Good evening, lovely people! Today, I chose a theme I am grateful for (as opposed to a list of incidents, like I have previously done): my ability to follow my professional dreams.
The problem is, I wasn’t sure how to start identifying my dreams in order to pursue them. To start, I used this awesome free tool called O*NET Online
. I took a short-ish quiz (about 60 items to rate on a 5-point scale) to build up my professional interest profile. Based on how much I felt like I would enjoy things like “write books or plays” (strongly like, for me) or “build kitchen cabinets” (I don’t like loud machinery or the risk of losing a digit, so that was a dislike for me). You can try it for yourself self on My Next Move!
Here are my results:
People with social interests like working with others to help them learn and grow. They like working with people more than working with objects, machines, or information. (Likes: teaching, giving advice, helping and being of service to people)
People with artistic interests like work that deals with the artistic side of things, such as acting, music, art, and design. (Likes: creativity in their work, work that can be done without following a set of rules)
- Investigative (17 points)
People with investigative interests like work that has to do with ideas and thinking rather than physical activity or leading people. (Likes: searching for facts, figuring out problems)
People with enterprising interests like work that has to do with starting up and carrying out business projects. These people like taking action rather than thinking about things. (Likes: persuading and leading people, making decisions, taking risks for profits)
People with conventional interests like work that follows set procedures and routines. The prefer working with information and paying attention to details rather than working with ideas. (Likes: working with clear rules, following a strong leader)
People wth realistic interests like work that includes practical, hands-on problems and answers. Often people with realistic interests do not like careers that involves paperwork or working closely with others. (Likes: working with plants and animals, real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery, outside work)
I agree with the assessment of “social” being my strongest interest, mostly because of the description. I do like working with people, especially when I can help them grow or develop new skills. I’ve done this mostly in the capacity of working as a nanny with small children — I loved teaching simple songs, classic games, and even a yoga move or two. However, I don’t think of myself as a particularly social person. In fact, I’m somewhat reclusive in my personal life, opting for quiet evenings at home instead of any sort of wild night life. Career-wise, though, I always enjoy myself most when I can help people.
Initially, it was surprising to see “artistic” rated so highly, because I can barely doodle, but I certainly am creative and appreciate pushing the boundaries. That seems to conflict with being “conventional,” because I do like to follow the rules. Within those rules, though, I love having the flexibility to try different ways of approaching a goal.
Being both “investigative” and “realistic” seemed similarly conflicting at first glance — the first states I like working with ideas over physical activity, while the latter suggests I would like working with hands-on projects. I do think and overthink problems, but I do want them to have real-world applications. I’m also visual, so I like to see (or create) graphs or charts to visualize data, but I want the story of how that data helps people. Investigative scored higher in my profile, with 17 points versus 10 for realistic. I would rather think and research and gather data than do paperwork; however, I would choose paperwork over building a kitchen cabinet any day.
In the corporate world as I have seen it, being “enterprising” or innovative is a necessity. Every employee should have the skills and initiative to carry out a business plan and take action instead of – or, ideally, after – thinking.
The quiz went on to suggest careers that might interest me. The ones I liked most:
- Patient Representatives (also called case manager, patient advocate, or patient representative)
- Social and community service managers (also called program directors, program manager, social services director)
These are actually fairly similar to my current postition. I don’t work directly with patients, usually, but I can connect them with our resources. The second is essentially my job description. O*NET offers a lot of additional details like skills and career outlook, which I included below for the “social and community service manager.”
To conclude, I am a big advocate for some self-reflection and assessing interests and assets. I encourage you to do the same, and comment below if you agree with what the website tells you!