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The clues to JobJoy and work happiness lie in the key success patterns and in your child’s natural and dependable strengths.
Set your young adult on the right path, not by identifying a single, “correct” career to pursue.
Avoid telling them “where the jobs will be,” but rather provide them with a strong jumping off point from which to excel.
Let them learn how they can use dependable, enjoyable skills while further developing their identified patterns of success in a field of interest.
“She just needs to get out there and get some experience,” we may think, as we encourage our teens vaguely to “go to school.” But, even at this early stage, natural talents are evident, and they provide the necessary clues to help teens make good educational and vocational decisions. Decisions that will prevent costly mistakes
JobJoy employs an assessment processes specific to its young adult clients. We talk to them about their experiences in school, in extracurricular activities and at home to identify situations in which they excelled, situations in which they were bored or unhappy, activities that incite their passions and those that snuff them out.
What you get
This step, in conjunction with discussions with parents, provides a basic assessment with the following information given in the form of a verbal and email summary:
|Explains what your young adult’s natural talents, modes of interaction and communication are – and what that means in concrete terms as applicable to the world of work.|
|Describes a number of career paths for which those natural talents are valuable and in demand, and lists specific jobs for your teen to consider.|
|Outlines specific educational programs and schools that will nurture and develop their natural inclinations into marketable skills and knowledge.|
At the end of the session, we can discuss if now is the right time to help your young adult further with developing a plan, and working that plan towards specific education and career goals.
Guide for parents: JobJoy for Young Adults
“This book helps parents get their young adults to talk about themselves,” says Dutch. “About times in their lives when they were doing what they enjoy most and do best; what they enjoy and have fun doing; simple thing–what excites them or turns them on at school and outside of school.
“This book will help parents analyze that material, so they can clearly understand the definitions of what their son or daughter does naturally and effortlessly–and how those key elements of their right work connect to specific jobs in specific organizations.”
There are significant obstacles within the school system today that handicap students and their parents from making good career choices. Dutch’s ‘Job Joy for Young Adults’ program is designed to help parents overcome those obstacles.
Obstacle # 1: Guidance counselors are overwhelmed by sheer numbers these days.
Obstacle # 2: Teens have little understanding of how their unique combination of innate talents, learned skills, and limited job experience correlate with specific jobs in specific organizations. In short, they can’t answer two simple questions: Where and What?
Obstacle # 3: The main assessment tool of counselors is an interest inventory. Identify the interests a student has at 17 or 18 and put them on a career path for life. But our interests at 18 can be very different than our interests at 28, 38, or 48.
Obstacle # 4: Traditionally, guidance counselors will rely on tests. Tests are just technology. “Career choice is not just a science; it’s an art,” says George. Counselors assume that test scores reflect the motivational dynamics of the individual tested. This assumption is false.
Price: $9.99 Buy the book at Amazon or Smashwords.
Parents Speak Out
Testimonials from Mothers of Students
Do you have a student at home in their last year of high school or finishing their first year of college or university? And they don’t have career plans – a clear idea of what they are going to do with the rest of their lives. Let’s face it: 18, 19, or 20 is the age at which their first major career decision needs to be made. Most of us don’t make a decision at that age made on accurate and reliable information. We tend to fall into a career, and go on the advice of family members, or follow the crowd. We probably spend more time and energy planning the purchase of a new car than we spend on planning our careers. What do young people need to do to identify their right work?
From “The Career Connection” Sunday August 15, 1999 in conversation with George Dutch, Career Passion Consultant.
I’m talking here to you mothers out there, especially you mothers with children between the ages of 17 and 23. Anxious about your son/daughter’s future? To go to college/university or not to go? What is the answer? Does this lead to fights?
“I don’t want to go,” says your child.
“But I want you to go,” says mother.
“You need an education to get ahead in life,” says the paternal voice of wisdom.
“No, I don’t.”
“What are you going to do then?”
“I don”‘ know,” says the teenage rebel.
“I’m not going to pay for you to run around and waste your time.”
“You don’t have to. I’ll get a job.”
“What kind of job?”
“Selling T-shirts at rock concerts.”
“That’s not a job! That’s a lifestyle!” says the anxious mother.
