Career Key

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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Top 2010 Green Jobs and Green Career Exploration Resources

For people exploring green job and green career options, here are my Best Green Jobs and Green Career Exploration Internet Resources for 2010:
  1. 15 ways to rev up for a job that's good for the environment, fills your wallet, and makes a difference, from the American Solar Energy Society.  This advice is not limited to careers in the solar energy industry.  Honestly, I think this is one of the most helpful green job articles I've seen.
  2. Match Your Personality to Green Jobs, at The Career Key website (yes, I'm biased, but you will not find Green Careers accurately organized by Holland personality anywhere else.) 
  3. Careers in Wind Energy, an excellent, new article at the USDOL's Occupational Outlook Handbook website. Thanks to federal funding, more articles like this on other green careers are coming. 
  4. "Green Economy" section of the O*NET's OnLine resource center.  Link directly by occupation to some of this information from "Match Your Personality to Green Jobs" at the Career Key website.
  5. CareerOneStop's Explore Green Careers.  What I like about it is that you can explore careers in 12 green economy sectors, where for each occupation they will show you the level of education required and link you to local college and training programs.
  6. Green Careers Resource Guide.  This free PDF eBook by Jim Cassio is a great resource with one exception, the "career assessments" section recommends free resources with an invalid Holland measure*. Otherwise, it's very helpful.
  7.'s Green Industry Job Search Guide.  This series of articles covers a variety of helpful topics, including some I think are very needed but you don't find much about elsewhere like "Non-Technical Green Careers"and "Any Job can be a Green Job".
  8.'s Environmental Career Guide. is one of my longtime favorite websites with so much great information - this environmental section is no exception.
  9.'s Job Searching Green Jobs & Careers resources list. The "Job Searching" section of is very comprehensive and helpful if your focus is on finding a green job right now.
*Career assessments on nearly all government websites like the O*NET and CareerOneStop are not scientifically valid (learn more ...), so I recommend taking a valid Holland measure (Career Key offers one, but is not the only one - ask a counselor or career development professional for recommendations), selecting careers and occupations at our website that match your personality, and then visit these other websites for career information.

If you can recommend other online resources that offer high quality green career exploration information (as opposed to job boards (more about job openings than career information), marketing gimmicks, or link farms), please let me know. I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Career Guidance Holiday Gift Idea #2: Scholarship America

Making college degrees accessible to everyone is an important strategy to improve access to high quality career options. So Gift Idea # 2 is Scholarship America, "the largest non-profit, private sector scholarship and educational support organization." Their "Dollars for Scholars" program has over 1,200 chapters run by local volunteers to distribute millions of dollars in scholarships.

Among its special initiatives is the "Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund" to provide education assistance for postsecondary study to financially needy dependents of those killed or permanently disabled as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

And last but not least, Scholarship America has had a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator for 9 consecutive years.

Click the blog label "Holiday Cheer" below to see my other career-focused holiday gift ideas.

I know I personally tend to think more during the holidays about charities related to basic necessities - like food and shelter. But given the current political climate in Washington D.C., I've been trying to buck the trend of thinking short term - and give with an eye to more long-term success.

Speaking of other giving, thanks to Career Key's visitors and customers, we've been able to donate 10% of our sales this year to many charities like:
  • UNICEF, 
  • Doctors Without Borders, 
  • The Nature Conservancy, 
  • Charity Navigator, and 
  • The Center for Dependable Strengths.
I hope you're having a great holiday season so far. . .

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Choosing a College Major Based on Your Personality

Deciding on a college major, training program, or career cluster/career pathway? Or know someone who is? Please check out and share with others our new free PDF e-book called "Choosing a College Major Based on Your Personality: what does the research say?" by Career Key author Lawrence K. Jones, Ph.D., NCC.  For more visual overview of the e-book, I just posted the above on YouTube and this slideshow on Slideshare:

To read and share the press release that just went out, visit this college majors news from PRWeb.

The e-book briefly explains the research investigating the match between personality and college majors. Then it gives students, parents, and adults changing careers practical advice for taking advantage of the research.

Counselors and educators will also be interested in the research findings - to enhance their programs helping people achieve success in college.

Whew!  This has been a lot of work but worth it . . .  Tell me what you think about this new e-book report - we're looking forward to feedback.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Your Career Development & Hope – 7 Ways To Improve Your Career Resilience

The positive emotions of hope and optimism can help your career development, whether you are choosing a new career or trying to make peace with your current occupation. Research in positive psychology shows hope and optimism can help you be more “resilient” in the workplace. That means you’re better at overcoming adversity, adapting to and thriving in our rollercoaster economy.

Being resilient in the face of change is crucial considering the amount of career changes we undergo.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. worker will hold more than 10 jobs in their lifetime (and that was in 2006! Imagine what they’re forecasting now). Job change is stressful, even if you consider it a positive change, like being promoted, taking a “time-out” to have a child, or taking a new job you eagerly want.

How does hope and resilience work together? Resiliency requires people be ready and able to respond to opportunity.  And the more hopeful we are, the more likely we are to notice and act on opportunities.

So what can you do to strengthen your resilience, so that you notice and are ready to act on opportunity? Here are seven ways, based on research:

  1. Assess your optimism and improve it.  You can take an optimism test for free at Dr. Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness website at the University of Pennsylvania. Then follow his ABCDE method of improving optimism. Before you say all this is hocus pocus, keep in mind that decades of research shows cognitive psychology (simplistically, how you think determines outcomes) self-help approaches like this do work. 
  2. Upgrade your support system at work. Do you need to socialize with more positive, supportive coworkers? Do you spend time with doers or complainers? Is your supervisor a blamer or problem-solver? If you can’t change supervisors, can you counteract the negativity with a new, motivating mentor elsewhere (or a new job with a better boss)? 
  3. Upgrade your support system outside of work. (ask similar questions to those above about friends and family). 
  4. Make sure you're working in an ethical and trustworthy culture. Does your employer use an inclusive decision-making process? Do they have a bottom line beyond financial outcomes? (like certain standards of ethics) If not, change to a place that does is likely needed. 
  5. Ask: Does your employer invest in you? Is its organization team oriented? Is there any training available to you AND that you’re able to make time to take advantage of? And for that matter, are you investing in yourself? Are you learning new skills? What steps have you taken recently to use and grow your motivated skills both off and on the clock? 
  6. If you are self-employed or want to run a small business, will the work environment you create for yourself and others strengthen resiliency? (see tips above) 
  7. Follow the recommended strategies in our “Free Agent Outlook on Work” article.

