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Study Of Vocations

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

After filling out the questionnaire, you ought to have a pretty fair idea of just what sort of characteristics you possess, just what qualities in your nature are strongest and what you would be able to offer to the occupation you choose. But, no matter how well acquainted you have become with yourself—your likes and dislikes, abilities and inabilities, when taken as a whole—this knowledge is not sufficient to enable you to make your choice, because you probably have no idea—or, at best, but a faint idea—as to just what line of work these qualities, likes and dislikes, ambitions and the rest will fit into. In order to fit the right person to the right job, it is necessary to know both person and job. Once you have studied an occupation to know whether it requires mathematical or scientific ability, executive ability or the ability to follow someone else's lead; whether hasty, impulsive actions would be fatal to success or harmless or helpful; whether you will be required to be a good talker or not—when you have learned all of these things, you will then be able to begin the process of elimination and cancellation, comparing each quality you possess or lack with the special requirements of each vocation, until you find the place where requirements and personal characteristics coincide.

It is easy enough to learn what the broad, general requirements of an occupation are; the part which is difficult is to learn what the less obvious requirements are, the unexpected demands which lie hidden under the surface and are not suspected by the world at large, and will not be suspected by you until you begin to study that occupation in all seriousness and earnestness. It is not the apparent demands of an occupation which disappoint the worker when once he enters upon its duties. If he determines to be a journalist, it will be perfectly obvious to him that he must be able to express himself fluently and quickly; must know the elements that constitute news; must know the technical "ins and outs" of news writing, which is different from any other kind of writing; that he must like the uncertainty of the life of a newspaper man, who can call no time his own, and must always be at the beck and call of his editor, who can send him wherever he pleases whenever he pleases. These are not the things that will disappoint the young newspaper worker when he first enters a newspaper office. The things that will disappoint him—unless he knows that he must meet them and has qualified himself to cope with them—are such things as the necessity for "butting in" when he is not wanted, and of always being able to keep a stiff upper lip when he cannot get the in-formation he wants; or the grim determination that all news-paper workers must have, to get the "stuff" or die in the attempt. If one source fails him, he must go to another, and so on down the line until he is satisfied and can, bit by bit, piece his article together. Or again, you may be well fitted in every obvious way to do newspaper work, except in the ability to get along with strangers. A certain sincerity, a certain pleasing personality, is necessary to the newspaper man who would find his way into the offices of big men who refuse to see others. He must be able to cajole office boys into letting him into the sanctum of the big boss and, once he is within the threshold, he must be able to wheedle the story out of the big man. In these little things will lie your success as a newspaper man; without them, all the ability to write, all the knowledge of technique, all your training—everything—will be of no use whatever. So it is in order to learn of these small, obscure, but all-important, requirements that you must study the various vocations just as thoroughly as you have studied yourself.

There are other things for which you must make a study of vocations; for instance, the amount of training they require. It is useless to enter a vocation if you have not the proper training to enable you to compete with others. Unless you are one of the great exceptions—one of the Lincolns, the Edisons or the Fords—you will be sure to lose out in the fight. Then, again, you ought to study a vocation to learn what will be demanded of you in the way of duties. You may have an abstract idea that you want to be a lawyer, a journalist or a doctor, but until you have studied that vocation carefully, so that you will know everything that will be demanded of you—not only while you are preparing for your vocation, but also after you have entered it--you are bound to meet with disappointments and set-backs.

Study also the advantages and limitations of each vocation. Sometimes you may find that, though a vocation offers you good pay, it will not give you the social advantage of another vocation which you could follow with almost as good results. Then it is up to you to weigh these desires and ambitions as against financial returns. As has been mentioned before, the pay of army officers is very small, but they have a certain social prestige which is very dear to the heart of some persons. There are other advantages to be considered—the advantages of spare time, the advantages of studying while you work, or of continued learning, the advantages of an easy-going methodical existence or perhaps the advantages of travel and seeing the country. All these things must be taken into consideration. The cost of preparation, too, is another good thing to know—better to measure your purse beforehand than to have to give up your work after you have started to prepare for it. It is for all these reasons, for comparison, elimination and for satisfaction of desires and ambitions that you must study the various vocations, just as you have studied yourself, and in as systematic a way.

