Rationale: Employers value applicants who have empathy, “the ability to recognize and describe another individual’s perspective accurately”1. For this assignment, you will be practicing your empathy skills by considering your chosen career path from other people’s perspectives. This assignment might also help you figure out how other people are impacting your career-related decision making.
1. Choose the job you are currently pursuing. If you are undecided, that is totally fine. You can select a job that you have been considering. Or, you can opt to complete the essays as someone who is undecided in their career path. For this assignment, you can use a narrowly defined job (ex. orthopedic surgeon) or a broadly defined career path (ex. a job in public health). If you are not considering a career in health, that is fine too; You may use a non-health job for the assignment.
2. Compose a paragraph about the job (or about your undecidedness) from your perspective. Think about questions like:
· What’s your internal dialogue when you think about the job (or your undecidedness)?
· Are you apprehensive about the job? Why?
· Are you excited about the job? Why or why not?
· Do you feel adequate/inadequate?
· Is your identity strongly tied to or wrapped up in this career goal?
· Are you proud that others will look up to you? Are you afraid that others will look down on you?
3. Compose a paragraph about the job (or about your undecidedness) from your family’s perspective or the perspective of a group that is meaningful for you. You could write about one specific person’s perspective (ex. a parent) or you could write about a group’s perspective (ex. people in your faith community, people in your neighborhood, people on one side of your family, people in your parent’s country of origin). When writing the paragraph, you could describe the other person’s perspective, or you could write in their voice (ex. “I’m concerned that my son is selling himself short by pursuing a career in X.”)
4. Compose a paragraph about the job (or about your undecidedness) from the bystander’s perspective, meaning people in the general population. Unlike your family or community group, people in the general population are not personally invested in your future. Think about their perspective. You could describe their perspective, or you could write in their voice.
5. The three paragraphs do not need to be combined into an essay.
1. MSU Career Services. 16 Essential Science and Health Skills Sets. 2017