25 years of career innovation

Happily Working

 

“Happily Working” doesn’t have to be just a dream.

Some people actually love their work. For others however, work is an absolute drag which can’t finish soon enough.

So what does it take to find a suitable fit? Central to career planning and career guidance is occupational interest. (Not always the same thing as personal interest or hobby.)

“Follow your passion”, is oft quoted. But what if you don’t know much about the world of work, and how you might fit in? And what if your career dreams are unrealistic?

Young people typically know they like things such as watching action movies, playing video games, going to the beach, etc. What they often don’t know is how these relate to the world of work.

Bridging this gap is something well-constructed interest guides do.

However a little caution is needed. Very many interest guides are promoted with little or no research, little or no item analysis, and with no attention to reliability and validity.

(In this context a reliable instrument means it will give the same result repeatedly given the same conditions. For example measuring the length of a table with a steel ruler instead of with a piece of elastic. On the other hand, a valid instrument actually measures what it says it does. As an illustration, a maths test with lots of words may well be testing reading ability rather than maths, thus having low validity.)

An instrument with low reliability and/or validity is pretty useless, and may even be misleading. Before using interest test, ask for evidence of reliability and validity.

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