Friday, December 6, 2013

What are Personality Preferences?

IDMyPlan programs identify and build on the foundation of students knowing their basic personality preferences.  These personality preferences are part of our DNA and can be considered a genetic imprint. 

It is important to know preferences because they are clues to our uniqueness and can lead us in identifying our strengths.  When we work more within our preferences, our chances of being motivated and energized increase dramatically.

The answers to the following four questions are considered dichotomies and represent the basic personality preferences. It is rare for a person to be completely one sided in a preference but individuals MORE OFTEN prefer one over the other. 

  1. Where do you like to focus your attention? You will more often prefer to focus either on people and things or focus on concepts and impressions.
  2. How do you like to process information? You will more often prefer to gather and process information from either a “here and now, present opportunity” perspective or from a “big picture, future possibility” perspective.
  3. How do you like to make decisions? You will more often prefer to make decisions by first asking yourself either which alternative would be logical and rational, or by asking yourself how it would impact others and their emotions.
  4. How do you like to approach the outside world? You will more often prefer either to plan and organize or prefer to stay flexible and spontaneous.

Carl Jung started the original research in this area identifying the first 3 dichotomies and Isabel Myers developed the 4th. Later, Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs created the most popular assessment instrument for identifying preferences, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ®. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Vacation vs. Vocation: Prepping with a Purpose

Six out of ten American families who take a summer vacation for one week or more spend on average $1,200 per family member and most prepare those vacation plans at least one month in advance. These were the findings of a survey (see "May 2012 Summer Vacation Plans (FR/PR) conducted in May 2012 by Echo Research for American Express.

What would be the impact on a generation of young adults if those same families invested just half of that amount per child, and one day of vacation planning during the mid-late teen years, to help their student get dialed in to the right vocation and long term life plans?

Vacation planning builds great family memories. Vocational planning builds great futures. Do both.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Twenty-Somethings: Treasuring Time and Firm Foundations

Young adults ofter hear the axiom, "Time is your most precious commodity".  The truth is, time is an irreplaceable gift, not a commodity which can be replenished, bought and sold. We have been given a choice to use the gift of each disappearing second or to squander it on vain pursuits. 

When we are young, the temptation is to live as though we have all the time in the world to delay or avoid making important decisions.  This is why Dr. Meg Jay includes as number four on her list  The 10 Most Important Lessons for 20-Something Workers, "Not making a choice is a choice."  Dr. Jay  points out,  "The foundation you build in your 20s will define the rest of your life."

So how does a young adult build the right foundation or confirm the current one is not a scattered sand pile?   

IDPlan is here to guide the twenty-something in drafting a personal blueprint for success. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Defining Success Through Character

“The truly successful people in the coming years won’t be the ones with the most impressive resume, or the longest list of activities. It will be those with character…The ones who know how to recognize the Truth and stand for it. It will be the students who know what servant leadership is and practice it…the ones who think deeply, ask good questions and understand their culture. They will be defined by these words:

  • Meekness
  • Kindness
  • Boldness
  • Laughter
  • Compassion
  • Courage
  • Insight"
Worldview Academy 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hard Hitting Soft Skills

What are soft skills and why are they so important for the young adult to master at an early age? Soft skills are those qualities which enable a person to effectively interact with co-workers, managers, and customers.  Soft skills include:
  • work ethic
  • communication skills
  • appropriate language (vocabulary)
  • positive attitude
  • etiquette
  • personal habits
  • problem solving
  • personality traits
  • work style
  • ability to work collaboratively
  • ability to accept and learn from criticism

The importance of soft skills was emphasized by Ken Hansen, Chief Technology Officer for Freescale Semiconductor when he addressed EE department heads from over 120 major universities at the 2012 ECEDHA conference.  He highlighted industry demand for future employees who have expanded skill-sets which include working collaboratively, and most important, knowing how to communicate effectively. Although Hansen was referring to the qualities engineers must develop to be effective leaders, those attributes will well-serve an individual in any occupation.  

This is further validated in a recent study published by Millennial Branding and American Express titled, "Gen Y Workplace Expectations”.  The study included a survey which revealed over 60% of managers and 65% of the young adults rank soft skills as the most important factor in workplace promotion.

Jason Nazar, founder of Docstoc and contributor to Forbes, has a hard-hitting and very practical list of "20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don't Get" which includes critical soft skills. Heeding many of Mr. Nazar's observations, along with reading a chapter a day from the Book of Proverbs and applying its wisdom, will put the young adult in better position to flourish in a vocation. 

IDPlan provides young adults access to goal-setting and reminder applications which they can use to map out a strategy for honing valuable soft skills that will serve them for life.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Faces in the High School Crowd Yearn for Sound Counsel

Over 60 percent of young adults give high school guidance counselors a "fair" or "poor" rating in helping students think through career options, according to a report titled, "Can I Get a Little
Advice Here?" published by Public Agenda on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

The results of the study were not intended to cast high school guidance counselors in a bad light.  Counselors are stretched thin with a high student-counselor ratio and are tasked with clerical responsibilities which detract from their primary job. 

