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RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment

Career Planning Assignment


Taylor Winner
Wilmington University

I.

My Motivations and Aspirations

RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment


I am highly motivated to pursue a career in human services because I am dedicated to helping
others. Specifically, I am interested in finding a career where I am assisting veterans. Assisting
veterans is very near and dear to my heart because I come from a family of people that have
served in the military and I am very patriotic. Veterans are increasingly needing more and more
services and assistance, and personally I cannot think of a better group to specialize in. The
veteran population risked their lives to uphold the freedoms and liberties Americans receive;
therefore I strongly feel that I want to dedicate my career to giving back to them. With mental
health disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress disorder crippling 11-20% of soldiers returning
home from Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF); it is important that
more resources and professionals be dedicated to these returning veterans of our military. In
addition there are staggering numbers of cases that affect those from past wartimes such as those
who fought during Vietnam and Desert Storm. Many cases of PTSD go undetected or untreated
for many years, but still exist. That is why I would like to dedicate my career to working with
veterans, and helping them get the services and benefits they are entitled to. Due to the high
numbers of vets dealing with combat- induced mental health disorders, I would like to find a
career that would allow me to direct programs designed for veterans who have issues with PTSD
and transitioning back to civilian life.
In addition to my patriotic family and background, I became motivated to seek a career
helping veterans after I started volunteering with Team Red White and Blue. This is a veteran
service organization that works to enrich the lives of veterans. This organization opened my eyes
and heart to the joys and satisfaction I got from working and volunteering my time to veterans.
After doing volunteer with this organization, I realized helping veterans would be a much needed
and rewarding path to embark on.

RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment


Being enrolled in the Administration of Human Services Masters program has given me
the opportunity to explore this path professionally. A requirement of this program is to
participate in an internship placement. I selected my local county department of Veteran Affairs
to do this placement at. At my placement, my desires to work with veterans were confirmed. By
working with a Veteran Service Officer, who is my supervisor, I am able to learn how I can
help veterans receive their benefits from the federal branch of Veteran Affairs. I get fulfillment
out of this placement, there I am exposed to the veteran population and get to demonstrate the
administrative skills Ive learned in this program to help them get the benefits and resources they
need.
II.

Strength Finder

The Strength Finder activity revealed to me that my top themes are empathy, responsibility,
relator, arranger and individualization. According to Strength Finder, I have a good sense of
empathy because I am able to put myself in other peoples shoes and imagine myself in their
situation. I definitely can agree with being labeled empathetic. I am constantly trying to imagine
myself in other peoples situations, and relating to their problems that way. I always try to be
judgement free, because sometimes you cannot cast judgement until youve actually been
through what it is theyre going through. Another theme that I display is a sense of responsibility.
Strength Finder stated that this means that I take ownership of my actions and commit to what I
say I will do. I whole heartedly am in agreeance with this theme in my life. Being accountable
for actions is very important to me; I expect that from people in my life. It makes sense that I
expect this trait from others when I exhibit this trait. It is important to me that others view me as
reliable and dependable, as Strength Finder states. In regards to my personality, Im a go-getter,
and I dont stop unless something is done right. As Strength Finder stated, those with this trait

RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment


tend to not take sloppy shortcuts or engage in unethical practices. I am highly motivated in doing
work to exceptional satisfaction and I use my moral compass in every aspect of my life, whether
it is at work or not.
Strength Finder labeled me as a relator. This means that I put a lot of value in
relationships with others and working with them to achieve goals. Strength Finder explains that
those with this theme typically are sought out by their friends because of the high level of trust
people have for you. I find this aspect of this theme to be very accurate in my personal and
professional life. My friends and family are constantly confiding in me and seeking advice
because they know that I strive to give the best advice and guidance I can, based on their
situation. Strength Finder suggests that I have a knack for reading people based on their likes,
dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, etc. I agree with this quality, I feel that I am always trying to
understand people better. I will go to any length I can if that means I will be of better help to
someone, even if that means just taking the extra time to listen to them. I actually value the fact
that people feel comfortable talking to me about their problems, and I enjoy helping them.
However, an aspect that I did not find to be accurate for me in this theme is the part about always
having to be busy. Although I am very goal driven, sometimes I seek solitude in not having a lot
to do. Strength Finder suggests that I may like activities that keep me busy from start to finish,
and that tends to not be the case for me. I enjoy tasks that will not stress me out and cause me to
busy overly busy.
Strength Finder labeled me as an arranger. This means that I have talent with organizing
things, along with flexibility. A person with this theme is also talented in figuring out how things
go together and work for the best outcome. This theme reminded me of putting a puzzle together,
in a critical thinking manner. This theme is present among those that gravitate towards working

RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment


in groups. I relate to this, I would much rather work in a group and bounce ideas off each other
rather than having to do things on my own. Strength Finder suggests that this themed person
displays good teamwork skills and possesses the ability to listen and respond well to what others
have to say. I think this trait goes hand-in-hand with the traits of empathy and relator. These
themes require individuals to be able to see where others are coming from, and effectively
communicate to accomplish a goal or task. With the arranger theme, Strength Finder stated that it
is common that individuals seek information and want to know about their team members so
they can collaborate with them. This is a common theme that I find present about myself, much
like a relator, I am always trying to find ways to better understand people. I also tend to act as
a peacemaker, which is also a trait of this theme. Strength Finder stated that this trait has a talent
for finding ways to get people to compromise so everyone can have a say in a group setting. I
find myself doing this when working in a group, it is important to me to have everyone be able to
work together, yet still be able to share their opinions.
The last theme that Strength Finder uncovered about me is individualization. This trait is
intrigued by differences people possess. This trait has talent for helping people with differences
work together effectively. I can agree with this, because like previously stated, I am a
peacemaker. I try to get people to work through their differences and get along. This theme is
known to give advice, much like the theme of a relator. Much like the trait of empathy, this trait
also tends to view events from the perspectives of those involved, which I try to always do.
Strength Finder states that those that possess this theme gets fulfillment out of helping someone
in need, which is absolutely accurate when describing myself. I believe that serving others, and
helping out when and where you can is the key to mankind.
III.

MAPP Assessment

RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment


The MAPP Assessment concluded that I am someone that is dedicated to helping others.
Traits noted by this assessment include empathetic, sympathetic, self-motivated and
benevolence. I can agree with these traits because I thoroughly get personal satisfaction from
providing assistance to others in need.
The MAPP Assessment suggests that I best respond to oral or written communication. The
MAPP Assessment stated that I have strong literary and communicative abilities. My
communication skills allow me to educate others when needed. I found this assessment to be
accurate when describing me when it stated that I am motivated to learn and understand other
peoples needs and preferences. Much like the themes Strength Finder presented to me, it is in
my nature to want to understand people and be able to relate to them. This characteristic is very
similar to the theme of relator or empathy. The MAPP Assessment stated that it is not unlikely
for me to stand up for someone disadvantaged. That is definitely me, I am always defending the
under dog. Much like the theme of individualization, making those whom are different have a
voice is very important to me. I believe in standing up for those that may not always have a voice
to stand up for themselves.
MAPP Assessment concluded that I am not one for vocational jobs based upon my responses
to questions. I find this to be accurate, although I need routine and structure to maintain comfort,
I believe working a tedious job in a factory would be too much of a bore for me. However, I have
strengths in the area of copying activities because of the detail and routine. I find this statement
to be true; I tend to really rely on routine and structure to manage my life. Having things
organized and orderly is a must for me. It makes sense to me that MAPP listed suitable positions
for me in the area of database management, computer publishing activity, administrative or

RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment


library work, and warehouse processing. These jobs require one to be detail-oriented and
organized, which I tend to be.
In terms of reasoning, MAPP concluded that I prefer simple tasks in a familiar environment.
Careers listed for those with this style of reasoning include those in the operational,
administrative and clerical fields. I am seeing a trend of qualities that I possess being effective in
the clerical and administrative fields. In the concept of applying the usage of mathematics,
MAPP stated that I am naturally attentive to detail in perception, recording, and processing. I am
a very detail-oriented person; however, I would not say I have a strong point in processing.
Sometimes it may take me a little bit to fully grasp a concept, especially complex issues or
subjects. I cannot see myself in the careers listed for those that possess these characteristics such
as a pharmacist or registered nurse.
The MAPP Assessment stated that I am motivated by logical explanations and education. I
feel that is accurate for me. I place a high value on education, and knowing the truth. This
assessment concluded with listing social, leadership, influential, technical, service and functional
traits as complementary to my abilities. I found this assessment to be more similar than different
to the Strength Finder assessment. Although I dont really agree with the MAPP Assessment
concluding that I am talented in perception in processing, I generally agree with both
assessments. Both characterized me as people oriented person, dedicated to helping others. By
doing both of these assessments, I can honestly say that I am meant to work with a population in
need. Thanks to my interpersonal communication abilities, I am able to effectively communicate
with others. The fact that some of my strong traits listed include empathy and trustworthiness
according to both assessments reinforces the fact that I can really use those traits to help others in
need.

RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment


IV.

Bureau of Labor and Statistics Findings

Based upon the findings of both assessments, I opted to research a human services leadership
position for a career choice. I found the position of a Social and Community Service Manager,
this position is a management position and it involve helping others, so I found this to be a good
choice for myself. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, this position coordinates and
supervises social service programs and community organizations. They direct and lead staff who
provides social services to the public (What Social and Community Service Managers Do,
2014, para.1). Social and Community Service Managers can work in a variety of different
environments, and with any type of population. I would like to work with veterans; this position
would allow me to do that.
Social and Community Service Managers are in charge of overseeing their program and
directing staff that work with clients. As a Social and Community Service Manager I would be
in charge of planning and managing community outreach efforts to advocate for increased
awareness of the organization. Additionally, I would have to create and adhere to budgets and
planning strategies to ensure that my program is success. A Social and Community Service
Manager also has to evaluate programs within their organization and determine what is working
and what is not effective for clients. If necessary, they are often responsible for creating and
altering programs to better suite clients. They represent the organization to the public through
speaking engagements or in community-wide committees; they oversee, and execute program
implementations; they spend time on administrative tasks, such as managing budgets; and they
also help with raising funds and meeting with potential donors (What Social and Community
Service Managers Do, 2014, para.6).

RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment


I have found that community outreach to be crucial when dealing with human service
organizations. At my field placement, we are involved with numerous community outreach
programs and assisting with events in the community. This has made me aware of the importance
of reaching out and getting the community involved in your program. Due to the exposure that I
have had at my placement, I feel that I would be able to positively represent my organization to
the public and encourage involvement. Considering this is a management role, I feel that
whoever holds a position such as this has to be able to positively interact with an array of people.
Whether the Social and Community Service Manager of an organization is interacting with a
client or a staff member, it is important that they can effectively communicate. I feel that my
democratic leadership style would allow me to be successful within this position. My Strength
Finder assessment has shown that I have talent relating with people, and I believe that in
management that is important. My abilities to see things from different views and positions
people may have on certain topics would allow me to be an effective manager, my staff would
feel comfortable talking and sharing things with me. Strength Finder also labeled me as an
arranger. This theme would help me be an exceptional Social and Community Service Manager
because I could use my talents of organizing things, and being flexibility. Being able to figure
out how things go together and work for the best outcome is important for this position because I
would be dealing with many different people and personalities, and without being flexible and
dedicated to finding common grounds, this role could be a challenge. This position would be a
good fit for me because I am always trying to get people to work cohesively together, and
through my effective communication skills, I can usually get people to be in agreeance without
losing their voice or stance on a matter.

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RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment


I feel that I would be a highly respected leader because I have a strong sense of empathy
towards others. I believe this trait goes a long way, especially in the human services field. People
are apt to opening up to me and coming to me to seek advice. I take my role as a confidant very
seriously, and I get personal satisfaction being able to help others, whether they are friends,
family or clients. As Strength Finder accurately stated, I am dedicated to responsibility and
accountability which I feel help me personally and professionally. The position of a Social and
Community Manager involves a lot of dedication and responsibility, which I feel that I am ready
for. I take everything that comes my way in life seriously, and strive to do everything to the best
of my abilities. With this being said, this position would allow me to demonstrate my defined
work ethic, along with my people oriented nature to positively benefit an organization.
In order to be successful in this position something I would need to work on is my leadership
abilities. Although I feel that I have the necessary abilities to be stern and to the point when
needed, I fear that my inexperience would be my demise. Ive never had a leadership role before,
and I fear that I would be too democratic. I feel that in the position of a Social and Community
Manager there are times when it is necessary to have a take charge stance. In this case, a more
authoritative leadership style would be most effective. Taking control of situations is something
that I need to work on, which I feel will improve with experience. I would never want to rule
with an iron fist, but sometimes in crisis, people look to their leader for firm leadership and bold
plans to lead their group to success. I also need to work on not being such a people pleaser.
Ever since I was a child I always wanted to make people happy, sometimes that meant doing
what they wanted, even when I didnt want to or feel that was the best choice. In this role
especially, it is important that I stand up more for what I believe, and not let people walk all over

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RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment


me. Although I will always strive to help and make people feel good, I cannot let what others
want influence decisions that I have to make for the best outcome of my organization.
Through assessing myself, I have learned and have had reinforcement on my traits and
themes that I possess. It was no surprise to me that I always try to relate to others, and help them
as much as I can. Ive always had a need to reach out to others when possible, especially those
that are different, or may not be able to speak up for themselves. Through this assessment
process I have uncovered that I have talents in perception, recording, and processing. Ive never
considered myself possessing these critical strengths. I am glad that these talents were brought to
my attention though however. Especially considering I am interested in seeking a management
level position in the human services field, these talents will come in handy as I am overseeing a
human service organization someday!

Work Cited

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RUNNING HEAD: Career Planning Assignment


Career Assessment. (2015, November 1). Retrieved November 2, 2015, from
http://www.assessment.com/MemberCenter/OnlineOutput/RetrieveFCA.asp
Compensation. (n.d.). Retrieved November 12, 2015, from
http://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/
Social and Community Service Managers. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2015, from
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-1
StrengthsFinder 2.0 Report. (2015, October 25). Retrieved October 25, 2015, from
https://gx.gallup.com/gosf.gx/p/DsfPDF?a=776310926&lc=enus&e=4171576113&r=sf1_sdd_guide_pdf&k=d4f6c9d47c4bb1e2c8ca73f742d30f7aca1e
faae5a807cc2c5a7fa42f58f71f52650ac3e857722e867919d4b67ae56034826ad2d2898017
25587e9fa18aacdd1