Understanding what you are really good at requires you to do a lot more looking into yourself, as well as some writing about what you see. But you'll find that this new look at yourself reveals diamond
Understanding what you are really good at requires you to do a lot more looking into yourself, as well as some writing about what you see. But you'll find that this new look at yourself reveals diamond¬like facets, some of which you had not quite seen before. And the three tasks given in this article also permit you to see a little into the future. Because these tasks will bring out the best in yourself you will be able to take pos¬session of your strengths—those that will help you to over¬come problems, cope with frustrations, and progress into more and more fulfillments. We're telling you that all this work will prove worthwhile. The examples will show it, but you must test it for yourself.
You are always moving into your potential, you are always growing. When you sharpen your self-understand¬ing you can see more opportunities for yourself—more op-portunities to be of service both in your job and in your personal life. The work you do gives you a means of ex-pressing your life and talents, besides providing an in-come. But you must not let work become an obsession. You can die rich without having lived.
Just that happened to an old man who did let work
become his obsession, his work of making money. He owned a hundred and thirty-two million dollars when he was eighty-seven, and he had outlived all his relatives and college alumni. His life was concentrated on working with financial charts and figures, he spoke with financial ex¬perts over the telephone, he rarely left his house. One time he left it and went to a special bank library. He was intro¬duced to files and records on the good works of organiza¬tions like the YWCA, YMCA, Boy Scouts, Girls Clubs, religious, educational and public service organizations. He didn't know about any of them, and to avoid taxes his mil¬lions had to be given away through his "last will and testa¬ment." Obsessed with making money, his living had become empty of friends and life.
The kind of self-knowledge this book gives you will help you to cope with frustrations you cannot entirely avoid. This new form of self-knowledge will enable you to bypass many frustrations, and know a relatively rare form of peacefulness as your life expands.
Only one person in seven knows with reasonable clar¬ity what they want out of life. You can join that rare group when you sharpen and clarify the understanding you have of which skills bring you a sense of fulfillment. One im¬portant outcome of this understanding is a greater free¬dom to choose what you want to do. Learning to use your non-working time to put more life into your living is an¬other important outcome. A third outcome is that you ap-preciate the difference between Motivated and Unmoti¬vated skills. The Unmotivated ones turn you off sooner or later, even though you have some talent in using them. The Motivated skills, on the other hand, really turn you on when you apply them. Knowledge of which skills are Motivated gives you a handle on how to use them, develop them, train and educate them, combine them in different ways to meet changing job and educational circumstances.
Step 2—Motivated Skills Chart
On the next page is a chart listing separate skills. It has 56 lines, four of them blank. The four lines at the bottom are for you to use when you want to add to the list of 52 skills—perhaps with your own term for some combi-nation of those skills. "Curiosity" is one that some have chosen to add, and "patience" is another sometimes added. The 52 skills in this list can be combined in many ways to fit the requirements of almost all different kinds of jobs.
The usefulness of this chart is that it enables you to look at your greatest achievements to find your Motivated skills, the talents and strengths that they use most often. It will also help you use terms for your skills which relate to jobs, training and continuing education.
Use it this way: Start with your greatest Achievement and slowly go down each item in column 1; make a check against each skill which you feel was strongly applied when you were making that achievement happen.
You should check at least six, and perhaps ten or more.
Then do the same with Achievement No. 2, making the checkmarks in column 2. Repeat the process for each of the others. Some persons like to number and describe their ten greatest Achievements, so there are ten columns. However, seven will almost always give you a clear indica¬tion of the skills most repeatedly used in making the ma¬jority of those Achievements happen.
In the last column, total the checkmarks for each skill, then list the skills in order of their number of checks in your Career Journal. This helps clarify which of your Motivated skills are central, most important, to your Achievement pattern.
MOTIVATED SKILLS CHART
INSTRUCTIONS: Start with No. 1 of your seven greatest achievemnets. In column 1, check off those items strongly applied in your No. 1 achieve¬ment. Do the same with achievement No. 2 in column 2, and so on with the others.
If You re Not Clear
A fair number of young men and women take longer than others to identify their best and Motivated skills and talents. While it is evident that all the self-studying in this article must be done individually, it often takes the ques¬tioning of another person (or members of a job coopera¬tive) to make that task easier and more complete. The Guidance, Career Development or Placement Counselor in your high school or Community College, especially if trained in the techniques given in this book, can be of help. So can a wise older person with a few years of work experi¬ence. (Professional Career counselors trained by are in most major cities.) We especially want to recommend the Job Cooperative as a helping source.
