Some people who take the Strong have difficulty deciding which themes apply to their career interests. There can be several reasons why some people find it hard to focus on a career area.
For example, some people do not have enough work experience to know about different jobs, work environments, or skills. Others lack the experience to know what their own interests are. A person's self-perception takes time to develop, as do skills and competencies. It would follow that this more likely the case for a young person than an old person.
Still other people have had negative, conflicting, inaccurate, or ambiguous experiences in the fields or occupations that interest them. If a person has had several such experiences, he or she might question his or her personal qualities and skills. In fact, the person might be just fine. Perhaps the work situation was poor. For example, a person might have an interest in journalism, and work in several jobs with large newspapers. If these experiences are negative, it might be that working with a small newspaper would be a better fit, rather than a new career outside journalism.
The same can be true about our self-perceptions. If friends or family tell us we're poor at math, we might believe them, whether it's true or not. The opposite can also happen: our friends and family might tell us we'd be great doctors, but we aren't interested in medicine.
When all these potential difficulties are combined, a person might question his or her suitability for a profession, college major, or hobby. Likewise, changing jobs or careers is likely to be much more difficult simply because the direction or path will certainly be less clear. People develop at different rates, so while one person might have great career clarity at 6 years of age, another might still be uncertain at 60. Further, other people have a more complex view of the world of work. They are likely to spend more time considering options and exploring than those who quickly decide on a profession.
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