What do I want to do in my future? This is a question that has been in the back of my mind ever since I started Grade 8, and for good reason. It is most likely the biggest decision that I will have to make in my young life, and whatever my choice may be will require years of planning and work. For a while, when people asked me this question it felt like they were asking me how many stars are in the sky, for all I could do was give a vague guess. This was quite frustrating, as I had no idea why this was the case. I knew about many careers, I knew what paid the highest, so why couldn’t I make up my mind? Well, I recently discovered why this is during the first section of our PLP career life education course. For my whole life, I had been looking at external factors to make decisions. I had researched the opportunities, the availability, the pay, everything, but I hadn’t looked inside myself. I never bothered to ask, who am I? What do I want? Luckily, our CLE course has recently provided us with a handy tool known as my Blueprint, which has helped me figure this out.
My Blueprint provides students with a diverse list of surveys and other resources to discover aspects about themselves. The first survey that I took gave me insight into my MBTI Personality Type. From my investigations, it looks like I am closest to a:
Now the reason I say from my investigations, is because the survey actually scored me as an ENTP, which means that I would be an extrovert. However, when looking into some of the things that an extroverted person with this label would typically enjoy, such as constant teamwork and being in the spotlight, I realized it wasn’t the right fit. This was good for me to realize early on, because it gave me insight that online tools like this should be taken as guidelines, and not as immediate fact.
Now the rest of this personality type actually matched up pretty well to who I am looking into it. Being Intuitive means that you like to think outside of the box and use your ideas rather than what’s around you, and that is definitely me. Being a Thinker means, well, you rely more on thinking rather than feeling for decision making, and that’s me again. The one that was a little surprising to me was that I was more of a Perceiver than a Judger, as being a Judger means you like to stay organized and thinks logically. However, despite me have developed those characteristics, my natural tendency is to be much more go with the flow and see what happens.
Knowing this, I can make informed decisions about my current and future life. I now know that I should not go into a field that forces me to be extremely extroverted, nor something where I can’t think for myself. I also should honour my tendency to like flexibility, and consider that when making academic schedules, and when looking into potential jobs.
All careers, tasks, and projects requires you to be able to learn the skills needed to complete it. To do this effectively, you need to know how you learn best. Everybody finds themselves somewhere on the spectrum of three learning styles, Auditory (learning by listening), Visual (learning by seeing) and Kinesthetic (learning by doing). One of the my Blueprint surveys focused around this, and listed me as:
This wasn’t much of a shocking revelation to be labeled with these percentages, but rather a good clarification. I seem to be pretty balanced in all of the learning styles, so trying many different areas of studying and work to develop knowledge is something that I will continue to do. Along side of these results, there were also some useful study tips listed. Many of the visual and auditory methods were things that I had already been doing when studying, such as repeating information to myself and talking to others about my knowledge, but I hadn’t considered any of the kinaesthetic options such as building a model. This knowledge is something that I am already starting to apply in my current life, as for my PGP Time Machine artifact I am creating a physical model. In my future, due to how balanced all of these categories are, I feel that in whatever field I end up entering I should tackle building my knowledge from all directions, getting me experience with all the learning styles as possible.
Discovering more about my learning styles was great, but there is not much use in gaining a knowledge base that you cannot apply to anything. This is where the third my Blueprint Survey came in, which focused all around the tasks that I like to do when working on projects. The type of worker I got was:
Being a strategist means your all about finding the best path to victory. It means being all about the plan, the big picture, and the ideas, and whatever you believe is right you will strongly defend. I was shocked by how closely this one matched up to who I am, as everything about me matches this description. It also seemed like the tasks and interests of a strategist, which are mainly enterprising and investigating, are great fits for me. Enterprising means taking the leadership role with, planning, creating, and marketing business ventures to the world, which is something I always find myself doing in projects. I also commonly find myself on the investigation path, asking continuous questions about the world around me and my work, and never being afraid to dive in a little deeper to uncover the truth. Keeping this in mind, whatever I end up doing in the future should give me a chance to let me pursue these interests, which would probably centre in the world of business. Currently, I can use this skill by assuming roles in group projects which involve leadership and are idea focused, along with taking initiative to investigate and solve problems.
