Career Key

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

Monday, September 19, 2011

Promising 2011 Careers that Match Your Personality

This practical, promising 2011 careers list from career guidance leader Career Key shows you how to match your personality to living wage (or better) careers that make sense in today’s economy. Holland’s Theory of Career Choice is one of the most widely used and respected career choice theories used by professional career counselors.

This will be a 6-part series (all linked together at the end) - 1 post for each personality type.  Included are 4 Smart Career Planning Strategies to put it all in perspective.

It’s time for us to choose more promising careers….
Of the largest 10 occupations in the U.S., only one (registered nurses) had an average salary over $44,410. That’s the mean for all U.S. occupations. (BLS, 2010) When you consider what food costs and the money it takes to support a family, that’s a staggering number of people making very little money – many of them in so-called “growth” a.k.a “service-related” jobs like cashiers and fast food workers. It’s also consistent with the latest Census national poverty rate of 15%. 

While it's true accountants, engineers, nurses and practically any occupation in the sciences is the ticket to good job opportunities and wages, there are many other options, with a variety of education and training requirements.

What is a “promising” career? 
It’s a career that,

  • requires more training and education beyond a high school diploma*;
  • has decent projected future job openings – a “bright outlook” according to the U.S. Department of Labor;
  • exists in a growth industry or industries found nationwide**; and
  • provides a “living wage” job (one with which you could possibly support a family) (minimum median $30,000/year).

*99.9% of all living wage jobs require at least a high school diploma, but not necessarily a 4 year college degree. (If you disagree, send me stats that say otherwise)

**I excluded careers that I thought were too specialized or narrowly focused (like biofuels processing). Explore our Green Jobs article for more promising, specialized green and energy-related jobs.

Begin with 4 Smart Career Planning Strategies
  1. Take the right approach to work – the Free Agent Outlook.
  2. Take a practical, 3 step “end-game” approach to career planning. 
  3. Explore our promising career list below to help you decide on your career path. Find more resources at The Career Key website:  Match Your Personality to…  Careers, Green Jobs, College Majors and Training Programs, and Career Clusters and Pathways.
  4. As you consider your options, think about the costs and benefits.  Some careers require a big education investment (time, money) but prepare you for jobs that do not pay very much.  Consider the repayment of student loans.  Consider the industry in which you will be employed. Ask yourself:  Are there better paying, more promising options, in growing industries that fit your personality that you hadn’t considered before? Go back to our "Match Your Personality with..." Lists for more ideas.
How to use our promising careers list:
  1. Take our valid career test and career assessment to identify your Holland personality types you are most like, jobs that interest you, and learn more about each one;
  2. Explore our promising careers list, and identify careers you’d like to learn more about. Click on each one to visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*NET website description for that career. Don’t forget to click on links at the bottom of the O*NET page to (1) “Wages and Employment Trends” to get more local information relevant to you, and (2) “Sources of Additional Information”, which takes you to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The OOH gives you much better education and training information than O*NET (see my recent post about using O*NET vs. the OOH for researching career information).
  3. Do the activities listed in “Learn About Occupations” and “Learn More About the Jobs that Interest Me. Pay a lot of attention to your local situation – or the location you intend to work.  Talk to (ideally face to face) real people working in the careers that interest you before investing in any training or education program.
  4. Follow all 4 Smart Career Planning Strategies listed above.
Career Key's promising careers list by Holland personality type and Career Key work group...

Promising Realistic Careers
Safety and Law Enforcement


Construction Crafts and Support

Crafts – Mechanical

Crafts – Electrical-Electronic

Crafts – Metal, Wood, Plastic, Fabric

Manufacturing and Production

Promising Conventional Careers

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