GENERAL ARTICLES

Are You Job Happy?

DONALD A. LAIRD September 1 1944
GENERAL ARTICLES

Are You Job Happy?

DONALD A. LAIRD September 1 1944

Are You Job Happy?

Says this writer: "There is not only one ideal job for you. There are several. The trick is to be in one of them"

DONALD A. LAIRD

THOUSANDS have had their spirits broken, perhaps soured, by not getting into a lifework they enjoy. More thousands have gone through a heartbreaking series of job changes, switching from one to another until they finally found one that fit them. This trial-and-error way of getting into the right work costs employers heavily in dollars and cents. The individual pays through a feeling of frustration and dissatisfaction and also in dollars and cents. But new tests make much of this terrible price unnecessary. They arfe analyses of vocational interest and were originated by Dr. Edward K. Strong at Stanford University.

The trial-and-error way is a hard, cruel method of finding the right work. Some of us never quite find it and remain in lackluck mediocrity. Some are lucky enough to find their niche and achieve eminence, or keep changing jobs often enough until they do. These

lucky.....or persevering persons enrich the world as

well as themselves. For instance:

Oscar Hammerstein was a cigar maker. He invented cigar-making machinery, founded and edited a tobacco trade journal. He was successful enough—but not happy. In middle life he shifted to theatrical productions and made his name famous.

Knut Pedersen tried farming, grade-school teaching, coal mining and was also a streetcar conductor before he started writing. Under the pen name of Knut Hamsun he wrote such memorable hooks atr"Hunger,” and “Growth of the Soil.”

Alexander Anderson was a day laborer, laying railroad tracks. Though a good trackman, lie was not exactly happy at this job, and he tried several other jobs before becoming a poet in his spare time. By the time he was 35 he was a famous poet and also librarian of the University of Edinburgh.

It. is amazing the number of men who have spent years training to become physicians and who have found after practicing medicine a few years that their hearts were in another field. Here are some of the erstwhile physicians who deserted medicine to become famous authors: Anton Chekhov, Warwick Deeping, Arthur Conan Doyle, Oliver Goldsmith, Henrik Ibsen, John Keats and Somerset Maugham.

Hidden Abilities

TJJUCH of our modern industrial progress is due to ITJ. self-made men who found their hidden abilities, often their potentialities, the hard way. For instance: Kaufman T. Keller had a nice white-collar office job. He quit it to become a 20c.-an-hour shop apprentice. Half a dozen times on his way up he asked for jobs at less pay in order, tp gyt experience to find what he liked best. In 1935 this job shifting paid ofF and he llégame president of the Chrysler Corporation.

Toronto’s late John H. Black tried teaching, tired of it and became a telegraph operator. Promoted to station agent, he stuck with railroading long enough to hold several important positions, including that of general manager of the T. and N.O. Railway from 1904 to 1911. He left railroading to become general manager of Northern Canada Power Company.Later he entered the insurance field, then the pulp and paper business. Then he was president of the Dominion Construction Company.

Rolph Reesor Corson started working as a hank clerk. He stuck with hanking for 12 years but in 1910 he tried a new job—manager of a leather goods business. He didn’t like that and entered the perfume business. Eventually he owned the business for himself. But this only led to other enterprises. Today, among other things, he is vice-president of the Laura Record Candy Company.

This zigzagging, this changing of work before finding the final “life calling,” is far from rare. Dr. Harry D. Kitson tabulated the people listed in “Who’s Who in America” and found that 16% had changed their vocations at least once. Two thirds of the zigzagging was done before the age of 35—but one third was done in middle and later life.

Perhaps more should change their vocations. C. G. Wrenn, for instance, studied the vocational satisfaction of Stanford University graduates. Many of these had spent the major part of their lives preparing for their lifework. Yet one out of five would have entered another line of work if it had not been too late. They were making a comfortable enough living, hut did not like the work. As young people they had been attracted by some superficial aspect of the career, and had decided on it.

The regret—or shifting—is seldom due to inability to do the work. The zigzagging is more often due to not liking the work. Their interests are in something else.

After World War I there was a rapid development of practical tests for fitting people to their best jobs. Mechanical aptitude, intelligence, muscular dexterity, clerical ability, even the capacity to become a nurse or physician were subjected to testing. These tests have been widely used, and usually very successfully. It is

now routine in many large industries to place new employees on the basis of such tests.

