills and competencies a person has to offer to the workplace. This means that you need to gain the right competencies along with work access and work experience in order to ensure a job for yourself (and your future clients). You can do this by exposing yourself to different work situations and by doing work with people who are already have a measure of success in their work situation.

This unit illustrates the importance and reasons for you and your clients to work with someone. Preferably this should be someone close to you or someone who is one level superior to you as you will have to take up some of their time in the workplace and time is money!

How do you convince them that you are serious about your mission? Show them that you and your career seekers are doing peer group learning and need to learn with them (Module 1). The benefits that they will get out of the experience are personal growth from explaining and talking about their jobs and they can earn money from recruitment and placement fees. You need to empower them to share their work experience with you. Remind them that we are always the owners of our own choices and actions. Their decision to allow you to enter their world of work (as an observer) can make or break you (and your future clients). Our beliefs and attitudes keep us doing what we are currently doing. You can tactfully point out to them that you would not have approached them if you did not know/believe that they are successful role models whom you would like to follow and you know they are certain of their success and will not be threatened by your presence in their work situation.  Refer back to the attitude module (PCAR 01W Unit 5) in order to use the information which you studied to strengthen your argument and to convince them of your seriousness.

Don’t we often wait for something to happen and then we are disappointed when nothing happens or no one intervenes to change our circumstances? Now you are in the process of getting the tools which make it possible for you to choose to take action and make a difference to your own life and to the lives of others!

You can to refer to stratification and communities in PCAR3X Unit 3 to remind yourself of what separates the rich and the poor.  It is beliefs and habits which include lack of exposure to different work situations. If you decide to create work related experiences for yourself and others, you have demonstrate an attitude of, “I can” vs. one of “They must” in which you sit back and wait for opportunities to come to you.

The difference between South Africa and the United States of America is that South Africans often see work as punishment and something to be avoided. This statement is based on the personal experience of many of our family and friends who have visited or immigrated to the United States. This is prevalent among many young people across all the races. A young South African who only gets his/her first work experience at the age of 18 or higher is literally 3-5 years behind their average American counterpart who will start working in low level minimum wage jobs as early as 15 years. They build up references and preferences from an early age which enable them to make more informed and reliable choices by the time they reach the age of 18. Follow the link below and briefly familiarise yourself with the concept of work ethics and the difference it can make to an individual and a country.  Unfortunately, it is difficult for young people to become productive because of unique factors in our country but it is up to you as career guide practitioner to be part of the solution.

4.2 FACTS REGARDING ACCESS TO THE PRESENT AND FUTURE WORLD OF WORK

Competencies determine where and if you can enter the world of work.  However, you also need to become aware of the facts regarding the present and future world of work AND increase your knowledge and skills regarding the present and future world of work to change people’s opportunities.

All the motivation and reasons for knowledge acquisition are found in the reports in Activity 1 below. These reports are published every year and they keep you up to date with the size and nature of our gaps. Both reports state that access to knowledge and the ability to grasp or interpret that knowledge is the key separator or stratifier between rich and poor.

PCAR03X, Unit 4, Activity 1

  1. Download the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report and view the gaps between rich and poor to become aware of the level and reasons why the rich and poor stay apart.  Consider how this knowledge can assist you in motivating people to gain the competencies and join the successful communities and societies matched to their personal choices of industry and work. You will use the same techniques to convince career seekers to build bridges and make their own plans for work access and growth.
  2. Discuss what you have learnt with your study colleagues.
  3. Use Dictionary and Wikipedia or 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 that you ask your clients. It should also create an awareness of the level at which you function.
  4. Answer the following questions:
  • How can you use the above information to convince people we are separated by what we know and by our exposure? Write down two specific uses for each.
  • Think about a structured way to use the information to enthuse people into taking action. Write down two actions they can take right now!

Capture your personal experiences and discoveries in your MiCareerBook for the CV exercises. Record your experiences while completing the above activities in your MiActivity Book as part of your assignments.

Feedback:

You should now know that all resources are readily available and accessible by people with workplace exposure and requisite competencies. If you approach a company or government with no experience or no qualifications asking for help, they will most certainly not pay much attention to you let alone give you access to resources. If you, however, approach them with a plan with experience or with credible qualifications, they will see you as part of the solution to a problem and not the problem itself. You thus come with the support of the leaders in your community and/or a company or institution which makes you a safer investment rather than a risky expense. As career guidance practitioner you should be able to see where you fit in and how you should present yourself as part of the solution and not the problem.

This is the way in which you should gain access and exposure to work opportunities:

  • Awareness through engagement and exposure [please refer to unit in which student was taught to do this],
  • Acquire knowledge about the workplace
  • ICT competencies and access by using the web (World Wide Web or WWW)
  • Communication competencies and communication with leaders
  • Relationships with working people and leaders
  • Practice in peer groups at home and with friends

The working people in your close proximity form part of the broader successful community. They have access to their workplace and from there can generate further access for you to investigate.

The gaps in the CV/resumes of those not finding jobs clearly show that they have not shown initiative to gain work experience. Remember that if you start as a poorly paid messenger, this does not mean you will stay at that level for the rest of your life.  Typical gaps in a CV are regarding the following competencies:

  • Access to knowledge
  • Past experience or exposure enabling one to grasp and apply the knowledge.
  • English language comprehension and a reading speed of at least 250 words a minute and with an 85% comprehension score
  • Internet access to access the knowledge
  • A desire to serve others to build relationships in chosen communities of industry, expertise and support
  • Knowledge of the gaps and a plan to bridge these gaps.

