Tag Archives: career reflections

New journey: dog trainer education

A rare update from my corner of the Internet: some things have changed here (others stay the same). I’ve started on a new chapter of my life, let’s call it “becoming a dog trainer”.

I’m currently studying for a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services, which is a government accredited dog trainer/pet professional education here in Australia. The version of it that I am doing takes two and a half years part time, and takes place mainly online. The offline elements comprise two seminars, and work experience with animal training and class teaching.

(The study does not free me from needing work in the meanwhile, but it sounds better than “unemployed” and gives a focus and vision for the future)

The Plan with it has two versions: Continue reading


Career reflections with SWOT analysis

Goal # 2, professional development: Find / develop a sound professional niche.

This post is about SWOT analysis used as a job search / career planning tool.

SWOT analysis is a framework used to clarify an entity’s situation and plan what to do. The entity is often an organisation, but can also be an individual looking for a job or career change. The SWOT framework is just a short list of four categories: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

A SWOT analysis should in principle always relate to a context… For a company: a defined market. For a person: a specific type of role in a specific industry – ideally a specific job. What’s in the ‘Strengths’ box for one job type may be in the ‘Weaknesses’ box for another job type. However:

SWOT for job seekers

For a job seeker, a general SWOT analysis can help to create an employability profile and suggest a career direction.

The career consultancy business Forward Motion* presents SWOT analysis as a general career strategy tool and makes it easier to apply it by explaining each category with sub-categories. Their version addresses persons with Asperger’s Syndrome and Non-verbal Learning Disorder but can be useful to anyone who suffers from occupational confusion.

Your responses to the SWOT analysis (along with any feedback from others) can show you where your vocational talents and skills lie, the areas that you need to work on, opportunities that you may be missing and obstacles to work around.

Forward Motion: Using SWOT Analysis for Employment Success*

Here is a graphic presentation with an adapted version of the SWOT framework (click the image to see full size):


SWOT model for employment, adjusted from SHOWEET


Design by Showeet – free presentation templates, content adapted from Forward Motion

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Career reflections with Myer Briggs Personality Type Indicator

Goal #2, professional development: Find / develop a sound professional niche.

‘Professional development’ is not in itself an achievable goal. In order to make it so, I’d need to believe in a suitable career match and decide where to go. While this post offer no solution to my career confusion (my entire blog is about trying to sort that out), there are couple of tools I find helpful in pointing towards potential career directions.

This post is about the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator, and the next will look at SWOT analysis as a career development tool.

1. Myers Briggs Personality Type indicator

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.

Wikipedia, 9 April 2012

The MBTI assessment categorises one’s set of psychological preferences into one of 16 personality types, which each corresponds to a list of ‘matching’ career options (for example). It can assist with career planning by sorting occupations into suitable VS unsuitable careers.

The 16 Myers-Briggs personality types build on four behavioural preference dichotomies based* on the theories of psychiatrist and psycho analyst Carl Gustav Jung. An MBTI test (~ questionnaire) is sometimes called a ‘Jungian personality test’.

The face of Jung


The four personal preference dichotomies are:**

  • Social orientation: Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
    ~ Focus on outer VS inner reality
  • Information processing: Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
    ~ Focus on basic information VS meaning-added interpretation
  • Decision making: Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
    ~ Focus on logic and consistency VS people, opinions and circumstances
  • Tolerance to uncertainty: Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
    ~ Need for closure VS prefer to keep options open

Each of the 16 personality types is named with a four-letter acronym which defines its combination of psychological preferences. A brief description of each of the personality profiles can be found on the Myers & Briggs Foundation’s website, and more thorough descriptions can be found on Typelogic and Keirsey (links are to the INTJ personality type, but all types are represented).
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