Career Key

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

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What’s in My Garage: Getting My Career Portfolio Up To Date

Last Sunday I had my last Career Development Facilitator class where we each presented a project and talked about our career portfolios. First, about my project...

I created a sample career development program for a community college that helps students choose a major or program offered by the college that matches their interests, using The Career Key. Essentially, a customized list of programs. So when you take The Career Key test and get your results, you could then see your own college’s programs organized by Holland type and Career Key work group, the same way we organize careers.  See an example for the Artistic personality type from The Education Key e-Book.

The project was fun (believe it or not) but took some time so I haven’t been able to blog or tweet much recently.

Then my class talked about Career Portfolios, a way of organizing your career planning information like self-assessment results, resumes, letters of recommendation, etc. Activities you complete from “Learn More About Yourself” would go in it.

What I found, in preparing for my class, is that my career portfolio didn’t really exist, much less in a single place.  I have bits and pieces of my career self all over the place.  Here are some random things I collected from my home office and the garage:
  • Strong Interest Inventory and MBTI results from 1989 (wow, who knew I carried those out here to the West Coast from NC where I grew up?)
  • My Career Key assessment results
  • My college transcript (a little scary to see how little I remember about my coursework)
  • Writing samples from my first year of law school
  • Research memos I wrote in my first legal job
  • Copy of articles I wrote for local legal publications
  • My resume and cover letters for my last two jobs 
  • Photographs from my last job at a law enforcement agency (you've got to love uniforms!)
  • Certificates of completion for training courses
The list goes on. And you likely have similar random things lying around that seen alone, may not mean much. But when you put these things together, you see valuable insights into your career planning process:
  • patterns about yourself,
  • things that you enjoyed (or not so much),
  • accomplishments you’d forgotten,
  • good experiences” - things you’ve done that you enjoyed and are proud of...
Gathering scraps of paper about my life was very helpful for self-exploration.  A reminder of the things I’m passionate about, the things that have changed about me, and about new things I want to do.

What’s in your garage?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Best Careers for Women Online Resources: Happy Woman’s Day!

In honor of Woman’s Day, I’ve put together a few “Best Careers for Women” resources you may want to visit on your career choice journey.  As you work through your career options, it helps to think of your current and future work-life balance needs.  Some of these resources will help you think about them.

Being a mom to a toddler, my view of what “work-life balance” means and its importance are a little different from when I first hit the grownup job market in 1996. And balance doesn’t only relate to motherhood - more and more women are taking care of aging parents. And if you have none of these responsibilities, maybe you'd just like to have a well-rounded life!

The reality is that most women continue to shoulder the larger burden of family care - whether "family" means a partner, a child, or a parent.  So your job will need to accomodate your needs as they change. (If you have a SuperNanny and/or Merry Maid for a spouse or partner, keep your good fortune to yourself!)

When I see lists of best paying jobs for women I cringe a little.  If it was all about the money, wouldn’t career choice be simpler?  But it’s not. Salary does matter but there are many other factors (like your personality) to take into account. (And the issue of salary equality with men is a whole other discussion).

What’s important to you? What life stage are you in? Find out by doing the activities recommended in “Learn More About Yourself.

And in the meantime, I hope you’ll find these resources generate some ideas as you work through the career choice or change process:

The Self-Employment Key’s article “Work-Life Balance: Decision-Making for Women

Best-Paying Jobs The Women Aren’t In (Forbes, 2/17/2010)
with an interesting response by blogger Lylah Alphonse (The 36-hour day) with some valid counterpoints.

More Mag’s “10 Best Jobs for Over-Forty Women
You could argue this is not a list just for 40&overs...

U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau

Working Mother Magazine’s Work-Life Balance section
And many other articles on the site with “best companies” lists...

Role Model Project for Girls’s “Girl Specific” career exploration guides

I am fortunate to have a flexible schedule so I can spend more time with my son. And I remember that one of the reasons I chose my first career, law, was because of the flexibility in hours and cases a solo practice would offer me. This turned out to be accurate and a good plan; I used my self-employed time to travel and explore my interests. What career can you carve out for yourself that fits your life?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Green Jobs that Match Your Personality: New Unique & Free Article

If you'd like to see Green Jobs organized by Holland personality type and Career Key's unique, helpful work groups, please see our new, free article on matching your personality to green jobs and careers.  It includes the "green economy" jobs added to the U.S. Department of Labor's O*NET database in the fall of 2009.

Our new article is the only place online you can find green jobs organized by personality type, using the popular, respected Holland Theory of Career Choice. It's also the only green jobs resource based on a scientifically valid measure of Holland's 6 personality types, The Career Key.

Please feel free to link to this new article by following our linking policy.

Reminder: 10% of website sales (of our valid tests and e-Books) go to charities like The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and UNICEF.

Please email me your feedback on the new article or post a comment here. Thank you!