In the preceding sections of this chapter, we have seen a number of ways in which DISC can be used to help in purely business-oriented matters, mostly relating in some way to either the recruitment or assessment of staff. Outside this corporate arena, however, DISC also has possibilities in terms of personal development. The clearest example of this is in helping with an individual's career development. In this section we will look briefly at the ways in which the DISC technique can help a person choose their career path.
Before continuing, it is important to note that there are a multitude of factors that must affect the decisions a person takes about their careers. DISC alone cannot provide a definitive conclusion, but it is able to provide guidance in deciding whether a particular career path is suited to an individual or not. We should also point out that DISC results tend to be less reliable for young people under the age of twenty or so, because before this age the behavioural trends tend to be in something of a state of flux. The precise age at which a behavioural style reaches a stable form will vary from individual to individual, of course.
In its simplest terms, using DISC for career development is a very similar process to that seen in recruitment or assessment scenarios. A person's DISC profile series is compared against an ideal 'Job Profile' for a particular career, and the closeness of the match between the two styles will give an indication of how well that individual's style is suited to the career being investigated.
While this is an appropriate method if a decision is being made between two or three possible career directions, it becomes rather impractical if a person has no clear idea of the type of career they might be interested in. This situation might apply, for example, to students leaving college or university. In this case, a library of job profiles is needed, representing a wide variety of different job styles in different career areas. Comparisons of this kind, incorporating hundreds of possible matches, need an automated DISC application like Discus to be completed efficiently. This can be a very effective means of raising new career ideas that a person might not have considered.
Once a career decision has been made, DISC can also help in preparing application letters and curricula vitæ. DISC profiles help to highlight the particular areas of strength within a person's style, and these can be included in applications. Because so many organisations use DISC, it may even be plausible to include a full printed DISC report with a job application.
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