You may also be interested in our articles on Job Satisfaction and Career Change.

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have safe travels to be with friends and family.

Froman, L. (2010). Positive Psychology in the Workplace.  Journal of Adult Development, 60, 62-63, 59-69.
Youssef, C.M., & Luthans, F. (2007).  Positive organizational behavior in the workplace: The impact of hope, optimism, and resilience.  Journal of Management, 33, 774-800.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Career Guidance Holiday Gift Idea #1:

This holiday season, consider helping young people explore careers and find rewarding career options through charitable donations.  What is that tired but true proverb... "Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and you'll feed him for a lifetime." Well, all of us must agree that financially sustaining work that one enjoys is a gift worth giving.

Over the next month or so, I'm going to trickle out a few career guidance related gift ideas.

Idea #1:
"An online charity connecting you with classrooms in need"

On the site, do a search for "career exploration" and you'll come up with lots of career guidance projects needing funding in schools. I like how specific the funding requests are - so you know what you're paying for, and the fact they are vetted for accuracy.

Thank you to the CareerTech Testing Center Blog for posting about this website!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Choose a college major that fits your personality - not someone else's expectations

Don't feel pressured to choose a college major or educational option that you're not passionate about - just because it's a "top" major or it's your parents' choice for you.  But don't shut out other recommendations either, just because your parents suggest it.  Do your own research and make your own major choice - you're the person who has to live with it (and God forbid, enjoy it!).  Start by putting together your own post-graduation plan (see High Quality Decisions).

It’s easy to get drawn in by media coverage and surveys about the “top college majors”, the ones it seems you’re supposed to choose if you want a job after graduation.  For example, according to a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, the top 5 academic majors that had the highest percentage of job offers at graduation in 2010 are:
  1. Accounting (46.9% got job offers)
  2. Business (45.4%)
  3. Computer Science (44.1%)
  4. Engineering (41.0%)
  5. Social Sciences (40.5%)
Surprise: When you dig further into the numbers, you see that there are other strong fields: visual and performing arts majors (40.5% got job offers).

This list is great for Enterprising and Investigative personality types - but still limiting, even for them - and extremely limiting for everyone else.  I have nothing against Accountants (please ignore our Facebook Page link to Monty Python's Vocational Guidance Counselor) or Business (as I am a businesswoman now). It's just that there are so many other options to consider alongside them.

So looking at “top” or “best” majors can be a very narrow way to look at the job market post graduation. The most important information is whether a major fits you - your interests and personality. The key is to think outside the box when it comes to choosing a major, and make sure you've truly explored the many options that match your Holland personality type. Then look at job outlook - there are promising jobs for all 6 personality types.

And by exploring college majors, I'm referring to the activities in:

Learn about Occupations that are associated with different majors
Learn More About the Jobs that Interest Me
Learn more about the college majors that interest me.
and don't forget,

Please check out the many other "career exploration" articles on the Career Key website to explore.

Friday, October 15, 2010

John L. Holland's Papers Now Available at the University of Missouri

If you're a graduate student or scholar doing research on John L. Holland, the author of Holland's Theory of Career Choice on which The Career Key test is based, his papers are now archived in the Western Historical Manuscript Collection (WHMC) of the Ellis Library at the University of Missouri (UM).  Read more about his papers and Dr. Holland's relationship to the University at the UM College of Education website.

For a preliminary listing of the collection's contents, please visit the John L. Holland Papers page at the WHMC website.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

8 Strategies for Parents to Help Their Children's Career Development

We just released a new update to our popular eBook, How Parents Can Help Their Children's Career Development, available in our eBookstore for $4.95 a copy, $6.95 for a license to make 25 copies for your group.

A note from Career Key author Dr. Lawrence K. Jones about this eBook:

As a parent, I understand some of the demands you face and the dream . . . that your child have the brightest future possible. My wife and I raised two children who have turned out just as we had hoped.

From this experience and work as a counseling psychologist in the fields of career and human development -- I have distilled eight strategies that will have a significant impact on your child’s career satisfaction and success. These eight recommendations are clear, concise, and practical. Many parent educators, youth leaders, and counselors request permission to make copies. They require self-discipline and work, but following them will repay you many times over.

This eBook now includes a 2-page handout with the 17 Foundation Skills needed for all workers in the high-performance workplace of the 21st century.

Make sure you go to the right hand side of The Career Key home page to click on the parent resource page that matches you:
As always, we appreciate your feedback. Don't hesitate to email me or make a comment on the blog.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Refocus Your Career Development: The Power of Connecting In Person

Are you reading the same career networking and “personal branding” advice over and over again - it’s all about your Internet presence and your appearance to others. Blog! Tweet! Update your Facebook/LinkedIn/(fill in the blank here) status. Welcome to 21st century narcissism. That all being said, I appreciate Facebook for keeping up with friends and enjoy writing this blog. But it’s only part, maybe a smaller part than you think, of your career development.

What’s truly important are our connections we make with people, particularly in person. That's true for career networking - meeting people who you can help and who can help you, be successful in a career path.

Think back to the people in your life who have given you the most joy, the most fun, and sparked the most rewarding work.  How did you meet them?  How did you connect with them? Chances are, even if you met through the Internet, your relationship didn’t really gel until you talked by phone or met in person.

Recently, I got out of the office to meet my former Career Development Facilitator (CDF) instructor at a local lakeside walk.  After spending more time than I had anticipated with her, I got back to my office, energized.  New ideas were flowing. Talking with someone outside of my employer but in my same field was invaluable - I needed to escape some tunnel vision.  Plus, she’s a really great person - that positive feeling stayed with me for days.

I honestly never feel like that when I connect with people online - by email or via networking services like LinkedIn.  I’m pleased to establish online relationships, sometimes excited, but I just don’t get the same warm feeling unless I talk by phone or meet someone in person.  Maybe I’m just unusual, but I doubt it.