Likes and Dislikes.—Look over the list of occupations in the index very carefully. Give plenty of time to the study and selection, because it is going to mean a great deal to you. Every minute you spend in this study will be repaid a hundredfold, not only in time but in satisfaction and contentment. Instinctively, you will no doubt pick the things that you like best. The things you pick will seem to you the most attractive subjects for reading. This will indicate that you are following the first requisite for happiness in your future work—doing the things you like best to do. If you have personal likes and dislikes for no particular reason, or even if they are based on superficial knowledge, it is wise to follow them. Do not let anything you may have heard about a certain occupation keep you from considering and studying it if it holds some interest for you. The person who told you that such and such an occupation was a very unsatisfactory one to follow probably found it so because he himself was not properly informed or fitted when he entered that vocation. Being handicapped all his life and having to compete with others better trained, or with a greater love for the work in which he is engaged, he probably found little opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of his vocation.

Every occupation has its compensations for the person who is fitted to follow it. In the long run, you will be most Iikely to find success in some occupation for which you have an instinctive liking than in any other. Pure enjoyment in your work will help to overcome many difficulties. Many persons have followed a vocation for which they apparently seemed unfitted-perhaps because of some physical handicap—but their great love for the work enabled them to overcome all the obstacles which they found in their path. Nothing would induce them to give it up—ill health, the advice of friends, the assurance that they could never succeed in such work, lack of the proper qualifications or education—in spite of these things, they triumphed. Of course, such cases are exceptional, but they only go to prove how much depends on choosing a vocation for which you have a strong liking.

Dreams and Aspirations.—Almost every boy has a dream—a certain aspiration, secret though he may keep it. Perhaps you are afraid that parents and friends will laugh at you if you ever mention that great desire; or perhaps you are afraid of those who would try to discourage you if you should ever avow your intentions of aiming so high. Now is the time to remember that great desire. When you look over the list, see to what extent each occupation corresponds to, or is likely to prove a stepping stone towards, the attainment of your ambition. Perhaps you want to be a great railroad president, perhaps a great foreign exchange banker, perhaps even a Congressman or Governor. Whatever you want to be, pick out those vocations which seem most likely to lead eventually to the place in the world you most want; that is, choose law if you want to be a Congressman or Governor choose banking if you want to be a big foreign exchange banker. Perhaps you will start with a mere clerkship, but the bigger positions are waiting for the man with ambition and talent. Perhaps the humble position of engineer on a train will lead, to the railroad presidency—such things have happened before, for it is the man who knows the business from the ground up who will advance the fastest when once he has gained his foothold. So not only is it wise to consider your personal likes and dislikes and your secret ambitions, but it is practically essential to your success that you do so.

Desirable Characteristics.—Perhaps, through this consideraation of the list of occupations, you have reached a tentative conclusion about several vocations which you think you would like to follow. If you have been able to eliminate those which can hold no interest for you, and retain those which do hold some special interest, then your task will be that much easier. If you are one of the many who have no idea at all as to what they want, or do not want, to do, you can still make your choice, but it will take a little more time and consideration for you to reach a definite conclusion.

In the latter case, you must read over all of the analyses of occupations provided in this course. They are not long, and you will find them interesting to read—throwing new and unsuspected light on old familiar topics. Even if you have a fairly definite idea of the kind of work you want to do, it will not be time wasted to read over these descriptions, for you may find a better plan of adjustment between yourself and an occupation about which you know little, than in the case of one of which you have had some previous knowledge. After you have read these analyses over, even though you had no definite ideas when you started, you should be able to narrow down your studies to a few selected vocations. Each description of a vocation will give you some idea as to the desirable native abilities, the advantages and disadvantages of that vocation, its limitations and its chances for advancement, the preparation that is required, in addition to the amount of educational preparation, without which but little progress can be made. By comparing all these things, you should be able to make at least a tentative selection.

Having marked off those vocations which interested you most, it is now time to begin a thorough study of each one selected. Just as, in making your self-analysis you wrote down all the various characteristics you found that you possessed, it is a good idea to have paper and pencil with you when you sit down to study these vocations. First of all, read the descriptions care-fully to see what the requirements of each vocation are. Note the mental, moral and physical requirements of each, and under the heading of, say, engineering, put down these desirable characteristics. For instance, you will find that the engineer should possess imagination, without which he will be unable to visualize a thing mentally before it is created. He must have a capacity for sound judgment and accurate thinking, for his work demands scientific precision. He must have a creative instinct, and love to work things out, and plan and develop new and original ideas. He should be proficient in mathematics and science, for engineering is built largely upon mathematical calculations and physics, for the mastery of which an analytic turn of mind is required. In addition to all this, the engineer should be strong physically, resourceful, a quick thinker and a "good mixer," for he will have to deal with men as well as materials.

