My Child’s Journey – The How and Why of His Career Results

The past few weeks, I have been sharing my child’s journey to find his ideal college. I started with what his dad and I thought would be jobs he might find enjoyable and fulfilling. I also listened carefully to his ideas. Next, I had him take the Harrison Assessment. He is 16 and this is his first time taking an assessment like this.  Certainly, he is still growing and changing, but the results were consistent enough to process and produce a valid report.  

The difference between what careers we thought would be a good fit and the assessment results.

The image here shows what careers we thought might fit him before the assessment and then what the assessment told us. Wow, what a difference, right? Something with computers and music seem to be the closest match. However, I don’t think Donnie or I would have considered, on our own, these potential careers for him.         

Let’s look deeper at why the assessment picked these careers for Donnie and why the others would not have been a good fit. In my last blog, I mentioned that research shows if your job contains at least 75% of what you naturally like to do, you will be THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE SUCCESSFUL in that job or career. That is what this career assessment, Harrison Assessments, measures – career enjoyment and behavioral preferences based on enjoyment.

Teacher and Chef were rated at below 20% enjoyment. One of the main reasons is because while Donnie is good with kids and likes cooking, he has no desire to be around kids or food for 40 plus hours a week. Being around kids and food are essential factors to being successful in those roles.

Something with computers is a very broad career interest. There are many careers in sales, quality assurance, testing, fixing, etc. Donnie mentioned he would be interested in majoring in computer science and doing the same type of work his dad does, which is a Computer Support Specialist. Donnie scored an overall enjoyment score of 67.2%, while being a Sound Equipment Technician had an overall enjoyment score of 81.1%. Both require an enjoyment of computers, but what makes the difference in scores? It’s the additional traits that are essential to being successful in the role.

Many career assessments are just interest based. This means they only focus on what the person likes to do. They only ask questions like, “check the activities that describe what you like to do.” That is just one piece of the puzzle in deciding the best job for your child. The other very important piece is traits needed for that career. Traits are comprised of personality, attitude, motivation, work values, team vs. autonomous work, communication, authority expectations, and interpersonal skills.

What are some of the essential traits for a Computer Support Specialist and a Sound Equipment Technician?

As you can see in the image, the essential traits for each role are fairly different. The only overlaps are Analytical and Takes Initiative. How do we know these are essential traits for these roles? Because the key criteria for each role is based on research Harrison has done over the past 30 years on what leads to success in hundreds of different jobs.  Each role has been researched by high, mid, and low performers in those roles.

Now that we have pinpointed some careers for Donnie, the next step is to research the outlook for this career, salary, and where he would find this type of work. Would he have to move somewhere he doesn’t want to live? All of these are deciding factors in choosing a career.

Would you like to find out which careers would give your child the most enjoyment?  Contact us to learn more at info@myidealcollege.org.

My Child’s Journey to His Ideal College – The Results

Deciding the best career for your child is the first step in picking a college.

Last week I shared that I have a 15-year-old son, Donnie, whom we are trying to help find his ideal college. I shared my stories of the different activities and interests we have provided him to help see where his interests lie. I am sure as a parent you have done the same as well. You can click here if you missed that blog. 

After years of providing different experiences, I could see Donnie as a teacher, chef, photographer, maybe something in music, or something with computers.

How do we pick the right career with such a wide range of interests? Even if we just focus on computers, there are so many different jobs. The job Donnie would truly enjoy may not require a computer science degree.

I had Donnie take the career assessment that I have all my clients take to help them identify careers they will enjoy.

Research shows that if your job contains at least 75% of what you naturally like to do, you will be THREE TIMES MORE SUCCESSFUL.

When you see that statement, it makes perfect sense. They only way to find those jobs is to take an assessment. You are not going to find it just by talking with people. The assessment I use, Harrison Assessments, is able to match people to jobs based on this research.

So what jobs did the assessment match Donnie to? His top four jobs are:

  1. Sound Equipment Technician
  2. Multi Media Production Specialist
  3. Lighting Technician
  4. Film Editor

Donnie’s natural interests fit best with these jobs. Each of the jobs listed are researched by people in those roles. We know what traits are needed to be successful in those roles and traits that might derail success. It’s all researched, backed information.