“Oh, what do you know?” says the teen rebel.
“I know that an education opens doors to a better life.”
“Right, like yours!” sneers the sarcastic teen.
Fill in the blanks for the rest of the conversation.
Or perhaps, your son or daughter has identified 5 or 10 or 15 jobs they’d like to do, but they don’t know which one would be the most satisfying for them. Which one suits them best? Which one will provide opportunities for them to excel.
Do you want to stop the fights? Can you develop a career plan for your child that sews seeds of harmony in your relationship? Mothers, is confusion on the part of your child’s career plans creating anxiety in your life? Is there anything you can do to give those recalcitrant teens some clarity about their career prospects? some reassurance that there are real jobs out there in the real world of work that will deliver a measure of job joy to them?
Stick around as we talk with two mothers that have been there, done that.
Vera Adamovich, Financial Advisor, Ottawa
I sent Adrienne to George Dutch for career counseling just before her 18th birthday in the 12th grade. My concern stemmed from the fact that I saw my daughter doing exactly what I had done which was just enjoying high school, stumbling along, not able to really draw any conclusion about what she wanted to do. Then coming home one day in Grade 12 saying “by the end of Friday I have to decide what I’m going to do because I have to make decisions on these important courses that are going to dictate my future”. It brought back memories, in my case, of being in exactly in the same boat. And here we are, some thirty years later, and nothing’s changed. And when it really went off for me is when she came home a few days later and said “I’ve made this decision to go into Early Childhood Education”. A decision made on the basis of a 50 minute conversation with a Guidance Counselor who said this is what you should do because this is where the jobs will be from now on. My reaction to that (having gone through my own personal career changes throughout life) based on where the jobs are going to be in five years – what has that got to do with being happy in your work!
One of the other things that concerned me is that so many kids at that age of 17 or 18 that are required to make decisions really don’t have an idea. And the only real options they have in terms of advice are supplied through the education system by the guidance counselors. Elaine and I were talking before the show that nothing has changed there since we were kids. It’s the same form, I think, that we filled out: ‘Do you like to ride in a fire truck?’ I think now it goes through a computer as opposed to a guidance counselor putting a little check beside it. Not to knock any particular guidance counselor because they are teachers, and I have tremendous respect for teachers, but I think the education system has really failed in advancing in that area, in career counseling for kids. And I think it’s a very, very sad state.
Parents have to look at other alternatives.
When my daughter came home with her decision to go into ECE, and because I’ve known Elaine for twenty years, and know that she was lucky enough to find her passion early in life and go into early childhood education – for all those reasons, I knew my daughter didn’t have that. The first thing I said to her when she told me about her choice for ECE was, “I don’t remember you enjoying babysitting”. And her response was, “Mom, that doesn’t matter, that’s where the jobs will be in the next few years”.
Well, as a mother that frightened me, that kind of lack of logic. Elaine was one of the first people I talked to, and she was helpful by allowing Adrienne to come in and work with some of the caregivers so that she’d get a real sense of it but in advance of that I was fortunate, because I had worked with you personally, I decided to send her for private career counseling, which I think every kid should have an option at because these are such difficult decisions to make at such a young stage.
Another concern I had was that she could take any program at any school and succeed, and do it, and work in that job for the rest of her life. But I’ve always felt that it’s very important to be happy at your work. And that it affects every aspect of your being. I learned that personally and it took me a long time to find my life’s work because I just flew by the seat of my pants without any guidance. And, as a mother, I wanted more for my daughter. I think as parents we are hung up on the idea that a university education will open doors and give them options. But the point we’re missing is that if they are not happy in those options they stand a good chance of not succeeding. If you want to give them a good chance to succeed, help them find what they love. Because if you’re doing something you love, your chances of success increase. So, I think, as parents we are approaching it from the wrong end, and defeating our own purposes.
It’s not an education that’s going to make you successful, it’s finding what you love to do. Because then you’ll seek out the education that harmonizes with that.
