The four quadrants of career choice

Here is what I came up with last summer while I was trying to help my students choose majors.

Strengths Interests

Values Preferences

The rationale behind the method is that in order to be happy and successful, you have to find the solid ground where all these elements overlap. We agreed that there are numerous ways to earn a decent living, so it would be better to do that in joy rather than in pain.

Strengths: these are the skills you are proud of, what people praise you for

Interests: these are the questions you ask, the topics that make you curious

Preferences: these are your likes and dislikes

Values
: these are the pillars of your life – for some values might include family and trust, for others these might be fame and challenge – all these are things you find as essential as air, food and water

You might be a really smart person who can retain myriads of facts in her mind and see how they interrelate (strenths). You might also be interested in biology (interests). Some people might say you should become a doctor. Well, what if you hate dealing with people? (preferences) You’d better become a vet? Mmm, what if you hate the smell of animals and you could never imagine touching them? (preferences). You see, it’s  not as simple as drawing the cliche lines from favourite school subjects to what you could do as a job.

In class we are going to discuss that, and later I might write more on how you discover what your strengths, interests, values and preferences are. Some people feel they don’t have any of these :D, but that is barely possible. Meanwhile, you might start topics in the forum and discuss them 6 days a week while you are away from our classroom 🙂

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