If you have difficulty deciding what skills to check in the Motivated Skills Chart, you can ask members of your Co-op group to listen. You describe your No. 1 Achieve¬ment, then read out the skills on the chart. The group will suggest items you should check in column No. 1, but you need not accept their ideas;' you should let their ideas stimulate your thinking while you make up your own mind on which six or more of the listed skills you should check—the ones that were strongly used to make that ex¬perience happen.
You'll never be sure of your future, but that's all you've got ahead of you and that's all an employer wants to hire. So the more keys to it that you have in your posses¬sion, the better you'll be able to shape it. The following pro¬cess will help you to know, and name, the skills most likely to bring you success and fulfillment in the future. You do not know how those skills or talents will be combined in the immediate future, nor the job titles those combinations will have from time to time. Job titles are changing too fast. During the last ten years, for instance, the U.S. Government's Dictionary of Occupational Titles shows more than 5,300 jobs were invented or dropped out, some of the new titles being: Opto-mechanical technician, Equal Opportunity representative, Credit card operations manager, Auto¬mobile diagnostician, Paramedical assistant, and many in the health, environment and library fields. In addition, the descriptions of many jobs with old titles have changed. But Astronaut and Aquanaut jobs have not yet made it into the Dictionary.
Step 3—Target Your Motivated Skills
This task will help you to see how your skills, talents, strengths relate to a variety of occupations. Complete this task carefully and it will take a lot of guesswork out of your career choice.
A number of skills have been organized into sixteen groupings or clusters that make it easier to relate them to a variety of occupations.
First read over the following list of sixteen skill and activity clusters that combine to make up most jobs:
- Design, Color, Shape things.
- Calculate, Count, Keep records.
- Observe, Operate, Inspect.
- Write, Read, Talk, Speak, Teach.
- Hand skills: Fix, Build, Assemble.
- Analyze, Systematize, Research.
- Invent, Develop, Create, Imagine.
- Help people, Be of service, Be kind.
- Ideas, Beauty, Foresight.
- Physical, Outdoor, Travel activities.
- Manage or Direct others.
- Do Independent work, Own or Collect things.
- Perform: Music, Acting, Demonstrations.
- Foods, Cooking, Homemaking.
- Persuade, Sell, Influence others.
- Sciences, Engineering.
Now turn to a new page in your Career Journal. Read carefully, again, all sixteen clusters, and write down the numbers of four or five that include the skills and activities you feel must be contained in your ideal job or career. Take into account the skills most frequently checked in your chart, and the total of what you have learned so far about yourself through studying your Achievements.
Now look at the first of the clusters you listed. It in-cludes several skills or activities. Write down the one or two items you feel are most important to you, most expressive of you.Do the same with each of the other clusters you listed.
Now you have listed five to ten of these skills/activities. You next step is making a good guess at which two or three of these are of greatest importance to your life. It will help if you can be in a quiet place for this, so your mind can rest from outside noise. In this quietness let your imagination see yourself doing the most worthwhile and useful thing you can think of.
Concentrate on that activity, and perhaps another one like it. Then—after about ten minutes of this quiet awareness—write down those two or three top-value skills/activities. Below them list the others in their ap-proximate order of importance to you.
You now have a list of skills and activities. What fol¬lows are descriptions of the sixteen clusters. Begin with your top two or three skills/activities and read their cluster descriptions. Then read the remainder of the cluster de¬scriptions associated with the other skills/activities on your list. Read all those descriptions carefully.
Here are the sixteen cluster descriptions.
1.Design, Color, Shape things.
These are commonly associated with artistic qualities, but the man or woman who cuts hair, leather, paper or plastic materials to shapes, or who selects colors that match or contrast, is not an artist in the usual sense.
The surgeon who operates on a patient has to know the shape of the organ and other parts of the body. The archi¬tect and engineer must be able to see in their "mind's eye" the shapes they are planning. The pilot must see the shape of the runway to set his plane down right. The bricklayer's ability to erect a straight wall is associated with talent for shaping things. The good dresser has design and color sense.
2. Calculate, Count, Keep Records.
This group is concerned with figures and their different applications. The bookkeeper writes down, adds, subtracts and other¬wise uses figures; the mathematical researcher has figures as one of his reasoning tools; and the computer program¬mer works with figures as symbols of simple or complex operations; housewives and other consumers use figures to keep track of grocery money, and grocery clerks use figures to calculate what customers should pay.