Those tests show what one can do. But they don’t tell whether he will enjoy doing it.

Shortly before World War II a new sort of test was developed —tests to find the sort of work a person would enjoy. It was found that by listing the things in which one is interested a person could find the kind of work he would like. Previously it had been necessary to try the work for a few months to learn whether or not one liked it. But the new tests of vocational interests discovered that people who were successful accountants, for instance, had certain interests in recreation and reading which were different from the interests of equally successful YMCA secretaries. Thus by knowing one’s interests in certain everyday things, one’s liking for an untried occupation can be forecast with good accuracy. Zigzagging through trials and disappointments, with its sometimes heartbreaking results, can now be avoided.

In addition to Dr. Edward K. Strong who originated the tests other vocational scientists who have done yeoman work in the development of these interest analyses are: Dr. Glenn U. Cleeton of the Carnegie Institute of Technology; Professor Harry W. Hepner of Syracuse University; and Dr. G. Frederic Kuder of the U. S. Social Security Board.

The Missing Ingredient

THEY started these tests because experience showed that the existing tests concerning intelligence, mechanical aptitude and social ability still left something missing in vocational placement. Especially for higher occupations was there still a missing " ingredient.

These interest analyses are not a theory. They were developed experimentally during a search for that missing ingredient by getting records of hundreds of interests of large numbers of persons who had made good in various occupations and professions. The work of tabulating and discovering the common interests of the different groups was enormous. For instance, many things auditors liked or disliked were no different from the likes and dislikes of other vocations. But enough differences were found to differentiate between the kind of person who would take to one type of work but not to others. It is these little differences which count when they are all added together.

Commercial organizations have found that it is as important to know about a prospective employee’s vocational interests as it is to know about his education and experience. Life insurance salesmen scattered fr:>m coast to coast, for example, had their Continued on page 41

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interest ratings for that vocation compared with their earnings. “Men with low life-insurance-interest ratings do not write enough insurance to earn a fair living, and there is a decided increase in production with higher and higher ratings,” according to a summary of their records.

In a large advertising agency three fourths of the “best men” had top interest ratings for advertising work, while none of the “doubtful men” had top ratings. Of their “average” men three fourths had only average scores on the interest ratings. In general, standing in an occupation varies with the interest-aptitude of the individual, though there are exceptions, of course.

Even policemen. Studies made on policemen at Duluth, Minn., showed that the best officers had higher interest analysis ratings for that work than the average or poorest officers. The same has been found for building engineers.

Many records of private industry cannot be published. But the general trend for the higher occupations is that a person with a good interest analysis for the work he’s doing has about three times the chances for success as a person with a low interest analysis.

Critical studies of these interest analyses show that one’s standing is not affected by having experience in an occupation—people don’t “learn to like” something they don’t like at the outset. It has also been found that although many of a person’s interests change as he becomes older the vocational interests themselves do not change appreciably. People apparently change their jobs because they were in the wrong one, not because their basic interests have altered.

These interests are significant for the so-called “higher occupations.” As yet questions have not been adequately developed which will tell whether a person is suited for one manual trade or another, such as tinsmith or ironmonger. Other types of tests, requiring the use of apparatus and paraphernalia, are available to determine adaptability to trades. But for the higher vocations the interest analysis method is the most successful yet developed. With the right interests, and evidence of educational ability to learn the occupation, many people have been up-graded into higher occupations.

“Quickie” Analyses

The way these interest analyses work is shown in a simplified form by the listings which follow. The occupations in which you check off the most interests corresponding to your own are the occupations in which you would find the work most congenial. And fully one person out of three finds there is an occupation more remunerative

than his present work and for which he would be better adapted by his makeup of inherent interests.

These “quickies” of the interest analyses have been» adapted from standard and widely used lists. Only a dozen questions are used for each, in place of the 400 used if you took an actual test. Dislikes are as useful in revealing interests as are the things one likes, but for these demonstration lists only the likes have been used.

These questions can be used by anyone from 15 to 50. Questions for women’s occupations are given later. Simply check the things you like and you’ll see which way the wind blows in your occupational interests—and how strongly it blows. The more interests you have checked for an occupation, the stronger your latent liking for it. Mark your score for each question in the space provided.