Again, if you want to be a buyer, study the requirements of commercial enterprises. You must have tact and skill in dealing with people. You must have a knowledge of human nature, as well as an extensive knowledge of goods and their markets. You must know exactly where each type of goods can be bought to the best advantage. You must have conversational ability, energy, push, resource and initiative. All these things will be required, and it is up to you to put all these things down on a piece of paper, so that when you have made a complete inventory you will be able to begin the comparison between the requirements of a vocation and the qualifications you can offer.

Take a third illustration, carpentry. Perhaps you want to follow some trade, since you have always felt an interest in your manual training courses. To be a successful carpenter, you must be skilful with your hands; you must be able to draw; you must be able to read drawings, plans and specifications; you must have some mathematical ability and some knowledge of the allied building trades. So, as you study the descriptions of the various occupations, pick out first the desirable abilities, and list them.

Note, too, in reading, the duties of each vocation. On the surface, or before you begin to study a vocation, it may appeal to you immensely. You will say, "Oh, yes, I'd like to be a doctor"—or a lawyer—but you have not stopped to consider all the little irksome duties a doctor or a lawyer must perform. If you are a methodical person, who likes to have a place for everything and everything in its place, and a time for everything and everything in its time, when you come to study the vocation of a doctor, you will see that the general practitioner has no time that he can call his own, but must always be at the beck and call of his patients—day or night, no matter what the hour or the weather. Then there are also the long years of training, the years of interne work, the long hours of patient waiting, which the young physician must undergo before he has made his reputation. All the disagreeable little tasks that the doctor must perform—it is well to consider these things before deciding on a vocation. As a lawyer, you picture yourself at the bar, pleading before a courtroom of people; that is as it should be, but it would be wise to know all the tiresome details that will be required of the lawyer—the brief that must be written and the hours and hours of research work necessary to its preparation, the petty routine work of the law clerk in the law office—these are other points to be taken into consideration. Put all these requirements down on paper.

Put down, too, the amount of preparation necessary for each vocation. Some vocations require college training, others do not require it, but success will come easier if you have had it. Others require a definite technical training—especially is this true in any of the trades. Success comes in some enterprises with but a high school education, while some professions require definite training, as, for instance, journalism. It is important to know just what training is desirable and then to see if you can meet these requirements; to decide whether the training you already have is sufficient, or whether more specific training would be necessary. For some of you, it will be impossible to get a college education—or perhaps even the two or three years of schooling in a technical or industrial school. If you cannot do this, and such training is absolutely essential to your success in a chosen vocation, you have no choice but to discard the idea. On the other hand, do not forget that many courses may be taken up at night while you go on with some sort of work—preferably work which will give you a groundwork for your chosen career—by day. Then, too, it was never easier to get a college education than it is today. You will find it comparatively easy to work your way through college, with the proper ambition and the proper amount of persistency. Everyone—faculty, students and trustees—is willing to help the ambitious boy along, for he is the type which brings most glory to the Alma Mater in the days to come. The boy who wants to succeed will succeed no matter what the sacrifices he must make in the beginning. Perhaps the vocation you have chosen requires no more study than you already have had or requires merely the study of certain definite subjects, such as mechanical drawing or certain mathematics or science courses. It is necessary to put down all these requirements on paper to see whether you can fulfil them.

It goes without saying that it is always wise to study the rewards of a vocation before coming to any definite conclusion regarding its desirability. The financial rewards are not the only ones that count, though for some people, they must necessarily be of paramount interest. If you must support or help to support a family, consider whether the rewards of a certain vocation would not be so much greater after a few more years of study as to warrant your struggling along somehow until you finish that training. The social rewards have been mentioned before. To some boys, these will be of first interest in studying the rewards of a vocation. If you are socially inclined, you will find that some occupation which will gain you a wide circle of influential friends appeals to you more than one where your social life must necessarily be limited. Doctors, lawyers and engineers always stand high in the social scale as do teachers and the officers of the army and navy. In some instances the salary is small, but the entree to better social life is worth much to an individual. In other cases there is the reward of service. If your object is not gain for yourself but good for the community, you will study the vocations with the purpose of selecting those which offer the greatest opportunity to serve society. For this reason you will take into consideration the contentment which comes from such occupations as social service work, teaching, politics, and so forth. For some, there may be still another reward—that of the peacefulness and sureness of certain vocations. For this person, the fact that, day after day, he will be doing the same thing, without worry, without hurry, always knowing just what each day will bring forth, will bring the contentment that his nature desires.

