Saturday, 4 July 2009

The Time Has Come (To Talk of Many Things)

On Thursday, in an attempt to fill some of my spare time at work, I picked up a little career booklet that was lying around the office. It started with a bunch of self-reflection questions, the usual "what do you enjoy? what are you good at? who do you admire?" type of thing. Then it had a big list of activities and asked you to check off the ones that sounded fun. Each activity corresponded to a different colour, and each colour was a different attitude type (which I later realized were just the Holland Personalities). I ended up with my highest score in Green (Holland's artistic), closely followed by Blue (conventional), with negative scores in the other four. Then there was a big list of different careers, with a big box and a little box beside each one. Apparently, the "best career matches" have your highest colour in the big box and second-highest in the little box; "very good" matches have your second-highest colour in the big box and your highest colour in the little box, and "good" matches have either colour in the big box with one of the other four in the little box.

So I went through the booklet looking for careers with green in the big box and blue in the little box. There was only one. Then I looked for ones with blue in the big box and green in the little box. There weren't any. Made me glad my scores weren't off by a few points, it would be crushing to find out that there were no "best career matches" for you (according to this particular booklet, anyway). Then I looked for anything that had either green or blue in the big box. There were a bunch, but they were all ridiculous things. I do not want to be an actuary, or an air traffic controller or an interviewer or a PR manager. No thanks.

This was sort of disappointing, until I realized it made sense. I mean... artistic and conventionalare an odd combination. From the booklet: "Green people are independent, original thinkers who enjoy a free-flowing environment. They are imaginative and excel at tasks that challenge their creative problem solving abilities," while "Blue people are cautious and dependable. They are cooperative, loyal and prefer to live within the guidelines of rules and regulations. They excel at accomplishing crefully laid out tasks in a predictable environment." While those do both describe me quite well, they're kind of total opposites. So it makes sense that there aren't a whole lot of jobs that require both personality types.

So. Do I hear you asking "what was that one 'best career match' that came up for you, Katie?" Take a guess. What do you think the best career for me would be? Does it sound like it matches the above-stated descriptions of "green" and "blue"? And the correct answer is: Librarian! I'm willing to bet that half of you got it right (I have absolutely no basis for that statistic, given that I have no idea how many or which people read this, but it sounds good). For a little career booklet, that's actually really... accurate.

I've been considering it for about a year now. In a year and a half when I would actually have to apply for grad school, I should hopefully have my mind made up for sure. I've never really discussed it with anyone, because I've been terrified that once I say it I won't be able to change my mind. But that's silly, so I'm admitting it. It makes sense. I've always got my nose in a book, I have had since the moment I could read. My favourite job ever was working at the library. I love libraries. Heck, one of the preliminary questions in the career booklet was "Name 3 places you like to be, and 3 that you don't." My "like to be" list went 1) my room/personal space, 2) King's, 3) libraries/bookstores.

Any conversation I have about my future goes one of three ways.

"What are you going to do after King's?"
"Oh, I don't know, I haven't made up my mind yet..."

-Adults say: "Well, you've still got time, I'm (insert age here) and I still haven't decided what I want to do yet!" (I think they think they're funny?)

-Science/other such students say: "Yeah, well, you're an arts student, so it's not like you have any options anyway." (They're kind of jerks)

-Real people pretty much always say: "Have you considered Library Science? I think you would make a really good librarian/archivist. Dal has a really good Library Science program, you should look into it..."

I think I just might.

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