POSTCARD EXERCISE Who is driving the bus? Step One – Read the Following Information about a Theory of Career Motivation One of the factors affecting career development is career motivation. Career motivation refers to the ability to make the most of one’s career. Three important factors in assessing career motivation are: resilience, insight, and identity. Resilience is the extent to which people bounce back from career setbacks or overcome career barriers or disruptions. Insight describes how realistic people are about themselves and their careers as well as how accurately they relate these self-perceptions to career goals. Identity is the extent to which people define themselves by their work. Resilience is related to one’s self-confidence, need for achievement, willingness to take risks, and tendency toward independence or interdependence rather than dependence. It stems from reinforcements received in childhood and adolescence. Resilience is evident early in one’s career. It can change over time but it is the most stable of the three factors across one’s lifetime. Resilience is critical in today’s workplace because employers value risk-taking and entrepreneurism. Resilience is also critical in an global economy where few guarantees about job security exist. Resilience determines how people react to stress. Insight develops as one makes or experiments with career goals. In the workplace it is identified by how much one seeks knowledge of self in relation to the work environment. Seeking honest feedback increases insight. Awareness of one’s abilities, needs, and interests is critical for insight. Identity develops over time. It is related to how much one’s own identity is defined by one’s occupational or career choices. The stronger one’s identification, the higher one’s job, organizational, and professional development involvement. Step Two – Reflecting on your Own Career Motivation Pattern On the grid below, circle all the characteristics or behaviors that you exhibit. Then reflect on the pattern you see: Which of the three indicators are strongest? Weakest? What does the pattern suggest to you about your career motivation? What are some specific recent examples of your demonstrating these behaviors? Dimensions Definition Behaviors Career Resilience Belief in oneself Confidence in one’s Easily adjusting to ability to perform changes Expresses ideas even when they are unpopular Tries to promote career progress Need for Achievement Desires to excel Taking initiative to achieve career goals Seeks opportunities to learn new skills Willingness to Take Takes actions when Trying new ways to do Risks the outcome is a task uncertain Taking risks for project or idea one believes in Expresses opinion even when unpopular Work independently Can work alone or in Make decisions or or collaboratively a team work alone Coordinate work with others by contributing positively to a team assignment Career Insight Establish Career Identifies career Has a realistic career Goals objectives and plans goal and a plan to for their achievement achieve it Knows Strengths and Assesses continually Sees self as others do Weaknesses one’s strong and weak points in relation Uses feedback from to career objectives others to learn about self Career Identity Involvement in job Defines self by work Puts in additional hours or days Seeks opportunities to be involved in work Treats job as more important than other activities Involvement in Takes pride in organization working for one’s employer Fees company’s success is one’s personal success Involvement in Active in a profession professional organization Encourages others to join professional organization Sees self as representative of a profession Step Four – Developing and Action Plan List three or four characteristics of career motivation that you would like to develop (be sure to pick characteristics from at least two different indicators): 1. 2. 3. 4. Now complete the action plan below for each characteristic CHARACTERISTIC OR BEHAVIOR: HOW SPECIFICALLY CAN I DEVELOP THIS COMPETENCY? SOME BARRIERS TO MY DEVELOPING IT ARE…. SOME FACTORS THAT CAN HELP ME DEVELOP THIS COMPETENCY ARE…. MY TIMELINE FOR DEVELOPING THIS COMPETENCY IS… Example: Behavior - Willingness to take risks How – Accept a job assignment or project for which I have little previous expertise Barriers – Few opportunities to volunteer for new assignments Helping Factors – I have a supportive supervisor with whom I can discuss this goal Timeline – Talk to my supervisor by next Friday Step Five – Prepare your Postcard 1. Follow the general directions for formatting postcards. 2. Pick a person to whom to send this card (it could be someone whose resilience, insight, or identity you admire) and address your message to this person 3. Tell your postcard recipient about what you have discovered about how your resilience, insight, and identity have shaped or are shaping your career. Share with him or her some of your action plan for increasing your career motivation. 4. Share with the recipient what support you will need to make these changes and how you think you will benefit from them.