MANAGI NG YOUR CAREER
T A K I N G OW N E R S H I P F O R Y O U R OW N
U N D E R S TA N D I N G YO U R S K I L L S,
M O T I VA T I O N S A N D N E E D S A N D H OW YO U
IN T EG RAT E T H ES E IN YOU R CH OS E N
A LT E R N A T I V E WAY S T O D E V E L O P Y O U R
E M P L OYA B I L I T Y O U T S I D E T H E W O R K
PL ACE .
S P E A K E R : C A R O L E E VA N S , R I G H T C O U T T S
The Appendices attached to this presentation document can be completed
prior to attending the seminar. I would encourage you to attempt these
exercises – they shouldn‟t take too long – so that you can gain maximum
benefit from the seminar.
W O R K A N D C A R E E R S I N T H E 2 1 S T C E N T U RY
Over recent years we have seen unprecedented change in organisations, which has
transformed work and career possibilities. There are some key drivers for change in the
wider world of work. Some of these may have impacted already on you, others may do
so in the future.
Environmental & Political Concerns
These changes have had a major impact on career and work patterns. Some of these may
be familiar to you.
flattening of the Cultural change & new Process change & Outsourcing &
pyramid, delayering ways of working efficiency drives consultancy
Ever increasing Short term
acquisitions & responsibility &
customer demands contracts &
creation of ownership/stakeholders
& expectations portfolio working
O L D PA R A D I G M S N E W PA R A D I G M S
Employees were responsible to a manager Employees are often part of a team,
above and responsible for others below responsible for the team results
(if a manager)
Jobs were located in a particular Work is cross-functional, performed for
department or functional area many departments at one time
Jobs had specific responsibilities outlined Work defies definition; usually multiple
in a formal job description tasks; job title may stay the same but the
responsibilities change frequently
Career path was well-defined, a career Career paths, if there are any today, are
ladder more like a lattice (XXX) where moves are
made diagonally and horizontally in an
Work hard, be rewarded, keep your job There are no guarantees for those who
work hard and do a good job; sometimes
they are rewarded, sometimes downsized
You don‟t have to like your job, just do it
You must demonstrate your value to the
organisation in each situation in which you
Managers told you what to do and how to Today‟s managers support and empower
do it their employees to determine what to do
and how to do it
Managers controlled or at least influenced Each of us must self-manage our careers;
job progress managers may not be around to assist us as
in the past
Large corporations were stable, paid well, It‟s too hard to predict the long-term
had good benefits stability of any company these days; some
of the biggest losses of jobs have occurred
at major corporations. The greatest
increase in new jobs is in small companies
Their “7 Key Trends” for the UK in the future, are as follows:
1. The new economy - fast growth, due to continuing globalisation,
importance of technology and better economic management
(though usual cycles and black spots) Also more radical
transformation of jobs to fuel the „knowledge economy‟.
2. The relationship economy - greater and greater importance of
interpersonal relationships in work, with distance, culture issues etc.
3. The fulfilment economy - most jobs will become more fulfilling (if
stressful). Through stimulation, creativity, independence, and
4. The all-age economy - people will start earlier (to fund education) and
finish later though their mix & match leisure in a variety of ways at
5. The outsourced workplace - this will enter an even more radical
phase with all non-core business outsourced to organisations.
6. The self-managed workplace - people will manage their own work
more and operate more like self-employed people.
7. The consumerist workplace - as customer expectations rise, their
values will invade the workplace even more.
You need to consider what all this means for you.
W O R K A N D C A R E E R S I N T H E 2 1 S T C E N T U RY
Career theorists talk in terms of the „psychological contract‟, or, in layman‟s terms, the
(often unspoken) deal between employer and employee. The old „psychological contract‟
simply stated that if you did your job reasonably well, you would have a job for life.
The new „psychological contract‟ is about a different type of relationship. Job security
can no longer be guaranteed. Instead, the employer will need to offer other things to
ensure the commitment and performance of its employees.
Employees themselves will have different set of needs and expectations which will need
to be satisfied in return for high performance.
Think of this in terms of your own „psychological contract‟ with your potential
In her book Strike a New Career Deal, Carole Pemberton represents this relationship using
the Alignment Model. An adaptation is shown below:
I Offer Employers
My values Employers
I Want Employers
Organisations and individuals both have values which drive what they both want and
W O R K A N D C A R E E R S I N T H E 2 1 S T C E N T U RY
As you can see, we need to self manage our careers in the changing work environment of
today. Career management is for life, not just during transition.
