As the old adage goes, “Find a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” Though you may be passionate about a particular career or field of study, how do you know it will really make you happy? Nothing could be worse than studying for years to become a financial trader on Wall Street, for example, only to discover the first day on the job that you prefer a quieter, more stable, and more predictable type of working environment. When considering a career, knowing more about what type of environment you prefer can impact job satisfaction. Do you prefer to work on a team or independently? Do you like positions of leadership? Do you desire recognition for a job well done?  Do you want a supportive employer? These are all aspects about yourself as an employee that you may not even realize. Employees who are a good fit have been shown to be happier, stay longer in a position, and be more productive. The Work Values Inventory™ (WVI™) is a new test that measures work values (also known as vocational needs) to help users find job satisfaction by identifying a career that fits. It is based on and tied to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET). In just 10 minutes, users learn their top three work values (Achievement, Independence, Support, Relationships, Working Conditions, and Recognition). Using the WVI Occupations Finder, users then match their top work values to careers that are a good fit. The WVI is self-administered, self-scored, and self-interpreted, and no special training is required. It benefits job seekers by helping them learn more about what they need in a position for job satisfaction. It also benefits career counselors, and it is a useful tool for human resource personnel when evaluating potential job candidates. The WVI is an important part of the career personality puzzle—but it’s not the only part. The Working Styles Assessment™ (WSA™) evaluates work personality and approaches, such as initiative, cooperation, and innovation. The Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) examines aspirations, activities, competencies, and levels of interest in different occupations. Used together, these three tests help identify a user’s complete work personality to help him or her find a career that a fits.
PAR staff and authors are on the way to Chicago for this year’s conference. If you are in Chicago for NCDA, make sure to stop by the booth and say hi! Several PAR authors will be presenting on career-related topics. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from them! Integrating CIP and RIASEC Theories in Career Interventions and Services Wednesday, June 29, 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Janet Lenz, PhD & Bob Reardon, PhD, authors of Handbook for Using the Self-Directed Search®: Integrating RIASEC and CIP Theories in Practice   Exploring the Gender Gap in STEM: The Impact of Women's Ratings of Mathematical and Scientific Self-Concept on Aspirations Friday, July 1, 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Melissa Messer, MHS, co-author of the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) Form R, 5th Edition   Examining the Differences in Interest, Skills, and Abilities Across the Workforce Friday, July 1, 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Melissa Messer, MHS, co-author of the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) Form R, 5th Edition   Using an Interactive Career Counseling Tool to Engage Clients Friday, July 1, 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Jennifer Greene, MSPH, co-author of The Veterans and Military Occupations Finder™   The Relationship Between RIASEC Personality Types and Negative Thinking: Implications for Career Counseling” Friday, July 1, 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Jennifer Greene, MSPH, co-author of The Veterans and Military Occupations Finder™   Assessing Your Clients’ Work Values: A New Way to Home in on Occupational Matches Friday, July 1, 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Jennifer Greene, MSPH, co-author of The Veterans and Military Occupations Finder™  
For the first time, PAR will be participating at the Florida Homeschool Convention in Orlando, Florida, May 26-28, 2016. The convention is sponsored by the Florida Parent-Educators Association, an organization dedicated to serving homeschooling families in Florida. The family-oriented event is the largest homeschool convention in the U.S., with more than 15,000 attendees each year. Parents and students make up a large majority of attendees, making this the ideal setting to learn about the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®). If you are attending the FPEA convention, stop by the SDS booth to say hi and learn about the assessment. At a time when many students are deciding whether to go to college, choose a major, or pursue a career, the SDS can help them find the fields of study and career paths most suited to match their skill set. This is an especially crucial function to the homeschooled student, as they may not have access to a traditional guidance office. Conference attendees will be able to see sample SDS Summary Scores and Interactive Reports. They may also purchase the SDS at a special convention price. The SDS is one of the most widely used career interest tests in the world. With more than 1,200 occupations, 1,000 programs of study, and 800 leisure activities, the SDS gives students more choices. In our global economy, the possibilities are limitless…and sometimes overwhelming. The SDS can help these homeschooled students focus their search.  
SDS_HBThe Handbook for Using the Self-Directed Search®: Integrating RIASEC and CIP Theories in Practice by Robert C. Reardon, PhD, and Janet G. Lenz, PhD, is now available!  A second edition to The Self-Directed Search® and Related Holland Career Materials: A Practitioner’s Guide, this book is designed for professional counselors, psychologists, career development facilitators, career guidance technicians, librarians, social workers, and graduate students learning to be career counselors. It incorporates John Holland’s RIASEC theory with cognitive information processing (CIP) theory and studies four aspects of the career choice process: self-knowledge, options, decision making, and executive processing.  Order your copy today!  
Attending the National Career Development Association Global Conference in Denver? Make sure to stop by the PAR booth (#36-37) to see our newest products! The Self-Directed Search (SDS) and the Working Styles Assessment (WSA) will be featured in a few presentations during the conference. Check your programs for room and time information. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about these two products! #5-2 Holland Codes Change When Clients Have More Answer Options: The SDS With a 2– and 5–Point Likert Scale Ever wondered if there was an advantage to the number of answer options on interest inventories? Why does the SDS have 2 answer options while the Strong has 5? Research will be presented on the implications of having 2 or 5 answer options on the Self–Directed Search (5th edition). Melanie Leuty and Erica Mathis, University of Southern Mississippi #5-9 Once a Leader, Always a Leader? Examining the Trajectories of O*NET Work Styles across Career Stages Workplace strengths and preferences are often developed and refined over the course of a lifetime. Work Styles, as measured by the Working Styles Assessment, are personal characteristics that affect job performance and satisfaction. Individual trajectories and differences in Work Style preferences during early, mid and late career stages are examined. Heather Ureksoy, PAR, Inc. #5-4 Using a Career Course to Assist a Diverse Student Population in Exploring Careers and Imagining Future Possibilities Understanding diverse student populations is necessary to becoming an effective practitioner. This presentation will share research on why students from varied ethnic groups choose to enroll in a career development course, how they differ in levels of negative thinking and shed light on Self–Directed Search constructs such as profile elevation and differentiation. Vanessa Freeman, Christine Edralin, and Emily Fiore, Florida State University  
RIASECMore than 35 million people worldwide have used the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) to discover the careers and fields of study that are likely to be a good fit for their interests and skills. Now, the SDS is even better with the addition of a Web-based, easy-to-use report that provides a personalized snapshot of your client’s career-related personality. The new Interactive Report is offered in addition to the traditional printable report at no extra cost! See what’s important
  • A simple interface allows clients to more quickly and easily navigate the various sections of the report.