If a kid takes the wrong course, they could spend 3 or 4 years on education that does not lead them to what they love to do. So why not invest a much smaller front up front and make some better accurate decisions. So, if people are focusing on the cost of guidance, then I think they are focusing on the wrong thing. In the end, it could cost them much more money. I know so many young people who spend 3 or 4 years at university, they went to university because it was the thing to do, because mom and dad you should; after all, you need a university education, and then they end up in something completely different that they could have got to another way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t go to school, I’m saying invest a little up front so that you know which school, which programs, which courses are going to get you where you want to be.
I had a conversation with a good friend just the other day with a very bright daughter, just coming out of grade 13 with top marks in sciences, maths, all the “right” things because she wanted to be prepared so that she could do anything. She announced to her mother the other day that she doesn’t know what she wants to do, and wants to take the next year off. My friend was totally dismayed. I reminded her that she herself went through a major career change about six years ago when she had the courage to give up her decently-paying government job and follow her own passion. She chose a new career that she’s doing so well in and loving so much. When she expressed anxiety about her daughter not going on, I asked why. She said, when I think back to my government job, I was passed over for promotion because I didn’t have the university education. I reminded her that maybe if she had got those promotions she might have been tempted to stay in this job she found boring for 20 years (that’s why she left it, she hated it but if she had been making twice as much money maybe she wouldn’t have had the courage to leave) – so be grateful, I told her, to have the courage to get out of it. So why would you want your kid to follow in the same steps when she doesn’t even know what she wants yet! My friend was grateful to me for getting her thinking in that direction, and the only reason I could do it was because of what my daughter learned from you.
As a result of the counseling, Adrienne, my daughter, and I both benefited. She benefited because she’s now happy at what she’s doing and she knows what she want to do. Now she’s still only 19 but one of her teachers phoned me up after Adrienne decided what she wanted to do, and said, “I’ve never seen her so happy”.
The other big plus was for me because even though I’m telling you these things and sound as if I’m somewhat enlightened, I was also a little nervous with the idea that she was not going to go by the book and take your basic university education. I was equally torn; part of me was saying do the right thing, and the other part was tremendously insecure.
Both of us have come away feeling terrific about it.
When my daughter Adrienne came home from her session with you, she was reluctant to say she got anything out of it because your assessment agreed with my misgivings about her career choice for ECE. You and I hadn’t talked prior to her session but we both read her the same way.
But you did give her some specific information about the kinds of environments and activities that you felt suited her. And when I got your written report, I agreed with everything you said – you were describing my kid and what she liked to do. What happened in her case, very shortly after that, she literally lucked into a summer job opportunity, between the 12 and 13th grade, working for a large company in a call centre doing exactly what you had described in your report. She at first, I don’t think, even saw the connection because she was so excited about this job. And she is still excited to this day. She continued working there full-time through the summer and all through the 13th grade and she wants to make this a career now. And she says, “Mom, when I go on to study, I’m going to go on to support this kind of a job, of doing exactly what you had described”. When she saw the connection, her response was, “Okay, now I understand it, now I see the value of it”. She now advises her friends, don’t struggle about what to do, go seek some career counseling.
I still use Adrienne’s report from you to keep open-minded about things. I think about it and look at it from time to time to encourage myself to allow her to follow the path that she’s been lucky enough to find, although I know it’s only working because of the fit you identified for her. And I really wish that for every kid, I really do. I think every kid should have the benefit of that kind of guidance.
Your report keeps me encouraging her in the right direction, and not falling back on those hangups that we all have as parents, which are you’ve got to go to university, you’ve got to follow the routine. I feel I can give her that leeway now entirely as a result of this process.
Elaine Bisson, Daycare Supervisor, Ottawa
I sent Stewart for career counseling to George Dutch when he was 17 in grade 12 when he made to make some decisions about OAC. What made me concerned was that he had to make some decisions about whether or not he was going to go on to university, and he had no idea what he wanted to do whatsoever. He was taking a variety of course but with absolutely no focus. I know that this year he had to some focus. He flip flops constantly. He keeps taking the advanced courses but then two days later he says I think I’ll get a job.
As a daycare supervisor, I’ve seen many people come through our facilties who think because they have been a good babysitter they’ll make a good daycare educator. But that’s not always the case. They don’t have natural abilities that go with the job, so they have to struggle with their duties, and they will never be happy.
