Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fundamental vocations

I've taken tests before that purport to help you find a career. I thought they were useless because they didn't ask the right question. It recently occurred to me that there are certain fundamental aspects of jobs that exist over all fields and specific jobs. These come down to the fundamental roles that exist in varying degrees in different jobs, and that have varying degrees of appeal to different people. Thus far, I've identified (hoping they don't sound too AD&D or like the Hindu Trinity):

  • Arbitrator/Judge

  • Artist

  • Builder

  • Caretaker

  • Checker

  • Destroyer

  • Discoverer

  • Fighter

  • Fixer

  • Guardian

  • Leader/Motivator/Coach

  • Negotiator/Deal-maker

  • Organizer (of people)

  • Persuader

  • Teacher

  • Thinker

A software developer is 3 parts Builder, 5 parts Fixer, 1 part Discoverer, and 1 part Artist (all depending on the particular job, of course). An accountant is a mix of Checker, Custodian, and Guardian, with a forensic accountant also adding a shot of Discoverer to the mix. A plumber is mostly a Fixer and partly a Builder, and, on a bad day, Discoverer. A nurse or doctor is Caretaker, Checker, Fixer, and occasionally Discoverer. A police officer is an Arbitrator/Judge, a Fighter, a Guardian, a Persuader.

I'm sure I'm missing a few fundamental roles. I'm also not completely satisfied with the ones that I have. Leader/Motivator/Coach either is poorly named or is asking to be split up. How does that role square with Organizer and Persuader, not to mention Negotiator/Deal-maker?

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