3. Observe, Operate, Inspect.
Many persons with good eyesight do not see much of what goes on around them. The people who notice everything, who seem to be paying attention all the time, are safe operators of auto¬mobiles, airplanes, machines of different kinds. They often are good inspectors, too, if they will concentrate enough. Nurses also need observation skill.
4. Write, Read, Talk, Speak, Teach.
All these require the use of words. Everyone uses words, but not everyone would want the use of words to be central to his or her career. The crane operator needs few words, while the news reporter's whole life involves the written or spoken word. Words are important to travel agents, salespersons, interviewers, almost everyone on radio and TV, receptionists, secretaries, most types of executives, all kinds of teachers and trainers, dispatchers, advertising writers, printers, good students, most researchers, writers and public speakers.
Fix, Build, Assemble. You may have a real knack for doing things with your hands. Some like to
work with big things—plumbing, heavy machines, bricks, welding; others might work best with little and light
things—woods, plastics, watches, instruments, electronic components. Some like to do this work on their own or for
just one or two people at a time, while others would prefer to work in a team or group. It is unusual for the person who
likes to work with big and heavy things to also enjoy working with tiny and lightweight things.
This group concerns persons who really like to fix or repair things, build or make things, assemble products of different kinds—and do this work well.
6. Analyze, Systematize, Research.
These are the problem-solving, planning, research and organizing skills.
People with these skills want to know the "why" of things, and often the "how" of things. Analysts tend to break
things down into parts; sometimes they observe the parts and organize them into smoothly flowing operations—as
Researchers may be analytical, yet they sometimes are systematizers; they certainly aid both. And while the re-searchers usually work on their own, it is becoming more commonplace for them to work in small teams.
All planning is associated with analysis and research whether the planning involves a budget, a career, a corp-oration or a government forecast. Jobs associated with group No. 6 nearly always require considerable formal education or study.
7. Invent, Develop, Create, Imagine.
New products, new ideas, and adaptations of products and ideas—these changes are happening all the time in all parts of the world. There is constant demand for creative people, those who originate and modify for the better whatever exists materially and in the mind.
There are little changes and big ones. Someone thought up the idea of putting ridges on paper clips; some¬one dreamed up the idea of the ceramic nose cone which permits re-entry of rockets coming back to earth; someone worked out how to transplant human organs.
Creativity, imagination, inventiveness, adaptation— all are parts of progress in every occupation. These quali¬ties often are needed to help find the right solution to problems in human relations as well as in scientific, tech¬nical and management fields.
8. Help People, Be of Service, Be Kind.
The human relations occupations are associated with these. They are
needed in different degrees by nurses, interviewers, receptionists, social workers, teachers, clergymen, hotel
and restaurant hostesses and head waiters, social anthropologists, politicians, some psychologists and doctors,
recreation directors, many lawyers, counselors, and others whose work or business requires them to be dependent on
people relationships. Enthusiasm, trust in others, patience with others—all are elements of this group.
Those strong in this group must be willing to be of ser¬vice to people they want to organize or lead. Many manag¬ers and executives are said to be effective because they are willing to be of service. In these areas many new types of oc¬cupations are opening up.
9. Ideas, Beauty, Foresight.
This group often is as sociated with No. 7, sometimes with No. 6, and is also
associated with beauty and harmony of life. Dealers inantique furniture, museum curators, others who have appreciation for the greatness of life everywhere are likely to have checked this one. Farsighted business leaders and diplomats, outstanding men and women in the advertising field, as well as many of the creative persons concerned with futuristics are likely to recognize strength in this group. Many young men and women have demonstrated talent along these lines through actions that required anti-cipating future events and planning for them with sensitivity.
10. Physical, Outdoor, Travel Activities.
Sports and athletics are not the only careers associated with this group.
It also includes the physical movement of people and things; so it includes the truck driver, the world traveler, the ballerina. Some others are recreation directors, most people in the construction industry, traffic managers, travel agents, many types of entertainers who must be on their feet for long periods.
Civil engineers work on outdoor piping, bridges, dams, and other structures; geologists and mining engineers, miners, airline stewards, pilots, all are con-cerned with the movement of things and people, and to this extent all are concerned with group No. 10.
11. Manage or Direct others.
This is the leadership group. Check this only if you really have experience being
the boss or leader of a group, association, club, team, etc.
This type of person is formally or informally elected to head up an activity of some kind. It could be to head up a student group or to direct something in a community. Three or more of these leadership experiences, ones which include managing others, indicate real strength in this group. While many persons dream of being great leaders, the concern here is with actual leadership—if only on a small scale.