When you yourself as PCAR student have mastered these competencies, you are guaranteed access to a vast range of job opportunities. In turn, you can now guide career seekers to help them highlight their gaps and find the solutions by filling the gaps. Remember always show the solution first.

PCAR03X, Unit 4, Activity 2

  1. How can you facilitate access to the world of work for career seekers?
  2. Opportunities are almost limitless for the right competencies.  However, how do you use self-drive and self-education to get there?  In addition, what opportunities exist with the necessary resources and structures?
  3. Discuss what you learnt with your study colleagues.
  4. Use Dictionary, Wikipedia or Google and
  5. Answer the following questions:
  • How can a better work ethic benefit both young and old? Name two factors for each (Refer back to Module 1 Unit 5 to recap values).
  • Taking the above information into account, make a list of five prominent gaps that you yourself have in your own personal CV. With the new knowledge, give five solutions to filling those gaps. These can include further education, more work experience or extending your network.

Capture your personal experiences and discoveries in your MiCareerBook for the CV exercises. Record your experiences while completing the above activities in your MiActivity Book as part of your assignments.

Feedback:

Do you agree that:

  • People are isolated from work opportunities through the lack of communication skills, ownership for themselves and clear plans of action to bridge the divide?
  • Jobs, resources, opportunities and challenges are freely available in South Africa?
  • Your own awareness and courage to use the resources to fill the gaps in your CV is all that was missing? If you feel that you still are not sure how to fill the gaps in your CV, you need to work through this module again, and specifically mention your problem in your MiActivityBook.

4.3 SOLUTIONS TO THE CURRENT SITUATION

We often make the mistake of concerning ourselves with the problem to such an extent that even the solution eventually becomes part of the problem. The above information should get you into a solution based frame of mind, where the focus does not lie in defining the problem but rather in finding a logical solution. Such a solution should provide a means to an end. The solution is simple in its essence but complex in its implementation.

It is up to you as career guidance practitioner to

  • Use the tools you have acquired in previous exercises to increase an individual’s awareness of the opportunities around him/her.
  • Guide him/her regarding what needs to be done and how to take advantage of the solutions.
  • Instil an attitude of personal ownership, planning and initiating.
  • Help the career seeker to approach his/her leaders and those with resources with a plan that warrants attention and success.
  • Introduce people to the internet and its benefits.
  • Mobilise your community.
  • Help people realise the value embedded in their extending communities.

4.4 HOW TO THRIVE IN THE NEW WORLD OF WORK

The economy grows to accommodate all people. This is due to the new world of work’s ability to change rapidly. Type “economy grows with competencies” into Google search and see what happens!

“The world of work is changing”. Type this phrase into Google; choose some web sites that interest you.  Can you see how much the workplace has changed, and the fun you can have once you understand this? However, if you do not embrace change and prepare for continuous change, it is not exciting and exhilarating but threatening. Be aware of change, stay with it, and drive it. When you initiate change, you will always be at its forefront. Otherwise, you might become the victim of change and by doing so you set yourself up to be left behind. This is the nature of the new world of work. The only way you can stay ahead is by keeping yourself up to date with the latest knowledge and growth trends within your chosen profession or industry.

PCAR03X, Unit 4, Activity 3

  1. View the changing world of work web site and view the preparation required for the new world of work. There are limitless jobs and business opportunities for people with the right competencies.  Consider how it can assist you in motivating people to gain the competencies and to join successful communities and societies. Which are matched to their personal choices of industry and work?  You will use the same techniques to help career seekers to build bridges and make their own plans for work access and growth.
  2. Discuss what you learnt with your study colleagues.
  3. Use Dictionary and Wikipedia or 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 that you ask your clients. It should also create an awareness of the level at which you function.
  4. Answer the following questions:
  • How can you use the above information to convince people that everyone can know what they want and plan for the new world of work? Write down two specific uses for each.
  • Think about a structured way to use the information to enthuse people to take action. Write down two actions they can take right now! An example is creating motivation through relevant information and exposure.

Capture your personal experiences and discoveries in your MiCareerBook for the CV exercises. Record your experiences while completing the above activities in your MiActivity Book as part of your assignments.

Feedback:

Module 4 guides you to help your clients implement what they learned from you about the aspects of the self, skills and knowledge. You and your clients will:

  • Grow your awareness of the world of work
  • Grow your knowledge to access the world of work
  • Use ICT for communication and access to the WWW (to keep moving life long)
  • Communicate using understandable English and suitable numeracy
  • Build relationships with people in work and with right resources
  • Make a contribution to others close to you
  • Practise these skills at home, with friends and use them in the work place.

Is this a difficult task? Not if you serious about becoming a worthwhile career guidance practitioner. The easy things you can do immediately to prepare, enter, and thrive in the new world of work are described and explained from Module 1 through to where we are now. We were careful to ensure that you and your career seeker clients can master each step. Here are the steps you need to take:

1.         The first step is for you to believe what you have read and learnt in PCAR.

2.         The next step is to help other people come to similar conclusions and realisations.

4.5 CONCLUSION

You now know there are many jobs available in South Africa. People who come to you as clients seeking jobs should also know this. You know that specific competencies coupled with an action plan ensure access to jobs. Your clients need to know this too. In order to do this, you must help your clients become aware of their work preferences and to be knowledgeable about their industry of choice, specifically their work of choice within that industry.  Then you should assist them to plan a written work access plan which they are prepared to follow and implement.

At this stage of the Programme for Career Guidance Practitioners, you know enough about the world of work to give your clients a vision of themselves in a specific job in the world of work. The competencies which you have acquired for yourself as career guidance practitioner will set you on the path to join successful people. Your success helps you to invest in the future of others and achieve further personal success! Just like Bill Gates did.

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.)