Here are some ways to refocus on “in person” connections (I’m doing them too):
  1. Who on your contacts list haven’t you talked or met with in awhile that you miss?
  2. Are there some people you only call when you need something?  Try calling just to say “hello” - maybe you can offer to help them with something. If you sense their hesitation when you call, you know you’ve outworn the welcome mat and you need to redeem yourself.
  3. Is your list of contacts a mile wide and an inch deep? Maybe you need to spend more time on more rewarding connections - people you really like or want to get to know.
  4. Are you having lunch/coffee with the same people over and over again?  Is there much new to talk about or learn? Maybe it’s time to meet new people.
  5. Are you having trouble picking up the phone? Making the time for an in person meeting? It's easy to sit in front of a computer - sometimes hard to write an email that expresses what really want to say.  But it's definitely more of a challenge, especially for the less outgoing, to talk to people. Consider it practice for improving your communication skills - one of the 17 Foundation Skills.
Maybe you need to spend a little less time on social media (like I have), and more time setting up coffee “dates” LOL, and OMG picking up the telephone!

P.S. If you need convincing (or a reminder) about the power of that in person connection...
I recently got hooked on the BBC’s The Choir, a series about a choirmaster who starts a community choir in South Oxhey, a place north of London that’s seen better times.  It’s moving and inspirational.  It makes you think about the power of community - and the power of personal connections between people.  If you can get it on Netflix or see it on cable OnDemand, I highly recommend it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

United Kingdom Career Information at The Career Key

Thanks to input from our new customer British Airways, we've created a special career information page for all United Kingdom visitors to The Career Key website. We've put together a list of recommended links* to United Kingdom specific career and occupational information. This includes UK specific:
  • job profiles and duties,
  • education requirements, 
  • salary; and 
  • job outlook.  
 We also have portals to career information sites in Wales and Scotland.
So once you've matched your personality with careers using The Career Key test, you can now look up UK specific information about the occupations that interest you. Click on "United Kingdom" at the bottom of The Career Key home page.  You already have the ability to see matching Canadian careers and occupational information, in addition to the U.S. information available during The Career Key test.

This has been a long time coming - it's a relatively recent development that the UK government has made occupational information available online.

*The Career Key does not accept advertising or paid links. We only recommend and link to sites we think provide the greatest benefit and most objective information to our visitors.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Career Clusters Interest Survey Validity Questioned in Recent Study

The Career Clusters Interest Survey (CCIS) is a scientifically invalid measure for measuring your students' or clients' interests for choosing a Career Cluster or Career Pathway, according to Dominic R. Prime and Terence Tracey's article "Psychometric Properties of the Career Clusters Interest Survey" in the May 2010 Journal of Career Assessment (JCA). It's available through your public or local university library.

The first study ever done of the CCIS, offered by the States' Career Clusters Initiative, shows that the CCIS has serious flaws. For example, it does not measure 3 of the 6 Holland personality types, specifically the Conventional, Realistic, and Investigative personality types.

According to the JCA article, "[u]sing the CCIS to guide students could result in a very restricted examination of occupations." 

If you'd like to use an affordable, scientifically valid measure of Holland's 6 personality types to match students' interests with career clusters and career pathways, please visit our "Choosing a Career Cluster, Field or Pathway" article at The Career Key website. You can download a map that shows how the clusters and pathways are related to interests, the Holland personality types, and occupations.

The Journal of Career Assessment article mentions other scientifically valid measures as alternatives to the Career Clusters Interest Survey if you want to explore more.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Which Engineering Career or College Major Matches Your Personality?

If you are considering an engineering career, college major, or training program, Holland's Theory of Career Choice can help you narrow down your choices and specialty. It can help you sort out what kind of engineer or engineering technician you'd like to be.

According to a recent, excellent Wall Street Journal article, "A Career in Engineering",
"Even though you'll have to decide on a specialization while in college, most recruiters say engineers fall into their specific niche by identifying what they're naturally good at, or what they most enjoy."
Holland's Theory gives you a scientific way to do just that - identify your interests. Through 6 personality types, you can measure your interests and see occupations and majors that match.  Research shows a good match between your personality type and your career choice lead to greater job satisfaction and success. If you're choosing a college major or training program, a good interest-major match will likely result in higher grades.

So it's important to choose a engineering career compatible with your Holland personality type.

Not all engineering careers fall under one personality type.  In fact, they fall under two: Realistic and Investigative. More "hands-on", practical and mechanical kinds of engineering careers are associated with the Realistic Personality type. And the more scientific and precise engineering disciplines are associated with the Investigative Personality type.

In engineering, matching occupations can be basically broken down into groups like this:

Realistic Personality Type
"Engineering" Group* (see examples below)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Engineer
  • Engineering technologies (technicians, technologists...)
  • Surveyor
Investigative Personality Type
"Computer Science and Technology" Group
  • Computer Software Engineer
"Engineering" Group
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Computer Hardware Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineer
You can see all the matching careers for the Realistic and Investigative personality types by visiting our article "Match Your Personality with Careers."

See more "Green Jobs", including engineering-related careers, at a similar article, "Match Your Personality with Green Jobs."

*The Career Key method of grouping matching careers by "Work Groups" within each personality type allows you to explore careers associated with similar worker traits, skills, abilities, temperament, and interests.

Being married to an engineer with a love of Dilbert, I can say that puzzle-solving skills, an interest in science and math, and a sense of humor are also ingredients for success.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Using Holland's Theory and Career Interests to Help Your Clients

I just got back into town from giving a presentation on Holland's Theory of Career Choice.  I focused on how vocational rehabilitation counselors can use career interests to help their clients make good career decisions.

After a passport fiasco (of my own making), I finally made it to the beautiful shores of Lake Waskesiu in central/north Saskatchewan where my gracious host, Jac Quinlan (at left) from the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board was nice enough to let me speak a day late.  The reward was a welcoming crowd and beautiful scenery.

The bottom line questions most counselors or career development professionals helping people make career changes and choices ask are:
  1. How can you make my job easier?
  2. What are the best, most effective, affordable tools for helping my clients?
Without a doubt, Holland's Theory of Career Choice is a necessary tool in the toolbox.  And The Career Key and Career Key Canada websites give professionals the scientifically valid, affordable resources to put it into practice with their clients.