As a coordinator of one of the programs at Algonquin College, I saw many people with good education unable to get jobs. That scares me because I’ve got a son, who I’m trying to make good decisions, because all I’m seeing all the time are young people coming through my door saying I can’t get a job. I keep thinking he needs a university education but all these university graduates keep coming to me saying that can’t get a job. So, that’s why I decided to go outside the school system to get some career counseling for him.
The biggest fear I had for Stewart was that he would end up with something that he wasn’t passionate about doing. Who hasn’t seen people working at jobs they are not happy with just to get the paycheque? They get in a rut, perhaps they get married, with children, and they don’t see any way out. That was my fear that he would get caught in that trap.
After coming out of the career counseling with you, he was radiant! He just felt really good about himself because it gave him more focus. He felt really good. The thing you did recommend for him was to go to university and gave him some idea why. It’s one thing when it comes from Mom that it was the thing to do but when it came from someone else it had more authority. The thing was you really listened to him and asked the right questions. He felt really good. And, as a mother, you want to see your child happy.
I always thought that Stewart was brooding or daydreaming or drifting off but you pointed out his natural inclination to think. He’s a real thinker around complex and sophisticated issues. You called it Reasoning and Contemplating. You validated that talent and he felt good because he knows he’s good at that.
So now he feels he’s going in the right direction. You identified lots of options for him that require that talent and he knows that if he keeps looking in that direction it will come to him whether it’s in Psychology, Sociology, Law, Policy Analysis, whatever. He loves to Analyze things, to understand how they work.
I was struck with the way you really listened to Stewart and talked to him but mostly of just listening and drawing upon those things that, perhaps, seemed frivolous at the time, but drawing upon those skills. And so, I’m looking at his friends at how they could really benefit from really good about themselves and knowing how those things that they spend doing could be seen as something that they could take further just by talking to someone who knows.”
From “The Career Connection” Sunday August 29, 1999 in conversation with George Dutch, Career Passion Consultant.
Whether you are young now, or were young once – a student, or a parent, or grandparent of a student – you’ll get a lot out of today’s show. Put that young person in your life in a direction they can feel confident about. That’s what we’re about here – building confidence through clarity in terms of your career.
Pat Thompson, Tourism Sales, Ottawa
When my son was in high school, he always knew he wanted to be in the sciences because he wanted to work towards emergency care, ambulance attendant, that sort of thing. He wasn’t quite sure that was the area, but thought it was a direction he would like to go.
He decided to take his OACs in case he did go to university but he still wasn’t quite sure. So there was a big concern for me that he didn’t have a lot of direction; he had a lot of energy and a lot of passion in what he did but he couldn’t figure out exactly what to do, or where to go.
He actually worked with his Dad through most of high school and did not enroll in university when he turned twenty. He still felt what is the next step, what can I do. He was looking for a change, when his Grandmother actually heard you on the radio, and called and said, I think George Dutch would be a great guy for Cory to go and see. There’s so much going on in a young person’s mind. They need to point of an objective person like yourself that can bring clarity to them, and a direction they can go in.
Cory came home very excited after his session with you. And with your suggestion – based on your analysis of his talents – that he look into work as a white water rafting guide. He got the Yellow Pages out and called all the companies, and lo and behold three days later, he was enrolled in a guides’ course at ****** Rafting. A week later he came home and said he’d been asked to be an apprentice and stay up there for the summer and to be taught to be a guide.
What ended up happening was the owner called me (knowing that mothers are concerned about their sons), and said that Cory was doing very well and he wanted to take him to Africa to Zimbawbwe on the Zambezi River. He was asked to be on the Canadian White Water Rafting Team because ***** had won the Canadian championships that year and were competing for the Worlds in Africa. This was in August only a few months after Cory had started.
They got back from Africa, and within days, I heard that they were going to Mexico for the winter to run rafting programs in Mexico. So he was certainly on a journey, and learning more and more skills with his job at age 21.
