Intrest Inventory


A long time ago my school guidance counselor gave me an interest inventory.  It is a  questionnaire asking me to rank the kinds of jobs and interests that have and what I might like to do, doing things indoor or outdoors.. Do I like being around people, do I like making lists, do I like planning things.  Answering it then as now really depends on the kind of mood that I am in, but also what I maybe presently thinking about.  Was it politics, or maybe I could be a basketball coach, was it physics, a job in engineering, or a job working with nature a job in horticulture.  

After filling in all the dots I would be called back into his office with my results.  “You like socializing maybe a job in the entertainment or hospitality services”, my guidance counselor said.  “You like being out doors”, maybe a job in forestry or horticulture.  The lists went on.

While it may have helped, somewhat, showing my presents interests, the inventory did not assist me in finding my future path.  Which brings up at least two problems with the inventory.  First: the jobs of the future are not on the inventory.  When I took the inventory there were no computer jobs listed not to mention cell phone repair or developer and no and generator repair.  What has happened to the ability of innovate, to dreaming, to creation something new that hasn’t come to life?  Interest inventories attempt to withhold and squash, limit and concretize.  There is no development of any other parts of the personality other than the “interests” of the present time. 

 I am an introvert.  My ideal job to me was a forest ranger so that I could talk to animals and trees and not to people. There is a lot less feedback from the animals and plants.  It was safe.  Now, however, I haveI have an extraverted job, do a lot of public speaking, as a member of the clergy, a school guidance counselor and a psychotherapist.  Al on the extraverted scale.  Something else within me wanted expression for me to develop past what my “interests” were and are.

Now I realize that this is just an inventory but in school systems anything written or looking like a test is taken as law and the ultimate truth and not be toyed with or overlooked.  The the system is focused on statistics, and “correctness” it is inevitable that the inventory becomes a score, a pass fail grade.  Therefore if you don’t follow through on the inventory you fail.

The second problem that I have encountered is that these inventories, while general in scope are just that.  It’s what everyone else is doing and looking at for careers or jobs.  Where is the ability to look within an individual to find what  their destiny is calling for them to do and be?  Perhaps the problem is that we have so divided an individual up that we no longer allow soul in the school.  We outlawed prayer, well sort of.  As long as there are test in schools there will be prayers!  But it is not allowed, it is forbidden, verboten, unlawful, looked down upon, chastised and criticized if anyone would mention what does your soul want?  For what purpose have you been created, what are you to bring to life are questions that need to be on an inventory.

To do this the psyche must be heard.  It must be cultivated, not necessarily in a religion, not in any rigid list, in order to find the psyche’s intention.  What is the psyche trying to say?  What are the dreams an individual is having that gives a direction.  There are numerous examples of the psyche speaking in and through dreams.  For example, the creator of the sewing machine was “shown” what it would take for the needle to pick up the bobbin thread, some of John Lennon’s song lyrics came in a dream, the discovery of Benzine came from a dreams.  Of course these are suspect becasue dreams are not concrete categorical, they are subjecting and do not use the scientific method.  They are seen as too subjective, unlike the sections of the questions for an inventory or even for an academic test.  Yet, the dreams all brought forth the something new that was not on any element chart, not on any billboard chart, not in any patent office …….. yet.

Sure there is the need for those who can look at dreams to interpret.  It is a specialty just as is a surgery, and it takes a specialist life dentistry, farming, an opera singer, a school teacher or guidance counselor.

The point is that the real “interest” lies within an individual.  Maybe the interest inventory can give a general idea, but it can also send someone down the wrong road.  The test itself is subjective.  But working with the psyche,  with dreams and synchronicities, allows an individual to speak from a depth that a paper test is unlikely to bring out becasue of its sever limitations.  

We can continue to give limited test in order for a person to find their way  or go back to the future and allow the individual to determine their future and destiny by listening to their depths, listening to the “Souls Code, as James Hillman wrote, listening to the events of life around, to their dreams in order to give them a future not yet seen, open to new possibilities, and the right fit for the individual.  Phone 507.339.0045