What must you do to succeed? A positive outlook will do more than carry through this
transition and beyond. It will be the bedrock of your campaign and, ultimately, the
reason you succeed.
How do you manage a successful job search campaign? Begin at the beginning by sizing
up your strengths and how you do your best work, clarifying your objectives and
preparing a dynamic presentation. Then plan how you‟ll market yourself and start
building a network of contacts. Finally, polish your interview and negotiating skills. Be
thorough and persistent in your efforts.
These seven common sense steps have led to a successful and satisfying career transition
for thousands of individual candidates, and they will do the same fo r you. Remember:
1. Take a personal inventory - Identify past successes, current strengths,
overall work style and personal preferences.
2. Refine your career objective - It must be clear, focused and realistic –
based firmly on your greatest strengths.
3. Make a dynamic presentation of what you offer - Your CV and self-
presentation must show you at your highest level of effectiveness. It must be
powerful and yet adaptable to a variety of situations.
4. Create a self-marketing strategy - A sound strategy will enable you to
use your time most efficiently, and will be essential to the successful outcome of your
5. Be thorough and persistent in managing your search - Write effective
letters; conduct productive meetings and follow up on opportunities. Your
commitment to implementing the plan will ensure a successful outcome.
6. Build a strong contact network - Business relationships are vital
7. Polish your interviewing and negotiating skills - Effective interview skills
can convert opportunities into job offers.
CHANGE & TRANSITION
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the
most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change”
THE CASE FOR CAREER ASSESSMENT
Your life to date, including everything that you have achieved during your career, will
have resulted in your unique bank of talents and strengths. You may be aware of these,
but we all have a tendency to modesty and to play down what we offer to the
marketplace. We all offer experience, skills, knowledge, personal characteristics, attitudes
You also have your own unique set of values and drivers. It is vital to understand these
to ensure that your future career decisions are based on a sound evaluation of what
motivates and satisfies you.
Remember the Alignment Model? We will look primarily at your side of the model –
Your Wants and Offers.
So why spend the time to do a career stocktake?
To ensure you know what you want
To ensure you have all the information and evidence for an
To make informed decisions about options and opportunities
To ensure you have all the information and evidence to answer
No doubt you could add more
YO U R VA L U E S A N D I N T E R E S T S
“Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get”
George Bernard Shaw
It may be useful to define what we mean by values.
Values are about worth, the things we hold dear, guiding principles, standards, beliefs,
things that we prize. These are often the things we are committed to and live our life by
and feel bad when they are compromised.
In career transition it is important to review what motivates you at work, what matters to
you most and what you need from your working environment. Some of our values may
stay throughout our lives, others may change through maturity or particular experiences.
Try the Values Activity in the Appendix. Scan this list of words quickly. Definitions
are shown to help you decide, though you may have your own definitions.
VA L U E S & J O B S A T I S FA C T I O N
What is the relationship between values and job satisfaction? Research has shown that:
Shared Values + Shared Interests = High Job Satisfaction
Here we are back to the Alignment model! How does this relate to your experience?
Interests are the things we enjoy doing, the things that give us a buzz and make us
feel motivated and challenged. Ability alone is of little use without adequate interest
to back it up. Unfortunately, it is these interests which are sometimes sidelined or
even lost in the pursuit of pleasing others, who may be pushing us in another
Often our interests remain consistent throughout our lives. It is even sugg ested that how
a child plays and the things they use in play can often be indicative of the type of
occupation they may be best suited to if their interests are taken in isolation.
It is essential, therefore, that we are able to articulate clearly our interests and where
Occupational interests, which link interests to possible job types, are broken down into
six main categories:
P PRACTICAL - Things focus
I INVESTIGATIVE - Ideas focus
A ARTISTIC - Ideas & People focus
S SOCIAL - People focus
E ENTERPRISING - People & Data focus
O/A ORGANISATIONAL/ADMINISTRATIVE - Data & Things focus
Knowing in which area your interests lie and then aligning this with your potential future
roles can sometimes be a useful exercise in ascertaining how much job satisfaction you
can expect to derive from them. If it is not possible for this interest to be incorporated
into your work role, it can still be satisfied through activities done outside the working
environment. However, it is important not to forget the link with occupational interests
and job satisfaction and motivation.
