Appreciating Differences - Jack Falt - Ottawa area, Ontario, Canada

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Book Review by Jack Falt

Martin, Charles R., Looking at Type and Careers, Gainesville, FL: Center for Application of Psychological Type, Inc., 1995, ISBN 0-935652-25-6, 77 pp.

Although this booklet has been available for a while, I thought it was worth reviewing in that the author has a new booklet out on a similar topic in the Quick Guide series.

The booklet opens with a brief overview of Myers/Jung theory and then discusses the importance of values, interests and skills in choosing a career. The booklet emphasises that choosing a career is an ongoing process. There are checkoff lists of values and interest/skills that people can use for self-assessment. The author also mentions how type dynamics and type development affects choices. Therefore, this booklet is only useful after individuals have had the results of an MBTI® instrument interpreted to them, including a discussion of type dynamics and development.

Then each of the sixteen types has about two pages of information relating to careers for that specific type. Also included are lists of careers most often selected and least often selected by that type. These lists are from the 1988 Manual. (That Manual also lists careers by preference pairs that are also useful. These are not available in the new 1998 Manual.) The descriptions relate to the values, interests and skills that were discussed earlier.

The final section of the booklet suggests ways of gathering more information and includes how each of the eight preferences likes to go about this process. The zig-zag method of decision making is described in detail (although it does not point out how the introverted and extraverted aspects of each function are important to consider in the process). Then it leads the readers through the final steps of setting goals and taking action. This time it looks at the strengths and blindspots of each of the eight preferences. The booklet closes with a discussion on how to sell your differences, i.e. put a positive spin on what you have to offer an employer.

Overall this is a very worthwhile booklet to use either in a class setting or with individual clients who come for some career counselling. It is an excellent place to start. It uses type in a very positive way and then pulls in the other necessary aspects of the task. I found the lists of careers most often and least often chosen by each type a useful overall guide as to the kind of jobs a specific type might find interesting. A counsellor needs to emphasise that this in no way limits people and they should be on the lookout for careers that generally fit their overall values and interests. There really is no mention of the market value of specific jobs, but this would be part of the counsellorís job. There is also no mention of the need for basic skills such as communication and computer skills. It is after all a booklet and not an exhaustive study of the subject.

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