Get Guidance and Settle on a Career you Love and Are Good At

Get Guidance and Settle on a Career you Love and Are Good At

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Career Guidance is a developmental program used provided to people who are already working and those that are not working to help them make the right choices regarding their careers and future. With the help of the theories from the forefathers such as John Holland and Donald Super, we can learn how to we can help people who are still to come into the work environment or those that are experienced in working. It looks at the link between pursuing a certain line of work concerning career anchors. This article is to help guide people to choose careers that they will most likely succeed in. Additionally, it highlights the importance of career guidance and shows that career guidance is not only limited to young people but can be for anyone who would like to get help.

Career assessment model and choice

John Holland is one of the founders of vocational guidance. He is responsible for the existence of the theory of vocational types, which consists of six vocational types, namely: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional (RIASEC) (Mount, Barrick, Scullen, & Rounds, 2013). 

Whether you are looking for what to study or would like to change careers, career guidance would be of great help. Doing the Self-Directed Search helps to find the occupations that best suit your skills and interests. Below are the RIASEC vocational types together with the descriptions and possible career options.


The Realistic type of vocation involves working with your hands and using machinery and tools. It requires you to be stable and arguably requires the masculinity trait. This includes careers such as farming, architecture and dentistry. If you fall under this type of vocation, you value what you can see, touch and use.


The investigative part focuses on types of vocations that deal with analytical approaches. It focuses on work that needs thought and exploration of ideas and knowledge. Therefore, there is a need for you to be critical and intellectual. Astronauts, forensic scientists and research analysts are examples for workers considered as investigative. 


If you fall under the artistic vocational type, you enjoy creative tasks such as music, dance and creative writing. It shows that you are an expressive person and like to be independent. You may consider becoming an illustrator, a jewellery designer or songwriter.


The Social aspect refers to jobs that involve helping people. This vocational type allows you to serve and be concerned about the wellbeing of others. Examples of jobs in this area teaching, counselling and customer service.


The Enterprising vocation type involves persuading people and to sell products and/or services. If you fall under this vocation type, you value success in business and leadership. Consider taking up jobs such as a lawyer, a salesperson or a business owner.


The Conventional type focuses more on rules and regulations. The work is set in a specific way and at times is repetitive. Occupations you can take up under the conventional vocational type are clerk’s typist, bank tellers and cashiers (Mount, Barrick, Scullen, & Rounds, 2013).

The Self-Directed Search helps to choose a career that coincided with your interests. To choose what you want to study, in terms of tertiary education, you could see a registered psychologist who will help you get through the necessary assessments, as well as interpret your results and give you suitable advice. The same can be done if you would like to switch from one career to another. By seeking career guidance you could find a career that you are good at and that you enjoy more than your current one.

There is no need to box yourself in one kind of career. Feel free to explore new areas and find what you like. It is also important to find what sort of work environment you feel comfortable with. This can be done through the vocational type assessment as well as being advised about career anchors from a registered Organisation/Industrial Psychologist.



Career Anchors

       Edgar Schein introduced career anchors, which refer to self-perceived talents and abilities, values and motives that influence a person’s career-related decision. People pursue careers based on their talents, skills, what they need, where they see themselves and what they value the most. Feldman and Bolino (1996) took the eight categories or anchors developed by Schein and put them into three categories, which are Talent-based anchors, Need-based anchors and Value-based anchors. You finding an anchor you fall under will help to find a career that will complement your personality and the kind of life you would like to live. Here are the anchors and sub-categories to choose from:

       Talent-based Anchor

       Under the Talent-based anchor, there are three sub-categories, which are technical/functional competence, where a person will rely on their expertise to do their job, for example being the head of the Science Department at a university. The managerial competence is where an individual is willing to lead and solve problems within the job and entrepreneurial creativity where an individual will be able to create a new business to render a service or sell a product.

       Need-based Anchor

      With the Need-based anchor, there are three sub-categories. One category is security/stability where an individual will look into keeping their job for a long time to provide for their family but also for the benefits of retirement packages and health benefits. Autonomy and independence is where an individual will be free in doing their job and then there is Lifestyle where an individual will be able to balance their work-life along with their personal life as they wish, for instance, an events planner who does not have to work every day all year round (Coetzee & Schreuder, 2009).

      Value-based Anchor

      The Value-based anchor has two subcategories that are service and dedication where an individual will work to assist the community and the organization, and pure challenge where an individual faces challenge physically and mentally through their job. They aspire to attain challenges.

       Finding where you fit in is beneficial because it will help you choose jobs that complement your character. It may also bring a better sense of fulfilment as time goes because you find what you are good at and most likely, what you love.



Sifiso Dingani is a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone +263 (242) 481946-48/481950 or cell number +263 775 517 211 or email:  or visit our website at

Sifiso Dingani
This article was written by Sifiso a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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