This exercise helps you identify your best career path based on your personal interests and skills, free from the external influences of family and society. It’s for people that feel stuck or confused about their career, people with multiple career interests or those feeling pressured to follow in the footsteps of their family.

Great for:

  •  People with multiple interests and skills trying to decide on a career path.
  •  People that feel pressured to pursue a career they don’t love.
  •  People that don’t have a clear idea of what career they would enjoy.
  •  People wanting to pivot careers, get back into the workforce or start their own business.

Making career choices throughout your life can be challenging, especially if we have multiple interests and skills or feel pressured to continue with a career that we don’t love.

This exercise is designed to raise your awareness of your own skills and interests, expand the realm of possible careers you might enjoy, and help empower you to “go your own way” instead of feeling pushed into a career that doesn’t feel right.

This exercise is based on the work of John Holland and Dr. Murray Bowen, two respected professionals from the worlds of career psychology and family systems theory. In the first part you will identify your personality types and areas of interest. In the second you will review the familial and societal factors that may have influenced your career decisions.

This exercise will be especially helpful if you’re considering career options where your interests, skills and values aren’t aligned with the popular choice of your family or society 먹튀검증커뮤니티.

Step 1: Identify your top 3 personal Holland themes
Read each of the six theme descriptions below and write the names of the three themes that describe you 1. the best, 2. second best and, 3. third best.

First, think of the things you enjoyed most in your childhood, adolescence and adulthood: toys, games, activities, hobbies, interests, classes, risks taken, or topics researched. Next, underline the words that stand out most to you and resonate with you as important across your life-span. Even if you aren’t great at these skills now, if they are an important part of your identity, be sure to include them.

Realistic ? People who have athletic or mechanical ability, prefer to work with objects, machines, tools, plants, or animals, or to be outdoors.
Interests: Machines, computer networks, athletics, working outdoors
Activities: Operating equipment, using tools, building, repairing, providing security
Skills: Mechanical ingenuity and dexterity, physical coordination
Values: Tradition, practicality, common sense

Investigative ? People who like to observe, learn, investigate, analyze, evaluate, or solve problems.
Interests: Science, medicine, math, research
Activities: Performing lab work, solving problems, conducting research
Skills: Mathematical ability, researching, writing, analyzing
Values: Independence, curiosity, learning

Artistic ? People who have artistic, innovating or intuitional abilities, and like to work in unstructured situations, using their imagination or creativity.
Interests: Self-expression, art appreciation, communication, culture
Activities: Composing music, performing, writing, creating visual art
Skills: Creativity, musical ability, artistic expression
Values: Beauty, originality, independence, imagination

Social ? People who like to work with people ? to inform, enlighten, help, train, develop, or cure them, or are skilled with words.
Interests: People, teamwork, healing, community service
Activities: Teaching, caring for people, counseling, training employees
Skills: People skills, verbal ability, listening, showing understanding
Values: Cooperation, generosity, service to others

Enterprising ? People who like to work with people ? influencing, persuading, leading or managing for organizational goals or for economic gain.
Interests: Business, politics, leadership, entrepreneurship
Activities: Selling, managing, persuading, marketing
Skills: Verbal ability, ability to motivate & direct others
Values: Risk taking, status, competition, influences

Conventional ? People who like to work with data, have clerical or numerical ability, carrying things out in detail or following through on others instructions.
Interests: Organization, data management, accounting, investing, information systems
Activities: Setting up systems, organizing, keeping records, developing computer apps
Skills: Ability to work with numbers, data analysis, finances, attention to detail
Values: Accuracy, stability, efficiency

(Based on John Holland’s vocational personalities from Making Vocational Choices: A Theory of Careers, 3rd Edition, Psychological Assessments Resources, 1997.)

Step 2: List your most influential family members
We are all influenced by a strong pull that exists within our families. Bowen Family Systems is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit where its members are intensely connected. We solicit each other’s attention, approval and support, and react to each other’s needs, expectations and upsets. The connectedness and emotional reactivity make the functioning of family members interdependent. Families differ somewhat in their degree of interdependence but it is always present to some degree.

List the important people in your family. Write down your closest family members while in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Include parents, guardians, step parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. You might also include close family friends, neighbors, important teachers and mentors as well. Also include people with careers you admire.

Step 3: Identify themes for your influential family members
For each person you have listed write down their career, hobbies, and interests. What were their accomplishments? Which Holland personality types and values are most closely related to each member of your family and those with careers you admire.

Step 4: Look for important patterns in your answers
Think about the values in your family, the work you currently do, the society in which you were raised and that in which you now live.

  •  Are your interests similar/dissimilar to your family, work or society?
  •  Who in your family had the most influence on you?
  •  Did your family members often talk about their careers or work? Was the talk positive/negative?
  •  What messages did you get about careers and work while you were growing up?
  •  Does your current work reflect your number one interest theme?

Step 5: Deciding on your next career steps
How can you use this new awareness to formulate your next career steps? What can you start doing? Stop doing? What are the obstacles? Do you need to build support for your interests? Can you increase your happiness by integrating these interests and values in your hobbies?

Case study
Suzie has been trying to figure out what to do with her career after she has spent some time out of the workforce raising her two daughters. She is considering going back to graduate school, re-opening her photography business or perhaps pursuing a new third option that doesn’t seem clear.

Suzie identifies herself as: Social, Artistic, and Enterprising (Holland Themes). This is how she categories her most influential family members, the people she admires and her society:

Mom: Realistic & Social – Surgical nurse, many friends, collector of art.
Dad: Enterprising, Artistic & Realistic – Worked in sales/printing, liked music/camping.
Brothers: – Realistic, Enterprising – Outdoorsy, business owners.
Grandparents: – Realistic & Artistic – Built own home, bicycling/painting hobbies.
Admires: Social – change makers, women who fight for equal rights.
Society: Enterprising – Strong messages about making money and status in the media.

Suzie sees her personal path has always been more in the Social and Artistic categories and realizes she’s been strongly influenced by her mostly Realistic family. From her discoveries with this exercise Suzie decides her best choice is to develop a business combining mental health coaching and photography, while donating a portion of her revenues to local non-profit organizations to help women.

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