Career self-assessment is an essential process of determining career choices for young and inexperienced youth. There exists a number of ways for one to determine the best-fit career choice that will tap into their God-given talents and interests. This paper aims to experiment with two different self-assessment tests to determine the right career choices. The tests used in this paper include the O*NET Interest Profiler self-assessment activity and the Value Sort Activity test. In addition to that, spiritual discernment decision-making factors are also used to determine the decision-making process. Also, to be considered the right procedures to be used by counselors in advising individuals wishing to make the correct career choices in the context of cultural diversity. According to the tests, I could determine my career choices by identifying my interests and values. According to the results, I am best suited to be a basic adult education instructor because of my desire to help people. Spiritually, I make decisions based on my belief in God’s plan for my life.
After participating in the O*NET Interest Profiler self-assessment activity, I scored 16 on social interests and 11 on artistic interests. My top 3 Holland vocational types are social, artistic, and realistic in that order (O*NET Development, 2010). According to my self-assessment, I score highly on a social personality type that reveals that I like to work with other people in education, training, helping, treating, and serving. Consequently, my essential skills include oral communication, coaching, writing, interviewing, and supporting others. The top 2 occupations that resulted from my interest area search include an adult primary education instructor or a middle school technology teacher.
Value Sort Activity
My most essential values from the Value Sort Activity include openness, benevolence, and universalism (Social Justice). I value transparency because I am curious and empathic and creative, and open to new ideas. The value of openness makes me be more flexible and have the ability to learn new things. Secondly, I also value benevolence in my interactions with different people. It means that I desire to protect the well-being of other people with whom I interact. Lastly, I also value universalism or social justice, which stands out as one of my most cherished priorities. I am usually against policies or rules that do not promote social justice and equity because they are untrustworthy.
The top two occupations that appeared based on my full value search included being an instructor for a basic adult education class and a technical teacher for a middle-level school.
Spiritual Discernment Decision-Making Factors Survey
According to Horton (2009), the main factors that determine the career decision-making process include:
- Where individuals pray for wisdom from God to make wise decisions.
- Where they recognize and respond to the needs of others.
- Where they consider personal interests and desires.
All these factors are critical because they represent a crucial phase in an individual’s life to make decisions.
Praying to God for wise decisions is important because we are sometimes confused by many issues that affect our lives and are incapable of making intelligent decisions. When making such decisions, I also consider it essential to recognize and respond to the needs of others. The career development of an individual is usually based on his interactions with other people. In this respect, it is essential to know other people’s needs and respond to them to discover your calling in life. Lastly, I also consider it necessary to consider one’s interests and desires when making life-changing decisions in career development. One’s interests and passions are vital because they define an individual’s capabilities, competencies, and skills. Without considering one’s interests and desires, career choice can lead to unhappiness and a poor job fit.
The approach that I will follow, based on spiritual discernment, is the biblical wisdom approach in which the Will of God will be my guiding principle. Even though I will not be seeking exceptional guidance from the Holy Spirit, but from the principles and commands found within the Bible, these principles help offer spiritual direction to individuals concerning the Will of God.
The results of the two instruments used for self-assessment have revealed my personality type and values based on the activity. The self-assessment activity showed that I have a social and artistic personality (O*NET Development, 2010). I am comfortable with the results because I feel that they are a true reflection of my personality. I have always wanted to socialize with people because they make me happy. On the other hand, I also feel that I have an artistic side that helps me deal with people from different backgrounds. I love music and any artistic expression because it exposes my creativity. I feel that the self-assessment test reflects my personality since I can relate to the results.
Similarly, the value sort activity results revealed my personality traits and values of openness, benevolence, and universalism, which I believe are part and parcel of my personality. The results show how I relate to people and how I feel about others. As an individual am driven by values that determine how I connect with others.
The overall results of my self-assessment adequately fit the perception I have of myself. I general, I perceive myself to be a helpful person ready to assist people in any way possible. I like to relate to others by trying to understand their needs and requirements. I also perceive myself as being creative with the ability to learn new things. The results from the two experiments have confirmed that I am a social and creative individual with the positive traits of openness, helpfulness, and creativity.
Holland code descriptors incorporate different traits such as being realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. In my case, the attributes of disagreements include being enterprising, conventional, and investigative. Conversely, the points of agreement are social, artistic, and realistic. I find it challenging to engage in scientific or technical activities, which makes me less investigative. I am also not conservative but dynamic.
Several factors, both past and present, have influenced my spiritual approach to discernment. First, I come from a church-going family, which shaped my belief system. I have lived my life conforming to the Bible’s religious principles due to my family background. Apart from reading the scriptures, I have also been taught to lead a prayerful life to seek God’s purpose over my life.
