Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Career Exploration Activity

Please feel free to share and adapt this activity!

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ― Howard Thurman


An assignment for Introduction to Philosophical Ethics
with Professor Nathan Nobis

This assignment is intended to help you think about your “calling” and what careers would enable you to truly “come alive” in your work and so achieve the benefits, for you and others, of your work being you an expression of and engagement with your unique talents, skills, insights and gifts to the world.

Your responses to the prompts below should be thorough, thoughtful, well-written and typed.

1.      Self exploration:
First, please take some time to carefully and thoroughly reflect on your interests, abilities and experiences and answer these questions, ideally with input from insightful and caring people who know you well (e.g., parents, longtime friends, close relatives, etc.):
·         What do you love doing? What kind of activities do you really enjoy? When does “time fly” for you because you are so immersed in the task(s)?
·         When are you at your best, when you are working on a project or a task? What kind of activities, projects or challenges give you the opportunity to shine, i.e., show your best?
·         What are you especially good at? Where are your talents?
·         What have other people observed and shared with you about your talents and passions?

2.      Personality assessment:
Second, please take a Myers-Briggs personality assessment. This test attempts to evaluate someone’s personality style along these dimensions:
·         Extraversion (E) - (I) Introversion
·         Sensing (S) - (N) Intuition
·         Thinking (T) - (F) Feeling
·         Judging (J) - (P) Perception
You can find tests by Googling “Myers Briggs test” and related terms, as well as in the Do What You Are book below. If you’d like, you can take multiple tests, to see if they have differing results. Please read to understand the test and what varying results can mean.

Please write down your Myers-Briggs personality “type” or types, as well as any observations and questions you have about your type: e.g., “Yes, this is me, because…!” or “I seem to be in the middle of these two traits because…” Reflect on what the test says about you: do you agree? Disagree? How?

3.      Careers for your type:
Next, take your personality type and check out this book on reserve in the library: Do what you are : discover the perfect career for you through the secrets of personality type, Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron (New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2007); on Reserve for Philosophy 302, call number: BF698.9.O3 T54 2007.

The book’s and author’s webpage (with Myers-Briggs tests) is here:

For each personality type, this book lists many careers that are likely to “fit” that personality type and it explains why these careers might be especially good for people of that type. Carefully read these pages and photocopy or photograph them, so you keep them.

Please write down these careers. Please answer these questions:

·         Which look especially interesting to you and seem appropriate for your personality type?
·         Are any of these careers ones you have never thought of? Are any surprising? How so?
·         Which, if any, “fit” with the observations you made of yourself in the “Self exploration” area above?
·         Are any of these careers ones that you think you would “come alive” working in? Which? Why?
·         Which of these careers will you learn more about? What will you do to learn more them?

4.      Ethics / Philosophical Aspects of Potential Careers

Since this is an ethics (or philosophy) course, we must have some ethics and philosophy-related questions for you to discuss:
·         What are some of the ethical (or philosophical) issues relevant to some (at least 3) of the careers you are potentially interested in?
·         Are there important ethical challenges to any of these careers, e.g., arguments that people in them sometimes, or maybe even often, act wrongly in their jobs?
·         Could working in these careers make you a better person and the world a better place? How so? Why?

5.      Please make an appointment to share and discuss your findings with your professor!

Please make sure you answer all the questions asked here and, of course, feel free to share more self-observations, reflections, knowledge gained, advice and anything else you think is important to your finding careers that fit your falling!

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