It doesn’t matter what you’re good at, what you want to do, if you can’t first know what you need. This next survey I feel was one of the most crucial for me to take, as I don’t always consider what my personal needs are. The top two driving needs for my career turned out to be:
Independence was an obvious one, but it was great to see what that actually meant. I mainly thought beforehand that independence meant working alone, but I now realize that it also means having the freedom to express your own ideas and make your own plans. It also means having the responsibility to be accountable for your own actions, but this is something that I actually prefer as then I can learn from them. Working conditions was a bit confusing at first for me, as I have never really cared to keep my room or other places where I work particularly clean. After reading a little into it however, I realized that it also covers the amount of money you earn, the security of your position, and the scheduling of work that is given to you. It was quite useful for me to learn this, as it made me realize that it actually matters a lot to me to be able to have a workspace where I can control how I organize my surroundings. I am applying this already in school by setting up my to do list in a way that works for me, and I hopefully will be able to find ways to do this in my future career as well.
With all of this great information, it was time to do one final survey that would be the first glimpse into my potential career field. This final survey, measured all of our strengths and interests, and matched us up with the subject areas that we would most likely succeed in. For me, this ended up being:
I was not surprised at all that business was number one. Based on my strategic personality, my need for independence, and my big picture, idea focused nature, this field seems like something that needs to absolutely be high on my radar when searching for a career. Currently, I can be applying this knowledge by looking into business work experience courses for grade 11, and perhaps kick starting a entrepreneurial idea of mine. The second field, which was language arts, came as a bit of a shock as I wasn’t interested in pursuing a writing career. However, after I looked into it I realized that being a lawyer is counted in this field, and that is another career which I am highly considering. As for the third area, which is creative arts, I don’t think I am interested in pursuing this as a career due to the financial instability and creative pressure, but I definitely will continue to make it a part of my life either as a hobby or as a side job.
So what can I do now that I know myself better? Is there anything that I can do with this knowledge right now? At first I didn’t think there was anything I could do with this information in my current life, but then we were assigned another task. After completing the surveys, the next task for unit was to create a graduation plan, which listed all of our current courses.
As you can see, it also gave us the opportunity to list courses we may want to be taking in the future. In picking these, I realized that this was a great opportunity to apply what I had just learned about myself. Considering my interest in business and potentially becoming a lawyer, I planned to take economics and law. I also kept my INTP personality type in mind, and with the realization that I will probably venture into a lot of different areas within my field instead of specializing, I decided to also take media arts.
Another project we worked on after completing the surveys was creating a 2-3 minute presentation that outlined what we had recently discovered about ourselves and our future career decisions to the rest of the class. I felt that this was an important step of our learning journey, as it is great to discover more about the people who you work with now, and will potentially be working with in the future. Writing this presentation was not challenging, as most of the information was already outlined in my survey results, but there was definitely still learning. Due to the strict time constraints, I had to work on my goal of summarizing, which I did quite well. Using the line draw animation in Keynote and the white border tool, I was also able to give my presentation a unique hand drawn aesthetic, which is something that I will apply to other projects in the future.
Now at this point, we knew about ourselves, we knew about our classmates, but we still didn’t know much about career opportunities. Our self awareness could take us far, but we still had to know the financial, availability, and outlook logistics of potential fields if we were to truly start making decisions. For our final unit assignment, we were tasked with looking into one or more workplace, apprenticeship, and college/university careers, and then making a chart to compare them all:
Making this chart may seem like it’s only considering the external factors, but really to create it, I had to apply everything I had learned throughout this unit section. All the careers that I list give independence, flexibility, and can be great for someone who likes to plan and enterprise. I have made points for financial stability, and also for my introverted personality type. I also considered things such as which school I would have to go to for a potential degree, what life style supports each field, and also just my personal interest. Everything I had learned seem to come together seamlessly with this assignment, as it gave me an incredible perspective into my potential future life.
I am so glad that I got the chance to learn about myself through these surveys and projects. It has given me the framework that I have been looking for for years which I will need to make informed, smart decisions about my current, and future life. However, my Blueprint is named perfectly; my BLUEPRINT. It’s only a plan, an outline of what my life can be one day as I built it. So, I will need to continuously be open to more learning about myself, career opportunities, and the people around me in order to create the best blueprint I can, and I can’t wait to see what else I will learn in the future of CLE.