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"So, what's your major?"

It’s spring. Many are graduating, coming home from college, or nostalgic about that time in our own lives. It’s a conversational go-to when engaging with high school and college students that is typically a source of angst, even if the decision has been made. At The Forging Place, career issues and decisions are often interwoven in what comes up in our offices throughout the lifespan. There is a systemic web between career, identity, happiness, finances, and even health.

One of my favorite resources for people making this decision or even unsure about their present career is the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation. Founded in 1922, Johnson O’Connor studies human abilities and aptitudes, testing thousands each year. There are 13 locations in the United States, the closest to us being Dallas, Texas. Clients go for a day and a half of aptitude testing. Spatial reasoning, jargon recognition, ability to decipher tone, ability to identify color, dexterity, monotony tolerance, and more are tested to tell each individual the specific career they have aptitude for. The concept being that greater ability leads to better success which leads to overall career. In turn, satisfaction and stability in career effects our daily lives.

The appointment is concluded with an hour-long meeting explaining results and telling 10 specific careers for which you have the highest aptitude. The results will not simply say a client should be a teacher, but will specify what grades and subject would be best based on the testers. I had a friend who was unhappy in their career, not knowing if it was the job or the field that was the issue. He tested and found that he was gifted in his field but was doing poorly because of the monotony of his job duties. The results were taken to his workplace. With better understanding of his abilities, he was able to seek out duties that played to his skillset and thus having greater success in the workplace. The grief, money, time, and energy I have seen the Johnson O’Connor center save from those struggling with career choice has been tremendous over the years and I highly recommend for direction or peace of mind.

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