12. Independent Work, Own or Collect Things.
People who want to run their own businesses, including
doctors and other professional persons, should check this one. There are many independent workers—individual researchers and inventors, independent consultants, plumbers who work alone, and other "loner" types who will also want to check this.
One of the main differences between the independent employee and the successful small business owner is the way they think. The owner tends to think about "my property, my collection, the things I own." He is sensitive to accumulating things, including money with which to buy things as an owner. Others who do not feel the same way (most of us) do not take the trouble to learn how to collect things including bills. (Most independent doctors, for instance, employ professional bill collectors and business managers.)
13. Perform: Music, Acting, Demonstrations.
Shakespeare said we all are players on the world's stage. Many of
us are not good at getting up before people; others are ham actors, and a few are really good performers. But there are
many varieties of performing, most of which does not take place on a regular stage. Just being well dressed, or the
deliberate opposite, is one kind of performance. Demonstrators in stores need a kind of performing ability. Receptionists in offices and showrooms need showmanship to enjoy their work; so must professional hosts and hostesses.
Public speakers and politicians have to put on a show. Thebest teachers use showmanship in their work.
Let your Achievement facts, not your dreams, reveal if you should check this group. There is no doubt about actors, actresses, musicians; no doubt about twirlers, majorettes, elected class presidents, or athletes who love to see their pictures in the papers.
14. Foods, Cooking, Homemaking.
If your greatest achievements include cooking, homecare, babysitting, this
is one of the groups you should have checked. Clarence Birdseye, who invented the frozen food process, was proud of the fact that he was the only boy in his high school cook¬ing class. And a White House pastry cook was very happy to tell about his first success in baking pastry at the age of seven. (Many women overlook the fact that excellent home-making usually applies group 6 items as well as group 3 items.)
15. Persuade, Sell, Influence Others.
It is obvious that the salesman should check here. Not so obvious is the student negotiator who influences a college or high school administration to change a rule. Included here is the person from whom others regularly seek advice, the business manager, the peacemaker between conflicting groups and
individuals, the scientist or other employee who sells an idea up the line, the "smoothie" who has a knack for
The persuasive arts extend to the diplomat, the clergy-man, many teachers, training directors, business negotia¬tors, politicians of all kinds, public relations counselors, lobbyists, advertising executives, a host of persuaders running from the corner peddler to executives who negotiate multimillion dollar deals.
16. Sciences, Engineering.
Education in these fields offers the best formal training available in the art of think¬
ing for yourself. Some scientists and engineers are concerned with making better use of today's facts. These are
applied scientists (they range from architect and atomic scientist to the zoologist.) In most branches of science and
engineering there are specialists and sub specialists. The men and women in applied sciences usually work on ways
to improve the applications of present knowledge. The "pure" scientists and engineers usually are the seekers of
new knowledge, new types of information, "new" natural laws.
When you read the cluster descriptions in this way you will almost certainly find expanded possibilities for appli¬cation of your list of skills/activities. So now you should turn to your Journal, write the title "Ideal Job/Career Description," and write under it the activities you feel will combine to make up your "ideal" job. That is your target. But be sure to take into consideration the increasing number of paraprofessional jobs that are growing fast; these include paramedics, paralegal jobs and teacher's aide occupations.
You have now studied your greatest Achievements three times, each from a different viewpoint. when you guessed at your related skills; second when you charted your Motivated skills; third, as you related these skills to the 16 clusters. Each time you probably noticed different things about yourself—with some increasing in importance and others decreasing. Our purpose is to get the best of you into the open and in focus, so that key elements in your fulfilling future can become clearer.
Two case histories will show how the Motivated skills chart works and how Step No. 3, Target Your Motivated Skills, helps to clarify job goals.
Hank Wilson, age 18, ran away from home when he was 15 and stayed away for several weeks, supporting himself by repairing motorbikes and doing odd jobs. Then he went home, graduated from high school, started college, quit and volunteered for military service. His top five achievements were these:
"Achievement No. 1:
At age 14, restored and re-modeled a neighbor's cottage so well that lots of jobs like it were offered to me and filled all my spare time during the school year. That summer I operated several pieces of gar-dening equipment and worked for the customers of a professional gardener. I kept the equipment in good repair, and got along well with the customers.
"Achievement No. 2:
1 started living on a dairy farm when I was nine and for the next five years learned every part of how to run it. By the time I was 14 I kept the records, bought equipment and feed, sold the milk, hay and meat, maintained and repaired the equipment, did necessary carpentry, supervised and paid a grownup helper, and turned in a small profit.
