Beacon College

Career Choices & Changes – Book & Website

Feb 24th, 2012 | By | Category: Articles, Blog, Career choices, Career Planning, College, college for homeschoolers, Homeschool Resources,

Your Path to Personal Success and Self-sufficiency

Mindy Bingham & Sandy Stryker
Published by Academic Innovations
Book: 367 pages, 8.5 x 11 softcover

By Michael Leppert

The changing fortunes of our economy have caused a renewed interest in career planning for all of us. Thinking about what you do for a living – or want to do — is not the exclusive domain of young people in high school or college, but now relates even to middle­-aged workers who have suddenly been tossed into the realm of unemployment and no return to their former jobs.

Academic Innovations has published an extremely helpful – even vital – book to aid anyone in thinking about career choices and solving the attendant problems. While anyone can use the book to their advantage, this book is particularly focused on high school and college age students.  However the exercises and discussions in the book and website,, are tremendously helpful in self-assessment for anyone.  And young people who enter college with a career focus and education plan are much more likely to graduate.

Here is how it works.  The user goes through the workbook, filling in the various blanks on the surveys, questionnaires and exercises with personal information and goals, culminating with completing “My Skills Inventory” chart, “My Education Plan” and a 10-year career and life plan. They then translate the information they’ve written in the book on the website to create a dynamic report.  The information re-entered on the website can at anytime be updated at which it is automatically updated throughout the website. As you use the site, the value of this feature becomes obvious. There is also an Archive feature that keeps your previous answers and information so you can track your changes in skills, attitude and self-awareness as time passes.

Here’s an example of this dynamic online tool: The interactive My Skills Inventory contains two columns: “Skills I have” and “Skills I need to learn”. Learners start collecting the skills they’ve identified throughout the first 10 chapters (such as “Active Listening” “Critical Thinking” “Complex Problem Solving”) on their chart. They go on to evaluate the skills needed not only for their  “Chosen Career” but three “Backup” career choices as well.  These simple question-and-answer activities help them see more clearly the path to a satisfying life. This approach is better than trying to describe oneself in large chunks of information most people traditionally resort to.

The Ten Year Plan provides an outline area for the user to focus and identify his/her goals. Some headings are: “My Ten-Year Goal”, “My Mission In Life”, “My Definition of Success”, “The Lifestyle I Want” and “Relationships”. If you answer these questions with specificity, you will have a pretty clear picture of your dreams and aspirations and how they harmonize with your reality. There are also aids to budgeting and economic planning for your desired lifestyle!

The website includes valuable tutorials and motivational videos from Olympic Gold Medalist, Dain Blanton. If your child is reaching the age to consider college, majors and career choices, this book and website are excellent resources, making the planning enjoyable and removing much of the anxiety from this all-important feature of life. MjL

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