WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
different occupational interests and interview three persons one in each of the
three fields of your choice.
Write out the answers to the questions in the following Exploration Occupational
Survey and e-mail your results to your instructor. Green
River Community College, 12401 SE 320th, Robert D. Brehm. M.A., Auburn,
Part 1- A FACTUAL SURVEY OF THE OCCUPATION
The questions in this part of the project are intended to help you build the
dependable and detailed picture of the occupation you must have before you can
decide upon its suitability as a career choice for you.
Use this form not as a blueprint of rigid specifications but as a
general guide to a comprehensive and orderly study of the occupation. Proper use
of the form will encourage you to search out and interpret pertinent information
which you might otherwise overlook. If any question appears to call for
hard-to-get information which will have no bearing on your choice of a vocation,
There is a recommended method for using this form to survey your occupation.
Study the form thoroughly and get a clear idea of the kinds of facts you will
want to watch for in preparing your occupational survey. Lay your form aside and
begin reading appropriate materials on you occupation. When you find any
information which you feel is important, turn to the proper heading in the
outline and jot it down. Then return to your reading. Avoid seeking answers to
the questions in the precise order in which they appear. If you carefully apply
the proposed method, you will have useful information on nearly every topic in
the survey form by the time you finish studying. When blanks occur in your
outline, it may mean that these
questions do not apply to the occupation you are studying. However, do not
always take this for granted. Investigate many sources of information.
Do not settle for what a single source may say about any important question. You
should have confirming and supplementary information from other sources. If you
discover that authorities disagree on critical points, you may have to search
further to find the facts. Your project is mainly one of fact-finding research.
To summarize, use Part 1 of the survey form as a means of guiding your reading
and as an aid recording and arranging your notes. You will learn more if you
then carefully study and edit these notes before preparing your survey in final
1. Title of Occupation
standard job title found in the
search directory by typing in the words .
Dictionary of Occupational Titles.
Include the Dictionary of Occupational Titles code number. You may find in the
Occupational Outlook Handbook
by typing in those words. Both guides will provide you
Background of the Occupation
interesting facts about the history and development of the occupation and about
its contribution and importance to the society.
3. Nature of the Work
Use the Dictionary of Occupational Titles or other appropriate references which
objectively define the occupation. Give a factual and specific description of
the occupation in terms of the tasks of the tasks performed. What does the
worker do? As you continue to study the occupation through additional sources,
modify and expand your description so that you develop an accurate and
comprehensive account of the work performed.
4. Conditions of Work
Are hours irregular or regular? Long or short? Is there frequent
overtime or night work? Is there Sunday and holiday work? Is employment steady,
seasonal, or irregular? To what extent is the worker expected to travel as
performing his duties? Is the working environment pleasant? Healthful? Are there
unusual conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation? Is there much noise
or dust? Are there occupational hazards, danger of burn, explosives, radiation,
or toxic conditions? Does the worker perform under conditions of unusual speed,
fatigue, or tension? ( Describe these conditions of work in detail)
5. Worker Relationships
With what kinds of people does the worker deal? Are the worker's
services performed under circumstances which are generally conductive to
pleasant human relations ( examples: airline hostess, hunting guide) or under
circumstances which potentially involve human conflict, misunderstanding and
emotional stress (examples: complaint manager, traffic policeman, bad debt
collection agent)? Does the worker perform most of his duties alone or with
others? ( Explain these relationships in detail.)
6. Worker Qualifications
employment preference given to applicant within a certain range? Is there a
legal or commonly accepted minimum age for entrance? Is there a commonly
accepted age at which workers leave the field or retire?
predominantly a male or female occupation? Is employment preference given to
either sex? Is there evidence of differential treatment between men and women
workers with respect to assigned duties, rate of pay, and opportunities for
c.) Physical qualifications.
extent are any of the following characteristics used as eligibility requirements
in hiring workers for this field?
