Analysing your Career Interests

 

Most students, when making career choices, will say ‘‘I want something interesting’’. Your interests have already influenced many of the choices made in your life: your choice of A-level and degree subjects; the ways in which you spend your spare time; the holidays, and perhaps the jobs, which you have taken during vacations. They may have been responsible for many of the friends you have made and helped you to develop your personal skills. These interests are likely to have a similar influence on your career.

For some people, an interest is of such importance in their life that it is the main influence on their career choice. A gifted athlete, for example, may be able to use their interest and ability to succeed in a sporting career. Many more people will be content to play their sport at a recreational level, but will still take this interest into account when selecting a career or an employer. Some may enter sports-related careers, in leisure management, sports administration or promotion, retailing sports goods or teaching physical education. Others will seek out careers in different fields that offer similar opportunities for physical activity, teamwork, competition or challenge. Or they may simply choose between employers on the basis of the company sports facilities.

AN EXERCISE TO IDENTIFY YOUR WORK RELATED INTERESTS

You may find the following exercise useful to help in pinpointing your major interests types and then to relate these to jobs. Below you will find 32 statements about your interests. For each statement you have to say whether you: disagree, agree a little, agree moderately, agree considerably or agree completely to the statement. You need a Java-enabled browser for this such as Internet Explorer. Note that Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 don't come with Java pre-installed. You can get a Java plugin at  http://java.sun.com/getjava/download.html   

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Your interests profile has eight interest groups. Your score can range from a maximum of 16 to a minimum of 0 for a particular interest. Which interests have you got the highest scores in?

Do you agree with these results, or do you think that other interests are more important to you? Don't take these scores too literally - their main purpose is to get you thinking about how they might relate to possible careers.

 

Of course, there may be many other jobs which fit your interests, and of course, you also need to take into account your skills, values and personality when considering careers.