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Career Orientation

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What is career orientation?

It is of a common matter that a core issue in young people is not finding a job, rather than finding the career path that they excel at and are passionate about. The first step to do so, is to go through a self-explorational assessment in order to understand their skills, interests, values and personality and subsequently; find the organization and the environment that satisfies his/her needs.

Here is where career orientation assessments come to serve. UNESCO has defined career orientation as the process by which an individual is assisted in discovery, acceptance, and proper usage of their abilities, skills and interests in accordance with their aspirations and values. In other words, it is an educational construct where individuals are supported in knowing oneself, and then use the generated information to build a decision regarding the career path they ought to pursue.

By investing time and effort in identifying their abilities, skills and interest; better decision could be made in choosing a suitable career path, whereby there is a pertinent match between what the job offers and the person’s skills, passion, values and personality. Consequently, the exploratory action of administering a career orientation assessment would foster the self-awareness of the individual thus facilitate the process of employability to both the test taker and the employer.

Theories … What is the concept behind career orientation?

Over the years various theories have emerged on career orientations, of which some remained to be widespread till date.  The most common theories are: Developmental Theory (Donald Super), Trait Theory (John Holland), Social Cognitive Theory (John D. Krumboltz) and Social Cognitive Career Theory (Lent, Brown Et. Al).

Shedding lights on the “Trait Theory” by the psychologist John Holland; he has identified a set of behaviors/ factors that influence one’s career choice, mapping it with 6 personality types. His theory is centered on the notion that individuals search for job environments where they will be surrounded by people who are like them, a place where they will be able to use their abilities and skills, and express their personal values and attitudes. Thus, behavior is mainly determined by the interaction between one’s personality and the environment he/she is in.

He has classified people into 6 personality types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional.

The Realistic Type

For instance, a “Realistic” person enjoys jobs that involve the usage of tools and equipment, and also enjoys working outdoors.

The Investigative Type

An “Investigative” person, enjoys doing research, discovering things and handling tasks that require analytical thinking, also he/she is fond of working with concepts.

The Artistic Type

An “Artistic” person has a great interest is demonstrating creativity and enjoys tasks that involve art, design and self-expression. 

The Social Type

A “Social” personality type likes helping, coaching and serving other people and being involved in tasks with high interaction with others.

The Enterprising Type

An “Enterprising” person is a persuader who likes working in positions of power and leading others.

The Conventional Type

Finally, the “Conventional” personality type likes to work in tasks of high structure and manage/ organize things.

After the assessment is administered and the candidate’s personality type is crystalized, career orientation assessments based on this theory would suggest the occupations that are right for him/ her, guiding the individual towards a clearer path. Accordingly, individuals who choose to work in careers similar to their personality type, are more prone to be successful and satisfied.

Benefits of Career Assessments

Career assessments are beneficial for both the employer and the test taker. For the employer, it will give an overview of the person being hired in regards to their personality and determine if their interests, values, motives and preferences match with those of the job opportunity available. 

This would help save time and effort, the interview may focus on other important aspects that cannot be covered in a self-reporting assessment or even ask about certain aspects that have been reflected in the report that the interviewer needs further understanding of. 

Additionally, since it is a self-reporting questionnaire, it can be administered to a large sample of people without much effort or financial cost. It may also be used as a screening tool at the initial phase of the recruitment process.

As for the test taker, he/she will get to explore himself/herself and have a descriptive summary of his/her personality traits, likes and dislikes, most suitable working environment, areas of strengths, areas for development/potential pitfalls. This makes it a win-win situation for the employer and the test taker.

To sum up…

Working in a fulfilling career increases happiness, self-confidence and productivity; thus, enhancing the company’s performance. Consequently, career assessments have become a crucial tool to make decisions both for the employer and the person seeking an opportunity. 

Ultimately, the results generated by career assessments can be used by candidates to make more informed career choices that are in line with their personality. This opens up an opportunity to build strong partnerships at the workplace and increase the level of satisfaction and engagement.