Françoys Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT 2) incorporates the RIASEC career categorization model in the developed Talents section. RIASEC is an acronym that identifies all careers into these six categories: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional, which are based upon the Occupational Themes developed by psychologist John Holland.
Selecting subjects in preparation for career selection is challenging for all students; however, this can be particularly difficult for high ability students who might be multitalented and have been repeatedly told they can do anything. Generally, students do best in subjects that they enjoy. One can’t do everything – certainly not at once – so it is important to identify subjects and a career that is well aligned with one’s values, interests, and personality.
An individual’s values are important to identify and consider. The use of a Values Inventory can help to identify what values are (or aren’t) important to an individual. Incorporating personal values can be helpful in determining whether a career is well aligned to one’s values because dissatisfaction will occur if there is no alignment between one’s values and career choice. Individuals who want to make a difference in the world and value health and wellbeing might make a different career choice to those who want to make a difference but value security and safety. One is not better than the other as we need both, but it is about identifying one’s personal values to ensure the appropriate ‘fit’.
Students might have a range of abilities, but their interests can be quite specific. Interests help to guide one’s choices. Of course, determining the difference between momentary and long-term interests is important in terms of achievement and career satisfaction. An interest can still sit alongside a satisfying career, but long-term interests can indicate a career direction – even if it does not involve a direct involvement of the interest. Identifying, understanding, and incorporating one’s interests can be a useful component when making decisions about subjects, courses, and a career. Wide interests should be acknowledged; however, it is the alignment of one of these interests with values that is critical in decision-making. Other interests might sit alongside one’s career and promote greater satisfaction throughout life.
Personality is another element to consider. An introvert is likely to prefer and be more satisfied with a different career to an extravert. This, and other aspects of personality need to be considered when making career decisions. Even within a certain career, different pathways may not be immediately apparent but further investigation can identify routes that are better suited to one’s personality type.
All students are Very Important People (the usual meaning of the acronym VIP), but Values, Interests and Personality help to align subject and career choices.