Holland's Theory is intuitive and easy to explain to people. It's visually attractive too:
I really feel passionate about the usefulness of our work based on Holland Theory. It's not the only proven theory out there but it certainly is one of the most easily understood and put into practice; an excellent starting place for clients.  I guess that means I'm "drinking the [Career Key] Kool-Aid." But you already knew that.

Now that the summer is over and my travel is done, I'm ready to start blogging again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Career Choices in an Uncertain Economy: Placing Your Bets

Job Outlook for...
High Skilled Careers? Good. 
Low-Skilled Careers? Good.
Middle-Skilled Careers? Not so good.

If you look at job boards and reports from economists and the U.S. Labor Department (read this interesting Wall Street Journal article last week about employers who can't fill jobs), it looks like you find the best job outlook in careers at either end of the skills spectrum: highly specialized, high-skilled jobs or low-skilled jobs.

If you’re concerned about ending up in the “middle-skilled” group now suffering the worst unemployment (a situation likely to continue into the near future), several articles at our website can help you make your next career decision.

Knowing Yourself

Include what you learn from these activities, along with your Career Key test results, to help narrow down your options as part of the 4 step ACIP decision making process.

Considering Further Education & Training
If you’re weighing your options for a college major, going back to school or taking on an expensive post-secondary training program, start by planning out what you want to gain from it.

Some may object this approach as dreaded “careerism” or too much focus too soon, but no one says this path can’t be fun and exploratory. Even a narrowly tracked engineering degree will allow for some broader classes like literature and writing, which you should take anyway to learn needed Foundation Skills.

No one says you have to have your one future job title picked out when you enroll, but you need to know why you’re studying what you’re studying.

See our recommendations on how to Choose a College Major or Training Program, including some food for thought on choosing a program in the Liberal Arts, Humanities & General Studies.

While you don’t have to choose between becoming a research microbiologist or a Quickie Mart attendant via your next career move, the jobs data clearly shows that a lack of specialization and focus - regardless of skill level - will lead to a lack of opportunity now and in the foreseeable future.  That's a sure bet. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Exploring Other Career Development Theories in addition to Holland's Theory of Career Choice

Understanding and using John Holland's Theory of Career Choice is a highly recommended part of one's career planning. It is the most popular and researched career theory used by professional career counselors - and The Career Key test is a scientifically valid measure of Holland's 6 personality types to help you match your personality with occupations and educational programs.

But there is more than one road to your destination.  You should explore other theories and approaches in addition to Holland's Theory. In fact, you would be making a mistake to rely on just one theory or one scientifically valid assessment in your career planning. Theories and resources recommended below involve prominent, well-respected academics in the field of career guidance and counseling.

For professional help in applying Holland's Theory or any of these career approaches, seek out a professional career counselor or Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) established by the National Career Development Association and certified by the Center for Credentialing and Education.

I personally recommend these additional ways of looking at careers and related scientifically valid assessments (if any) or informal self-exploration activities (in alphabetical order):
You can then return to The Career Key's "High Quality Decisions" article to put this information together with your Career Key test results in a proven process to making a high-quality career or education decision.

As we pointed out in our article "Learn More About Yourself", you need to know as much as you can about your "unique qualities" to choose a career path that will fit you best. Doing the activities on The Career Key website and looking into the resources above will help do just that - and help you make a career decision you won't regret.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Choose a Career Using Your Motivated Skills

Bernard and Jean Haldane pioneered a powerful new approach to career planning (see the remembrance blog post last week). We will remember their important contribution.

Their basic method was to help people identify the skills that they enjoy using -- a “motivated skills” analysis. Then, with this knowledge, choose a career that uses these skills.

Many of their ideas were popularized in Richard Bolles' What Color is Your Parachute. My experience in using it was very positive.

I first came across it in Bernard’s book How to Make a Habit of Success (1981). A review of this book on describes its promise and limitations,

"This book was a Godsend for me in my search for my new career. It showed me how to identify the things in my past that were the building blocks of a long, successful and enjoyable career. It works best for methodical people who follow its instructions in detail. The results are well worth the effort. I have given copies to all of my children and many of my friends."

You can learn how to do this analysis in our article, Identify Your Skills (see the second page). Being “methodical” is important. Study this article carefully.

Many find it hard to recognize their personal achievements, to analyze and articulate the skills involved, and to relate the results to their careers.

Ideally, you want to work with an analytical person trained in this process or to attend one of the workshops offered by the Center for Dependable Strengths. [Note: “Motivated Skills” now called "Dependable Strengths" -- in deference to cultures that might find the former confusing or objectionable.]

For more resources, has a bibliography of Bernard and Jean Haldane’s work.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Remembering Career Development Pioneer Jean Haldane, 1926 - 2010

We would like to take a moment to remember the career development pioneer Jean Haldane, who passed away on May 15.  Dr. Lawrence K. Jones, The Career Key's author, was acquainted with both Jean and her late husband Dr. Bernard Haldane, having used their work in his undergraduate teaching and continuing to recommend it today.

I took the liberty of copying the Puget Sound Career Development Association announcement below, with their links to her Seattle Times obituary and the Center for Dependable Strengths.

If you are not familiar with the Haldanes' work or Dependable Strengths, I strongly encourage you to visit the Center's website, take part in Dependable Strengths workshops, and read related books. One in particular I can recommend by Dr. Haldane: Career Satisfaction and Success: A Guide to Job and Personal Freedom.  Dr. Jerald R. Forster recently published an excellent book adapting some of the Haldanes' work called Articulating Strengths Together (AST): An Interactive Process to Enhance Positivity.

Jean Haldane
1926 to 2010

Jean Haldane, the beloved wife of Bernard Haldane, died on May 15 — four years after suffering a stroke. Jean had been a partner with Bernard in all his work from the time they married in 1965. Jean was much loved and respected by all who knew her. Below is a link to the Seattle Times obituary where you also have an opportunity to write about your memories of Jean.