Evaluation of Instruments
The assessment instruments I used were purposeful because they directed me to know what I liked and did not. They are suitable, reliable, and fair because they do not consider my culture or gender but only my attitude toward certain situations. I do not feel that my assessment results were influenced by any conditions related to gender or disability. However, my lack of concentration and interruptions could have affected my results because the process took several minutes to complete.
The results of each assessment relate to one another because they directed me to the same career area owing to my personality type, interests, and values. There was no area of disagreement but only slight variations in the degree of my attitude. In conceptualizing my top three Holland scores of social, artistic, and conventional, I will consider myself high consistency since the scores are adjacent types on the hexagon. My interests are also highly differentiated because I scored 16 on social, 11 on artistic, and 0 on conventional. Based on my Holland top three scores, my best-fit work environment would be a social work environment that encourages creativity and artistic characteristics like being a technical teacher or instructor.
The career theme that emerged from my scores was the social interest theme which is linked to extraversion. Therefore, it means that my social career would be helping other people, which is associated with the feeling preference that stands as the core of my domain. Since I have sensors related to social interests, I would most likely be much more successful in hands-on careers such as caretaking, teaching, or in the healthcare sector.
My approach to career discernment depends on the will of God through scriptures and prayers. It has helped me make career decisions based on my interests and values. Discovering my God-given abilities and abiding by biblical values has greatly influenced my career development and decisions. According to the assessment results, my level of satisfaction was fulfilling, and I derived a lot of pride in doing my work. My work involved counseling students in making good career choices. As a career counselor, I would recommend I focus more on developing my interests and values to excel in my career and derive maximum satisfaction and fulfillment.
The Nature of the Work
The duties for this occupation include:
- Observing and evaluating student’s performance to determine their academic development and give directions for improvement.
- Observing their limitations, qualifications, interests, abilities, and other characteristics.
- Set objectives for lessons, projects, and units, and communicate them to students.
- Determine appropriate teaching methods and materials to suit the needs of the students according to their abilities and interests.
- Prepare students for advanced education, helping them choose suitable opportunities.
As a basic adult education instructor, I need to possess the following skills:
- Instructing skills.
- Skills of active listening.
- Reading comprehension.
- Learning strategies.
- Communication skills.
The activities involved in teaching include:
- Creative thinking.
- Translating information with regards to its meaning and usage.
- Coaching and student development.
- Teaching and training students.
- Solving problems and making decisions.
The typical workday for this occupation entails:
- Attending to electronic mail.
- Having face-to-face discussions.
- Performing structured and unstructured work.
- Leading and coordinating other people.
- Having contact with other people.
The working conditions for this occupation include having a specialized physical location such as a community center. An instructor will work in the evenings, preferably from 5 pm – 9 pm. The instructor will always work in coordination with others under minimal supervision from the head of the facility. Instructors work with adults from the age of 18 years and above of all socio-economic levels who require improving their literacy skills. The stress levels for such a career are because of dealing with different issues of human development. However, there are instances where crises arise that need to be attended to. In addition to that, the job entails multiple tasks, such as instructing, coaching, observing progress, listening to their social issues, and others.
Preparation and Qualifications
As with most others, this occupation requires education certificates up to a master’s degree. It is a job that needs work-related skills, experience, and knowledge. For instance, one needs to complete a four-year education course to be fully qualified for this position. Besides, one also needs to have several years of work-related experience, vocational training, and job training (O*NET Development, 2010). In addition to that, one also needs computer-based technology skills such as knowledge in testing software, electronic mail software, photo imaging or graphics software, blackboard software, spreadsheet software, and multimedia software. An instructor should have a wide range of personality traits that are relevant to the job of working with people. Such personal attributes should include helpfulness, empathy, cooperation, patience, kindness, and understanding, among others.
Opportunities and Future Outlook
According to projections, there will be fewer job opportunities for this career in the future. It is because advances in technology have made it easier for adult learners to engage in online learning. In the United States alone, the annual project employment is about 5,100 instructors. Adult education institutions are sparsely distributed and only have a high density in significant towns and cities. The current workforce size of instructors in the US is nearly 60,000 (Career One Stop, 2021). It is composed of out-of-school youth and adult learners who wish to improve their literacy levels
Economic and Non-Economic Benefits
Students attending classes do so out of choice, and, therefore, are highly motivated. It makes teaching a highly satisfying and rewarding job. There is also job security for instructors in terms of pensions, insurance, and other benefits.
Disadvantages and Special Situations
This career involves working at designated hours such as mornings and evenings. These are not regular working hours. It, therefore, requires a little bit of time management to fit in these scheduled times. Sometimes work needs to be done at night for the convenience of the students. The only work hazard that exists in this career is that of dealing with complex adults. However, as trained instructors, it is easy to resolve such conflicts.
