Integrating Skills and Values for a Successful Career: Professional Goals and Plans
While Capella Universitys Psychology Bachelors Degree Program has provided the knowledge necessary to pursue a career in psychology, it is equally essential to assess my strengths, weaknesses and values in order that I be the best professional I can be. The purpose of this paper is to first summarize the results of my self-assessment and my skills inventory and provide psychological theories that explain their importance. Next, I will provide the goals I have for my professional career, how my skills and values align with those goals, and finally, the path I intend to take to meet those goals.
I will also be providing psychological theories that will detail how to keep me motivated and on course.
Assessment and Inventory Results
The Career Skills Inventory and the Work Values Card Sort are great tools to measure and categorize your skills and values. These tools were completed and provided me with my strengths and values.
The Career Skills Inventorys ranked my responses and provided me with my top five skills (Capella University, 2019). I was not surprised to learn that those are; creating, listening, influencing others, mentoring, and teaching. The Work Values Card Sorts provides an assessment of a ones personal workplace values. This exercise also ranks the answers and provides the top five(Capella University, 2019), which for me are; creativity, helping others and society, working with others, influencing people, and making an impact.
In order to analyze what the results of my self-assessment and skills inventory means and how they are relevant to my goals and career paths, I looked to Hollands Theory. Importantly noted is the fact that, when an individuals personality corresponds with the workplace environment, there will be higher job stability, satisfaction, and performance (Nauta, 2010). Therefore, the importance in finding jobs that allow an individuals strengths and values to be applied and expressed is crucial to both the success of the individual and their employer. A theory that is relevant to this topic is Hollands Theory of Vocational Personalities: here, the acronym RIASEC stands for six different personalities; realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional (Natua, 2010). If I were to tie myself into the model, I would mainly be artistic and social. Artistic types are those that strive to be involved with creative or self-expressive work, are original, spontaneous and are regarded as different than others, and are found in a wide array of the creative arts job field (Woods & Hampson, 2010). I am currently a creative artist with my own business and want to become an art therapist, so the artistic type applies to me very well, and relates to my top five skills. Likewise, the social type is where one enjoys working with and helping others, along with being sympathetic, thoughtful, patient, and responsible (Woods & Hampson, 2010). This applies to me as well as I love to help others, and do so with patience and understanding. Being on the artistic and social spectrum, I do not believe I would not be productive or successful in the vocations that require realistic individuals. I do not prefer working with machines or anything that requires physical activity, and I most also am not investigative where thinking, analysis and organizing is involved. Lastly, I am not conventional or an enterpriser. I would much rather be out helping others and being creative, rather than being a leader in sales, management, construction, mechanics, or science and medicine.
The Big Five Theory of Personality
In relation to Hollands theory, the Big Five Theory of Personality can also be applied. An example would be the Big Five trait openness to experience; if one has a higher openness to experience, they may have more artistic interests and be involved in jobs with higher artistic attributes, such as myself. Higher extraversion is another Big Five trait and can be linked with the social type, like me as well, showing I have high extraversion as a trait. Those with higher extraversion would be in more social type jobs (Wang & Wanberg, 2017).
Goals and Career Plans
My goals and career plans will encompass both my strongest skills and my top values. As an art therapist, I will put these skills and values to work, whether in a hospital, mental health facility for children and adolescents at-risk, or in a school system. Realizing art therapy requires a Masters Degree, my next goal will be towards getting my Ph. D. or M.S. in Psychology or Art Therapy. My goal is to help others overcome their struggles with mental health, along with developing an overall better life satisfaction. I hope to be a main contributor in influencing many lives for the better by becoming an art therapist, and this Bachelors program is one step closer to helping me achieve my goal. I believe that, through art therapy, the individual can heal naturally without the use of pharmaceuticals, though I am not against them. Therefore, I feel the services I would be able to provide once I reach my goal will help these individuals on a different level than prescription drugs ever could, building lifelong skills to help along the way.
This career plan and my goals relate to my values and life interests in different ways. First, the desire to help others heal through art is related to my strongest skill of creativity, fine arts and helping people. Also, wanting to be a positive role-model for the struggling youth is related to my values of wanting to make an impact.
One can say that my values also relate to professional behaviors and practices. It is important to be able to work with others, and at times influence and help clients and coworkers in the workplace. creativity, it is through teamwork and an open mind that one can make an impact. In addition, it is essential to develop further knowledge by learning from others and from our own mistakes. Along those lines, valuing responsibility for our actions and performance helps gain the trust of others in the workplace and is an important ethical behavior principle to have. This professionalism and right ethical, correct practices lead to benefiting outcomes in regards to wanting to help others and better society.
