The bestselling career guide that has helped more than half a million people discover their true talents and make successful career choices, now completely revised for the digital age.
Learn how to identify your talents and harness your potential skills and start making money doing what you love. Now revised for the digital age, Lina Gale’s bestselling Discover What You’re Best At will teach you how to set realistic and rewarding goals, save money, and learn about new areas of the job market where you could begin a fulfilling career. Complete with job listings and comprehensive tests to help you evaluate your talents and aptitude, Discover What You’re Best At is the only career guide you’ll ever need.
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Linda Gale is the bestselling author and coauthor of three career books. She has twenty-three years of experience as a professional "door-opener," initiating and developing strategic business partnerships. Linda lives in New York City.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
THE NATIONAL CAREER APTITUDE SYSTEM
WHY THE NCAS IS FOR YOU
We know you're reading this book because you're concerned about your future: you want to find the right job, and you know that it must happen by careful choice, not by haphazard chance.
Perhaps you're recently completed your formal education and now are seeking your first or second job. All too often we find that young adults make these initial selections on a wing and a prayer and with little understanding of their potential. Well, this book will remedy that.
Perhaps you're reentering the work force after several years as a homemaker. You need to translate your worthy experiences into salable skills needed in today's marketplace. Knowledge of your strengths and capabilities will direct you toward a career that is right for you.
Perhaps you're contemplating a job change because your current position inhibits your personal growth, limits your ability to do your best, or does not provide sufficient recognition or rewards.
Perhaps you're one of the five out of six who finds yourself in your job by accident. That's right, not by thorough career planning but by accident. You somehow stumbled into it. And now you know you're in the wrong job.
Whatever your present situation, you know that the decision you're about to make is too important to leave to luck, a whim, or what your best friend thinks you should do. You'll find a professional system in this book that really works; one that will give you a new, decisive, and exciting way to clearly view yourself, to determine your career strengths and to set appropriate goals. You'll have a much better sense of which job options are available to you and which careers are apt to be the most satisfying and rewarding. After using our system you will be well on the way to making one of the best decisions of your life -- choosing the career that is most likely to guarantee your success. We want to help you select a career rather than settle for one.
YOUR VALUE SYSTEM DETERMINES YOUR JOB SATISFACTION
To help you identify what is currently important to you, here's a list of commonly held job-related values. As you look them over, you'll discover that you instinctively feel some are more important than others for your overall job satisfaction.
Accumulating large amounts of money
Being in an environment that involves frequent change
Being involved in work that contributes to the advancement of moral standards I feel are important
Belonging to an organization or group
Creatively coming up with new ideas
Having day-to-day contact with the public
Having the independence to decide for myself what needs to be done
Helping other people directly
Performing a job that requires physical strength and stamina
Performing similar tasks each day
Receiving considerable recognition for my work
Setting my own time schedule
Taking extended vacations
Taking risks as part of my work
Traveling much of my working time
Working as a member of a team
Working primarily by myself
Working primarily for myself
Working where I can pursue the leisure activities I enjoy most
Working where my abilities are pitted against those of others
Working where there is an adequate salary and considerable security
Working with definite deadlines
Whatever career satisfaction means to you, the National Career Aptitude System (NCAS) is designed to help you find success by putting you on the right job track. Think of this book as a unique career system, one that will help you Discover What You're Best At.
DO NEW TECHNOLOGIES CREATE NEW JOBS?
Neuropharmacologist, Biomedical-Engineering Technician, Laser-Beam Color-Scanner, Cardiovascular Perfusionist, Electro-Optics Physicist.
These job titles describe occupations that have emerged or may emerge as a result of changing technologies. Will many of us engage in new occupations in the near future, or is the change more subtle than that?
The introduction of a new technology is often accompanied by predictions of major changes in the workplace. In the past decade microcomputers were said to herald a new occupation: word processor. Yet as it turned out, word-processing software became a new tool for secretaries and other professionals. Lasers were expected to create a multitude of laser-technician jobs, but for the most part they simply became tools for welders, surgeons, and others.
