Career choice for adults
Wednesday 11 January 2023
Career choice: an important decision that affects much of your life. It starts early for most of us. In high school, we have to choose a profile (subject package) in the second year. In doing so, we are already looking ahead to the studies we plan to pursue. In the third year, the orientation to the job market begins, after which in the fourth year (and later) a study choice has to be made. Then we take exams, study, and go to work.
Too young for career choice
In theory, the way we go through the whole career choice process in the Netherlands sounds watertight. In practice, it turns out differently. According to research by ResearchNed (among others), roughly a third of all first-year college students have switched studies or dropped out altogether. A third of all career choices do not work out. According to an RTL article, the numbers are even worse at the mbo: after graduation, 40% turn out to regret their study choice.
There is plenty of thought about the reason for this high study dropout rate. One reason is that career choices are made at too young an age. Scientists agree and point out that at a young age, identity is still being formed, while the brain is not yet capable of making decisions with such large long-term consequences. At Wageningen University (WUR), they recognize this problem. The reason for a blog is to encourage parents (and young people).
Too old for career choices?
Despite criticism, the occupational choice system remains in place. Calls to raise the age of vocational choice go unanswered. As a result, entire generations of young people continue to be forced into choices they are not ready for.
As a result, there is a large proportion of workers doing work that does not make them happy. They often stay put because this is just what they can do and need the income. Some even count down to retirement several decades in advance. This is a problem because dissatisfied employees will often be less satisfied in their personal lives as well. At the same time, the productivity of unhappy employees is a lot lower than that of happy employees.
Because for many of us, the corona crisis meant distancing ourselves - literally - from our work, that dissatisfaction has become more visible among many employees.
Now that we were less rushed, dissatisfaction caught up with us. Many workers wondered, "Is this now what I want with my life?" If the answer was "no," the follow-up question was, "How to go on?", "Aren't I too old for another job or career switch?" And, "if I don't want this, then what?".
P&O professionals have of course been asked these kinds of questions before, but until recently they were exceptions. Now they are called upon much more frequently.
Career choice for adults
Although the whole system of career choice in high school seems rather rigid and fixed, you are not stuck with the choices you made at a younger age. After all, you are never too old to learn.
As a P&O professional, you can support employees by having them take a career choice test for adults. This helps the employee find out where his or her heart does lie so that together you can look for a more suitable place. That may be a different position within the organization, or at another company.
Because candidates bring more life experience and wisdom, the adult career test can be conducted more efficiently than in high school. The candidate does not have to endure days of assessment or attend endless reflection meetings.
Online career choice for adults
An online test, taken when and where it is convenient for the candidate, will do. In that case, do not choose one of the dozens of free online vocational choice tests, but rather a vocational choice test developed by research specialists, scientists, and practitioners.
TestGroup's (The Bridge) online career choice test for adults is practical, and scientifically based and leads to insights that will help you. Ordering and preparing the test is surprisingly easy and inexpensive.
The vocational choice test for adults at the mbo level, created in collaboration with Utrecht University, looks at interests, competencies, and personal characteristics and matches these to all mbo courses and 232 occupations. The vocational choice test for adults at the college level uses Schein's career anchors and Holland's RIASEC codes to match the candidate profile with 200+ college/university occupations and all college courses.
Because the vocational choice test uses smart algorithms, AI, and patented normative-ipsative split technology, you will receive a truthful report immediately after submitting the questionnaire that will help you determine your next step.
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