Module 1

Key questions

  • What do parents, family and friends mean to the career seeker?
  • How do you apply the knowledge that you have gained about yourself?
  • How would you remove limitations to communicating and finding career opportunities?

2.1 INTRODUCTION

This module has two focal points.  It looks at the use of knowledge that you have gained about yourself (after working through Modules 1 & 2); and it looks at how to involve and inform parents and family. Up to this point you have gained some insight into personality, aptitude, abilities, interests, values and careers in general.  It is now important to apply the knowledge about these concepts to inform parents, family, and friends, to say thank you (do you remember how this was explained in PCAR03X: Unit 1?) and to attract resources to implement your work access campaign. Inform them regarding your personality, your abilities and values and what possible careers will suit you best. Remember that this is the same process your career seeker clients will follow. It is important for you to go through the same process to be able to help and guide your future clients effectively.

2.2 WHAT DO PARENTS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS MEAN TO CAREER SEEKERS?

PCAR03X, Unit 2, Activity 1

  1. Open http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venn_diagram and http://www.logictutorial.com/ and study the Venn diagram again.  Also, refer back to Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/103/2007.
  2. You have already explored your interests, values, aptitude, and abilities.  Now you need to enter this into the Venn diagram to see how it overlaps and determines your passions.  Use the Venn diagram from Tutorial Letter PCAR01V/103/2007 and discover what it is that you have not yet shared with your parents, family and friends. Use the structured results from your exercises in Module 1 and preparation for communication in Module 2 and share what you have discovered.
  3. You will use the words which you discovered by completing Module 1 (use the adjectives from the Johari window from PCAR01V/103/2007 as a guideline) to enter in to the Venn diagram.  Use the Venn diagram below as a structure and let others complete it with you.  Discuss the results with parents, family and friends.
  4. Capture your personal experiences and discoveries in your MiCareerBook for the CV exercises.
  5. Record your experiences while completing the above activities in your MiActivity Book as part of your assignments

Feedback:

You will find that after completing the Venn diagram on your aptitude, personality, interest and values, you will be able to communicate your own personal qualities to your parents, family and friends more easily.

PCAR03X, Unit 2, Activity 2

  1. What do you think is the value of knowing yourself with regard to your personality, aptitude, interest and values, for a career choice?   Briefly write down five points about the importance of knowing yourself.
  2. Discuss your ideas about knowledge of yourself as a basis for a responsible career choice with your study colleagues, family or friends.
  3. Capture your personal experiences and discoveries in your MiCareerBook for the CV exercises.
  4. Record your experiences while completing the above activities in your MiActivity Book as part of your assignments.

Feedback:

Do you remember that choosing a career implies that you are going to be active in a certain career field for at least eight hours per day?  Will you be able to do the work that is expected of you and will you find it interesting enough to spend all that time at it? Do you have the necessary ability to use your talents or do you need training to become competent?

You must remember that the way that you see yourself should determine your career choice.  However, in the next section, attention will be given to the way that your parents, friends or family see you regarding your personality, aptitude, interest and values. Their opinion regarding your personal qualities will give you greater insight into yourself.

2.3 INVOLVEMENT OF PARENTS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS

You will gain access to social networks and support by informing the important people in your life about your work preferences and opportunities. The career seeker will, however, require firm support during these change processes.[1] You as career guidance practitioner should transfer your knowledge and skills of the processes involved in informing and support to your career seeker.

Keep in mind that parents, family and friends:

  • give verbal input regarding the different careers which you might be considering, and
  • unconsciously model their specific careers to you and your community.  Therefore, be careful not to explore too many other career opportunities and miss the obvious career choices around you!