A memorial service honoring Jean's life will be held Saturday, June 19, 11 a.m. at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church located at 4805 N.E. 45th St., Seattle, WA 98105. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Stephen's Episcopal Church or to the Center for Dependable Strengths, c/o Highline Community College, P.O. Box 98000, MS 99-85, Des Moines, WA 98198-9800.
Seattle Times
obituary. At the top of Jean’s photo, click on “Visit Guest Book" to share your remembrances.
A description by Jerald Forster regarding a major training session that Jean would have had a key role at, but could not attend because she suffered a stroke in 2006.
A summary of Bernard and Jean Haldane’s work together.
A listing of the entire collection of the work of Bernard and Jean at the University of Washington.

Summertime at The Career Key

Finally, the sun has arrived here in the Pacific Northwest and it stays light until 10 p.m. (See Mt. Adams, 12,000 ft at left - seen across the apple orchards of Hood River, Oregon) And in accordance with Murphy's Law, I've been swamped with major Career Key projects - trumping my best blogging & tweeting intentions.

As you might guess, The Career Key websites are heavily used by secondary schools, colleges and universities.  So the summer is really the best time for us to do major updates to the content on our websites including our eBooks and website articles. 

Even so - we did get some major new content out in the last 6 months (in addition to updating the careers displayed in The Career Key test itself):
New eBooks:
  • The Education Key: Choosing the Right College Major, Training or Instructional Program
I'm also working with a large community college to organize all their majors and programs according to Holland personality type and Career Key work group.  If you're with an institution that would be interested in matching students' Holland personality type to your school's programs, please contact me at julietjones at 

So I'll be posting a little less than usual while we focus on these summer projects and updating our website. But we're still here....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Can’t Decide on a Career or Education Program? Get Career Planning Momentum in 20 Minutes

Try sitting down with your favorite beverage and taking 20 minutes to ask yourself, “What are my career planning goals and how do I achieve them?” If you are spending at least 20 minutes to surf your smart phone's app store, then you have time to spend on this activity.

A new job? A new career path? Direction in school?  If you have trouble defining what your career planning goals are, write or type out what is causing you to think about career planning:
  1.  “I don’t like my job.What I don't like about it: _________”
  2. “I’m not sure what to do after high school/college/grad school...”
  3.  “I’m not making enough money in my current work. I need a better paying job.”
  4. “My last child is going to school next year and I need to reenter the workforce.”
  5. “I just got diagnosed with a chronic illness and I can’t do my old job anymore.”
  6. “I’m unemployed and no matter what I do, I can’t seem to find another job.”
If you’re making a lot of negative statements, try rewording them into positive, more forward looking statements.  Like (in the same order as above),
  1. I want to find a job where I enjoy going to work.
  2. I want to study in an education program that leads to a successful career choice, one where I’ll enjoy the work and make enough money to pay off my student loans.
  3. I want a job (or career path) where I can make enough money to comfortably support my family.
  4. I want to start (or restart) a satisfying career path that will allow me to spend time with my family but satisfy my need for meaningful work and income to help pay our family’s bills.
  5. I want to start a new career using my unique talents, skills, and abilities.
  6. I want to find a new job that pay my bills right now and that will support me while I prepare for a new career in a growing career field.
Do a real “brain dump.” Don’t try to be short or fixate on finding the exact right words; just write out your thoughts and concerns about your situation.

To get some momentum, make a few short-term self-assessment goals (ones you can do today or tomorrow) related to the statements you just made. For example:
  • Read the article “Identify Your Skills” and make a list of skills, especially your “motivated” skills - ones you enjoy using and are good at.
  • Read about Holland’s Theory of Career Choice and think about how it applies to your current work or school studies. What future choices will you be making and how can you apply Holland’s Theory to them? 
  • Do one other activity from “Learn More About Yourself.
Hopefully after doing these activities you'll feel you've gathered information that will help you reach your career planning goals - and gained some momentum for decision-making. Don't be surprised if you spend longer than 20 minutes working on this - in fact, I was hoping to trick you into investing more time than you thought. The point is that it doesn't take much time to make real progress.

My next post will be about gathering information about your career options. What other information do I need to make good decisions?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thank You to My Mom (and Moms everywhere) for Their Career Choices

This Mother’s Day I’d like to focus on my Mom’s career choices and to thank her for all the work it took to make them.

I love this photo of my mom, Jeanine Wehr Jones, who (in my admittedly biased view) looks like a movie star with her smile, blonde hair and big sunglasses. In 1966 when this photo was taken, she taught English in Turkey as part of a Peace-Corps type of program. She was taking her students on a hike, sharing with them her interest in nature - just as she later shared it with my brother and me.

During teachers’ orientation, she met a fellow new college grad and my father, Dr. Lawrence K. Jones, The Career Key’s author. A couple of weeks later, he proposed to her on the boat from New York City to Turkey. More about his story at The Career Key website.

After getting married and returning to the United States, Mom worked as an elementary school teacher in Philadelphia where my father was in graduate school. Later, she would follow him to Missouri and finally Raleigh, North Carolina where she stayed at home to raise my brother and me for a few years.

When I was in middle school, my mom went back to school to get a master’s degree in library science, commuting a long distance in the pre-Internet days before online degrees and distance learning. At the same time, she helped care for her mother and raise her own family.

From graduation with honors until her retirement, she worked in the media center for an “alternative” high school. My mother’s Brooklyn, NY style humor was a hit with disadvantaged kids who didn’t know what to make of it. She told one streetwise kid to press his “whisper button” on his shoulder. He looked at his shoulder and then at her, puzzled. Then he laughed and was quieter. Her love of information and research led her to library science, but in the end she spent more time disciplining teenagers than she would have liked. She tries to make light of that job’s challenges, but it was stressful.

Later, Mom supported my father’s efforts back in 1997 to create The Career Key website; she was and still is an integral part of making Career Key successful. Her feedback, suggestions, and research skills continue to help it grow.

My mom’s first step in a series of career paths began in the 1960s but her story is just as relevant to today’s mothers. Caregiving aging parents and raising children, while working to earn a living to support the family is very much a current story. Many mothers (and more fathers) juggle all these balls and some even more.

