Would you like to know how to develop a clear career path? If that is the case, Design Your Own Career is a chapter you would prefer not to ignore. The chapter begins with a rationale that choosing a career should be a well informed and thought out process since that’s where one spends half their lifetime. It also points out the fact that the current education system does not prioritize career education.
In looking at how we should begin short listing possible career choices, we have examined John Holland’s personality orientations as well as Anne Roe’s theory on variables that influence our career success. One of the interesting facts to note about Anne Roe’s theory is that it goes beyond our individual personalities and takes into consideration some aspects of the external environment that influence us in making career decisions. In this chapter, we discuss the very interesting notion that we should seek to polish our strengths and not improve our weakness.
A philosophy inspired by Buckingham and Clifton from Gallup Organization. This idea promotes the development of talents for success in the workplace by giving examples of Tiger Woods and Bill Gates who have excelled because of focusing on their talents. We are also familiarized with Seligman’s thought that talents are natural while strengths are acquired. The chapter goes on to show us that to know where we are heading, we need to know our behaviors, attitudes and interests.
These we can know through introspection, writing down our thoughts in journals and autobiographies, informal and verbal feedback or even through on-line assessment inventories and surveys. Once we have learnt all we can about ourselves, the chapter now proceeds to give us pointers on where we can find information on different careers which include books, internet, professional organizations, interviews and internship/volunteer experiences.
Armed with information about ourselves and different careers, we are ready to start the decision making process. The chapter clearly states that although day to day decisions such as what to eat or wear are made in routine ways, decisions regarding choosing our careers require an elaborately planned method of committing our thoughts on paper, due to the importance and consequences of a career choice.
Since we are always exposed to new experiences and rapid change in our society today, it is important to once in a while review and re-affirm the decision made. Once a decision is made, it is time to develop a written plan on how to achieve your dream career. With the career plan in place, look for the job in various media, prepare a cover letter that will entice the employer to read your resume, prepare yourself for the interview and finally attend the interview with confidence.
As a whole, the chapter systematically takes us through the process of reaching your dream career in a very comprehensive and enlightening way. It not only gives us insights on the process but it also gives us reasons for each process. It has strongly brought out the need for self assessment as a very initial step towards deciding on a career. The chapter is proactive and has great ideas and can be very helpful for career education in our education system.
Chapter 12-Design Your Own Career