Strengths and the Future of Work

What is your passion?

Earlier this year we spent some time with our students looking at character strengths utilising the viacharacter.org tool which identified for them their three highest strengths of a range of twenty four. These were discussed from that point of view of self awareness and wellbeing, part of our social and emotional learning program this year.

In previous posts we have discussed the work of the Foundation for Young Australians and the notion of their now being seven job clusters when we profile the employment market. In further research we have also identified that there can be an alignment with an awareness of character strengths and the sorts of jobs young people van be preparing for.

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Year after year I speak with young men and their parents who talk about him not knowing what he wants to do. The spectre of the HSC gives the impression that the stakes are so high. The conversation often begins many years into secondary school.

With a focus on character strengths and and how they align with job clusters young people can identify early in their school career the sort of job cluster that may align with and the skills needed for success in that area. The viacharacter youth profile asks them to identify their top three strengths. Using the information presented the student gets a sense of what those strengths imply e.g. if the top strength is ‘kindness’ along with ‘teamwork’ and ‘social intelligence’ that might point to the cluster of jobs called ‘The Carers’ – jobs that jobs that seek to improve the mental or physical health or well-being
of others, including medical, care and personal support services.

As the FYA report notes, the Carers seek to improve the mental or physical health or well-being of others, including medical, care and personal support services. The types of jobs this includes are:  GPs, social workers, childcare workers, fitness instructors, surgeons, counsellors and beauty therapists. The industries closely linked with this job cluster include Health Care and Social Assistance.

The alignment of character strengths and job clusters is a very useful beginning to the development of a pathway for young people to begin to think about their future in a far more informed way. This can be further augmented when one considers the work of Inner Zone and their notion of a personal SIM- Strengths, Interests, Motivation.

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The ‘S’ is picked up by the viacharacter.org survey and the ‘I’ and ‘M’ are picked up by a coaching relationship with a teacher, in our case, a PC teacher who where possible stays with the young man on their journey through the college. This is strongly supported by parent engagement.

All in all our young men will be well placed going forward.

God Bless,

Chris Browne