Visual efficiency Physical strength Color Vision Stamina
Hearing Height Weight General physical appearance
Freedom from disfigurements Freedom from specific ailments
Freedom from communicable diseases
Regardless of whether they are entrance requirements, which of the foregoing
characteristics are considered especially important prerequisites to successful
work in the occupation? ( Be careful to distinguish between what physical traits
are desirable and what traits are indispensable for entering and succeeding in
the occupation. Avoid generalizations about the importance "good health" since
this is an asset in any kind of work.
aptitudes, abilities, and skills are needed to perform this occupation? What
personality traits and vocational interests are needed? Are psychological tests
of these attributes commonly used to screen applicants for admission to training
programs or for employment? Are such tests used in vocational guidance with
persons who are considering this occupation as a possible career? Be precise in
what you mean by the aptitudes and other traits to which you refer. Place more
weight on published statements which are careful to give evidence of the
importance of certain psychological qualifications, than on those statements
which make unsubstantiated claims about them.
e) Work experience requirements.
sometimes difficult to secure employment for certain positions without previous
experience in lower level occupations. Department head, sales manager,
department store manager are illustrations of such positions. To what extent is
previous work experience either required or preferred for entrance into this
occupation? Describe this experience. How long does one usually work at this
beginning job before qualifying for advancement?
f) Licensing and certification requirements.
Is a license
or certificate required to perform the occupation? What qualifications must be
met or what steps must be taken to obtain it? If an examination must be passed,
what is its nature? If there are geographic differences in these requirements,
list those in effect in the state or geographic region in which you would
probably enter the occupation.
g) Equipment requirement.
does the worker use to perform his duties? These include tools, instruments,
supplies, traveling equipment, uniforms, automobiles, trucks, and so forth. Must
any of these items be supplied by the worker at his own expense, as a dentist
must equip his office? What is the average total expenditure which the worker
must make for these items?
h) Other qualifications.
citizenship a requirement? Must the worker be a resident of the town or state in
which he seeks employment? Is preference given to veterans of military service?
Is it customary for new workers to come from families already in this field or
work? State any other requirements for entering and working in this occupation
not covered elsewhere in this outline.
7. Education and Training
What schooling an special training are needed to qualify for employment? What
college degrees are preferred or required? In what curricula? Which school
subjects are emphasized? How long does this education take? What is its
estimated cost? What are some recommended colleges? If this occupational field
involves non-college training, what kind of training is it? Specifically, what
does it include? How long does it take? What does it c cost? What training
certificates are preferred or required? What are some accredited and recommended
schools? Are there provisions for apprenticeship or other types of on-the-job
training? Describe these training program, (Consider as many of the foregoing
questions as apply to this occupation. Distinguish clearly between what training
is desirable and what is indispensable.)
8. Entrance Procedures
How does one get his first job? By applying in person to employers? By taking a
competitive examination? By joining a union? By registering with a public,
private, professional, or school placement agency? If a combination of these
employment procurement methods is customary, specify it.
In what kinds of industries, shops, and businesses is one most likely to find
employment in this occupation? Does one sometimes enter this field by acquiring
capital and opening his/her own business? How much capital is needed?
To what extent are workers in this occupation unionized? What is the largest
labor union representing the workers? What are the requirements for entrance to
Are there initiation fees? What are the annual dues? Does the union limit the
number admitted to membership?
Is it the practice of training institutions, employers, and unions to exclude or
limit applicants who are members of national, racial, or religious minorities? (
Note: Because some sources of information do not face this problem frankly, it
is often difficult to obtain the facts. Be careful to distinguish between rumor
and evidence. If you are unable to locate reliable information about
discriminatory practice, say so.
11. Number and Geographic
Distribution of Workers
Approximately how many workers are employed in this occupation? Locally? In the
state? In the United States? Are the workers evenly distributed over the United
States in proportion to population or concentrated in certain areas? Where? Why?
Can a person practice this occupation anywhere that he may wish to live? Do
working conditions in small towns and rural areas differ materially from those
in urban centers? How?
12. Employment Prospects:
Present and Future
To what extent are workers in demand today? Is there an oversupply or shortage
of training workers? Are there regions where the demand for workers is above
average? Is employment in this field expected either to increase or decrease in
the near future? In the long run? Much or little? Why? Is technological change,
such as automation, likely to alter the nature of this occupation and the demand
for workers in the future? ( Be as specific and factual as possible. Avoid loose
What are the most dependable figures you can find on the average weekly,
monthly, or yearly earnings? Pay particular attention to information on the
beginning wages and average wages of all workers in the occupation. Avoid
misleading emphasis on the exceptional worker who is highly paid. Are earnings
higher or lower in certain places of work or certain regions of the country? Are
earnings generally received in the form of wages, salary, commissions, bonuses,
tips, or some combination of these? Are there expense allowances for travel, use
of car, and so forth? What fringe benefits are commonly found?