Remember, just because you are good at something does not mean you are still, or ever have
been, interested in that particular area. It is always healthy to challenge and explore the
alignment between your interests and skills.
Try the Career Chapters and/or the Interests Inventory Activities in the Appendix.
PE RS ON A L C HA R ACT ER IS T I CS & AT T I T UD ES
Our personal traits and attitudes stem from our values and interests and these are
valuable to and valued by potential employers. It is often easier for others to recognise
these in us, but you should develop your awareness, so you can sell these to the market
Some examples of personal characteristics are:
These can be demonstrated in various ways e.g. Commitment
By consistently doing a good job
Showing diligence and taking responsibility
Showing high levels of personal motivation and initiative
What are your most marketable personal characteristics and attitudes?
YO U R S T R E N G T H S
Our strengths are born out of the relationship between what we do well – skills and
abilities and what we enjoy – interests.
Interests Skills & Abilities
SKILLS & ABILITIES
We all have a unique set of skills and abilities. Identifying your skills and abilities may
feel like „blowing your own trumpet but this is no time for modesty. We have a tendency
to underestimate and underplay their value, but you must learn to identify, acknowledge
and describe your skills, both in writing and in meetings/interviews.
Try the Identifying your Strengths Activity in the Appendix. Alternatively your
consultant will explain how to complete the Skills Analysis Grid Activity.
TRANSFERABLE SKILLS & STRENGTHS
Many skills and competencies are transferable from one work situation to another and
you will need to be able to both identify and sell these to prospective employers.
Often we describe our skills and strengths in rather too broad terms e.g. communication
– this breaks down into a whole number of sub skills e.g. speaking, writing and listening
Consider this example:
Transferable skill: Managing a team (leadership)
What did I do/How did I actually do it?
Understood the motivation and drivers of each team member
Agreed challenging realistic targets and milestones for review
Explained fully to staff what was required
Praised and encouraged achievement/motivated
Ensured other parts of the organisation knew about the effectiveness
of the team
Led by example rather than by dictating
As a result the team felt my management style gave them confidence, experience and
development. Our team consistently achieved work targets, seeking to exceed
expectations. Low turnover rate and a good staff atmosphere existed.
How could it transfer?
Clearly, this talent will apply to many situations, and it is eminently transferable. The
name of the job may be different, but the skills you employ will be the same. The key to
keeping yourself employable is to develop and sustain a repertoire of transferable skills.
YO U R A C H I E V E M E N T S
Another way of discovering your unique set of skills and strengths is through analysing
your achievements. Achievements can be described as your
the evidence of your competence and effectiveness
your indication of potential for success in the future
An achievement is an activity that gave you pleasure, fulfilment and a feeling of success. It may
have been at work, at home, in your community. It can be large or small in scope; it can be routine
or extraordinary; work related or personal. It may be something that you just think of as “part of
my job”. These achievements represent you at your best, sometimes overcoming difficulties, and
believing in yourself and your ideas. The key is how YOU felt and the BENEFITS you brought.
Identifying and expressing these is vitally important, in order to:
develop a clear idea of your next career step
locate the job that fits you best
communicate your effectiveness in interviews and meetings
A useful starting point is to trace back through your career and personal history to identify
achievements and to see what they indicate. Try to think of two or three significant achievements
for each phase. We often play down our achievements as „just doing our job‟, but
achievements represent us at our best, sometimes overcoming difficulties and believing in
ourselves and our ideas.
We will look at achievements further in the CV Development session when you will have
the opportunity to write some achievement statements of your own, but let us look these
now in terms of helping us to pull out our strengths.
How to identify an achievement
Start by describing very simply what the problem or issue was with which you were concerned.
Sometimes this will have been a task where you worked on your own, or you may have worked
in a team, perhaps as project leader or with responsibility for a specific task. Then outline the
actions you took and the skills you employed. Finally, describe the outcome and benefits.
Action/Steps How you went about it
Results/Benefits So What- what you did that made a difference
Look at the example on the next page.
MANAGE YOUR CAREER
Career management is for life, not just for career transition!
“In order that people may be happy in their work, these things are needed: they must be fit
for it, they must not do too much of it; and they must have a sense of success in it”
JOHN RUSKIN 1871
CHARACTERISTICS OF A HEALTHY CAREER
These will enable you to take ongoing responsibility for your career and maintain your
optimum performance in the ever changing world of work These characteristics reflect
career management competencies, which are the things you can do to ensure that you have a
healthy career. The question is ”How healthy will your career be in the future?”