I might have said being a film editor would be something for Donnie to pursue without taking the assessment based on the one class project I mentioned in the last blog. I never would have guessed the other three jobs the assessment picked for him. How could I if he never had any kind of experience or activities in those areas?

Guess what his scores were for the jobs like teacher and chef? They were in the 20% range of him actually enjoying those jobs. I don’t want to even think about the money I could have wasted if he pursued education in those fields. No doubt, after a year or two, Donnie would say, “Mom, I hate studying to be a teacher (or chef). I can’t imagine having a career in it.”

In my next blog, I will share Donnie’s specific traits that matched well for his identified careers and why teacher and chef were not good matches for him. What traits does your child have that you think would lend well to a specific career?  Tell us in the comments below.

My Child’s Journey to Find His Ideal College

Laurie shares her journey in helping her kids find their ideal college.

I am a mom of two boys, Donnie and Thomas. Donnie is a sophomore in high school. Thomas is in 6th grade. I am walking down the same path as many parents of high schoolers in helping Donnie find his ideal college. I thought I would share with you my journey.

I have the same hopes and dreams for my kids as you do. We want our children to succeed. We want to feel relieved, assured and confident about our child’s future. We envision a life for them where they are pursuing a college education for a career they will truly enjoy.

How do we start them on the path of finding their career? It starts at a young age. Like many parents, my husband and I would get Donnie involved in different activities to help him explore his interests and see what would stick.

I love to do crafty things but Donnie was not interested and never has been. We tried soccer for a couple of years but that wasn’t his thing. Then we started him in Tae Kwon Do. This was an activity that did stick. Yes, there were quite a few times when he resisted in going to class. However, more times than not he was happy he attended, even when we had to “force” him to go. After a few years of dedication and many class hours, he achieved his black belt. Fun fact, I started taking Tae Kwon Do classes a couple years after Donnie. I wanted exercise and decided to participate versus just watching. If it weren’t for Donnie, I would have quit after the first class. I found learning the patterns frustrating. Now I have my black belt.

We also got Donnie involved in scouting. My husband was a scout growing up. He enjoyed what he learned and the friendships he gained. Scouting was an activity that Donnie enjoyed too. Donnie’s favorite part of scouting is the camping. I have enjoyed watching Donnie’s leadership skills that he continues to develop throughout the ranks. In watching him with the younger scouts, I thought he might like to pursue a career in teaching. Donnie has a great amount of patience with kids and has an incredible ability to explain things to them in a way they understand.

Donnie has also developed an interest in cooking. This has come in handy and is quite tasty. We have delegated many dinners for him to prepare. I started wondering if he would like to become a chef. He also asks for cameras as presents. Maybe he would become a photographer.

He likes band and has played the trombone since 6th grade. He even joined the marching band in high school. I started to wonder if Donnie would be interested in a career that involved music.

Last semester, Donnie was in a writing class. He struggled all semester in this class because he hates writing. He hates writing like I hated math in school. Then, the writing teacher assigned a final project. The students had to create a video for a story that was also turned into a movie. They had to write about the differences and similarities between the book and the movie. Donnie chose the Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. I share this with you because I was amazed at the level of dedication Donnie had on this project. I had never seen him take so much interest in a homework assignment. He literally sat for hours and hours working on this project without any pushing from me to get it done. What was it about this project? The topic? Making a film? Is there something there that could turn into a career for him?

When you ask Donnie what he wants to do he says he wants to go to Kennesaw State for college and major in Computer Science like his dad. Although he has no idea what he wants to do with computers as a career. There are thousands of different jobs that he could get into that involve computers – sales, analytics, testing, web developer, IT security, video game developer.

After years of different experiences, I could see Donnie as a teacher, chef, photographer, maybe something in music, or something with computers.

How do you pick the right college and career with such a wide range of interests? Even if we just focus on computers there are so many different jobs. The job he would truly enjoy may not require a computer science degree.

The good news is Donnie has a mom who provides an assessment that can narrow this decision down for him. I had Donnie take the assessment. In next week’s blog, I will share the results. Did the assessment pick one of the potential jobs I saw for him, or did it come up with careers I wouldn’t have considered?

What careers do you see your kids’ having potential in and why? Tell us in the comments.

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