In making this analysis you must also put down the ad-vantages and disadvantages of an occupation. One line of work requires long hours, but pays. well; another offers short hours, but poor pay; still another holds the advantage of variety, as, for instance, the profession of journalism. This may be the thing you desire. Or, again, another occupation offers methodical, monotonous work—this appeals to still a different type. Some vocations offer educational advantages at the same time that one is working; that is, one is continually improving his mind with his work, as, for instance, in college teaching. This fact will be of interest to those who hold an education above all else. Then there is the advantage or the disadvantage of outdoor work. To some it is desirable; to others very undesirable. Whichever way you consider these requirements—whether as advantages or disadvantages—put them down upon your list accordingly.

When you have completed the study of all these vocations, you should have for each vocation a list which will show, at a glance, that vocation's duties, advantages and limitations, the desirable native abilities, financial and other rewards, the preparation necessary, the educational requirements and cost of preparation. One by one compare these requirements with the results of your self-analysis. The comparison should now be easy. For instance, you may have picked the profession of engineering as one which would interest you. You find that it requires a certain amount of study beyond high school. Very well, you can afford both the time and the money to give to that schooling. You see that it requires imagination, sound judgment, creative instinct, physical strength. You are sure you possess these qualities. It requires constructive mechanical ability. You have always enjoyed and excelled in that sort of work and study. The duties appeal to you, and the compensations are sufficiently attractive. Everything seems to fit perfectly—until you find that, in order to succeed as an engineer, you must be a good mathematician. You have always been poor at mathematics and loathed the study, and are sure that nothing could make you like it. Even if you thought you could overcome your distaste for, and poor accomplishment in, mathematics, it would be wise for you to discard engineering for another vocation. Of the hundreds of occupations available, it would be folly to select one that depends so largely upon the subject in which you are so weak. This is the sort of comparison you must make with each vocation that you have chosen. Go down the list of requirements and check off each one on the chart of your own abilities.

Now take, for example, a business position, such as that of a buyer for a big store. On the occupation side, you see that it re-quires a knowledge of goods. You have always been interested in some line of goods, say, furniture, for instance; know all about the different types, know how it should be made and how it should not, where it is best made, and so forth. You see that, to be a buyer, you must have considerable knowledge of human nature, that you must know what people want and how to get what you want from others. Perhaps you have always been able to do this from childhood; many people are of this type. As for the care of stock and knowledge of its location, you have always enjoyed the study of these things, and even know where the antique types may be located. Everything seems to be coming along well, in this comparison. Energy, push, resourcefulness, initiative—all these things are required—but you have them all. Then comes the requirement of tact and skill in dealing with people, and good conversational ability. You have always been more or less taciturn and have never made friends easily. Without this ability you will never make a great success in this line of business. Of course, one does not immediately become a buyer in a big store. Such positions come only after years of experience and development in more lowly merchandising positions. It is possible that you may be able to overcome your shortcomings in this respect, and learn to become sociable and even a good conversationalist. Actual business experience, the cultivation of the right kind of friends and good reading will help to accomplish that.

Make the same comparison of the requirements of a trade, as, for instance, carpentry. Consult the description headed "Woodworking"—and there you will find "considerable manual training." Some of it you will probably have obtained in the elementary or high school, but more than this will be required. Perhaps you are one of those who feel that they must go to work immediately in order to help support a family, but you will notice that there are many evening courses in various schools, in some of which the training is free. So you go on in your study: skilful with your hands—you have always been interested in making little contrivances about the house—well and good; the ability to make plans and read them—you enjoy that, too; you see that some mathematical ability is required—you were pretty good at it in school; some knowledge of the other building trades is essential—you are as much interested in them as in your own, hoping one day to be a general contractor yourself. So you go on through the list and find that you have everything to offer that the occupation requires. If the other things-your interest, your ambitions and your preparation—are satisfactory and you feel certain that you have found the occupation you want to follow, then the first and perhaps the most important part of your vocational problem is solved.