The fitness analogy is a useful one. Our career is a bit like our health. We often have
good intentions, but fail to sustain our efforts. As with maintaining good health, there
are career maintenance activities, which keep us agile, resilient and flexible.
The following characteristics are generic, and have been developed to reflect a wide range
of types & styles of organisations.
Here are the 10 Characteristics of a Healthy Career:
Develop Career Purpose Balance your Life
Develop Employable Skills Manage your own Morale & Motivation
Be a Change Opportunist Be Visible & Manage Your Reputation
Be a High Performer Develop a wide Network of Contacts
Practice Continuous Learning Develop Your Organisational Awareness &
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A HEALTHY CAREER
Career Health Check
DEVELOP CAREER PURPOSE
Research tells us that individuals who identify goals and have a vision of their future are
more successful in achieving what they want. If you aren’t sure what you are aiming for,
how will you know when you have got there? You may argue that the world is changing so
much that it is better to wait and respond. It is essential to be flexible, but having some
purpose and action plan focuses our efforts. There will be key career decisions you need to
make along the way. Establishing what is really important will help you make the right
choices for you. This includes your career motivators, values, aptitudes, preferred work style
and aspirations. Know yourself and know what you want.
1. What short, medium and long-term goals are you working toward?
DEVELOP EMPLOYABLE SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES
As organisations change, so does what is required. You need an appreciation of the core
employable skills as well as specialist/technical skills required for your current role and anticipate
those for future opportunities. These are likely to include the competencies involved in
communication, commercial awareness, customer orientation, leadership or I.T. Be honest with
yourself. What are your key strengths? Where are the development gaps? Be clear about your
portfolio of skills and how they are valued by the market place. It doesn‟t take long for skills and
knowledge to get outdated in a fast changing world.
2. How often are you using your key strengths?
What is the scope for integrating more of your key strengths?
BE A CHANGE OPPORTUNIST
Managing change effectively is critical to career health. Chances are that your organisation will
continue to reshape itself, shifting and flexing itself to meet the threats and opportunities in the
fiercely competitive environment. You will need to anticipate and embrace change rather than
merely respond (or worse, react) to it. You may not like all the changes, but career opportunities
can be sought when you align swiftly with new organisational needs and realities. Be nimble and
show a high capacity for adjustment. Organisations want people who adapt to change.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A HEALTHY CAREER
3. How do you demonstrate your change management commitment?
BE A HIGH PERFORMER
Being known as a high performer will enhance your employability. You will be judged by the
results you have achieved and the difference you make. Consistently achieving or exceeding
targets and producing high quality work will be evidence of a high level of performance. Being
able to identify your achievements and demonstrating the benefits is key. Being a high performer
does not necessarily mean working longer; working smarter is the key. This is about being
effective rather than efficient.
4. How do you benchmark your performance?
PRACTICE CONTINUOUS LEARNING
Commit to lifelong learning. It is the key to keeping your knowledge and skills up to date and
to remain competitive. Be prepared to devote time to personal development and encourage
others to do the same. Understand your learning style and preferences for learning. Seek
learning opportunities through cross team-working, special projects and mentoring as well as
more traditional routes of learning.
5. How are you keeping your knowledge and skills up to date?
BALANCE YOUR LIFE
Most people would agree that they are working harder than they used to, and many
experience a tension between work and home demands. How can you juggle work
challenges with leisure interests, family commitments and self-development activities?
Working longer will not necessarily help you to work more effectively. Enjoyment and
balance are essential to avoid burnout. It is vital to consider the life balance picture that suits
you. What are the things you hold dear? How do you recharge your energy levels? Career
health relies on your overall well-being and use of resources – physical, mental, emotional
6. How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
MANAGE YOUR OWN MORALE & MOTIVATION
Optimism and a positive attitude are infectious; so be aware of your self-motivation and
morale, as it will make an impression on others. Manage your morale by keeping things in
perspective. Seek support from others and ways of boosting your self-esteem and
confidence. Steer away from negative people who drain your energy
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A HEALTHY CAREER
7. How in tune are you with your own levels of motivation and morale?
BE VISIBLE & MANAGE YOUR REPUTATION
You may be highly employable in your organisation but if those in positions of influence are
unaware of your capabilities you may be overlooked for development opportunities. It is
important to understand how you are seen in the organisation and raise your profile. You
need to find ways of communicating what you do or what you offer. This may sound like
organisational politics, but think of it in a positive way that is beneficial both to you and your
organisation. Be prepared to promote yourself, selling your USPs. Don’t be tempted to
undersell yourself. Maintain an up to date personal profile or CV as part of this process.
