Our goal with the Career Profiler is to help people prepare their career decisions. In concrete terms, this means encouraging employees to think about what is particularly important to them in terms of their future job by filling out the Career Profiler.
The strategy of our study concept is geared towards this goal and combines three central components:
- the claim to support the participants in a systematic reflection
- a responsible advisory and inclusive self-image and
- scientifically established and operationalised survey methods for the target group.
Participants in our studies are faced with a variety of career options. We are convinced that they are looking for a meaningful orientation guide rather than a simplistic calculation of their talent. It is not about the simple solution, but about the right one. Therefore, our contribution can only be to provide our participants with the most resilient and complete basis for self-reflection on the characteristics of the most suitable workplace and employer. The Career Profiler offers this service.
It also means that, unlike many other consulting tools, we do not promise simple solutions or clear answers. Our self-image guides us to never see the Career Profiler as the final point of testing different career paths. Instead, we always see and explain the Career Profiler as the starting point for the participant's own, more in-depth examination of their own priorities in relation to the working environment. The role of the Career Profiler is in particular to show a sufficiently comprehensive range of career development options, to offer a plausible priority profile of the study participants based on the data collected, and to raise both expected and surprising insights for further reflection.
Although the Career Profiler pursues the strategy of promoting career decisions through systematic self-reflection and always acts as a starting point, its foundation lies in systematic analysis. The Career Profiler relies on its own operationalizations of three scientifically established measurement concepts for job-related interests, competencies and values: the Personal Globe Inventory (for interests), the Great Eight (for competencies), and the Schwartz Value Survey (for values). All three concepts ensure that our study participants can locate their priorities within a balanced and appropriately extensive space. In the combination of interests, competencies and values, we map the classic triple of workplace attitudes: Values as fundamental basic attitudes, interests as motives for action, and competencies as goal-oriented performance prerequisites.
In order to ascertain job-related interests, we have developed our own measuring instrument, which is conceptually based on elements of the Personal Globe Inventory (PGI). The PGI was originally developed by Terence Tracey (Tracey, T. J. (2002). Personal Globe Inventory: Measurement of the spherical model of interests and competence beliefs. JVocBeh, 60(1), 113-172.) and is considered to be internationally widely used and tested in its own right as a further development of the prominent RIASEC concept (Holland 1977). The PGI is particularly suitable for us because it basically covers a somewhat broader range of activities than those found in operational management positions. For example, in addition to classic administrative activities such as data-oriented analysis or expert work in a specialist field, it also covers activities in nature, with mechanics and technology or design. It is important that the horizon of possible career options is not narrowed too much, especially in this subject area, which is always the first to be surveyed in the study. In our survey we use a simplified version of the PGI, which takes into account eight activity facets: joint achievement, responsible leadership, thematic focusing, data-oriented analysis, engineering, discovering nature, creative design, and promoting others. The model divides the activities into four quadrants, depending on whether the activities are more related to things or people or data or ideas.
In order to survey workplace-related competencies, we use our measuring instrument based on the Great Eight (GE) model. The GE were identified and published by Dave Bartram (Bartram, D. (2005). The Great Eight competencies: a criterion-centric approach to validation. Journal of applied psychology, 90(6), 1185.). It is known as a resilient basic structure of individual competencies for occupational activities. GE deliberately focuses more on the skills that are associated with employee performance in business environments. Eight dyadic facets are considered, which together form a competence profile: analysing and interpreting, designing and conceptualising, managing change and mastering challenges, supporting and cooperating, interacting and presenting, leading and deciding, organising and implementing, entrepreneurial action and achieving goals. Although the facets of the model were not grouped by its original authors, we follow Greif 2007 and divide the eight facets into four groups according to competencies for problem solving, influencing people, social interaction and goal achievement.
In order to ascertain the value concepts related to the workplace, we use our measuring instrument based on the Schwartz Value Survey (SVS) model. The SVS were published by Shalom Schwartz (Schwartz, S. H. (2012). An overview of the Schwartz theory of basic values. Online readings in Psychology and Culture, 2(1), 11.). It has been used in studies in more than 80 countries and is considered one of the central models for determining values. While the SVS was not originally developed for the workplace, we have operationalized it for our study. With its 10 factors, the SVS forms a balanced and sufficiently comprehensive model for collecting a value profile of our participants. The SVS considers universalism, sociality, conformity, tradition, need for security, power and performance orientation, hedonism, stimulation and self-determination. The model also allows for an examination in two overarching areas of tension between openness to change and preserving behaviour and between social and self-orientation.