If you have a really strong liking for 10 or more of the items on any list, you could consider the possibility of trying out that type of work. If you check from six to nine, you would be justified in flirting with it a bit —but no matter what your score don’t get your heart set on it until you have either expert advice or a full-length interest analysis. A local member of that particular vocation can give you advice about the work, and later in the article you will find out about the full-length analyses.

But there’s one important thing not even a full-length analysis will tell you —whether or not you will like to work with the boss!

ACCOUNTANT

Do you like to work with people in the same room? □ Do you like to read fiction stories? □ Do you like to read textbooks? □ Do you like mathematics? □ Do you like to read the business page in newspapers? □ Do you like to work at puzzles? □ Do you like indoor work? □ Do you like to talk people into doing things? □ Do you like to belong to lodges? □ Do you like to bargain with others? □ Do you like to be active, to move about? □ Would you like to play a musical instrument? □

ADVERTISING

Do you like to have time to yourself? □ Do you like to mix work with play? □ Do you like to do head work at night? □ Do you like to read history? □ Would you like to promote international peace? □ Would you like to give up recreation to realize an ambition? Would you like to study all your life?D Do you like to be chairman of a committee? Would you rather work for a corporation than for yourself? D Do you like to work where there is hustle and bustle? □ Do you like to introduce a person to a group of strangers? □ Do you like to talk with a person who disagrees with you?D Continued on page 43

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ARTIST

Do you like to model clay?G Do you like to make sketches or draw? □ Do you like to change what you are doing frequently? □ Do you like indoor work? □ Do you like to plan entertainments? □ Would you like to be in business for yourself? □ Do you like to work outdoors? □ Do you like to work with animals? □ Do you like to make others laugh? □ Do you like to ride horseback? □ Would you like to work with actors? □ Would you like to work in a college? □

BUSINESSMAN

Do you like to mix work and play? □ Do you like work where you can be quiet? □ Do you enjoy reading business news? □ Do you like a definite routine for doing things? □ Do you like to answer business letters? □ Do you like to boss others? □ Do you like to be “peppy” and enthusiastic? □ Do you like a busy day?G Do you like to strike bargains with people? □ Do you like gardening? □ Do you like to be on the city streets? □ Do you like to play with children? □

Natural Overlapping

You have probably noticed already that the same question occurs on more than one list. This, of course, is because there is a natural overlapping. Many occupations are quite similar to others. That is why some people are equally successful in several lines of work—as long as they do not get too far afield from their interests.

In practical terms of your own vocation, this means that there is not only one ideal job for you—there are several. The trick is to be in one of the several. You may find some of these as we continue this listing of vocational interests.

CLERGYMAN

Do you like to do mental work evenings? □ Would you like to spend several years in school? □ Do you like to do serious reading? □ Would you like to promote international peace? □ Would you like to teach? □ Do you like social welfare work? □ Would you like to study all your life? Do you like to plan work for others? □ Would you like to drive an automobile in your work?G Do you like to make others laugh? □ Do you like to live in a city?G Would you like to be on the lecture platform?

CHEMIST

Do you like to work with delicate apparatus? G Would you like to teach? Q Do you like higher mathematics? G Do you like to work puzzles? G Do you like detailed work?Q Do you enjoy reading business news? G Do you like to live in the country? G Do you enjoy dancing? G Do you like work requiring accurate movements? G Would you like work in a factory? Q Do you like to use machinery? G Do you enjoy working in a library? Q

CIVIL ENGINEERING

Do you like to be with people when you work? G Do you like to work with specific facts? G Do you like to read textbooks? G Do you like to draw? G Do you like complicated mathematics? G Do you like to read business news? G Do you like routine work? G Do you like outdoor work? G Do you like to handle guns? Q Do you like manual labor? G Do you like being in the forests? Q Would you like to see foreign countries? G

FARMER

Do you like to put up with hardships for ultimate gains? □ Do you enjoy reading fiction? G Do you like to keep

expense accounts? Q Do you like routine work? G Do you like to trade and make bargains? Q Do you like active, heavy work?Q Do you like to care for animals? Q Do you like to play with children? G Do you like to ride horseback? Q Do you enjoy working in the garden? Q Do you like the forests? G Do you like old people? □

LAWYER (Barrister)

Do you like to have much of your time to yourself? O Do you like to read history? Q Do you enjoy speaking in public? G Do you like to assume responsibility for others? G Do you like to plan things for others? Q Do you like to argue with people? Q Would you like to run for public office? G Do you like to take financial chances? G Do you like to help people who are in trouble? □ Would you like to work with rich people? Q Do you like to do mental work?Q Do you like difficult reading?