PCAR03X, Unit 2, Activity 3

  1. Study the Johari window again.  Also, refer back to tutorial letter PCAR01V/103/2007.
  2. Use the Johari window from PCAR01V/103/2007 and discover what it is that you have not yet shared with your parents, family or friends. Use the structured results from your exercises in Module 1 in preparation for communication in Module 2 and share what you have discovered.  As author, I would like to thank Plug, Meyer, Louw and Gouws (1991:168) for their specific applications of the Johari window.
  3. Make a page with the four quadrants. Use the Johari window, (Figure 3.2 below) as an example) and let others complete it with you.
  4. Capture your personal experiences and discoveries in your MiCareerBook for the CV exercises.
  5. Record your experiences while completing the above activities in your MiActivity Book as part of your assignments.
  6. This is an example of a career related use of the Johari window as described by Gouws and Kruger (1994:164). Please complete it as part of PCAR03X, Unit 2, Activity 3.

Figure 3.2 The Johari window applied to a career seeker

ARENA

Personality ……………………………………………..

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Aptitude ………………………………………………….

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Interest …………………………………………………..

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Values ……………………………………………………

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BLIND SPOT

Personality ……………………………………………..

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Aptitude ………………………………………………….

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Interest …………………………………………………..

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Values ……………………………………………………

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FAÇADE

Personality ……………………………………………..

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Aptitude ………………………………………………….

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Interest …………………………………………………..

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Values ……………………………………………………

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UNKNOWN

Feedback:

Did you learn anything new about yourself by completing the Johari window?  You can use these processes with family, friends, family and local leaders in the workplace. As a result the people around you will get to know you and during your discussion with them, you will get to know them to a certain extent. Getting exposure to each other and your willingness to share your intrapersonal qualities with them will contribute to reducing possible prejudice and bias and the meeting might even provide a working environment that might be available to you in the future. Meeting each other, thanking them for the opportunity for discussion and sharing information about yourself make for a safe growing experience for all.

2.4 THE NATURE OF CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Unlike urban youths, young people in rural and remote areas generally have to leave home to attend secondary school. They most certainly have to go to urban centres to do any type of training, which can put them on a career path.  Children from the rural areas do not have the same background knowledge on career and study possibilities as their urban friends due to limited exposure to the few careers that their community members have. Obviously a smaller variety of job opportunities is available to them in their rural areas.   Most career-related information and resources are located in distant centres which are inaccessible to most rural families.  Professionals, who have the required career-related knowledge, are concentrated in larger urban settings (Jeffery, Lehr, Hache & Campbell 1992:240-241).

Jeffery et al. (1992:241) found from their research in rural parts that the major problems faced by rural parents were lack of career-related information and lack of knowledge on how to obtain available information.  They came to the conclusion that parents were not adequately equipped to assist their children in making job choices, e.g. in terms of information about the range of jobs available and in understanding what certain jobs entail.

Jeffery et al.  (1992:246-248) did research in Canada and listed a number of hypotheses (expectations) to be verified in interviews with parents in rural areas.  The list was split into two groups: family, community and cultural reviews and job, career and labour-related concerns.

It would be interesting to note the outcomes of similar research under South African circumstances!

Read carefully through the list of hypotheses/expectations.  What would you predict the outcome of research in South Africa to be? For interest’s sake indicate your view in the true or false column provided.
Family, community and cultural concerns TRUE FALSE
1           Problems result from very close bonding of the young person to parents, peers, home and community.

2          Widely held beliefs that home communities are the best or only place to be (ethnocentrism).

3          Fears held by young persons and perhaps parents that young people are unable to compete successfully elsewhere.

4          Situations where the young person is socialised into non-creative solutions/non-provocative stances when it comes to the pursuit of careers.

5          Many members of the community (the potential role models for both the parents and the youth) demonstrate that they have adapted successfully to what is, in many respects, a difficult local situation.  In other words, there are many role models who are “surviving” as unemployed people.

