Whose Life Is It Anyway?   Leave a comment

I’m doing a workshop called that ^, and it’s supposed to help me figure out what major and career I want to head toward.

Wait. Back up a little bit.
A long, long, time ago, during 12th grade, I was applying to colleges. I was filling in a lot of “areas of interest” and “possible majors” and always clicking “open to considering other majors” when I had the chance. All the majors I was interested in pointed toward jobs that had the potential to decrease world suck: psychology, education, anthropology, religion, art, etc. Except one: advertising/marketing. It includes so many things I am interested in, like art, and sociology, and psychology, and the idea of making a scheme and seeing it through. Every time I saw something like that as an option, I got this evil thrill as if Harry monster was rising up inside of me*, and I would force myself to squelch it and move on.
Because what increases world suck like advertising does? Advertising is brainwashing that makes poor people spend money on things that they don’t need, and it supports bloated corporations. Advertising has no soul. The thrill is pretty much overpowered by the cringe-worthiness of the thought of getting money for Pantene or Pop-tarts.

Buuuuuttttttt what if I did advertising for non-profit organizations that worked to promote awesome?
Dummy, you can’t work for a non-profit as a job… 

So, that was that. And I put it out of my mind.

Until a few weeks into college, when the Methodist chaplain sent out an email asking whether anyone was interested in taking charge of PR for the Methodist community. The beast was awoken*. I replied, saying that I would like to be a minion for whoever takes the job, because I don’t have enough experience or confidence. It turned out that one of my friends was the only other person who replied, so we became the new PR team. She does Facebook. I do Twitter. We do posters and Today@AU announcements and SpotFlag postings, and we hope to chalk the sidewalk for some event soon. I love doing my part for the community, and being involved and being important. And it’s all very behind the scenes, which is definitely my thing.

So one day, I realized that I was doing advertising stuff, and I still had my soul. And God was like, I’m glad you noticed, Rachel. Now there’s no denying that it is possible to do advertising stuff while promoting awesome.

There is still the issue of getting money XP


Before we met for any of the sessions, they sent us an MBTI test and a Strong Interest Inventory to take. I know MBTI tests too well, so they no longer show the degree of each of my preferences very accurately.
During the first class, we learned about the six occupational themes from Holland Hexagon that the Strong uses.
As we listened to the descriptions of the six types,  I became very confident that I knew which was me. I am an old hand at this personality stuff, after all. The Investigative type matched INTJ almost perfectly. When we had to make second and third choices, I admitted that there were a few aspects of Artistic and Realistic that applied to me as well.
The next time we met, we were given the results to our tests. I thought I knew what I was going to see. So I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this
Social (Moderate interest)
Artistic (Moderate interest)
Investigative (Little interest)
Realistic (Little interest)
Enterprising (Very little interest)
Conventional (Very little interest)

The test was wrong.
I got someone else’s test (oops no it has my name on it…)
I took the test with skills instead of interests in mind. That would screw it up.

SOCIAL???? I was not accepting it. Whatever, I thought.  Whatever. I turned the page in the packet, and saw listed my “Top Ten Strong Occupations.”
The first was “Advertising Account Manager.”

Ohh. OK. Well hmmmm.
(As I understand it, advertising account managers pitch to companies for advertising agencies.  That’s a little too Enterprising for me (the theme code is Artistic/Enterprising), but related careers are Media Manager and Copywriter, and the recommended college courses are Marketing, Advertising, and Communications.)

Pretty much, after a lot of grief and humbugging and resistance and then actually thinking about it, I realized that this is accurate. And it actually explains a lot. I do have a rational mind. That’s how my brain works. I am definitely INTJ. BUT my interests square more with what a typical idealist would be interested in: helping people, education, learning about people.
(There are qualifications though: I like to help people without actually having to come in contact with them. I’m interested in education, but not really in teaching, so I would prefer to to education administration or something.)

SO it appears that I should work in a people-benefiting field, in a creative environment, doing analytical problem-solving stuff.

By the way, THIS WAS MY PROBLEM! I am Rational with Social and Artistic interests!  It’s a weird combination, so neither traditional extreme Rational jobs, nor traditional extreme Social/Artistic jobs suit me. But now I know what to look for : )

So now I will share with you a selection of pages from the big fat packet we were given:

The last picture is something they had us make based on stuff we figure out about ourselves during the sessions.

*I hope you can tell that these are intentionally over-dramatic and meant to be funny.


Posted October 26, 2011 by rachelternes in Uncategorized

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