MACHINIST

Do you want to be an expert? G Do you like mathematical work?Q Do you like to look after details? □ Would you like to work for a corporation? Q Do you like regular hours for work?0 Do you like to figure new ways to do work? G Do you like to handle firearms? G Do you like to do manual labor? □ Would you like to play a musical instrument? □ Would you like to develop an invention? Q Do you like accurate work? Q Do you like to play solitaire? Q

NEWSPAPER REPORTER

Would you like to work in a courtroom? Q Would you like to deal with athletes in your work? G Would you like to operate a typewriter rapidly? Q Do you like to live in a city? G Would you like to ride in an airplane? G Do you like to play with children? G Do you like to write magazine articles? G Do you like to read

poetry? G Do you like work that requires travelling? G Do you like to take chances? G Would you enjoy being a detective? G Do you like emergencies? G

PHARMACIST

Do you like to work with scientific facts? Q Do you like to do mental work at night? G Do you like to read textbooks? G Do you like to he thought an expert? G Do you like mathematics? G Do you like attending to small details? G Do you like selling things? G Do you like to live in a city?Q Do you like dealing with old people? G Do you like dealing with religious people? G Would you like spending years in training yourself? G Do you like to work where you can sit down? Q

PHYSICIAN

Do you like to read textbooks? □ Do you think you would like teaching? □ Do you like to work with fine details? G Do you like to lead a quiet life?Q Do you like regular hours of work?Q Do you like to play with children? G Do you like to invent things? G Would you like to work in a laboratory? □ Would you like to work with Negroes? □ Would you like to work with babies? □ Would you like to study most of your life? Q Would you like to sacrifice your fun for your success? Q

PRINTER

Do you like to work with people in the same room? G Do you like to read history? Q Do you like work that changes often? G Do you like to work for a corporation? G Do you like a busy day?Q Do you like to run a typewriter? Q Would you like to work

with athletes? Q Do you like to work with city people? □ Do you like to read business news?0 Do you like regular hours of work? G Do you like working in a noisy place? □ Would you like to be in business for yourself? G

SALESMAN (insurance)

Would you like to deal with day laborers? G Would you like to deal with farmers? □ Would you like to deal with religious people? Q Do you like a white-collar joh?Q Do you like to be chairman of a group? Q Do you like to keep a record of expenses? Q Do you like to answer business letters? Q Do you like to write in longhand? G Do you like to introduce people to each other? Q Do you like to persuade people? Q Do you like to belong to clubs and lodges? □ Would you like to be wealthy? Q

SALESMAN (general)

Do you like to mix work with play? Q Do you like to read fiction? G Do you like working with figures? Q Would you like work that required travelling? Q Do you like to have a “peppy,” enthusiastic manner? □ Do you like to persuade people? G Do you like to play with children? □ Do you like to be stylishly dressed? Q Do you like to make people laugh? G Do you like to live in a city? Q Would you like to deal with laborers? G Would you like to deal with poor people? G

SCHOOL PRINCIPAL

Would you like to deal with city people? G Would you like to deal with professional people? G Do you like to work in a garden?G Do you like to work in a library? G Do you like to do work at night? G Do you like to read biography? G Would you like to do social service work?Q Do you like to work where you can be quiet? G Do you like to attend to details? □ Do you like to lead a simple life?G Do you like to plan the work of others? G Would you like to live in the country? G

TEACHER (science)

Would you like to do professional work?G Would you like to work on an invention? □ Do you like work

requiring accuracy? G Do you like to work around machinery? G Do you like working in laboratories? G Do you like to do mental work at night? G Do you like to read textbooks? G Do you like to lead a quiet life? G Do you like to work outdoors? G Do you like to handle guns? G Do you like to play a musical instrument? G Do you like to ride horseback? Q

STORE MANAGER

Do you like to do night work? G Do you like to forecast the future? G Do you like to teach others? G Do you like to use figures? G Do you like to read business news? G Do you like to sell people things? □ Do you like j indoor work? G Do you like to supervise others? G Do you like to introduce J people to each other? G Do you like working with laborers? G Do you like working with poor people? □ Do you like working with old people? G

These questions do not deal with things the job itself requires, although at times it may seem that way. The questions bring out basic interests which research has shown are desirable to succeed in the work. Sajesmen, for instance, do not have to play with children—but the man who naturally plays with children is showing thereby an interest in people, which is an asset for a salesman.