Certainly some new occupations have arisen, but more often than not new technologies result in new tools for existing jobs. Virtually every occupation is changing, and what is critical is the adaptation to new skill requirements among all workers. Looking back over the past eight years since Discover What You're Best At was first published, most workers have seen changes in their jobs that resulted from technology. For example, the job of researcher has changed from processing scant data in a cumbersome way -- punch cards and mainframes -- to processing reams of data with nearly immediate turnaround on a microcomputer. The task is no longer finding a little information on a subject; it is sifting through too much information to pull out what is pertinent.
Other people have seen the impact of new technology on managing retail inventory, diagnosing malfunctions in an auto engine, and improving methods of quality control, to name just a few examples. Although we can see technology's impact upon our work, our job title remains the same.
The primary lesson is that the work of the future will involve the continued acquisition of new skills. The question is what types of skills will these be?
Let's briefly look at the nature of skills needed in the emerging economy. Academic or technical skills immediately come to mind. While it is true that economists, engineers, physicians, and astronomers need much specialized training, basic literacy and numerical facility are now needed almost everywhere. Yet academic skills are only some of the skills needed. Personal-management skills are also vital today. Tardiness, absenteeism, or lack of basic grooming are handicaps in any job. Freedom from substance abuse, as well as personal integrity and honesty, are rated as critical qualifications by nearly all employers. In many companies and organizations, retrenching has eliminated many layers of supervision and raised the value of personal initiative, responsibility, and creativity. The self-starter within an organization is desired more than ever before. But we do not work alone.
Teamwork skills, such as high levels of communication, coordination, and cooperation, are vital. Think about it, and you'll most likely agree: Recent high school and college graduates are least prepared in this area. The academic world is geared to reward individual performance, so it's no wonder many students find it hard to make the transition to a workplace that emphasizes teamwork. The latter is basic street smarts unfortunately not taught in high schools or on college campuses. Still, young people have to learn how to work in groups and to develop skills that involve sharing responsibilities and respecting the knowledge of others, as well as utilizing that knowledge to grow. Whether at home or at school, only the lucky few who have experienced what it takes to be a team player have the savvy to get the jobs for which they feel qualified. At work today you are graded in large part on your team's success. And you may know each other only by phone, fax, or Internet address.
THE SHIFTING WORKPLACE
It appears that one of the biggest changes taking place in the workplace is the manner in which people perceive their careers. For instance, many seem to be more interested in working on a precise project rather than in a distinct company. Achieving more skills, these same people are moving on to the next project rather than clawing their way up the corporate ladder. More and more corporations are looking at new ways to begin rewarding employees for how well they do their jobs and for their skills and their abilities to perform as members of a broader team. As for the downsizing you're seeing now at corporations, that's primarily caused by the elimination of people in the middle who move information. Those who produce data and those who analyze it will be directly connected to the intranets already being used by thousands of companies.
In my research, I have also discovered that with the Internet as the next site of explosive employment growth, people are learning fast that they network more productively on-line and that on-line discussions result in better business decisions. Planning meetings are ideally suited to cyberspace, where you can work together interactively over time, exchanging product information and brainstorming strategies. This can even be done anonymously -- which often results in better, more honest feedback. At the same time the concept of micromarketing is evolving, and large companies as well as media and marketing players are putting a lot of money into it. And while the 'Net remains a very fragmented, specialization-centric market, it ultimately gives the private entrepreneur a huge competitive opportunity to compete with major corporations and win.
As for those of you not college-bound in today's world, it isn't the end of the world, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, it's true that, on average, workers with college degrees earn more than those without such degrees. But it's possible to do fine without one. Registered nurses, sales representatives for manufacturers and wholesalers, detectives, factory supervisors, technicians, and carpenters are just a few of the many careers open for you to investigate. Careers whose rewards can include interesting work, much responsibility, and chances for advancement.
To be sure, an increasing number of jobs for high school graduates like yourselves demand good math and reading skills and the aptitude to learn on the job. So perhaps you weren't brilliant in school, but you possess nonacademic skills instead, skills that can help you win in the job marketplace. For example, ask yourself: Do you have sales or athletic ability, an instinctive grasp of mechanics, fluency in a second language, or a talent for dealing with people? Last, there are two fields that may be worth your investigating: secretarial work and factory machine operation. Both areas appear to have plenty of openings, especially executive assistant positions that take on substantial management responsibility. And though demand may be declining in old-line industries, many manufacturers making high-tech products such as computer components are weeping for machine operators.