  • Custom links enable immediate access to job openings nearby and allow clients to see the typical salary range for their recommended occupations.
  • A Summary and Resources tab provides helpful links and follow-up recommendations.
Customize the experience
  • The SDS display can be customized to show occupation, field of study, and leisure activity results by how closely they match a person’s results.
  • Sorting and filtering tools narrow results.
Be confident in the results
  • The Interactive Report is the newest offering of the SDS, one of the most widely used career interest inventories in the world.
  • A full, printable SDS report with detailed, personalized information is available.
Help your clients find their future with an even better SDS experience. Available only at www.self-directed-search.com!
PAR is pleased to announce the PARiConnect release of the NEO™ Five-Factor Inventory-3: Four-Factor Version (NEO™-FFI-3:4FV) and the NEO™ Personality Inventory-3: Four-Factor Version (NEO™-PI-3:4FV). The NEO-FFI-3:4FV and the NEO-PI-3:4FV provide information on four personality domains: Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Both measures are designed for use in employment and counseling settings involving activities such as career counseling, career development, and employee training where these four domains are the main focus. Items, normative data, and scoring are taken from the E, O, A, and C factors of the NEO-PI-3 or NEO-FFI-3.   The NEO-PI-3:4FV and NEO-FFI-3:4FV are available for administration and scoring only on PARiConnect. A self-report form (Form S) and a form for rating others (Form R) are available.   Learn more about this new addition to the NEO family of products today!
The latest edition of the Career Planning and Adult Development Journal features a chapter by PAR authors Melissa A. Messer, MHS, and Jennifer A. Greene, MSPH. The article details the development of the newest edition to our Self-Directed Search® product line, the Veterans and Military Occupations Finder™ (VMOF™), and explains how to use this new tool when counseling veterans through their transition from the military to the civilian job force. The VMOF helps clients better understand how to transition their skills to civilian occupations through use of John Holland’s RIASEC theory of career development. The entire Fall 2014 edition of the Career Planning and Adult Development Journal focuses on helping veterans with career development and transition. Click here to read the article by Melissa A. Messer, MHS, and Jennifer A. Greene, MSPH.  
SDS_CoverOnly 45 percent of the working population in the U.S. are satisfied with their jobs, according to a recent survey of 5,000 households. To address this problem, people need tools to help identify careers that are a good fit for their interests and skills. The popular Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) from PAR provides a solution for today’s job seekers. The brand-new SDS 5th Edition is a 15-minute, self-administered test for those beginning their career search as well as those considering a career change. “Taking the SDS is an important first step in developing a career plan that can prevent years of dissatisfaction on the job,” says SDS 5th Edition author Melissa Messer. “The SDS guides users toward careers that will help them meet their personal and financial goals and that they enjoy.” According to Ms. Messer, no special training or qualifications are needed with the SDS; it is designed to be self-administered, self-scored, and self-interpreted. The SDS can be taken online; with paper and pencil; or via PARiConnect, PAR’s new online assessment system. The SDS 5th Edition is based on Dr. John Holland’s theory that both people and work environments fit into six basic categories: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional (known collectively as RIASEC). The SDS generates a three-letter Summary Code for each user, based on his or her aspirations, activities, competencies, and interest in different occupations. Users can match their Summary Codes to jobs in the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database, which lists thousands of current jobs at all skill and education levels. The SDS Web site has also been updated with new resources targeted to specific groups and a contemporary, easy-to-navigate user interface. The newly revised report includes an “at-a-glance” summary, and users can share their results via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. The SDS 5th Edition is designed to work on mobile devices and tablets. To learn more about the SDS 5th Edition or any of PAR’s other career or vocational products, visit www.parinc.com or call 1.800.331.8378.
Most students have a ready answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For college students, those answers are generally expected to have some basis in reality. Many students believe that a session with a career counselor will not only clarify their career path but also guarantee them a job or at least a crucial company contact. However, there are people who think the role of the college career center should change. Andy Chan, Vice President for Personal and Career Development at Wake Forest University, posits that typical college career centers must shift their focus. Instead of providing job listings and assuming students will “figure it out,” career counselors should first focus on the student’s personal development, then work with the student to discover how those personal characteristics will relate to the student’s career interests. Providing students with the abilities and skills necessary to network effectively is also crucial. Chan also argues against the common misconception that a liberal arts degree will lead nowhere. In fact, a recent survey indicates that employers want their workers to be innovative, critical thinkers with a wide-ranging base of education. A student’s choice of major may be less important than his being able to demonstrate that he has these types of broad skills, such as leadership, communications, and problem solving. College career centers should attempt to hone these skills in students, along with providing standard services like aptitude testing, practice interviews, and access to alumni networking events and career fairs. How should college career centers and career counselors adapt to best serve their clients? Have you benefited from career counseling?