I am in that phase of life where the question keeps popping up, "What should I do with my life?" The Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation had my answer!
In high school, one of the Grant family rites of passage was getting to spend two days in the Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation's San Francisco office having our aptitudes tested. At the end of day two, we received our results about possible careers/life paths that would be fulfilling based upon our natural aptitudes. Their model is that any aptitude where you fall in the 70th percentile or higher (compared to others in your age bracket) should be included in your life on a regular basis. Back then, I learned that I had horrible finger dexterity and a life of surgery or needlepoint would have been quite difficult and really frustrating for me. Despite this setback, it turns out that I am awesome. I fell in the 70th percentile on several aptitudes (go me!) some of which may not be too exciting (e.g., number memory), but nonetheless I was pretty stoked back then (and apparently am now, too). Their team suggested several careers that would have been enjoyable, and incorporated a number of my aptitudes, including: marketing and advertising, journalism and editorial work, teaching at the college level, owning a small business, and doing consulting work.
In my Master's in Psychology program, I made a good friend I’ll call Sarah. When we first met, she was simultaneously a student of mine (I was the TA for her statistics class) and a classmate (we were both enrolled in the Close Relationships course). The professor I was working under discouraged us from being friends while I was her TA to prevent me from being biased (which was a good idea). But the day after that class ended, she “friended“ me on Facebook and we’ve been close friends since. We later realized that the world was entirely too small…because she is an aptitude consultant at the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation.
So I'm about to graduate from my master's program. I have been having conflicted feelings about which path to continue on at this point.
Option 1: Grow up, be a regular person, and get a job, most likely in some sort of corporate environment. Earn a regular income... etc...etc...
Option 2: Stay a student, go get my PhD, be poor for a few more years, and then go be a University professor at the end of it! Which was my original plan.
Sarah just informed me that the Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation was looking to do a recorded follow-up session for staff training purposes...for free!!!...and of course, I jumped on the chance. (P.S. Follow-ups are usually $100).
So I went. And I've had my interest in Option 2 rejuvenated! Go Johnson O'Connor! Using my aptitudes, they showed me not only that Option 2 was a better path for me, but also were able to explain why I was questioning it in the first place. I scored low in foresight...which means I'm not good with looooong term goals, I'm better with short term goals. So my goal is not to graduate from a PhD program, but rather... I'm applying to grad school again this Fall—Goal #1. Goal #2—Get in. Goal #3—Finish my first semester. Goal #4—Finish my second semester....etc.... through Goal #11—Graduate from a PhD program and then be Dr. Grant!