Thank you, Mom for setting a good example for how a mother can successfully handle the career journey while helping to improve the lives of her children. For helping young people through teaching and education, while doing all the hard and often tedious work it takes to keep a household functional.  Hopefully I can do as well for my son and family. Happy mother’s day!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Poking a Hole in Blogger Seth Grodin’s Higher Ed Melt Down Idea

In the Pacific Northwest this morning, I woke up to a storm of Tweets about Seth Grodin’s catastrophic blog post on higher education’s future. While I like some of Seth’s work and agree with many of his points in this post, I disagree with his view that:
“4. The correlation between a typical college degree and success is suspect..The solutions are obvious....[t]hings like gap years, research internships and entrepreneurial or social ventures...”
Gap years, internships & entrepreneurial ventures are great options or alternatives for some students (particularly single people with access to parents’ money), but to say that the link between traditional education and success is suspect is just plain wrong. I’d like to know what “data [he’s] seeing” that supports his view; I know there are statistics showing the opposite.

Some might say I’m biased because I work for a company that provides career guidance resources to students and schools.  But the science and data don’t lie.  Not everyone is entrepreneurial and social - as over 30 years of research with Holland’s Theory of Career Choice has shown. And many satisfying, well-paying jobs require a college degree, certificate or formal training. Is there anything wrong with being an engineer instead of a self-made entrepreneur or blogger? (I don’t think so).

The real problem is that many people go to college and choose a college major with little to no career planning.  What do you want to get out of your education? What areas of study interest you the most? If you don’t know or are not ready to decide, wait to go to school until you do. The obvious solution to this problem is to make a series of good career decisions throughout your life.

Hasty, directionless education choices are not all the fault of school counselors or parents.  Individuals need to take control of their own destiny, even though it’s more difficult for young people more easily swayed by peers, parents, and marketing. We need to create a more open, honest discussion of all career options people have - and to help people do the work (and yes, have the fun) necessary to explore them. Sometimes that means college, a gap year, job shadowing, or a Road Trip

If more students made high-quality, creative career and education decisions, with the help and support of parents, counselors, and even peers, more people would enjoy success from a college education.

Let’s focus on supporting creative, well-researched career decisions for everyone instead of overemphasizing entrepreneurial, non-traditional career paths. Choosing to be an entrepreneur is no better or worse than someone choosing to be an engineer - the important thing is to choose a series of career paths throughout your life that fit your interests and your passions.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Want to graduate on time? Choose a college major or training program that matches your Holland personality.

Scientific studies show that if a student chooses a college major or program that matches their Holland interests, they are:
  • Less likely to switch college majors (Allen & Robbins, 2008), and
  • More likely to graduate on time (Allen & Robbins, 2010).
In a study involving over 3,000 students at 15 four-year colleges and 13 two-year institutions, the authors found that this interest-major match or “interest-major congruence” has a direct effect on students’ timely graduation for both 4-year and 2-year institutions. The study's findings appeared in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Counseling Psychology (see full citations below).

To learn more about how to measure your 6 Holland personality types using the scientifically valid Career Key test and match the test results to careers and all 1,300+ college majors in the U.S. and Canada using our new, affordable e-Book, The Education Key, please read our article “Choose a College Major or Training Program.” In the article we describe the 4 step process to making a good educational decision.

Copies of these articles are available online and from your school or local library:

Allen, J. , & Robbins, S. (2010). Effects of Interest-Major Congruence, Motivation, and Academic Performance on Timely Degree Attainment. Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 57, No. 1, 23-35.

Allen, J., & Robbins, S. (2008) Prediction of college major persistence based on vocational interests and first-year academic performance. Research in Higher Education, 62-79.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Career Guidance from Dr. Mehmet Oz's Father

Are we sometimes too soft on ourselves or our children when it comes to our career decision status and career development? What do you think about the story I quote from below about Dr. Mehmet Oz, the popular and talented doctor you see on Oprah who now has his own TV show. Here it is from page 3 of Frank Bruni's Sunday NYT Magazine article, "Dr. Does-It-All":
"Reared in Wilmington, Del., he [Mehmet Oz] decided to become a doctor at age 7, in line in an ice-cream parlor. “I remember it like yesterday,” he said. “There was a kid in front of me who was 10. My dad, just to pass the time, said, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The kid said, ‘I don’t know, I’m 10.’ My father waited until he was out of earshot and said: ‘I never want you to tell me that if I ask you that question. I never want you tell me you don’t know. It’s O.K. if you change your mind. But I never want you not to have a vision of what you want to be.

“I told him that day that I wanted to be a doctor,” Oz added. “And I never changed my mind.” (emphasis added).

What's your reaction to that story? Was Dr. Oz's father, a Turkish cardiothoracic surgeon who was born in poverty in the Depression, being too harsh or pushy with his son? Or is it right sometimes to push ourselves and our children into action?

I have mixed feelings, leaning more toward pushing yourself or your child into action. Although age 7 seems a little young to demand a career direction for someone. For me, the key phrase is"it's okay if you change your mind." Time and time again we are told (and we know to be true) that setting goals gets results. (see step 4 "Plan" of our High Quality Decisions article) If you have no career goals, it's safe to say your results will reflect your lack of direction.

What do you think?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Work From Home Jobs and Careers That Match Your Holland Personality Type

Inspired by my recent interview, I decided to take a look at "work from home" jobs and how you can use the best science and practices of career counseling found on the Career Key’s website to help you choose one. After a little explanation, I organized a number of work at home jobs by personality type using Holland’s Theory of Career Choice. My goal is to help you choose a home-based career that is most likely to lead to job satisfaction.

Having often worked in a home office throughout my career, I know the benefits (and challenges) of working at home. Working at home is especially attractive to parents and caregivers, people with disabilities, and anyone else who values flexibility in time and location of work. The challenge is to find a satisfying career path that fits how you want and need to live your life.

As an overall approach, I recommend evaluating your career options using The Career Key website’s 3 step career choice process:
1. Know Yourself.
2. Know Your Options.
3. Make a High-Quality Decision.

For a crash course on work at home jobs, I recommend reading Alison Doyle’s series of “Work from Home Jobs” articles at the Job Search website. She does an excellent job of explaining what’s involved and how to filter out scams.

Using Holland’s Theory of Career Choice to “Know Yourself”
Step 1: In addition to many other self-exploration activities, we recommend taking a scientifically valid interest inventory based on Holland’s Theory like The Career Key test.