8. What is your reputation in the organisation?
When did you last review your CV?
DEVELOP A WIDE NETWORK OF CONTACTS
Your career success will be on the strength of your networking relationships – both inside
and outside the organisation. Networking is something we do instinctively, though giving it a
name can make it appear rather Machiavellian. Networking is reciprocal and we network to
gather / supply information, to identify / share resources, to raise our profile, to co-ordinate
activities and to gain support. In career terms it keeps you in touch with two vital things,
people and information.
9. What is your strategy for maintaining internal & external networks?
DEVELOP YOUR ORGANISATIONAL AWARENESS & SENSITIVITY
No man is an island. Be tuned in to the organisation. Your understanding of the key business
drivers, the vision, values and priorities will help you to appreciate how this drives what the
organisation both wants from and offers to its employees. Your ability to align with the
organisation is the key to career health.
SU MM ARY
10. How do you keep attuned to the dynamic needs and drivers of your organisation?
Most Career stagnation results from inattention rather than inability. Successful people
work at being successful as well as working hard.
Keep the Alignment Model and your psychological contract with your organisation in mind
at all times – this will ensure your ongoing employability and career health.
I Offer Employers
My values ALIGNMENT values
I Want Employers
ACTIVITY 1 YOUR VALUES
Achievement Employee Benefits Location Public Contact
Aesthetics Excitement Loyalty Pure Challenge
Affiliation Fast Pace Make Decisions Recognition
Alignment with Boss Friendships Minimise Stress Risk
Artistic Creativity Glass Ceiling Mobility Security
Autonomy & Global Focus Moral Affiliation Self-Realisation
Change & Variety Help Others Moral Fulfilment Stability
Chaos Impact Society Multicultural Affiliation Supervision
Community Activity Influence People Physical Challenge Time Freedom
Commute Intellectual Status Power & Authority Travel
Competition Knowledge Precision Work Work Alone
Creativity Legacy Prestige Work under Pressure
Dual Careers Lifestyle Integration Profit & Gain Work with Others
1. Think carefully about what those words mean to you. Now think about those words in the context of what you want from work.
2. List the words under the following headings. You may wish to use pencil as you may change your mind.
3. When you have finished, count up to ensure you have allocated all 52 v alues.
Must have High wants Wants Indifference Don’t want
DEFINITION OF VALUES
Work where accomplishing important things, or involvement in significant undertaking, is a
Work in a setting that reflects careful attention to an optimal environment and attractive
Work as a member of a particular organisation where membership is a source of pride.
Alignment with Boss
Work with a boss who shares my vision for achieving goals.
Work that will allow me to engage in creative work in any of several art forms.
Work where most of it is self-determined and where there is limited direction by others.
Change and Variety
Have work responsibilities that frequently change in their content and setting.
Work in a loosely defined/undefined environment, where goals and priorities are unclear.
Live in a geographic area where the community will support my parti cular interests and
where I can offer a significant contribution.
Work within an acceptable and specific distance between home and office.
Engage in work that pits my ability against others where there are clear win -lose
Create new ideas, programmes, services or organisational structures in a work
environment where a high value is placed on this asset.
Work in a situation that accommodates a meaningful career opportunity for my partner.
Enjoy a comprehensive insurance, and/or other benefits package that meets my
DEFINITION OF VALUES
Work where I may frequently experience a high degree of exciting challenge in the normal
course of my work.
Work in circumstances where the usual pace of activity is high.
Work where the opportunity to develop close personal relationships with people may be
expected as a result of the environment or activities.
Work in an environment that encourages all groups to achieve potential to participate
meaningfully at the highest levels of the organisation.
Work in an organisation that will potentially accommodate my desire to live / work
Work where I might help others in a direct way.
Work where I may contribute to the betterment of the world or society.
Work that allows me to affect change through a leadership role where influence, not
command and control management, is the preferred style.
Work where intellectual prowess or expertise is highly recognised and valued.
Engage in the pursuit of new knowledge, learning and professional development in an
organisation that demonstrates a commitment to these values.
Be remembered for a specific achievement by my colleagues, community, family or
others who follow in my footsteps.