And who ever heard of a physician who had regular working hours! Yet

that is something the typical successful physician would like—sort of a suppressed desire, perhaps.

It should be understood that the questions reveal one’s inward interests. Working in a garden, as a further example, is required by no occupation listed except that of the farmer. Yet it is a critical question for several occupations since it reveals a certain type of latent interest that that work needs.

Now that that is clear, let’s turn to some women’s occupations:

ACTRESS

Would you like to be a short-story writer? □ Would you like to be a sculptor? □ Would you like to be a painter? □ Do you like to speak in public? □ Do you like to read poetry? □ Do you like to make artistic things? □ Do you like to keep a diary? □ Would you like to be supervised in your work?D Do you like to write in longhand? □ Would you like to see your name in print? □ Do you like to dance? □ Do you like to investigate mysterious things? □

DIETITIAN

Do you like to work with concrete facts? □ Would you like to do research? □ Would you like to do social service work? □ Do you like to work where you can sit still? □ Do you like to look after details? □ Do you like to keep track of expenses? □ Do you like to supervise others? □ Do you like to play with children? □ Do you like to do cooking? □ Do you like to do sewing?□ Do you like to run a typewriter?□ Do you like to work in laboratories? □

LIBRARIAN

Do you like to move about a great deal in your work?D Do you like to work in gardens? □ Do you like to play with children? □ Do you like to play a musical instrument? □ Do you like to be in style? □ Do you like to work in a college? □ Would you like to work with office workers? □ Do you like to read biography? □ Do you like to classify and arrange facts? □ Would you like to study all your life? □ Do you like to be considered an expert? □ Do you like to live a simple life? □

NEWSPAPER WOMAN

Would you like to be a writer of short stories? □ Do you like to do night work?D Would you like to write magazine articles? □ Would you like to promote international peace?□ Do you like to speak in public? □ Do you like to introduce people to each other? □ Would you like to hold more than one job at a time? □ Would you like to be a public figure? □ Would you enjoy working in an office? □ Would you enjoy working in an art gallery? □ Do you like working in a library? □ Would you like working in a theatre? □

NURSE

Do you like to read textbooks? U Would you like to do social welfare work? □ Do you like to read poetry? □ Do you like to be supervised in your work?D Do you like to write in longhand? □ Do you like to plan an entertainment? □ Do you like to have to meet emergencies? □ Do you like to work with animals? □ Do you like work requiring manual labor? □ Do you like to care for children? □ Do you like to do housework? □ Do you like to handle people? □

OFFICE WORKER

Do you like to classify papers? □ Do you like to use mathematics? □ Do you like to sit when you work?D Do you like to watch little details? □

Would you like to have a business of your own? □ Do you like to operate a typewriter? □ Do you like to write shorthand? □ Would you like to work in a library? □ Do you like to deal with city people? □ Do you like to read business news? □ Do you like to do housework? □ Do you like to read poetry? □

SALESWOMAN

Do you like to read fiction? □ Would you like to do social service work? □ Do you like to read poetry? □ Do you like to read business news? □ Do you like to handle money? □ Do you like indoor work?D Do you like to introduce people to each other? □ Do you like to convince people? □ Do you like to belong to clubs? □ Would you like to have your own business? □ Do you like to take care of children? □ Do you like to deal with old people? □

SCHOOL PRINCIPAL

Would you like to deal with city people? □ Would you like to deal with professional people? □ Do you like to work in a library? □ Do you like to do work at night? □ Do you like to work where you can be quiet? □ Do you like to look after details? □ Do you like to lead a quiet life? □ Do you like to plan the work of others? □ Do you like to be chairman of a committee? □ Do you like to plan entertainments? □ Do you like to work with plants? □ Do you like to do cooking? □