What he also discovered was that he had a talent for teaching. Eventually, he actually taught the guides’ course, and he taught a river rescue course. Last year, he was in Costa Rica, then he went to Nepal for three months and was trekking through the Himalayas where he had the opportunity to teach some children English is a small village. So, that has stirred up something in Cory that he didn’t realize. But still he is always working in the outdoors, and with an element of risk in a Outdoors career where he has to make decisions in urgent or emergency situations. His main sight now is being in Search & Rescue. When he got back from Nepal, he went out west to Fernie, B.C. and took an Industrial First Aid course so that he qualifies to be an ambulance attendant in B.C. He has also taken an Avalanche Rescue course, and recently took a Rigging for Rescue course. He wanted all these courses to qualify him for a Search & Rescue career when he decides to pursue it full-time. In the meantime, he set a goal to make the Canadian Cycling team for the 2000 Olympics in Australia. And he’s been given an opportunity to train with the national team.
Susan Ambrose, Nurse, Ottawa
At age 16, my son was aware that he was strong in the sciences but very unfocused on what he wanted to do, and fairly unfocused in his work at school. In a discussion with him, he said to me I don’t know what to take because I don’t know what I’m going to do when I leave school. This caused some anxiety in both him and I. So, I asked him if he wanted to go see someone and talk about it, and he was really thrilled at the thought there might be someone out there that could help him make a decision, or channel him in the right direction with his gifts and interests.
I think with Nate in particular, he really needed some kind of focus to channel his energies at school because he didn’t take much of an interest in some of the things he was doing. There wasn’t anything done by the school at all in terms of assessment. Since he’s seen you, he’s really excited about some of the courses he’s taking next year, and much more excited about the school year because he now knows what direction he would like to go in.
Nate was constantly drawing, designing things, even from when he was a very small boy, designing mainly military stuff: tanks, guns, planes. As he got into bicycling, he designed bicycles. He designed a basketball shoes that he wanted to patent because it had a spring in the sole that would allow you to jump higher – this was back when he was ten years old.
At six years old, he went to the aircraft museum in Rockcliffe and was looking at one of the WWI aircraft that have propellers on the nose and guns mounted behind the propellers, and he said: I wonder how they timed it so the bullets can go through the propellers? At age 16, he asked: how did they come up with the idea for the radar resistant material on Stealth aircraft? I never paid much attention to these questions but you did.
He was very excited after he met with you about the area of Aerospace Design. I didn’t even know there were jobs like that out there. It’s really very thrilling to him to know that he could do something like that because that’s what he’s always been interested in, especially the military and designing stuff. As you pointed out to him, he will always have the inclination to conceive such ideas and design them, and he can learn how to hand them off to production people.
We’re talking about how to eliminate the confusion about careers and job prospects for your son or daughter. Give them a sense of direction.
In a simple one hour session, they talk about themselves, specifically about times in their lives when they were doing things they enjoyed and doing them well; what they enjoy and have fun doing – simple things; what excites or turns them at school and outside of school
Give them a written report and an oral presentation to you the Mother and your child, so that you clearly understand the definitions of what your son or daughter does naturally and effortlessly – their God-given gifts if you will – and how they connect to specific jobs in specific organizations.
And yet, most high school programs put a heavy emphasis on labour market information, i.e. here is what is going on in the (global) economy and this is where the jobs are.
Few students pay much attention to such information.
I suggest that the problem is not with ignorance of the external environment or the wider world of work. Instead, the problem is that few young people have made a personal connection to the world of work, i.e. they don’t know the kind of work they are best suited to do.
What is their niche in life? They have little understanding of how their unique combination of God- given talents, learned skills, and limited job experience correlate with specific jobs in specific organizations. In short, they can’t answer two simple questions: Where and What.
Which organizations (where) are going to provide job circumstances that will motivate them, and which job titles (what) are the best match for their talents, skills, values. They need to see the connection – which gives them clarity; once they have clarity, it builds confidence; once they have confidence, they can communicate to potential employers how they might contribute to organizational goals.
In my experience, students can make good career decisions once they make this personal connection; only then are they motivated enough to focus on the external environment. It’s a matter of working from the inside out, rather than working from the outside in. What they need is a ROAD MAP to their right work. One that is based on facts and information that they can trust and put their confidence in. This process gives them realistic hope.