6          Many gender-related issues and problems.

7          Problems resulting from early pregnancies.

8          Widely held views that it is easier and cheaper to stay at or near home.

9          Inter-generational patterns of welfare or unemployment insurance dependency.

10         Common parental strategies, which encourage the young person to return home when there is stress.

11         A limited number of role models in communities capable of demonstrating good career decision-making skills.

12         Tendencies for young people (who leave the home community for career purposes) to go primarily to those settings where there already is a support network rather than to unfamiliar communities.

13         Greater problems for youths associated with leaving the old situation, than with their ability to cope with a new situation.

14         People have problems because of substance abuse.

Jobs, career and labour market information concerns TRUE FALSE
1           An absence of jobs available in the area.

2          An absence of information on places (local or distant) where one might get work.

3          A limited amount of knowledge about the wide range of career options that exist.

4          Limited parental and youth knowledge about how to identify persons or services that can supply them with or lead them to information.

5          A lack of parental and youth awareness that there are often support services in a new community from which they might seek help (i.e. churches and social clubs).

6          An extensive misinformation about what it is like in other centres.

7          A relative absence of “mentors” or persons who encourage or challenge youth to search more widely.

8         A relative absence of parents with strategies for finding work.

2.5 REMOVING LIMITATIONS TO COMMUNICATION

An analysis of the data collected in Canada by Jeffery et al (1992:249) supported many of the hypotheses in the above table. This meant that their expectations were well founded.

However, it was found that parents expected and supported youth to leave the community.  Furthermore, no support was found for the hypothesised notion that parents encourage their children to return home if confronted with stressful situations when away.   Parents also knew that career identification and problems existed and tried hard to identify solutions.

Parents also expressed the view that because of their lack of education, they did not see themselves as good role models for their children.  They also felt that they lacked adequate experience and knowledge to offer sound educational advice.

If the same problems regarding career guidance by rural parents occurred in South Africa, what assistance could be given to them to help them to prepare themselves to guide their children in a career choice? Remember, you intend to guide people in your community regarding their choice of careers!

Feedback:

I would like to make a few suggestions for you to add to the ideas which you might have. Is it possible to bring rural career seekers closer to the same processes that successful workplace families already have? This could be done by exposing them to successful and advantaged people.  How is this done? You could arrange to bridge the difference between them and successful workers by accessing successful work people through civil and civic organizations. You could help the rural career seekers to communicate their knowledge and interests to their parents, family and community members. Not only does this give them the opportunity to practise speaking about themselves, but it will prevent them from isolating themselves from the community. Instead they will raise the knowledge and awareness of the jobs to which they have been exposed within the community as a whole.

You also need to assist parents to assist young people during the transition from home to work.  Parents and leaders should be briefed during the processes to obtain and participate in the information exchange on careers and jobs.  Under your guidance, community leaders could assist parents to form groups for discussion about careers and educational activities. The following information is important and should be included in the communication:

  • finding career information
  • coping with the problems of registration, loans, insurance, etc.
  • helping children to leave home
  • coping with loneliness and relocation problems
  • helping young people anticipate and deal with their new freedom
  • helping young people maintain a pride in their roots
  • helping young people cope with fears of being “different”
  • communicating with and staying in contact when a young person is away

Remember that extensive web resources exist and the leaders’ involvement makes the choices safer.

2.6 SUMMARY

Successful families have structures in place which remove barriers to communication with their children. A circle of families can offer many possible opportunities to the children of their friends. Access and knowledge are shared freely for the sole purpose of adding value to young people and offering them opportunities in life.  In rural areas this is not possible. The only option is thus to increase knowledge about career opportunities by creating a partnership between the youth and the older community. Everyone learns and everyone grows and this will continue to benefit the community for generations to come.

It is therefore important for you as career guide to practise the process of informing the people around you about your own personal qualities (your own Johari window) and about the career opportunities which you can offer them.  You need to help the career seeker use the same strategies as successfully as you have done to avoid their isolation and to promote knowledge distribution among the people in the community.


[1] The change process refers to the transition from a current state to a desired state.  Explore this website about managing the change process.

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.