SOCIAL SERVICE WORKER Do you like to read history? □ Do you like to forecast results? □ Do you like to read poetry? □ Do you like your work to change frequently? □ Do you like to tell others what to do? □ Do you like to have exciting days? □ Do you like to deal with emergencies? □ Do you like to dance? □ Do you like to take care of children? □ Do you like to live in a city? □ Would you like to be a missionary? □ Would you like to deal with foreigners? □

STENOGRAPHER

Do you like to file or classify papers? □ Do you like to make artistic things? □ Do you like to work on puzzles? □ Do you like attention to details? □ Do you like to introduce people to each other? □ Do you like to travel on city streets? □ Do you like to wear stylish clothes? □ Do you like to do housework? □ Do you like to use a typewriter? □ Do you like writing shorthand? □ Would you like working in a bank? □ Do you like to deal w th city people? □

TEACHER (home economics)

Would you like to do social service work?D Do you like to paint or draw?D Do you like to handle money? □ Do you like to plan new ways of working? □ Do you like to belong to some clubs? □ Do you like to bargain with people? □ Do you

like to meet dangerous situations? □ Do you like to do church work?D Would you like to write shorthand? □ Do you like to play solitaire? □ Would you like to live on a farm?D Would you like to work in a millinery shop?D

TEACHER (kindergarden)

Would you like to promote international peace? □ Would you like to do social service work? □ Do you like to paint or draw? □ Do you like to read poetry? □ Do you like to keep track of your expenditures? □ Do you like to be supervised in your work? □ Do you like to plan entertainments? □ Do you like to have a busy day?D Do you like to work with plants? □ Do you like to dance? □ Do you like to

f play with children? □ Do you like to t do church work?D

! TEACHER (science)

Would you like to do professional I work? □ Do you like to work in labora( tories? □ Do you like to read textI books? □ Do you like to lead a quiet life? □ Do you like to work outdoors? □ Do you like to play a musical instrument? □ Do you like to do mathematical work?D Would you like to study all your life? □ Do you like to ! move about at your work? □ Do you like to work with animals? □ Do you like to dance? □ Do you like to deal

* with farmers? □

THE WOMAN IN BUSINESS

Do you like to read fiction? □ Would you forego pleasure for your busi1 ness?D Do you like to read business ! news? □ Do you like to keep an ^ account of your expenses? □ Do you like to sell things? □ Do you like to plan work for others? □ Do you like to take financial chances? □ Do you " like to dance? □ Do you like to play

i with children? □ Do you like to deal

> with salesclerks? □ Do you like to

• handle money? □ Do you like to find new ways for working? □

i The differences in interests of various ‘ occupational groups are surprising to i most persons. But the differences are there. In fact, the differences are

greater than this abbreviated listing would suggest. When a full-length

vocational interest analysis test is taken, it requires about an hour just to answer the questions—and no question , is repeated twice. Dislikes as well as . likes are considered in the complete , tests.

This demonstration list shows which way the wind is blowing. For exact guidance, a psychologist near you can give you the full lists. A university or , college psychologist can usually do this. , In cities where there is no such institu, tion, the public schools often have a , psychologically trained person to give such tests. The principal of your schools could direct you to the right person. If you work for a large company there is a possibility that someone in the employment office gives such tests. Find out, and take them after hours.

It is no longer necessary to try many jobs before finding the sort of work you like. And if you do not like your present work it is seldom necessary to change to another firm to get the work you want. You can be changed to a department where the work fits your interasts better. Talk such a ohange over with the personnel or employment manager. That is a part of his job.

And don’t think you can’t handle a better job. You can never tell until you try!

But there is something more tnan trying. Quite often special training is needed. As you read through those lists of questions you saw “mental work at night” mentioned many times. Also, “Would you like to study most of your life?” and “Do you like to read textbooks?”

Better jobs are not just for the lucky. They are for the plucky, for those who work for advancement, for those who study to hold their own against the advances of modern technology.

Your city library can provide you with books. A specialist in the library i can recommend the suitable books and i give you other helpful guidance. Night courses are also available, for very low charges, in many places. And take : correspondence courses seriously if

these other avenues do not give you what you need to qualify for a job for which your interests are adapted,

There is only one person to blame if i your abilities are kept hidden.