As an alternative, you may want to consider taking the special version of The Career Key called The Self-Employment Key, which focuses specifically on occupations where at least 10% of the workers are self-employed. Test-takers also receive scores for two “Big 5” personality dimensions research shows linked to self-employed success.  There are also special sections on women entrepreneurs and young entrepreneurs.  You can also use your Self-Employment Key scores at The Career Key to see more careers that match your personality.

Step 2: After you’ve measured your top two or three Holland personality types and selected occupations that interest you, the next step is to look at whether there are “work at home” options that match your personality.

To do that, it’s important to actually understand what Holland’s Theory means and how your personality relates to careers.  So even if you see a job title or business activity that is not listed as one of the 250+ on The Career Key or on The Self-Employment Key, you will know how it may or may not be compatible with your personality.

For example, if you see “Online Tutor” and it is not listed on The Career Key test and website’s list of matching careers, you can look at the job duties and see that teaching is the main component; enjoyment of teaching is a characteristic of people with a “Social personality type.” Therefore, someone scoring high in the Social personality type would likely find this job compatible and satisfying.

To jump start the process, I’ve organized by Holland personality type the unique Career Key “work groups” of careers, along with job title examples found in home-based work. This is not an exhaustive list; consultants who work at home could be based on many occupations not listed below.

The Career Key test and our “Match Your Personality with Careers” article not only list matching occupations but also link each one to accurate, comprehensive career information at the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

A Selection of "Work at Home" job titles (in Red) organized by Career Key Work Groups and Holland Personality Type

Crafts-Metal, Wood, Plastic, Fabric (Jeweler, Upholsterer)
Food Preparation (Baker, Chef)
Manufacturing & Production (Woodworker, Textile/Apparel/Furnishings Worker)

Computer Science & Technology (Computer Programmer, Computer Specialist)

Literary Arts (Writer)
Visual Arts (Artist, Graphic Designer)
Communications (Editor, Technical Writer)

Nursing, Therapy & Health Promotion (Registered Nurse, Dietitian or Nutritionist)
Education & Library Services (Teacher, various types)

Sales & Purchasing (Sales Agent)
Business Administration (Chief Executive Officer - think “self-employed” or business owner)
Promotion (Copy Writer, Public Relations Specialist)

Mathematical Detail (Bill & Account Collector)
Oral Communications (Customer Service Representative, Receptionist, Telephone Operator)
Materials & Records Processing (Medical Transcriptionist, Word Processor)

Don’t try to be someone you’re not: Do what you enjoy and the money will follow
There is strong sales and entrepreneurial aspect to most self-employed work at home jobs. So make sure that if your Holland scores are low for Enterprising, that you seriously rethink whether self-employment, particularly in sales, is right for you. Don’t be seduced by the promise of making large sums of money. The people who are successful are the ones that enjoy selling, who score high in the Enterprising personality type.

If Enterprising is not one of your top two personality types, working for someone else doing work that fits your personality types is a better option than direct sales.  You’ll save money by not purchasing inventory you never sell, and you’ll save yourself heartache and stress from doing work you don’t enjoy.

Additional Work at Home Resources*:
Alison Doyle’s “Work at Home Jobs by Company Directory’s “Top 40” Business Ideas

*My links to or imply no endorsement of either site or the jobs/companies linked to from those sites. Although these sites link to us, we do not get any financial benefit from external links and as a policy do no reciprocal linking. If we think a web page is helpful and contributes to our mission, we link to it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Career Key Blog Named a Top Blogger by

has recognized me as a
Top Blogger
Interview on
Good Career Choices
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Jobs and Careers
Thank you to for the honor of making me one of their Top Bloggers.  They just posted an interview with me on "Good Career Choices" (click on the graphic above). Since 1997, has been a top resource to moms interested in working at home and entrepreneurship.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

5 Tips for Handling Internships in Career Exploration & Career Development

Along with suggesting specific career exploration activities, we advise people who want to learn more about a particular career to do volunteer work or take an internship.  Recent controversy about the legality of unpaid internships gives me a timely opportunity to offer some personal perspective and advice to would-be interns.

5 Tips for Handling Internships  
(to read more about my personal experience and for more elaboration on these tips, scroll below)
  1. Talk with previous interns before accepting the internship.
  2. Be distrustful of industries or employers with a cutthroat reputation.
  3. Have reasonable expectations of the internship.
  4. Get out early if it is not working out.
  5. Try very, very hard to find a paid internship. People do not value what they do not pay for.
My own desperate offer to work for free
In a desperate moment, in a different recession, at the beginning of my legal career, I offered to work for free for an employment discrimination law firm. I offered to “follow your paralegal around and do whatever she tells me to do...”

As a recent law school graduate, still waiting to hear whether I passed the bar, I had little valuable, practical experience practicing law - just the usual required research, writing, and some administrative hearing pro bono work. I was truthfully worth less than a good paralegal at that point.  Getting hired straight out of law school for a plaintiff’s (employee-side) firm is pretty difficult - they do not want to put a lot of time or money into training someone, especially one without a bar card. And after knocking on a lot of doors, I was a little stressed out and discouraged. So I can understand would-be interns’ desperation in the current economic situation.

Fortunately for me, my future mentor declined and offered a full-time time, “at will” job with a modest but liveable wage for a thrifty, single gal like me. Not only was he being nice, but smart (and legal) to do so. And in paying for my services, they expected me to do something meaningful in return - so I was given meaningful work that trained me for my profession. I will be forever grateful for that first job opportunity.

But before that offer, I had dozens of dead ends and unreturned phone calls, letters, and emails. I got my future boss’s name from another lawyer with whom I conducted an informational interview - I had no special favors or connections other than my school alumni organizations. Just persistence in the face of rejection.

