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Three Part Post....actually a RE-post from Oct. 13, 1999
This comes from last century, when I had a little farm on Dave Bancroft's Big Ranch, I was a small potatoes guy on the back 40, a plat (I think) was known as profit.org.
Anyhow, one of the first posts about the revised Square One Workshops.
SO. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP?
by Gordon Jay Alexander
SQUARE ONE WORKSHOP on finding your IDEAL career, business. or (gadzooks) job.
Welcome! You are about to find out what you want to be (or do) when you finally grow up. And it doesn't matter if you are 20 or 70+. If you have the feeling that your REAL life is passing you by, then this is for you.
The reason most of you are here is simple, and complicated. Basically somewhere along your life's path, you got to BUSY, to involved with your life, you didn't have the time to figure out what would make you permanently happy.
First thing, I AM NOT A COUNSELOR, of any kind. Not career, vocational, guidance or job. In fact I have mostly contempt for these people. Many career counselors with Ph.D's and Master Degrees in counseling have NEVER held a job in their lives. But they know how to give expensive tests. Which for the most part mean nothing.
I've visited over 150 "career guidance" sites on the Net. 149 of them suck. You can pay from 250.00 to over 5,000.00 dollars to take a battery of tests that tell you what your aptitude is. Or MAY be.
Perhaps you have never heard of me. Let me introduce myself. I'm Gordon Jay Alexander, the guy who asks; "WHAT DO YOU WANT?". For some, it is an annoying question. Because you don't know. And then of course, I ask another question, "WHY DO YOU WANT WHAT YOU DO?"
So even if you can answer the first question, then I annoy you with another one. Yes, I can be a royal pain in your neck, (or even lower).
But I mean well. And although we have never met, I'm going to treat you the same as I would my family. And hey, I sometimes annoy them too. But I always love them.
Now this is an INTRODUCTION. You want to "cut to the chase" and get into the "tests". But this is one time where the introduction is as important, if not MORE IMPORTANT, than the rest of the work.
You need to understand a few things, and to know where I'm coming from and what I offer to you. And having said that, here goes.
If you came here expecting to take an "aptitude" test, you are going to be disappointed. See, I'm ANTI-APTITUDE. Let me explain.
Aptitude testing was started by the government during the depression. When millions of people were out of work, and this was one way to "help". And what this type of testing does is to reduce you to LISTS. Abilities, aptitudes, skills, interests, etc. Then when you are a list, you are matched to another LIST of jobs or careers that utilize the list.
That's aptitude testing in a nutshell. And there are dozens of 'instruments' or tools as the so-called professional counselor uses to determine what list you belong on.
Now there are TWO huge problems. First, tests are standardized. And they are impersonal. Can you see anything wrong with that? I can.
You are UNIQUE. A one of a kind. And the best thing that aptitude testing can do for you is to reveal some hidden talents or skills you may not be aware of. This is not a bad thing. But it is in most cases USELESS knowledge.
There is a much better way. That is what I'm going to give to you today. A better way. Now I have to take a few minutes to explain where I've learned this, and how what I know can help you.
I was born with a severe speech disability. I was one of those kids that got called out of class when the speech teacher was there for a few hours. All the way into high school. Very humiliating experience.
I was also part of research studies at Kent State University. I sat across the desk from speech pathologists, audiologists, psychologists, re-hab workers, and and every professor looking to score a lucrative research grant. I was tested, evaluated, re-tested and put under the microscope for several years.
But then I had a remarkable experience. In junior high school.
We had taken a battery of aptitude tests. This was to "help" us choose classes in high school. The meeting with my guidance counselor lasted about two minutes.
He said, "Well it's obvious you're not college material, and you're too dumb and uncoordinated for shop, take whatever you want in high school, chances are you're going to DROP OUT anyhow." That followed by, "Next".
Talk about low self esteem. Until I told my good friend Carl Stevens about this and he laughed. Carl was brilliant, a top student and athlete. Carl said, "The guy who washes the Indians jock straps, has a better job than that frustrated S.O.B. Ford, who probably ain't getting any at home and is taking it out on us."
Carl had a way of putting things in perspective. Then he added, "You are lucky man, you can pick classes with good looking girls in all your classes, I'm stuck with all the egg heads and brains." Some more perspective I hadn't thought of. Suddenly I was feeling better about my "aptitude scores".
But because of what the guidance counselor said, I became obsessed with tests and how they show abilities. I asked my classmates about their evaluations. Most said they really didn't want to be or to do what the aptitude tests showed, but if that is what they were good at, then they were going to pursue that. Half-heartedly I hasten to add. How many 14 year olds know what they want?
Hey, how many of you 50 year olds know? Welcome to the club, that's why your here, RIGHT?
So, anyhow, I enjoyed a very eclectic high school schedule. And gosh darn, I DID have the good looking girls in my classes. Although that was important at the time, I discovered there were many girls that had been told that they weren't much good for anything either. I discovered the fallacy of aptitude testing at a young age.
Continued in next post.
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