Work that will allow me to balance family, career, and self-fulfilment.
DEFINITION OF VALUES
Live and work where I will be afforded a significant lifestyle opportunity to do the things I enjoy most or where other
personal/family preferences may be met.
Work where a high level of reciprocal loyalty with the organisation and my manager/leader is a
stated and real organisational value.
Work that involves having the authority and power to decide courses of actions, policies, etc.
Work in an environment with a slow steady workload.
Work where there is reasonable opportunity to relocate when new work challenges are
Work with people who have similar morals, values and ethics.
Work in an environment that significantly reflects my own moral standards.
Work in an environment with people from a broad range of ages, cultures, or ethnic
Work in a position that affords an opportunity to engage in physical activity.
Power and Authority
Control the direction of work activities that may determine the destiny of others.
Work in situations where there is very low tolerance for error.
Work where I may be highly visible, where I may become well known; obtain recognition and
status in my chosen field.
Profit & Gain
Work where a strong likelihood of accumulating large amounts of money or other
material gain is one of the primary outcomes.
DEFINITION OF VALUES
Work where extensive day-to-day contact with people within or outside the organisation is
consistently part of the job.
Work which requires me to overcome impossible obstacles, solve difficult problems or win over
extremely tough opponents.
Work where the quality of my ideas and contributions will be recognised.
Work where the consequences of success or failure are high.
Work where there is reasonable assurance of keeping my job for as long as needed.
Work that allows me to realise the full potential of my talents and that is personally challenging.
Work in a routine and structured position that is largely predictable and not likely to change
significantly over time.
Experience a position that involves responsibility for planning and managing the work done by
Work according to my own time schedule, with the utmost of flexibility.
Work in an environment that accommodates my preference for significant job related travel.
Work where the opportunity to complete projects by myself, without any significant amount of
contact with others is the norm.
Work Under Pressure
Work in a situation where time pressure is prevalent and/or the quality of good work,
done within a timeframe, will be judged by supervisors, customers or others.
Work With Others
Work where trusted teamwork is the common goal; where close working relationships
result from collaborative efforts
ACTIVITY 2 CAREER CHAPTERS
Think about your career in terms of chapters or phases. Give each chapter name and put it in the top box e.g. early M&S career. Then
on a scle of 0-10, put an X in the box that corresponds to your level of satisfaction in each chapter. Finally reflect on what led to that
CAREER SATISFACTION GRAPH
VERY HIGH 10
ACTIVITY 3 INTERESTS INVENTORY
For each of the following statements, indicate how much you agree or disagree with the statement by circling one
number from 1 to 5 where:
1=Highly disagree & 5=Highly agree
1 I like fixing and repairing things. 1 2 3 4 5
2 I like to forget about everything else when I 1 2 3 4 5
am being creative.
3 I like helping people to develop and learn 1 2 3 4 5
4 I can be relied upon to do what I am expected 1 2 3 4 5
5 I like making decisions. 1 2 3 4 5
6 I like to talk things through with people. 1 2 3 4 5
7 I like learning about new things. 1 2 3 4 5
8 I like making things with my hands. 1 2 3 4 5
9 I like organising projects, ideas and down to 1 2 3 4 5
the last detail.
10 It is vital to have beautiful and unusual things 1 2 3 4 5
11 Who I‟m with is more important than where I 1 2 3 4 5
12 I like exploring new ideas. 1 2 3 4 5
13 I enjoy trying to persuade and influence people. 1 2 3 4 5
14 I like asking questions. 1 2 3 4 5
15 I like to use my imagination. 1 2 3 4 5
16 I like taking risks. 1 2 3 4 5
17 I enjoy working with figures. 1 2 3 4 5
18 I like hard, physical work. 1 2 3 4 5
19 I like to be different. 1 2 3 4 5
20 I like people to do what I ask of them. 1 2 3 4 5
21 I like to understand things thoroughly. 1 2 3 4 5
22 I like expressing myself on paper, through 1 2 3 4 5
painting, music or by building things.
23 I like to work out my own answers to 1 2 3 4 5
24 I like doing things outdoors. 1 2 3 4 5
25 I enjoy being with people. 1 2 3 4 5
26 I like clear structure and regular routine. 1 2 3 4 5
27 I enjoy using a great deal of energy and 1 2 3 4 5
28 I like seeing art shows, plays and good films. 1 2 3 4 5
29 I enjoy getting people organised and excited 1 2 3 4 5
about a task.
