“My parents know me best. And, I really think my teachers and my guidance counselor can guide me through this college selection process.”
Example: Bill’s father thought he should be a dentist. Bill was a good student. Dentistry would be a well-paying, professional career with some stability, status and prestige. There was only one problem.
He didn’t know it at the time, but Bill’s strongest abilities were not in science or spatial relations, two very important aspects of dentistry. He had other very real abilities, but not those. Because Bill was a responsible, hard-working young man, he listened to his father and enrolled in chemistry. He made good grades, but he was miserably unhappy. In his junior year, frustrated and lost, he left college.
It wasn’t until Bill sought out some career mentoring that his direction developed more focus. He uncovered his top talents by completing the Highlands Ability Battery, and he clarified his preferred interpersonal style by taking the Workplace Big Five assessment of personality.
Bill discovered that top talents for him included Number Memory (which would explain why he could keep up in some of his chemistry courses), and Idea Productivity (a talent for generating ideas and possibilities). These particular talents, along with his extroverted personal style, suggested that a career in the financial industry was more appropriate. He completed a business degree and is now happily finishing up a certification as a Chartered Financial Consultant.
Fact: All the people in your life want what is best for you, of course. But they are not you. They can’t feel what you feel, or know what sort of courses will turn you on. Only you can know these things about yourself.
The point: Advice is fine – but it helps only when the student has done the basic work of finding out about himself.
Let me know what you think of this young man's situation. Please answer a question below in the Comments section, or reach out to me at my website: www.scramboose.com
- What advice would you have given Bill when he was struggling?
- Has your trust in other’s opinions about your skills and abilities every lead you down the wrong path?
- Have you ever discovered a talent that you were surprised you had?