It is crucial to understand how to stay motivated through any obstacles that may be faced throughout my professional career. There is a theory known as the self-determination theory, which states the importance of competence, independence and relatedness in regards to ideal functioning for growth, personal well-being and social developmental natural tendencies (Huang, Lv, Wu, 2016). Intrinsic motivation, the most important, is related to satisfying these needs (Huang, et. al., 2016). Intrinsic motivation is related to better performance, positive behaviors and perception, and increased effort and persistence, along with decreasing stress and depression (Huang, et. al., 2016). Therefore, in order for all these to apply, I will attempt to find a job where I enjoy waking up to go into every day, getting into a field that I feel I can make a difference in. Working while upholding ethics, increasing my knowledge, and handling responsibilities the correct way, I will become more independent and competent, allowing me to have high intrinsic motivation and persistence throughout my career.
Maslows Hierarchy of Needs can also apply here, as it describes the necessity and importance of satisfying needs in a hierarchal way; a few relating to my own professional motivation. There is a safety need, where if one does not feel safe in their environment, it could lead to anxiety, instability and fear (Bayne, 2015). That applies to me most importantly, as I want to make sure I feel safe in my profession, and being around at-risk children and teens, and even sometimes adults, safety will be a priority. Secondly, the esteem need is very applicable to me, as I need to make sure I feel self-confident in everything I do, as being self-confident and feeling capable allows individuals to overcome obstacles (Bayne, 2015). Lastly, the self-actualization need is crucial in being able to be the best version of oneself by the continuation of growth, education and knowledge in regards to professional actions (Bayne, 2015). In turn, satisfying that particular need will help me with my motivation when coming face to face with obstacles as I will want to overcome them to reach my full potential.
Lastly, the Attribution Theory of Motivation can be applied as it benefits me as well. Individuals attribute certain events to three dimensions; internal or external causes as internal causality being the first dimension, believing they are either stable or unstable as stability is the second dimension, and controllable or not controllable as the third dimension is controllability (Rudisill, 1989). When one fails, the importance of viewing ability attributions as internal, controllable, and unstable is vital when faced with obstacles, allowing a person to believe they can engage more effort in to improve their ability to succeed further on (Rudisill, 1989). If one believes they cannot improve their ability, then their increasing effort will not have better outcomes (Rudisill, 1989). Therefore, I have to make sure I believe in myself in my ability to overcome failure and persist through obstacles and put in more effort to achieve my goals so I am in control of my success. Lastly, the making of positive attributions is essential in the ability to improve motivation, increase persistence, and have a high-level performance (Rudisill, 1989).
Having the ability to identify and achieve my professional goals starts with an effective action plan. One goal I can accomplish first once I graduate from Capella University will be applying to as many psychology-related jobs, behavioral technician positions in particular, as I can find. If I could work as a behavioral technician until I am able to apply for graduate school, I will have the to help others whilst working within a hospital or facility type setting while gaining the experience and getting exposure to the profession. After being allowed this experience in the psychology field and setting, I would then achieve my next goal of applying to a graduate school. The SMART goal outline can be an efficient tool for clarification of the goal/s along with what actions and steps I would need to take first. SMART stands for: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic or relevant, and time-bound (Wroblewski, 2019). My specific goals will be applying to multiple behavioral technician positions and eventually to a graduate program in psychology and art therapy by an accredited university in the United States. I will apply to multiple different jobs and eventually schools of interest, particularly three or four, with my goal being measured once I am accepted into the position and eventually into the certain school, as all goals have to be measureable. These goals will be attainable as well, as I will have had all the experiences and qualifications needed to meet them, along with having an accurate application that has highlights of my knowledge and growth gained from my undergraduate degree. Goals have to be realistic as well as attainable, and my goal is realistic, as I will have had all the knowledge, tools and resources to reach them. Since each course I took in my undergraduate program scored at an advanced level, it is most certain I will be accepted into a graduate program. Lastly, goals have to be time-bound; With my graduate from Capella University is imminent, which will occur no later than December 2019, I would like my goal of starting a new career in the psychology field to begin immediately thereafter. I would like to be working and gaining experience, hopefully at one place, for at least a year or two, before applying to a graduate program, which will be in December of 2020, with hopes of starting my graduate program immediately upon acceptance into the program. Overall, I believe these two goals are attainable, and I will use the SMART components to help me reach those goals.
In conclusion, the professional skills assessment and a workplace values allowed me to identify my strongest skills and top values, which will better equip me in my pursuit of a graduate program and career. My specific skills included; creating, listening, influencing others, mentoring, and teaching, while some of my top values are; making an impact, helping others and society, and creativity. The completion of these assessments also helped me gain insight into how these skills and values can be related to my professional plans and goals. My end goal of helping others heal through art aligns well with my top skills and values. I hope that by getting into the psychology field and helping others heal through art can contribute to bettering society and helping these individuals function better psychologically. I am excited and most definitely determined to make an impact in the field of psychology, along with being a positive role model for the individuals that are in need of healing and recovery, which can hopefully then help spread more awareness on the profession of art therapy as an efficient way of healing psychologically.