30 I like to pay attention to what people want. 1 2 3 4 5
31 I enjoy getting the details right in my work. 1 2 3 4 5
32 I feel comfortable working with tools and 1 2 3 4 5
33 I enjoy working on problems. 1 2 3 4 5
34 I like helping people. 1 2 3 4 5
35 I like to be given clear directions. 1 2 3 4 5
36 I like to be very fit. 1 2 3 4 5
Add up your scores for groups of questions as follows:
GROUP QUESTIONS TOTAL SCORE
P 1 8 18 24 32 36
I 7 12 14 21 23 33
A 2 10 15 19 22 28
S 3 6 11 25 30 34 6 11
E 5 13 16 20 27 29
O/A 4 9 17 26 31 35
Now rank your scores from the highest to the lowest. Take your three highest scores and note them below. These
represent your three major interest types.
Now look at the next page at the “Interest Inventory Interpretation” to find out
which are your main interest group types and what this may say about you .
INTEREST INVENTORY INTERPRETATION
P - Practical: Things Focus
These people like to work with tools, objects, machines or animals. They like to develop
manual, mechanical, agricultural and electronic skills. They like jobs which involve
building and repairing things. They like using their hands. They use their bodies skillfully
more than words, thoughts or feelings. They admire physical co-ordination, strength,
agility and logic. They like being outdoors and dealing with concrete problems. They
tend to be down to earth and matter of fact. They solve problems by DOING
I - Investigative: Ideas Focus
These people enjoy using their minds. They tend to be curious, studious, independent,
intellectual, sometimes unconventional, and introspective. They like to develop skills in
maths, biology and physical sciences. They like scientific and medical jobs. They like
thinking through problems, trusting their own minds more than other people and things.
They admire logic, use insight, enjoy intellectual challenges. They solve problems by
A - Artistic: Ideas and People Focus
These people like to feel free from routine. They like to develop skills in language, art,
music, drama and writing. They trust their minds, bodies and feelings, being more
suspicious of things. They enjoy beauty, unstructured activity, variety, interesting and
unusual sounds, sights, textures and people. They tend to be creative, talented and
freewheeling, often non-conformist, sensitive, independent, introspective and expressive.
They like jobs where they use their creative skills. They solve problems by being
S – Social – People Focus
These people live through their feelings. Relying on gut reactions, the y like
activities that involve informing, training, teaching, understanding and helping
others. They develop skills for working with people. They tend to be helpful,
friendly, concerned leaders, sensitive, supportive, responsible, perceptive, genuine,
tactful, empathetic. They enjoy being close to people, sharing problems, being in
charge, unstructured activities. They like jobs such as teaching, nursing, and
counselling. They solve problems by using their FEELINGS.
INTEREST INVENTORY INTERPRETATION
Enterprising: People and Data Focus
These people love projects. They like leading and influencing people, are often
ambitious, outgoing, energetic, self-confident, independent, enthusiastic, sensitive,
and logical. They develop skills to lead, motivate, and persuade people. They
enjoy organising, managing variety, status, power and money. They solve
problems by RISKING themselves and others.
Organisational/Administrative: Data and Things Focus
These people enjoy orderliness and clear routines. They like a ctivities that
encourage organising information in a clear and logical way. They tend to be
responsible, dependable, careful, logical, and accurate. They have an eye for detail.
They enjoy order, security and certainty, identifying with power and status. T hey
develop office and arithmetical skills. They like jobs involving systems, operating
computers and word processors. They often like working in large organisations.
They solve problems by following ROUTINES.
What does that mean for you? First, don‟t jump to conclusions! This is only one bit of analysis, and the information,
though generally true for groups of people (i.e., people of Type E will tend to do and like the things mentioned),
But what this analysis should do is to prompt you to start thinking along the lines
of “what job would really suit me?” It may be that your primary concern is to get
any job that you are qualified for, but this is a good opportunity – perhaps the
best you will ever get – to think of what you really want. So, don‟t make your
mind up yet, but keep in mind what the Interest Inventory may have told you
ACTIVITY 4 IDENTIFYING YOUR STRENGTHS
1. Place an X in the INTEREST column to indicate which of the
following activities you really enjoy.
2. Place an X in the ABILITY column to indicate your strongest
3. Highlight anywhere your interest and ability overlap.
4. Mark your top 3 strengths.
Interest Activities Ability
Were there any surprises?