This tool assists to support a young athlete to investigate their vocational interests. By using the tool, a well-considered decision for a purposeful educational programme following school is promoted.
At the end of their schooling career, athletes are asked to take responsibility for giving direction to their future dual career pathway. However, this (new) freedom of choice can be experienced as stressful.
For youngsters, building concrete vocational ideas is often challenging. Workforce experience at this age is limited. Moreover, both educational and job descriptions appear mostly technical. Playful, imaginative and interactive approaches benefit the personal relation to the otherwise abstract area of studies and work.
This is where the tool Me, Myself & I comes into play. It helps athletes interlink their vocational interests and personal skills. A cross-contextual mix of self-perception tasks and feedback of others serves to establish a clearer picture of oneself. The results contribute to a reflected decision for an educational project following school.
Follow the instructions to apply this tool and browse our manifold resources to find out more about the addressed topic.
The Triangle (pdf) represents a multi-perspective self-exploration technique consisting of 4 integrated parts: Part 1: My favourite circus job; Part 2: My special roles; Part 3: My stand-out talents; Part 4: The golden centre. Parts 1-3 are designed as home tasks for the athlete. These tasks can be applied either at once or in the course of a set of sessions. Part 4 is advised to be done together with the athlete in the ensuing counselling session. If you prefer a simplified process, the individual parts also work autonomously. In this case, choose the part(s) that best suit(s) your counselling objective.
- Hand out The Triangle (pdf) and the corresponding The Triangle – Task instructions (pdf) to the athlete.
- Part 1 aims to facilitate the examination of work-related interests by using the visual imagination of a circus context. By dissecting the attraction of identifiable and comprehensive work activities in a circus, young athletes can better draw links between educational choice and future professional life. Let the athlete share memories of visiting a circus as a child. What was the experience like? If the athlete has never been to a circus, use another context (see Variations) or let them tell you how they imagine it.
- Draw the attention to a big-sized circus. In such a circus, one finds a huge number of different people working in a variety of jobs. Some of them are visible to the visitors, others operate in the back. Together with the athlete, start collecting a first set of jobs they can think of (e.g., circus director, artist, animal keeper, marketing manager, light technician, bus driver, showmaster, construction worker, press officer, merchandise seller, sound engineer, etc.).
- Lead the athlete through part 1 of their home task as outlined in the template.
- Part 2 helps an athlete to examine their competences by analyzing roles in personally meaningful and long-existing life areas. Explain that human behavior is contextual. In different spheres of life, we take on different roles. Taking over and keeping a specific role in a group or system is only possible, if we have what it takes to be good in this role. Thus, the development and manifestation of this role can be interpreted as living proof of corresponding competences. Let the athlete identify 3 different groups that they belong to for a longer period of time and are perceived as meaningful to them. One group should be part of their private life (e.g., family or clique of friends), one of their sporting life (e.g., team or training group) and one of educational life (e.g., school class, study group).
- Lead the athlete through part 2 of their home task as outlined in the template.
- Part 3 aims to facilitate the investigation of their unique character traits, attributes and skills by reaching out for the feedback of others. Explain that a considerate part of the skills we will later apply in a job, we have not learnt at school, in studies or formal training. We have acquired and refined these skills, often unnoticed, in other spheres of life. Though, sometimes it is hard for us to really know what we are good at. This knowledge is of crucial importance to us. If we know what we are good at, we can better sense what we want to do in the future.
- Lead the athlete through part 3 of their home task as outlined in the template.
- Part 4 serves to debrief the 3 different parts of the home task with the athlete by extracting central findings. Finally, these bundled findings are used to direct the search for a fitting and meaningful educational programme. Ask the athlete to present the results of each triangle. What were the most relevant outcomes? What was perceived as surprising? Is there anything to add on the part of the athlete and/or counsellor? Overall, what are the most important findings in each triangle area?
- Together with the athlete, extract the essence of all parts by filling the middle triangle of the template with identified interests and strengths. Point out the uniqueness of this profile; it is literally golden.
- Explain its precious compass function when searching for an educational programme. Analyze the gathered profile of the athlete using dissociation and set the profile in relation to work and education. If you would not know this person, what does this essence tell about them; personally and vocationally? What kind of jobs would this person be really good and happy in? Which areas of education would this person possibly choose?
- Based on these areas, identify a first set of corresponding educational programmes. Use the tool Edu-Check to assist their subsequent investigation and dual career-related assessment.
- If a circus does not perfectly fit your cultural context, counselling goal, or the athlete’s background, feel free to use a different image. The process works best when the athlete can personally relate to this context respectively when the chosen professional environment includes a multitude of different types of jobs (e.g., airport, etc.).
- European Commission (2020): Higher education in Europe. How is higher education in Europe structured?
- Open-Source Psychometrics Project (2019): Big 5 Personality Test
The tool "Me, Myself & I" in action: See real-life examples of its application in EU dual career practice.