by Marc A. Verhoeve, B.A., BED., MED.
The career exploration process is, in essence, a discovery journey through the interface between the individual and the workplace. The self-discovery dimension contains one’s understanding of one’s skills, values, interests, and societal influences, such as heritage (racial and cultural) and religion (or spirituality). I term this dimension one’s microcosmic career. The macrocosmic dimension is the world of work with its myriad occupational options.
The challenge in this process is to create a process that effectively interfaces one’s microcosmic self-view with the macrocosmic world-view containing, by some estimates, almost 10,000 job titles. With the exponential growth of technology, the number of job-titles increases daily.
Since the publication of the Strong Vocational Interest Blank more than 50 years ago, we have seen the institutionalization of career-interest inventories as an effective vehicle to interface self with the work-world. Traditionally, career-assessment tools came in two forms: short versions that are self scoring, and extended interpretative profiles that are mail-scored at a testing publisher and sent back to the client or career-practitioner.
For the past 25 years, I have experienced the evolution of career interest assessment through my roles as a university formal-testing instructor in a Guidance Counselor Qualifications Program, as a secondary-school counseling services head, as a private adult-career practitioner, as a presenter and author of career-assessment interpretation, as a formal-assessment Web course architect, and as a cybertraining career consultant.
Since 1978, I have been actively involved in the evolutionary design of the Jackson Vocational Interest Survey (JVIS), published by Sigma Assessment Systems, the world’s first normed career-assessment tool to be launched on the Web. This standardized career inventory provides an in-depth interpretative 12-page profile, containing four major segments: Basic Interest Scales, General Occupational Themes, Similarity to College Groups and Similarity to Job Groups. In my JVIS Professional Applications Handbook, I provide a detailed analysis of all the segments of the JVIS.
With the growth of Internet-driven career resources, a plethora of short online career interest quizzes has become available to career-searchers. It must be emphasized that there is a danger in using career quizzes that have no proof of their accuracy, validity, norming, or reliability. Brevity should not be confused with accuracy.
For the past three years, I have been involved with the design of the Internet-driven version of the JVIS, the world’s first normed career-assessment tool to be launched on the Web. It taps the unique features of a Web-driven vehicle, including instantaneous online scoring. The test is available globally to any client or practitioner. JVIS.com is also hypertexted, which means that the user has the ability to “click” on terms for further clarification, click relevant job and professional websites, and research a full range of excellent career-resource Web sites, including Quintessential Careers … all in the comfort of one’s home!
The user can also share his/her profile PIN (password) with a professional career practitioner for further input, either face-to-face or by e-mail with a career cybercounselor. Clients have also included this JVIS.com PIN on a resume or in an interview to allow the interviewer to view the career profile online. With an e-mailed cover page and a resume, this online profile allows the applicant to create a “virtual global career portfolio.” The profile, which is archived forever, is dynamic; it is constantly being refreshed with new additional career-resource and job-group or professional websites.
A standardized career-assessment tool provides the individual with an accurate career snapshot that portrays one’s self-view in front of the appropriate job settings. The added benefit of online assessment is that this career snapshot is instantaneous and dynamic.
Marc A. Verhoeve, B.A., BED., MED. is a career pathing consultant.
Formal Assessments Web course, offered online as part of the Career Development Practitioner Certificate Program by Conestoga College, in partnership the universities of Waterloo, Laurier and Guelph.
JVIS.com, online version of the Jackson Vocational Interest Survey.
Sigma Assessment Systems, publisher of career assessment instrument tools, including the JVIS, Career Directions Inventory, Ashland Interest Assessment and the Self-Directed Search.
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