"Achievement No. 3:
At fifteen I left home and hitch¬hiked twelve hundred miles. I wanted to be completely in¬dependent, because I already had done many things successfully that lots of grownups weren't capable of do¬ing. I got a job as a mechanic in a motorcycle shop. During those five weeks I grew up more and learned more than at any other time in my life. I wasn't comfortable when I came back home, and felt guilty about my parents supporting me while I was in high school.
"Achievement No. 4:
I was elected president of the student body at grammar school when I was twelve, and the faculty picked me to be patrol leader.
"Achievement No. 5:
My first term in college I re¬ceived bids to join 12 fraternities. This is a sign of great popularity, but it was one of the unhappiest times in my life and my grades were terrible. I couldn't see where being in college was helping me."
Of the sixteen skill clusters, Hank checked numbers 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12 and 15 more than the four or five requested. Then he chose these top-value activities: independent work, outdoors or travel activities, speak-teach, sell-persuade, fix-build-assemble, help people, manage.
After he studied the cluster descriptions he wrote down under "Ideal Job/Career Description," salesman of heavy equipment, explaining and demonstrating it to customers.
"This would be independent and outdoor work; it would involve speaking, teaching, selling, occasional fixing, and helping people. I could be a manager when I learned the business," he wrote.
When he came for job counseling, Hank was very con-fused and felt he was a failure. His popularity was good, but his college work was bad, and that was a very new experience for him. And when he dropped out, he hadn't tried to support himself as he had at age 15. He felt he had escaped into a soft military job, which in a couple of months had frustrated and failed to challenge him. He couldn't get out of that job. He needed to feel useful again, and be able to look ahead to something constructive.
By the time he had written his "Ideal Job Description" he had regained his self-confidence and was prepared to make the most of his military assignment, particularly as it related to developing his leadership skills and working with heavy equipment. And he was thinking about taking all the study courses he could, courses for which he might later get college credits.
We'll get back to Hank again when we get into the Reality Test, and again in the next article on the Job Power Report.
Phyllis Alison, age 19, is unique in a different way. She is in college, and these are her top five achievements:
"Achievement No. 1:
I won many ribbons in horse shows, each time giving many months to perfecting my own riding and the performance and appearance of the horse.
"Achievement No. 2:
Working as waitress at parties for a fancy caterer gave me a feeling of what it's like to work under pressure—setting up for parties in a limited time, being part of a team, working with people.
"Achievement No. 3:
The unpleasantness of my job in a donut shop makes this important. The conditions were adverse and the pressure was very great.
"Achievement No. 4:
Going to Argentina with a friend who spoke no Spanish enabled me to practice my Spanish. Flying by myself and being away from my parents for a long time was a new experience.
"Achievement No. 5:
I worked on a high school literary magazine and found out how much work is required to put it together and edit the material.,,
Oddly enough, she rated only as Achievement No. 7 her membership in a high school honor society. This seems to suggest a sexist influence because her 3.95 academic average (out of 4.00) indicates high intellect, yet she rated her brainpower below babysitting and donut serving. That influence makes it harder to be clear about items in the six¬teen clusters of skills. These are the ones she listed: Read (4), Outdoor/travel (10), Independent work (12), Be of ser¬vice (8), Foods (14), and Manage (11).
After she explored the skill-cluster descriptions she came up with the thought that she would like to work with flowers or other natural things, study them, work out ways to make her information useful to people, and perhaps also be involved with food in some way. She asked questions about the National Park Service, and is planning to explore possibilities with the U.S. Department of Agriculture before deciding on her college major.
These two examples show that when facts are viewed through traditional lenses of total history and work ex¬perience a clear picture usually does not emerge. But when historical facts are selected on the basis of experiences that include doing things well and feelings of achievement, they show much more.
As the Bible urges, people should let their light shine, let their good works be known, speak about that which is good, avoid hiding their light under a bushel.
But we must get into the reality of things. You don't want to be accused of doing a "snow job" with an employer. The Reality Test takes care of that and it also makes sure you don't fool yourself.
Step 4—Reality Test
You may feel you can skip this, and some people do. But this test prepares you for your job interviews, gives you clear facts to put into your Job Power Report, and also makes sure your feet are on the ground when you look for your job and plan for further education and training.