Without a doubt, the role of women will change even more. There is general agreement that women are very good at networking and reaching out to others -- a fine fit in a large-scale information world, where organizations tend to be horizontal. And for those of you who want to spend more time with your children, technology today permits that. However, don't be too shocked to learn you could be expected to work harder at home than at the office. The word is -- employers may be more likely to expect more for that special privilege.
APTITUDES VS. INTERESTS
The NCAS is a complete program for evaluating your job potential and for using that evaluation to point yourself toward the career in which you will be most likely to succeed. Now, of course there are plenty of books and tests geared toward career planning. Some probe your personality; others evaluate your general intelligence; still others examine your attitudes and values; some survey your interests. A confusing array, to be sure.
When we first mention career tests at our seminars, we usually hear, "A career test? Oh, I took one of those and it told me to be a forest ranger because I like to work outdoors," or "That sounds like the one I took years ago. It told me to be a psychiatrist because I liked to work with people."
It's possible that you have had a similar experience. Well, what you most likely had was a career-interest inventory and not a career-aptitude test. They are commonly confused.
The NCAS measures your aptitudes -- what you are capable of doing now and what you will be able to do in the future if given the opportunity to learn. It is very different from an interest inventory, which samples what you think you might like to do. An interest inventory tends to deal only with the present, too -- what you think you might enjoy now -- and it can't possibly predict whether your interests will stay the same or change as your life experience broadens. So don't choose your career just on the basis of your present interests; they will most likely change.
Another weakness of interest inventories is that they're very subjective, based upon your own image of yourself. This self-perception is often inaccurate and will tend to limit your knowledge of yourself to only those characteristics you want to discover and perceive. But most important, we think, is the fact that interest inventories don't assess your actual ability to learn or perform certain tasks. Unfortunately your interest in a subject doesn't necessarily indicate that you could have a successful career in it. The mere fact that you are interested in something doesn't mean that you will be good at it, much less successful.
Now, our aptitude-testing system not only evaluates how much knowledge you have and the present status of your abilities, it also predicts the career areas in which you are most likely to develop and succeed in the future. And while no aptitude test can tell you what you must be, we believe that if you know what your strengths are, you can find advantageous ways to use them; and when you understand your weaknesses you can avoid being trapped by them. Decisions based on this awareness will help you go beyond your present horizon; choices derived from self-understanding will help you realize more nearly your full potential.
Ross, a high school senior who was taking this test when we met him, is a good case in point. During a break in the testing session he approached us to talk about his desire to be a mechanical engineer. As we chatted, it was obvious that he had a pretty good idea of what mechanical engineers do, and he sounded really confident about his ability to handle the courses leading to an engineering degree. We were impressed. But were we in for a surprise! Of the forty-three mechanically oriented questions, Ross answered only four correctly. He ranked near the bottom of the national norm. Another poor showing in the numerical section resulted in a similar low ranking. Obviously these were not the results you'd expect of a future mechanical engineer. Later a conversation with his father, a mechanical engineer, revealed that he had expected his son to be a "chip off the old block" and for years had let his wishes be known. Ross, wanting to please his father, verbalized his father's wishful thinking as if it were his own. After seeing the results of the test and engaging in some further counseling, Ross decided to switch to business, for which his aptitudes were much stronger. We saw him recently, and he is doing well in his studies.
But you can see how Ross might not have fared so well if he had simply followed his expressed interests in selecting a college major.
Of course in planning your career you should consider your personality traits, attitudes, interests, and so...
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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 21st Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Join the ranks of the more than half-million people who have discovered their true talents and made successful career choices with DISCOVER WHAT YOU RE BEST AT. Now this bestselling career guide has been revised for the Twenty-First Century, including valuable new information on the skills in demand in high-tech fields, such as IT and medicine. Giving you the edge in the competitive world of the job market, this guide will help you save money by heading you in the proper career direction before you choose courses of study; save time by allowing you to tailor your curriculum to your career objectives, without resorting to trial-and-error course samplings and learn to set realistic goals. The guide enables you to identify not only your interests but also your innate talents and potential skills, and then to match your career strengths to dozens of the more than 1,100 jobs described in detail. DISCOVER WHAT YOU RE BEST AT enables you to set realistic and rewarding career goals based on your abilities. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780684839561