Posted by: jeandurand | April 23, 2010

It is a Matter of Interest

This article may just as well have been called the tale of two engineers. Lets call the one engineer Charl and the other engineer John.

Charl had the inclination of assembling and disassembling appliances, equipment and electronic toys from an age as early as three. When Charl got a battery operated car for Christmas he would play with it for a day at most. All of his friends knew what would happen the next day. He would disassemble it and try to re-assemble it.

Mom’s hair dryer, microwave oven and vacuum cleaner were not spared on any occasion. Dad’s TV, Hi-fi set and lawnmower were also not safe. Needless to say till the age of nine more appliances, equipment and electronic devices were broken than repaired. This would often infuriate his parents and obviously destroy their bank accounts.

However after the age of nine, Charl became the pride and joy of his parents. He was a whiz kid and saved his parents money repairing whatever mechanical and electrical equipment they had. Very soon the neighbours brought their equipment to Charl for repairs. He enjoyed it and it was the passion in his life.

John since an early age enjoyed collecting bones, artifacts and strange ornaments such as bottles. He would disappear into the veld for hours. The strangest ornaments, stones and artifacts would be brought back home to be studied.

Both Boys went to study engineering. Who was successful in his studies despite being at the same level of intelligence? The answer is obvious: Charl. However, John’s story did have a happy ending. He gave up his engineering studies and today he is a highly successful geologist. Charl is a highly successful engineer at a multi-national company.

Even qualified career counselors make the mistake of over focusing on aptitude testing at the expense of interest testing. Therefore ensure that you know the interests of your child by having his interests assessed psychometrically by a professional psychologist. An eighteen year old’s interests are seldom as clearly defined as in above examples.

View and send your career or workplace queries to . You are also welcome to phone Jean on 082 – 382 4684.


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