JVS Chicago’s latest workshop, “Uncover Your Future,” is designed to help people find a career path instead of flailing aimlessly about the job market.
“’I’ll do anything’ isn’t a job description,” said Roberta Glick, the JVS Chicago Career Counselor and Strategist who facilitates the new course. “Employers want to hire focused people with a skill set. Enjoyment also is important; people do a better job when they enjoy what they’re doing.”
Jeffrey Blumenfeld, Director of Career Moves, sees the new course as “an essential element to all the services we provide. Most people we see at Career Moves are either underemployed or unemployed and have a good idea of what their career path is. But a good percentage of people are really lost—not sure of what career is in their future. They are looking at how they can take their experience and skills and transfer those skill sets into a different career. People who are career transitioning and those new to the job market are trying to explore what will define their career path.”
Participants in the new class, Uncover Your Future, begin by taking two formal assessments and spend the next several weeks exploring the results. The inventories are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and the Strong Interest Inventory (not so named because it figures how strong your interests are; the test was based on the work of E. K. Strong Jr.). The MBTI determines a Jungian explanation of your personality, and the SII is modeled on John Holland’s categories of career choice.
But the assessments won’t amount to much, Glick said, without the magic ingredient of commitment.
“If people don’t do the work, they won’t get the results,” she said. “Attendance is key—it’s not a program where you can miss two or three sessions–and doing the homework is equally important.”
Both assessments are being interpreted and as many aspects of a career are discussed as possible. The workshop also looks at attire, culture, location, a values assessment and a skills assessment.
While the SII and MBTI can determine a basic personality type or career preference, interpretation of the results is influenced by what is said in the classroom.
“In a couple cases, what the participants came up with was different than the scored assessment,” said Glick. “Adding that input meant they will be able to make a better assessment of themselves.”
Once the detailed assessments are created and jobs are targeted, the workshop will focus on researching careers and companies. Attendees finish with an action plan that will point them at any Career Moves workshops they need to take for help with skills such as interviewing, cover letters or LinkedIn.
Time Is Essential
According to Blumenfeld, the most innovative feature of Uncover Your Future is time.
“You usually find career path workshops on college campuses,” he said. “They offer the assessments—sometimes they do an interpretation, sometimes they don’t, which is wrong—and they don’t spend a lot of time. It’s not a guided tour, if you will, of what the possibilities are if you’re going to explore a career path.
“The key part of Uncover the Future is that it’s being done in a series of workshops. It’s a guided exploration—assessments, interpretations, discussions in a group setting, with all kinds of information and educational context and additional tools to support the ongoing exploration,” said Blumenfeld. ”This allows a person the time to work on the material, reflect, evaluate and come back to the group for questions and sharing. You get a sounding board for what your exploration is encountering.”
“Uncover Your Future” costs $180, which is what some firms charge merely to administer the two assessments—and individualized career coaching, according to an International Coaching Federation Global Coaching Client Study, averages more than $160 an hour, even though there is no formal certification for career or life coaches and credentials are sold online!
Glick—who is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor—said that the time and energy saved by enrolling in Uncover Your Future is well worth it.
“If you find the time and money to do this,” she said, “you’ll be way ahead of where you would be otherwise.”