Career Anchors, Discovering Your Real Values

by Edgar H. Schein

Pfeiffer, 72 pages, $13.10

Asking yourself what is important to you in terms of your career may seem obvious - you want a fulfilling job. But does that mean a position that fulfills your need for stability, one that allows you to discover and cultivate other skills, or a job that is financially rewarding? Career Anchors is a useful tool to help job seekers ask themselves the probing questions that will save them time as they journey down their career paths. If you are considering a career change or are just curious about what truly motivates you in your current job situation, this succinct book will shed light on which fields your unique makeup is oriented toward.

Schein's basic premise is that we all have career anchors that motivate and stimulate us and our careers should be built around them. These anchors are based on values like recognition, independence and pay and benefits. Career Anchors includes worksheets designed to help readers discover their own internal motivators, which are then paired with different career fields.

The book begins with a "Career Orientations Inventory" designed to uncover areas of competence, motives and values. When a professional's career orientation is clarified, Schein explores these four categories relevant to their makeup:

  • Type of Work
  • Pay and Benefits
  • Promotion System
  • Type of Recognition
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For example, an autonomous independent person would excel in a position with certain types of work. "The autonomy anchored person wants work that clearly defines goals but leaves the means of accomplishment up to him or her," writes Schein.

This updated edition includes the new sections, "Major Stages of the Career" and "Career Movement, Progress, or Success." Self-discovery is empowering, and when it helps solidify your career direction, it's invaluable. Investing in Career Anchors will pay dividends when you are determining which positions to pursue.

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