How good are the chances for advancement? ( Be cautious about unsubstantiated
claims.) Approximately what proportion of workers advance? To what positions is
advancement customarily given? What changes in responsibility and earnings
accompany advancement? After what period of time and after what additional
preparation or experience is advancement possible? Is demonstrated ability or
job seniority usually the more common basis for obtaining advancement?
15. Related Occupations
What are some occupations involving similar work and requiring similar types and
amounts of training and skill? Consult especially the Dictionary of Occupational
Titles or the names of occupations appearing in the same three digit
occupational group. How are these occupations appearing in the same three digit
occupational group? How are these occupations defined in the Dictionary of
Occupational Titles? In what principal ways does each of these related
occupations differ from the one you are surveying?
16. Sources of Further Information
List the names and addresses of business and organizations and the professional
associations to which workers in this field belong and which furnish information
about the occupation. ( Examples: American Institute of Accountants, American
Registry of X-Ray Technicians.)
List here in standard bibliographical form only the published references which
you actually used in building this report. ( Do not include any references which
you inspected but from which you did not take information for this report.)
Part II- WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
The purpose of this part of the project is to help you interpret your knowledge
of the occupation in the light of how you now see yourself as a person. To put
it more directly, Part II asks you to examine a series of fundamental questions
that could help you judge whether the occupation you studied would be an
appropriate career choice for you.
Think through the discussion questions on the following pages and answer them as
fully, specifically, accurately, and frankly as you can. This may involve some
repetition of facts and feelings you have already recorded in earlier project
work. You will see that this repetition is necessary in order to help you select
and to bring together the most important facts you need as a basis for deciding
what your next step should be.
1. What are the major changes that have taken place in your conception of the
occupation as a result of your survey? Do you now see the occupation in a
different light? What are the most important new facts and understandings that
you have acquired? What misconceptions about the occupation did you correct?
2. What things would you have to do in this occupation that you think you would
enjoy doing? What information do you have about yourself which suggests you
would like doing these things? ( Be specific.)
3. What things would you have to do in this occupation that you think you might
not enjoy doing? What information do you have about yourself which suggests you
would dislike doing these things? ( Be specific.)
4. Turn back to Part I in this form and carefully review specific qualifications
and training which you found a worker sho9ul posses to enter this occupation.
How do you feel now about your ability to meet each of the following requirement
for this filed of work? ( Be specific.) Give all the facts necessary to support
a. Physical requirements
b. Aptitude and skill requirements
c. Training requirements
d. Other requirements ( e.g. licensing, certification, examinations, age, sex,
citizenship, union membership, investment capital, an so on.)
5. As one who is considering this occupation as a possible career choice, what
is you reaction to the information you obtained about each of the following work
factors? In each case state whether the facts you discovered make you want to
consider the occupation more seriously or less seriously as your future
vocation. (State your feelings frankly. Wherever necessary, review the pertinent
information which you recorded in Part I of this form before you prepare your
a. Working conditions.
b. Type of people you work with.
c. Job security and future of the field.
e. Other factors ( Prestige of the occupation, union status, discrimination,
geographic location, and so on.)
Summary and Tentative Decision
Before attempting to answer this question, carefully review your responses to
all of the questions on the preceding pages of Part II.
6. If you had to decide today whether or not to enter this occupation, what
would decide? Why? ( Tell the whole story.)
Part III - JOB INFORMATION INTERVIEW
1. Title of occupation
use the standard job title as found in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.
Include the Dictionary code number. If you discussed a series of related jobs
during your interview, list them separately or give the name of the general job
family in which they are included.
2. Date of the interview
3. Full name of person interviewed, position of title held, and
firm of institution with which associated.
4. Principal topics covered.
Enumerate briefly all important questions and subjects dealt with during the
interview. Be as specific as you can in identifying each topic. List as many
significant topics which came up for discussion as you are able to recall.
5. Summary of interview findings.
Referring to the topics listed in question 4, report here in some detail the
main things you were told about the occupation. What specific occupational
information did you obtain from the interview? (Don't be too brief.)
6. Interview evaluation
Consider such questions as the following: How worthwhile did I find the
interview? To what extent did it contribute significantly to your understanding
of the occupation? Was the person you interviewed well informed? Up to date?
Biased in his/her view of the occupation? Did you find certain of his/her
statements and opinions inconsistent with the data you obtained from your other
sources of information about the occupation? How fully were your major questions
answered? Were there some specific topics you wish had been covered more
adequately? Can you see ways in which the interview could have been made more
Copyright © 1998 [Robert Brehm]. All rights reserved.