At Dynamic we are constantly trying to develop tools and programs to help students and revitalizing adults find satisfying and successful careers.
Our programs are typically offered in workshop formats, but can be delivered to smaller groups or individuals as well.
Our goal is to develop long-term relationships with our clients and to share your success stories with our network of friends.
The primary focus of the career selection stage is to increase self-awareness.
The personal profile is a composite of six elements effecting career choices as shown in the diagram below:
The ideal career would be one that intersects with all six elements of the personal profile. Unfortunately, such a career may not always be possible, in which case the objective should be to find one that fits with most of the elements. Students have a tendency to look at personal interests and that alone in selecting a career. This strategy often results in disappointment as the absence of the other elements will eventually lead to frustration and performance issues.
Skills & abilities
The starting point in developing a profile is to discover what areas of interest a candidate has. Assuming a role that is of little interest will typically lead to boredom, lack of motivation and declining performance, even if it doesn't happen right away. That is not to say that the level of interest will determine the level of success - the other elements will have a determination in that. In fact, pursuing a career that has a high level of interest and little else will eventually lead to failure.
The goal here is to identify a number of areas of interest that can be evaluated for fit. The more interests identified, the more likely the success in finding the centre point. The problem facing many students is a lack of exposure. Growing up, students encounter many different professions regularly - teachers, police officers, athletes, firefighters, store clerks etc. and those roles along with what they are exposed to in their own homes become the child's vision of career opportunities. As they become older, more and more roles are exposed to them. However, few will ever gain exposure to the entire spectrum of possibilities.
There are over 36,000 job descriptions listed on Canada's National database, the majority of which students will not be exposed to. That includes the multitude of roles within a field that a child may be familiar with. For example, almost all children will identify lawyer as a profession, but few will be able to elaborate on the many different roles that lawyers (or other legal professionals) may assume - litigator, tax law, real estate law, corporate law, family law, judge etc.
The purpose of exploring interests is to look "beyond the horizon" to find out what else is out there.
Behaviour style is the pattern of observable behaviour (habits) that define the characteristics of an individual. Simply put, it is how one's personality reveals itself to others through our actions. When it comes to the workplace, behaviour is a more relevant measure, because how we behave will ultimately determine performance, not our underlying personality.
Unlike personality, behaviour can be, and often is, adapted to our surroundings. For example, a boisterous individual who may normally shout greetings to friends upon entering a room is less apt to do so when entering the foyer of a church or a library. They adapt their behaviour to accommodate the expectations associated with the environment. People do the same thing in the workplace - however, the more often and more exaggerated the adaptations are, the more discomfort or stress the person will eventually feel. Imagine in the example above, the individual was not merely stopping into the library but working there every day.
Understanding how we behave and how we adapt can play a large part in finding the right career. Choosing a career that allows us to behave naturally and not have to make significant adaptations will lead to a more successful and stress-free career.
Driving Forces (motivators)
People are motivated by different things. Some are driven by money, others by a need for power, some may simply wish to do right by others. There are six key motivators in total. These varying motivating factors are often the major source of conflict between individuals and sometimes even within an individual ("I'm torn between ...).
Understanding what driving forces shape a person's thinking can affect their ongoing performance. For example, a person driven by social causes - the need to do right by others - may struggle working in an environment driven solely by financial gains. However, it may be possible to find a role within that same organization that would allow the individual to thrive, by simply serving as the conscience of the organization, advising the decision-makers who do not have the same motivators by considering alternative perspectives.
Understanding one's own driving forces, finding an appropriate environment and learning how to interact with people who differ in their thinking can have a significant impact on their long-term success.
Skills & Abilities
This one is rather obvious. Trying to perform a role for which the most basic qualifications are lacking will most likely result in failure. This is often where the 'follow your passion' strategy falls apart. No matter how much you may enjoy doing something, it doesn't guarantee success if you lack the skills.
In evaluating a career fit, it is important to look beyond the obvious requirements. For example, an artist may be quite a good painter and thus feel a career in art is a good fit, yet there are many other skills required to be a successful artist. In addition to honing their craft, successful artists must be able to market themselves by attending shows, appealing to galleries, developing a following, shaking hands with potential clientele. They put in long hours learning, conceptualizing and networking. Regardless of how well they paint, sitting in their studio creating landscapes for themselves will not lead to success. It has been said that even Vincent Van Gogh managed to sell only one painting during his lifetime and that to a relative. People must be willing to do not just what they like to do, but more importantly what they need to do.
To be truly satisfied with a career it is important to be able to deliver on what is valued by an individual. Prioritizing those values is another aspect of career selection. Aligning a career with underlying values will give meaning to the work being undertaken.
For example, would a career in criminal law align with one’s personal beliefs on justice – would everyone be able to represent a defendant they perceived to be guilty?
Values in this sense could be ethical (e.g. justice or integrity), principled (e.g. work-life balance or family-oriented) or material (e.g. wealth or knowledge).
Financial or Lifestyle Goals
Everyone has aspirations or visions of the future. Failure to achieve those visions may lead to disappointment or a feeling of unfilled potential down the road. It is therefore important to establish upfront what those expectations might be and either choose a career that will allow delivery of those expectations OR alter the expectations upfront to accommodate the other elements that are deemed more important.
Students often assume that they will continue to lead the same lifestyle they have experienced their entire lives. Most have not given thought to how they arrived at where they are or what their parents have done to provide that lifestyle or what will be required to continue in that lifestyle. A lesson in money math is often an eye-opener and will provide a different perspective on their own career expectations.