Using the Public Library.—Now, perhaps there are three or four, maybe more, occupations, all of which seem to fit in pretty well with your dreams, ambitions, likes and dislikes, native abilities and preparation, and will bring you the rewards that the right occupation should bring. Perhaps you feel that you could follow almost any one of them equally well—as far as you can tell at the present time. So there still remains the process of elimination until you are able to say with certainty that this is the occupation for which you are best fitted and in this work will you be best satisfied. In order to reach this certainty which is so necessary to success, you will have to make a further study of these few vocations that are left after your first study. In order to do this, you must seek the help of your public library, consulting books, magazines and trade papers which have to do with these vocations or with certain phases of them. Read everything that you can find upon the subject, always testing yourself to see that attention does not lag. Continue the same sort of comparison of these vocations that you did in the first process, only studying a little more deeply and more carefully. Be sure that everything matches up—and see which cases you are most sure of. Study all the little details of the occupations that you can find mentioned in books and magazines and trade papers, and see if they fit in with your personal characteristics. You will not find a better help in choosing your vocation than reading and digesting the various trade papers. They contain the most interesting and up-to-date information concerning the occupation they deal with; and you will find in them side lights on every angle of an occupation—find thoughts which would never have entered your head without this intimate information. Many occupations are subject to changes, corresponding with changes in outside conditions. The condition of the labor market, the supply of materials, the supply of labor—all these things influence a trade, and in the trade papers you will find the immediate information which no book could contain. A good test of your fitness to enter a trade is the interest you take in reading its trade papers. If they hold little or nothing of interest for you, you will certainly never find very much happiness, success or contentment in following such a trade. When you combine all the detailed information which you can obtain from books and magazines with the very recent information and interesting details which you can obtain from the trade papers, you ought to have little trouble in making, at least, a tentative decision. Do not begrudge the time spent in this study. It will be richly repaid in time, money and happiness on some future day.

Seeking Counsel.—After you have made a tentative choice of one or two subjects, the next step is to consult with persons who are interested in that vocation, who have worked in it, know it or have studied it. From them you will get further information as to just what the vocation is like, just what sort of recompense you may expect; for they are working in fact and not in theory, and so can tell just how much fun there is in the work, and what duties will be expected of you—what its advantages are and what its limitations are. They can tell you how much money you can expect to make if you follow that same line—and just what your rewards, social and otherwise, will be. Of course, you must take into consideration the fact that they may not have gone into the work as well prepared as you expect to be. Perhaps they were not well fitted to follow that vocation-and you expect to be so well fitted for it that you will not be subject to that sense of dissatisfaction which comes from constantly changing, trying to find the place you like best, and all the other dissatisfying circumstances that surround the taking of a job for which you are not well fitted by nature. On the other hand. if you can find some person who is well satisfied with the work he is doing, and has made a great success of it, you have found someone who can help you a great deal, and you should talk over with him all the doubtful points that may still linger in your mind, and ask him every question you can think of. But watch out for the person who is dissatisfied with his work, and you will find many such failures in the business world. These misfits are the cause of the prevalent malady, dislike for one's own occupation. If the person you are talking with is one of these misfits, then you may be sure that he has not found all that you expect to find if you follow the same road by choice and not by chance.

With a great many people there is always the tendency to overlook the redeeming features of their work and remember only the hardships. It is only human nature to do this, but it is a fact to be remembered and considered when you are talking the matter over with other people. It is not only necessary that you talk to persons engaged in the work which you are considering adopting for yourself, but it is wise to watch them at their work.

If you are going to take up printing, watch a printer at his work; think, "Would I like to do that sort of thing myself ?"—and then go up to him and ask him all about his work. If such a thing is possible try your hand at the work you have tentatively decided upon. If you visit establishments which do the kind of work you are considering, see if you cannot be allowed to try your hand at those things which you could do—and watch care-fully those operations which you could not perform without training.

Besides studying the vocations in this way and consulting with those engaged in them, you must also begin the comparison of requirements and abilities all over again. Find out from those who know you best whether they think you are fitted to follow the work you have chosen. Talk to your parents, who naturally have your interests most at heart and can give you the sincerest advice. Talk with your friends, who may know certain of the qualities you express when playing games or in friendly inter-course, qualities which are more or less unknown even to your parents. Talk with your teacher, who certainly knows your educational abilities and training better than anyone else, and may also know quite a bit about the vocations which you are studying, since many teachers are interested in vocational guidance.

Parents used to be able to guide their children into the right path because they knew best the peculiarities of their own children; but today the complexity of occupations, especially in the cities, makes it very hard for the busy parent to familiarize himself or herself with the various requirements of each. Often a father will desire a child to follow in his footsteps and will do all in his power to influence him to enter that vocation without consideration of qualifications. Sometimes, also, a parent thinks he knows his business "too well" and will try to keep his child out of it in order to save him from all the difficulties that he himself underwent while he was working his way up. He forgets all the pleasures he found in his work, and can see only the hard-ships, because he wants to save his boy from these same troubles. Other members of the family, and friends who are interested in you and your success will gladly talk the matter over with you and give you their candid opinions as to whether or not you will find success in your work. Your family and friends know you best of all—know your capabilities, your habits, peculiarities and abilities—and you will do well to stop and study their advice and ponder over why they think as they do.