5 Tips for Handling Internships
I suggest that students approach internships (paid or unpaid) from a cost/benefit standpoint. What skills would you be gaining? See "Identify Your Skills" for ideas. If there is no practical or educational benefit to you other than having a certain company appear on your resume and uncertain networking contacts, just say no.  The government’s definition of a legal unpaid internship (see their PDF with the 6 criteria) basically says that you, the intern, should be the main beneficiary.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that just by being an intern you will have the keys to the Magic Networking & Hiring Kingdom. You’ll need an an opportunity, through meaningful work, to demonstrate your value and potential to make people want to help you in the future.
  1. Ask to talk with previous interns before accepting the internship. You should be able to find out whether photocopying and sweeping out bathrooms as part of the unspoken job description. In addition to asking whether they learned something valuable, ask whether they made useful networking contacts - if not, what’s the point? And if past interns don’t call you back or are reluctant to speak to you, maybe there’s a reason.
  2. Be distrustful of industries or employers with a cutthroat reputation. I know this sounds a little obvious but some places like law firms, financial institutions and some IT companies have a well-developed reputation for “eating their young.” Chances are that if workers are themselves “eaten,” you will be too - for free. You should be networking and doing informational interviews in your field anyway - ask around about a company or department’s reputation.
  3. Have reasonable expectations of the internship.  Just because it’s educational doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect to make coffee on rare occasion. That’s real life for most people (unless you’re Donald Trump)- we pitch in and make coffee.  But if you’re making coffee every morning and you’re spending more time on menial tasks than educational ones, that’s a problem.
  4. Get out early if it is not working out. If you see that you’re being taken advantage of, talk nicely with your supervisor about doing more educational work. If that doesn’t work, leave. Your “free” time is better spent elsewhere. And unless there was illegality involved, you may want to keep your negative experience to yourself (unless a future prospective intern calls you - in that case, talk to them in a factual way on the phone - not email).  Blogging/tweeting/complaining in some permanent, "written" form will not benefit you in any way.
  5. Try very, very hard to find a paid internship. People don’t value what they don’t pay for, which is why I think this unpaid internship abuse issue is coming up. Old-fashioned networking through your school’s alumni association or community organizations (think Lion’s Club, Toastmasters, etc.) takes a lot of time and effort, but it does pay off. No well-connected daddy or mommy needed.
Desperation in a poor job market or enthusiasm for a particular company or career field are just part of career development.  Just don’t sell yourself short in pursuit of your career goals.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Afraid to Choose a Career with a Narrow Focus? 6 Thoughts on Highly Specialized Career Choices

How do you choose a career when some occupations are so narrowly focused or specialized? What if a recession or technology change renders your career choice obsolete or less attractive?  It’s hard enough to decide on a career path, even if you know it is just one choice of many you’ll make throughout your life. Add to that the fear of being stuck with a degree or training that is no longer needed or has few job openings - it’s intimidating.

Education is becoming more specialized
Specialization is on my mind because we just finished matching the Career Key to all the new majors, training & instructional programs added in 2010 to the U.S. and Canadian government’s database of post-secondary programs. (Our Education Key e-Book will be updated this summer) This is the first update since 2000, and the specialization trend in education is striking. Here are a few examples:
  • Medicine and Health Care fields, both for professionals and technicians, are continuing to become more specialized. 
    • For example, Nursing is now subdivided into four categories (registered nursing, administration, research & clinical nursing, and practical nursing) with multiple programs for each.
  • Interdisciplinary studies are growing. You need to be an expert in more than one field - which may make it more interesting for you, but more challenging. 
Careers are becoming more specialized
My software engineer husband and I were talking recently about how in his field, job openings are often driven by one particular language and one platform.  Windows or Linux? C++ or Ruby on Rails? (whatever that means - you get the picture) Companies may say they want a “jack [programmer] of all trades [languages]” but really they want someone to know exactly the specific language and code they’ve got and what to do with it. And there are a lot of languages - more being invented all the time (like the new D language at DigitalMars).

Anecdotal evidence aside, 2010 changes in the U.S. government’s organization system for occupations (the Standard Occupational Classification or SOC) reflect many more focused career paths in technology and health care. The number of occupations in some industries are shrinking (like printing and photograph processing) while others are expanding (information technology and nursing).

So what does all this mean for choosing a career right now?

Here are my 6 thoughts on making a more specialized career choice:
  1. Remind yourself that your current career choice, whether it’s your first or you think it’s your last, is probably not your permanent, final one. Embrace the cliche that “change is the only constant.” See #6 below.
  2. Focus on what you have control over. You can control and improve your adaptability to change, by:
    • building your support system (family, friends), 
    • paying attention to the health and progress of your newly chosen field, 
    • staying up to date with your certifications and education, and networking with other people.  
    • You can’t control (among other things) technology advances (unless you’re an inventor), economic recessions, or age discrimination. 
  3. Learn about Holland’s Theory of Career Choice and how to use it to narrow your options to compatible groups of careers. Take a close look at the careers and education programs that match your top two personality types. If you’re interested in a career field with a lot of narrowly focused, specialized jobs, like medicine (Investigative), therapy (Social), and engineering technicians (Realistic), use what you know about your personality types through Holland’s Theory to combine your interests in one field.  
    • For example, if you score high in Social and your second highest score is Enterprising, you can see how choosing a Social occupation that may allow you to operate your own business (like physical therapy or clinical psychology) would be a compatible choice. You’d want to do informational interviews with self-employed practitioners to learn more about those options. See other suggested ways to learn more about the careers that interest you.
  4. Take the time to identify and write out a list of your motivated skills, skills you enjoy using, are good at, and are proud of. Our article “Identify Your Skills” will help you do that, along with the other activities in “Learn More About Yourself.” You can use these exercises to develop a list of transferable skills, which can help you find related, compatible careers if you need to.
  5. Specialization does not necessarily mean more risky career choices. Some well-paid, rewarding and specialized jobs are not going to disappear unless robots from The Terminator take over the planet. (And then career choice will be the least of your problems). Maintaining and installing utility lines (utility company lineworkers), helping people through knee replacement rehabilitation (physical therapy), and gatekeepers (financial auditors) are not going away anytime soon. Careers that work directly with computer hardware or software? Be prepared for big changes as devices become more mobile and smaller.
  6. Follow the 6 principles of the Free Agent Worker described at The Career Key website. I also wrote a series of blog posts on them.
The beauty of relying your Holland personality types and interests as a career compass is that you should have little trouble staying up to date on a career field that interests you. Apply a little thoughtful creativity and your goal of being adaptable to changes in the world of work will be within your grasp.