Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks for Your Motivated Skills - Help Others Learn About Theirs

Take a few moments to identify your motivated skills - and ask a friend or family member to do the same for themselves. Ask yourself, what 2-5 "good experiences" in or outside of work have you had where:
  1. you feel you did something well,
  2. you enjoyed doing it, and
  3. feel proud of it.
And for each one, ask yourself:
  1. what did you do?
  2. how did you do it?
  3. what happened?
Voila! You now have a practical list of your motivated skills - for use anywhere - at home, at work, on your resume. And be thankful for your unique gifts.

Were you surprised when you realized there were skills you do well, feel proud of, but don't enjoy? It might steer you in some different directions - at home or at work. Please feel free share this positive, useful activity with everyone you know.

And for such a positive contribution to career development, thank Drs. Bernard and Jean Haldane and Dr. Jerald Forster for their work with Dependable Strengths, on which this activity is based. I just ordered Dr. Forster's new book, "Articulating Strengths Together" and will be reviewing it on the blog next month.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Putting together a Holiday List for Choosing Your Next Career Adventure

Have any suggestions? I'm inspired by my local radio station's "Desert Island Disc"- what would be the CD you would want to have if stranded on a desert island....

If you had all the freedom in the world to choose your next career adventure, what are the tools and inspiration you need? Besides wine, women/men, and song - of course those help.

I've got some ideas and feel free to email or post your own. And spammers - don't waste your time and mine with my moderated comments.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

3 Principles for Helping You Learn a New Career or Job Skill

We all know career success is linked to lifelong learning. To remain competitive and adaptable, we have to be constantly learning new skills and knowledge. It’s the only job security we have. But how do we learn? What can science tell us about the best, easiest way for us to absorb and become proficient in a new career field or skill?

I’ve been fascinated by a new book, "Why Don’t Students Like School?” that offers some answers. In it, cognitive psychologist Daniel Willingham looks at what techniques help students and adults think and learn effectively. I adapted some of his findings for people choosing or changing careers.

If you’re concerned about entering a new career or learning a new skill, keep these 3 principles in mind:

1. The Snowball Effect of Knowledge: Gain basic background knowledge of your subject or skill and it will become easier for you to learn more about it and practice it (see next step). Just dive in and start reading and talking to people who are experts in it.

2. “Sustained, Long Term Practice”: Practice your new skills so many times they become automatic. That means go beyond just mastering the skill. 3 strategies Willingham recommends (my examples):
  • Getting informative feedback (from peers, friends, supervisor);
  • Doing other activities that will improve your skill (like Toastmasters to improve public speaking); and
  • Consciously trying to improve (make a plan, set goals, ask for support).
3. Intelligence is nature (genes) AND nurture (environment) – so get to work. You can improve your intelligence – you need to believe you can improve and work on actually doing it. The fact your father was not a rocket scientist doesn’t mean you can’t be one. I wish I had known this about math and maybe I would have become an oceanographer instead of a lawyer.

To gain more knowledge and information about your career choice or a skill that will be required for a new job, several activities at The Career Key website will help:
Information Interviewing
Learn More About the Jobs That Interest Me
Identify My Skills
Free Agent Outlook on Work

This all just reinforces the fact that you are in the driver's seat when it comes to improving your career prospects and options. More work for the weary!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Job Outlook for Careers Matching the Social Holland Personality Type

It’s no surprise that careers matching the Social personality type are growing quickly with our aging population needing health care and our expanding community, education, and family needs.

Although school districts nationwide recently suffered cuts in both teachers and counselors, prospects vary sharply by geographic area. While tenured professor positions are as difficult as ever to get, college and universities are increasingly relying on adjunct and other non-tenured positions to serve increasing numbers of students.

These are just a couple of reasons to do your information interviews and research about careers close to home. For more tips about researching and choosing an education career, see my blog post about it.

To get started with the right personality type and matching careers, get your scientifically valid Career Key scores for the 6 personality types. Then look at your Career Key job matches and check the job outlook for each career that interests you.

From the Career Key test and website, you’ll find direct links to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) from each career you choose to explore. Each OOH description of a career includes a job outlook section, that in turn links to state specific labor market information. Career Key Canada provides the similar links to Job Futures with employment prospect information.

If what you see in the OOH or Job Futures is not promising or you want to consider other options, read on…

Top Social Career Key work group* picks for promising job prospects:

4.01 Social Services
4.02 Nursing, Therapy, & Health Promotion
4.04 Education & Library Services

* The Career Key organizes matching careers in unique, easy to use work groups by interests, skills, and abilities.

The Social occupations predicted to have the most new U.S. jobs through 2016 (listed with Career Key work group number, grouped by required education level – most to least) are:

Postsecondary Teachers (4.04)
Clinical Psychologist (4.01)
Counseling Psychologist (4.01)
School Counselor (4.01)
Clergy (4.01)
Physical Therapist (4.02)
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers (4.01)
Mental Health Counselor (4.01)
Educational, Vocational, or School Counselor (4.01)
Rehabilitation Counselor (4.01)
Elementary School Teacher (4.04)
Registered Nurse (4.02)
Dental Hygienist (4.02)
Nurse Aide (4.03)
Preschool Teacher (4.04)
Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse (4.03)

The fastest growing of all occupations are:

Postsecondary Teacher (4.04)
Clinical Psychologist (4.01)
Counseling Psychologist (4.01)
School Counselor (4.01)
Mental Health Counselor (4.01)
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker (4.01)
Marriage and Family Therapist (4.01)
Physical Therapist (4.02)
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors (4.01)
Physical Therapy Assistant (4.02)
Fitness Trainer or Aerobics Instructor (4.05)
Preschool Teacher (4.04)
Self-enrichment Education Teacher (4.04)
Athletes (4.05)

Use the Career Guide to Industries to learn more about Social occupations in:
Education, Health Care, and Social Services
Advocacy, Grantmaking, and Civil Organizations
and other industries that interest you.

In Canada, please see this list of the best Canadian job prospects in 2009:
This list contains the following Social occupations:
Family, Marriage, and Other Related Counselors
Dental Assistant
Nurse Aide
Occupational Therapist
Other Assisting Occupations in Support of Health Services
Dietitians and Nutritionists
Registered Nurses
Social Workers
Therapy and Assessment Professionals
University Professors

Next post: Job Outlook for the Enterprising Personality Type. Want to see the previous posts in this series, including those for other personality types? Start with my introductory post in Your Career Options Job Outlook Cheat Sheet.

Source: Tomorrow’s Jobs, 2006-16, U.S. Department of Labor.