When it comes to consulting with a teacher, choose the one with whom you are most familiar, so that you may talk with-out restraint, and so that you will feel his sympathy for you and your work. If you have studied with that teacher, he or she will be able to tell you whether you have abilities in one line of study or another, and whether you can succeed in the higher branches of that study—whether your educational back-ground is sufficient for you to build still further upon it. A good teacher will also know your personal characteristics—whether you are nervous in reciting, or whether you speak well before a crowded room; whether you are well liked by your fellow students, or whether you are hard to get acquainted with; whether you are quick mentally, or slow but retentive; whether you like books and studying, or whether you study by compulsion or from fear of being left behind. All this can a teacher tell you, and much more besides; and you would do well to heed the advice. But no matter with whom you have consulted or how many people you have talked with, always make certain allowances and remember that in the end you, and you alone, must be the final judge.

Making the Decision.—You have now come to the most important step of all—making the final decision. Not only is it the most important step in choosing your vocation, but it is probably the most important step you will have to take during your whole lifetime. No other step will have a greater effect upon your whole life than this one. If you choose the right vocation, you will be happy in your work all your life, following it with a maximum of smoothness, satisfaction and content, and a minimum of irritation and unhappiness. If you make the right choice, you will rise the quicker to success; while if you make a wrong selection, you will probably never make the most of the abilities that were given you by nature; and with which abilities, provided you employ them in the proper field, you should be able to meet all competition and rise to the highest places in the vocation which you select. With future success and happiness bound up with this one decision, it is easy to see that you cannot spend too much time or too much thought upon the matter.

The tragedy of the man who is bound forever to the work which he despises—how he never makes the most of his talents and never rises to higher levels—has already been discussed. After all, we have only a few short years in this world, and a large part of our time is spent in work. A maximum of enjoyment of life, then, can only be obtained if we take joy in the work we do. If we find our need for pleasure satiated in our work, then we will not have to look for outside amusements. The reason why so many of our young men are dissipated today is because they hate their work, do it only that they may have the wherewithal to play—and play too hard in order to forget the unhappiness of their working hours. When you begin to burn your candle at both ends, the least harm you can do your-self is to shorten the number of years allotted you in this world.

If you only realize how much depends upon your right choosing, you will never begrudge the time you may now spend in determining just what the right vocation is. Not only is your own happiness at stake, but also the happiness of those who may be dependent upon you. It is your duty to keep them happy in your own happiness, and comfortable with the ease that success and its financial rewards can buy. So do not make a final choice until you are absolutely sure that you are making the right one. Unless you are absolutely sure of this, you will lack that certainty of purpose which is necessary to dispel any doubts which may arise in the future. You should be so certain of the finality of your choice that you will never long question the wisdom of the step, but just drive ahead, with the certainty that sooner or later everything will come out all right and you will see your way clear to the realization of your ambition.

Do not choose a vocation in desperation and fear that you will never find the right one. Today more than ever before, with the great specialization of industry, professions and business pursuits, there is a place for every type of man. There is a place which requires just the sort of aptitudes which you possess, and it is only waiting for you to come along and offer yourself. Any big employer or employment agency will tell you that there are always fine positions which cannot be filled because of the difficulty of finding men who can meet the requirements. So go on and on, and study and study until you are certain beyond a reasonable doubt that you have found the proper sphere. After all is said and done, in spite of all the questioning and consulting you may do, there is no person, not even among those who know and love you best, who can make the choice for you. Even if you obtain the best professional advice on the subject, you yourself will have to decide whether to accept the advice or not. You, and you alone, must be the judge, for every man has deep within him thoughts, desires, tendencies and characteristics which no one else may know.

Below is a copy of an analysis made by a young man from a copy of the first edition of this book. You will notice that the student first made a careful tabulation of the requirements of a number of occupations that interested him, and opposite each requirement entered a corresponding personal quality which he possessed. Where a personal quality was in conflict with a requirement of the occupation studied, he indicated that fact with a star. He then summarized the conclusions for each occupation in one or two brief sentences, and continued the study until he found an occupation whose requirements he could match with his personal qualities. Equally gratifying results can be obtained by anyone who will make as conscientious and systematic a study of his own case.

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