My Career Path

Project to complete requirements for the course ‘Facilitating Career Development – Higher Education’ toward Certified Career Service Provider™ (CCSP) credential through the National Career Development Association (NCDA). Instructor: Dr. Constance J. Pritchard

Organize & Plan Career

The purpose of this page is to document self-reflection on my career path in the context of what I’ve learned through this 120 hour training course. Below you will find my results for various career assessments and my meaning-making around their determinations. I will incorporate these descriptions of my personality, values, and skills to the ways I understand my work. This self-reflection is a practice that allows me to role-model self-awareness to clients, to empathize with clients (specifically college students) when they receive their results, and for my own growth and development.

“Where I’ve Been, Where I am Now, and Where I Aspire to Go.”

Former ‘Facilitating Career Development‘ student

Career Assessments & Reflection

Values: Creativity, Helping Others, Tangible Results

Holland Code: SIA (Social – Investigative – Artistic)

Enneagram: 7 (The Enthusiast)

MBTI: ESTJ (Extroverted – Sensing – Thinking – Judging)

CliftonStrengths: Input, Activator, Relator, Intellection, & Adaptability

Motivators: Expertise, Creativity, Meaning

Super’s (1980) Life Roles: Student (of life), Worker, Daughter, Aunt, Sister, Leisurite, Citizen, Homemaker

Skills: Helping, Listening, Reasoning

Personality in Career Context:

One of my first impressions is the appearance of creativity in two of these assessments, first as a value and then as a skill. Often, these assessments frame creativity (Artistic in the Holland Code as well) as governed by fine arts interest and producing novel and Tangible artifacts. As a member of a few choirs over the years, I do engage in reproducing fine art musically but in the world of work, I find myself expressing myself creatively by job-crafting, writing on topics of interest, tinkering with ways to engage with students on social media, and synthesizing information from this certification course, my graduate studies, and my personal interests to create new ways to think of oneself and career.

These combined assessments clearly indicate that I thrive in Social environments in two senses: work that highly encourages collaboration and solid relationships, and work that’s main purpose is to help others move forward. I find myself thriving when I can support folks’ thinking in new ways, mostly about themselves and what they do.

I am consistently drawn to academic environments that value Strategic Thinking (my main CliftonStrengths domain), evidence-based practice, and a core function to specialize in a topic and communicate this Expertise. I currently serve as the Embedded Liaison to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UF with no prior content knowledge in agriculture and natural resources. This is a challenge that excites me, and reminds me of the core principle of service-learning: as I work with students, they work with me as well, and we can share knowledge between each other. I appreciate the challenge of garnering interest and creating novel programming that addresses multiple needs and is specialized. In the future, I will find opportunities that feature the combination of working in a Social role while able to do tasks in an Investigative way.

My Judging self seems in conflict with my Enthusiast self at first glance. How does an eye for structure balance the desire for variety? First, I have a confession to make. And that is… that I really like this new job. And better yet, I have a better understanding of why because of the questions posed by this course. My Meaning of these combined personality factors is such: I depend on structure provided by the role such as task function, the why of it all, and the tools all accessible by a few clicks or a quick Zoom chat. After these basic work needs are met, I run loose with projects and new ideas that push the boundaries of what’s been done before, but always within the scope of our work and goals. The safety of the built structure allows me to feel confident, pilot new programming, and fail fast to succeed fast.

Three core skills of coaching and counseling are Helping, Listening, and Reasoning. There is a lot of mental effort and finesse required in moving with someone toward their next steps, normalizing a student’s experiences, and Relating my understanding: “What I’m hearing is…” My Input self is more than collecting articles, books, and fun facts for the sake of doing so; I am able to relate an author’s work or an article I recently read’s meaning to a client or friend, and can recognize the information that they need in the moment. This reminds more of Dr. Irvin Yalom’s approach. He is famous for his group therapy techniques and his ‘here and now” frame. However, he is also the main proponent of existential psychotherapy and expertly weaves in the thoughts of Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and many other philosophers to do the ultimate task: help folks see life the way it is. A meaning-making limited only to the Western lens does not serve all, and I am currently learning of more expert voices to include in my practice of helping and giving grace.

I completed my first career assessment as a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon, specifically the Strong Interest Inventory. I remember distinctly my first suggest role as a Career Coach and the second as a Translator. In these latest assessments, these roles have also become present: Professor, Public Speaker, Counselor, Teaching and Learning Specialist.

Lastly, here are some words to describe me from my colleagues at the University of Florida Career Connections Center (C3):

A word cloud that features words that describe Sammie: Warm, Insightful, Advocate, Thoughtful, Inquisitive, Confident, Authenticity, Open-Minded, Adaptable, Go-getter, Learner, Gratitude, Approachable, Independent, Bright, Personable, Gumption

Occupational Goals

Short-term:

  • Reading and Listening (audiobooks, and e-learning on career development to supplement my new role)
  • Producing Knowledge & Content (writing blogs, other publications, presenting again, collaborating within UF and nationally/internationally)
  • Presence at UF (in my new college, in the C3, at UF as a whole including the online environments)

Long-term:  

  • Applying to Doctoral Programs (use journaling to find my main interests and find programs and faculty who will support these)
  • Networking & Relationship Building (building and maintaining life-long mentors and friends across the globe)
  • Explore Faculty Roles (I educate on opportunities with a doctorate and I want to use this knowledge to support my career)

Next Steps

One coaching skill I’ve learned from shadowing coaches at UF is to make the wrap-up of a conversation clear and productive, ending with the question “What do you see as your next steps?”

For my short-term goals, the first steps I can take to realize these goals include getting to know the opportunities to share knowledge and build this at UF, continue building relationships with colleagues and making friends in Gainesville, getting a library card in this town, and learning of the ways I can continue to make a difference to the students I support.

For my long-term goals, I will want to spend more time honing my coaching craft but also engaging in more self-reflection. I can envision myself journaling on topics I notice in the fields of career development, college student learning and development, cognitive psychology, epistemology, existential psychotherapy, hope, unconditional positive regard, diversity & inclusion practice, and inner engineering. I want to handwrite my philosophies on education and teaching, diversity, leadership practice, and how I make-meaning of the complex world of work. I know that this inner exploration will allow me to know myself and find my fit for further education and mentorship.

I am appreciative of the challenge to publicly publish my thoughts and I hope that I can connect soon with like-minded educators.

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