IDPlan is providing parents a highly personalized solution which guides their student through the process of proven assessments, professional advising, and sound decision-making.  The WorkStyle ID card serves as a readily-accessible reminder to the student that time and resources have been invested to help steer him or her on a personal pathway to success.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How to Be a Forty Percenter

A joint survey conducted in 2012 by Parade magazine and Yahoo! Finance revealed that 60% of the 26,000 participants would choose a different career if they had it to do all over again.  The poll could have proved quite valuable to young adults if two important follow-up questions had been included:

    1.  How did you choose your current career?
    2.  If you were able to do it all over again, what would you do differently to identify a career 
         that was a good fit?

Responses would have created a rich repository of anecdotal wisdom for helping young adults navigate options and make decisions that align with their life goals and passions. 

The good news is that much of the guesswork and subjective basis in choosing a career can be avoided through time-tested and professionally-validated evaluations which IDMyPlan employs in the Career Start Program.  These evaluations are essentially constructed on the wisdom and experience of hundreds of thousands of individuals who have participated in testing and assessments over the past eighty years.  

Combining  the results of assessments with professional advising, online goal- tracking tools, and accountability methods, Career Start gives young adults a greater level of confidence in taking ownership of their future.  IDMyPlan’s personalized WorkStyle ID Card further equips the student to objectively evaluate options, conduct informational interviews, and articulate personal strengths, values and work preferences.

Our goal for IDMyPlan students is for them to be the 40% who would not have done anything different if they had it to do over again.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Validating Career Direction, Valuing Dreams

In this scene from the classic Frank Capra movie and George S. Kaufman play, You Can’t Take it With You, the munitions magnate Anthony P. Kirby, Sr. is on the cusp of creating a monopoly with plans to make his son, Tony, the president of the corporation. The media and power brokers of the deal are all waiting anxiously in the upstairs boardroom for the Kirby's to make their entrance, when Tony approaches Kirby, Sr. in his private boardroom:

Tony: “I’m quitting…I just handed in my resignation.  I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. 
Kirby, Sr.: “so, you’re quitting. Well, what’re you going to do?” 
Tony: “I don’t know.  I..I think I’ll go away for a while, and try to get myself organized.  I..I was going to hang on to my job until this thing with Alice got all straightened out, but that’s all over, so there’s no use waiting around till that.  I..I don’t know. I..I thought maybe after I get back, I could start work on that grass---you remember that thing that Bob Smith and I fooled around with in college?”
(Kirby Sr. starts laughing) 
Tony: “Well Dad, if you think it’s funny, I’m sorry.  I came in here to say goodbye.” 
Kirby, Sr.: “Goodbye? Are you serious?” 
Tony: “Yes, I’m serious. I don’t want any part of this, Dad. I never did. 
Kirby, Sr.: “You can’t do this, after all the plans I made for you---“ 
Tony: “Dad, if I could just make you understand this.  I think this business is great. It’s good for you because you like it.  I don’t.  I never will.  Oh, I’ve tried to talk to you so many times about it but I just couldn’t get it out!  I used to be able to talk to you, Dad.  But lately…”

Although the screenplay is a romantic comedy, it brings into sharp focus the tension of working in environments  and occupations which are clearly outside an individual’s calling. This scene between Tony Kirby (played by the venerable Jimmy Stewart) and his father, Anthony P. Kirby, Sr. (played by Edward Arnold) also highlights how relationships are strained by the powerful sense of obligation to fulfill another family member’s well-intentioned plans.

Tony is breaking with the family business and reveals his interest in possibly pursuing his own dream.  We learn in an earlier scene that he and his friend from college were intrigued with researching how to develop technology that replicates the ability of plants to convert solar energy (keep in mind this play was written in the 1930’s, before the invention of the integrated circuit).

It is easy for young adults to identify with Tony and languish for years without career tests and assessments to reveal clear direction and purpose.  They may not have been shown how to take stock of their personal strengths, interests and energizing work style preferences,  and may not have been advised on how to set and work towards realistic, measurable goals. As a result, young adults are prone to waste valuable time and resources pursuing college majors or careers that are not a fit.

So how can a young man or woman find direction? Is it possible to validate that he or she is headed for the right goal? How can the young adult avoid the same quickly-diffused triumph a disoriented athlete experiences after making a 3-point shot or scoring a touchdown and discovering it was the wrong end of the court or field?

Tony needed a mentor, someone who would truly listen to him, understand his interests, and encourage him to pursue his dreams. Unfortunately, it wasn’t his father.  Sometimes it takes someone outside the immediate family, maybe even a respected stranger, to listen and provide objective, unbiased guidance.

If you haven’t seen it, you will have to watch the movie to see who provided those answers to Tony. For the young adults in your life, there’s IDMyPlan.