First, ask yourself what kinds of activities you want in your ideal job, and write them in your Career Journal under the heading Reality Test. Hank, for example, said he wanted these things: demonstrating and selling heavy equipment, working outdoors with some travel, equipment maintenance and repair, socializing with people, doing something competitive, and later being a leader or manager.
Then, at the top of a fresh page in your Career Journal, write one of those activities. Write under it details about two or more things you have done along those lines. The details should show your best effectiveness in relation to the activity. Do the same for each of your "Ideal Job" activities, writing each one at the top of a fresh page in your Career Journal, and writing underneath it experiences that demonstrate that activity or one similar to it.
After you complete these descriptions, read them through and then try to describe again (without referring back) the activities you feel you can do well in a job ideally suited to you.
Take a look at what Hank did. He could realistically write these examples under SELLING. "Rebuilt, restored and sold a 1949 Pontiac when I was eleven. Also, built up a paper route over three years starting at age 8; electioneered and won student body presidency in grammar school; sold dairy products at a profit for more than five years; elected president of church Youth Fellowship; completely built (and sold) a trophy-winning hot rod; repaired and sold several old cars when I was 15 and 16. Member of the high school debating team."
On a new page, under DEMONSTRATING HEAVY EQUIPMENT, he wrote these related experiences: "More than eight years experience in operating both small and large farm equipment and machinery including tractors, harvesters, milking machines; also repaired and maintained them. I quickly learn how things work, and can show people how to use them; I trained three helpers."
On a third page of his Journal, under EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR he wrote these things: "I've been fixing things ever since I was five, when I successfully repaired a toaster, an iron, and took apart and repaired an alarm clock. I could fix anything on my bike since I was seven, worked as mechanic with a motorcycle repair shop, restored many junked and old automobile engines, built a hot rod which won a trophy; maintained and fixed most kinds of farm and garden equipment and machinery; as carpenter and construction worker, personally remodeled a cottage and filled requests for different construction work which required careful handyman skills."
Hank wrote a lot more on different activities, but these three enable us to explain the value and usefulness of the Reality Test process.
You will note that some of the examples he gave did not come from his Greatest Achievement descriptions. They did come from many of the achievements he recorded in his Career Journal, as well as from other experiences he remembered.
This Reality Test section is designed to pull together all your experiences, all those that can be used to support a special area of activity. Even his alarm clock assembly when he was five is included, because it helps Hank to know that his skill in maintenance and repair work goes back more than twelve years. With that kind of knowledge, he is aware that this Maintenance and Repair skill is a pos¬session that is never likely to leave him, that is always ready to be applied in doing a dependable job.
Hank's examples also show that everything related to an activity, even if it has been said in a different context under another activity, should be written down. For instance, the last item under SELLING is "member of the debating team." That same item should also be written under the TALKING TO GROUPS activity. You are not trying to do a snow job on yourself. What you are doing is proving in the strongest possible way that you have potential in that kind of activity. It's your future potential that you are seeking to demonstrate.
In this Reality Test process you either prove you have potential in an activity area, or you must take it out of your present career thinking. If you are weak in your evidence or proof, then you know you must have more training or edu-cation in it or stop kidding yourself about its dependability.
Most young persons do not have the concrete evidence shown by Hank's experiences, except in one or two areas. Don't let that worry you. Hank's case makes several points, and it especially shows that each person does have some kind of excellence, even someone who runs away from home when he's fifteen, and drops out of college after one term.
Another thing you learn from the Reality Test is what things you can talk about and what things you shouldn't talk about at job interviews. You should talk about those things you can prove you have potential for; you should not talk about things you cannot prove. But you don't have to give every bit of detail, as you will see in the Job Power Re¬port article, which follows. At an interview you should give enough proof that you have potential in an activity or skill area, but you must be careful not to overdo it. What you say must be believable. For instance Hank, at age 18, could say he had more than twelve years of experience in re¬pairing and maintaining mechanical and electrical ma¬chines and equipment. That would be true, but he would not be believed. And nothing he said after that would be believed.
This has been a tough article to work through, partly because hardly any of us wants the responsibility of really knowing the best that is in us. But unless you do know your best and motivated skills and talents, you can hardly expect to find fulfillment and satisfying growth. So the tasks here involved making a chart which shows those skills that are most often repeated in your greatest achievements; then studying them some more in the light of short descriptions of the kinds of activities and careers they relate to. The third task was a Reality Test which enabled you to prove how strongly you can support the potential you claim to have. This Reality Test shows how strong or weak your proof is, and in this way enables you to avoid some of the mistakes people make by looking for jobs that fail to use the best that is in them.