Occupational Orientation

In Career counseling it is considered that personality including values, motives, and needs is one career choice determinant. For example, a person with a strong social orientation might be attracted to careers that entail interpersonal rather than intellectual or physical activities and to occupations such as social work. Based on research with Vocational Preference Test (VPT), six basic personality types or orientations were identified. They are,

1. Realistic orientation: These people are attracted to occupations that involve physical activities requiring skills, strengths, and coordination. Examples included forestry farming and agriculture.
2. Investigation orientation: Investigative people are attracted to careers that involve cognitive activities like thinking organizing, understanding rather than affective like feelings acting, or interpersonal and emotional tasks. Examples include biologist, chemist, and college professor.
3. Social orientation: These people are attracted to careers that involve interpersonal rather than intellectual or physical activities. Examples included clinical psychology, Foreign Service, and social work.
4. Conventional orientation: A conventional orientation favors careers that involve structured, rule regulated activities, as well as careers in which it is expected that the employee subordinate is or her personal needs to those of the organization. Examples include accountants and bankers.
5. Enterprising orientation: Verbal activities aimed at influencing others characterize enterprising personalities. Examples include managers, lawyers and public relations executives.
6. Artistic orientation: People here are attracted to careers that involve self expression, artistic creation, expression of emotions, and individualistic activities. Examples include artists, advertising executives, and musicians.

Most people have more than one occupational orientation. They might be social, realistic, and investigative. The more similar or compatible these orientations are the less internal conflict or indecisions a person will face in making a career choice. This is like placing each orientation in one corner of a hexagon and as one can see, the model has six corners, each of which represents one personal orientation (for example, enterprising). The closer two orientations are in this hexagon, the more compatible they are. If your number one and number two orientations fall side by side, you will have an easier time choosing a career. However, if your orientation turns out to be opposite (such as realistic and social) you may experience more in decision in making a career choice because your interests are driving you toward very different types of careers. We have summarized some of the occupations found to be the best match for each of these six orientations.

The SDS has an excellent reputation, but the career seeker needs to be somewhat wary of some of the other online career assessment sites. One study of 24 no-cost online career assessment Web sites concluded that they were easy to use, but suffered from alack of validation, limited confidentiality controls and limited information on test interpretation. However, a number of online career assessment instruments such as the career key do reportedly provide validated and useful information.

Identify your Career Directions:

MBA students at the Harvard Business School sometimes take a quiz to help them identify career directions and make career choices in which they’ll be happy. To take a short form version of this quiz you’ll need three types of information. First, this approach assumes that all executive work is based on one or more of eight core activities such as “quantitative analysis” and “managing people”. Begin by reading each of those activities.

Next, quickly go through each of second figure’s pairs of statements and indicate which one is more interesting to you. Then add the letters for your total score on each core function and record that score in the second figure.

Then, to see what kind of successful business people share your career direction’s interests. For example, if you scored high on “Enterprise Control” and “Managing People,” then CEOs, Presidents, Division Managers and General Managers are the sorts of people whose career interests are most similar to yours. —

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