The chance to engage with people from different environments and help them achieve their goals are the things that appeal to me the most. It gives me a chance to use my abilities and in the service of others. However, I am incredibly disappointed with how some people treat adult students. Such people sometimes show disdain for adult students by terming them illiterate. The occupational characteristics of teaching, such as coaching, instructing, and training, are a good fit with my current interests since I am always interested in helping people and interacting with them. They also fit with my career goals in that they allow me to develop my personality and communication skills. However, such information is limited because it does not consider other factors such as cultural background, age, gender, and religious affiliation. All these factors are essential to understand the motivations and inclinations concerning a career as a counselor.
My position as a counselor might influence how I address a client’s concern because I might be tempted to impose my attitudes, behaviors, values, and beliefs. It is a situation that can occur when my values as a counselor are inconsistent with the client’s objectives. If I allow my values to interfere with my interaction with the client, I will be threatening her autonomy. It means that she will no longer be independent in expressing her concerns to me but a captive of my own beliefs, values, and behaviors. It is a situation that might cause harm to the client because of devaluing her values, ideas, and behaviors. It means that I will not be working for the client’s benefit because I would have already judged her. When I become prejudicial, I will not be able to serve the client effectively. I would have done injustice to the client because I would be treating her differently from other clients with the same concerns. My values will interfere with my work as a counselor and pose a significant risk to the client. It may cause me to offer the wrong counsel to the client because I would not have addressed her goals and concerns effectively. By disregarding her plans, I would have disrespected her dignity and welfare as a client.
Besides, I might decide to apply the ACA codes of ethics to comply with the professional values of autonomy, justice, integrity, fidelity, and benevolence. In this regard, I will not allow the self to take precedence over the client’s welfare. I would respect the client’s autonomy by allowing her to control the direction of her life by imposing my values and beliefs on her. Additionally, I would treat her the same way I treat other clients with similar problems by applying the importance of justice. The application of ACA code of ethics will help me address the client’s concerns and welfare in an effective manner. I will respect the dignity of the client and promote her welfare. I would do this by becoming respectful and culturally sensitive of the client’s diversity. I will comply with standard A.4.b. of the ACA Code of Ethics which states that I should not impose my position on the client (Wade, 2015). In this regard, I will only focus on the client’s goals in the counseling process. Similarly, I would also make an effort to monitor myself for any signs that might indicate that I am imposing my position and rectify them when noticed.
I can apply a culturally responsive technique to the client since she is from a culturally diverse background. In this technique, I will identify the systems that reinforce both negative and positive reinforcements in such a bias (CBT, 2016). I will attempt to guide the client through the process of negotiating the differences and similarities between cultures. In this regard, we try to agree on what is suitable between my culture and her culture. It will be the starting point in the counseling process. This type of situation is what is commonly referred to as being culturally responsible. It entails being sensitive to her culture and finding ways to engage the client without appearing to be antagonistic. I will be able to deal with the client effectively if I would understand her cultural boundaries. In this respect, I also need to reexamine myself and challenge my ignorance by identifying interpersonal and intrapersonal resources that I can cause in the counseling process. It means that I will interact with the client according to her needs and goals by considering her cultural background.
I can also use assessments by gathering information to identify and address the problems of the client. It involves a process of analyzing and evaluating the client’s information to understand her situation. I will use the assessment to plan interventions that apply to the client. I will use the evaluation to aid me in the whole process of counseling. I will use reviews to identify the actions, statements, and procedures to make the client progress in the counseling process.
I can also use information sources to gather data that can give me insights into how best I can interact with the client due to her cultural background. The gathering of the required data will help me guide the client in the right direction without imposing my position. I can get information concerning her culture to help me understand her situation and be able to help her make a rational decision. My counseling decisions will be based on the data or information I would have collected. I can get the information through surveys conducted about the concerned culture to know what the client needs or expects. I can use the data to create learning experiences for myself and the client, which will help me develop a guidance program that can help the client address her concerns.
Career One Stop. (2021). Adult basic education, adult secondary education, and English as a second language instructor. Web.
CBT. (2016). Tips for culturally responsive practice. CBT + Culturally Responsive Practice.
Horton, D. (2009). Discerning spiritual discernment: Assessing current approaches for understanding God’s will. Liberty University.
National Center for O*NET Development. (2010). Summary Report: Mental Health Counselors. (O*Net Report No. 21-1014.00).
Occupational Outlook Handbook (2021). Adult basic and secondary education and ESL teachers. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Wade, M. (2015). Handling conflicts of personal values. Counseling.