The Career Game

Look what I recently uncovered in my childhood closet! It's a pamphlet called "The Career Game" from 1987.  

I did a quick search and learned that Rick Trow Productions sells modern 
versions of career workbooks movies, and software.  You can find it here.

I was 15 years old in 1987 and was pretty sure what my career was going to be. I was going to go into food science. I loved to cook, was very interested in nutrition, and was fascinated by foods like Tang that were invented to fill a specific need (in this case, the space program). The University of California at Davis had a strong food science program, so that's where I would go.

Food Science was a recent choice. From ages 3-14, I was planning to be an elementary school teacher when I grew up. When I was about 6, I asked my parents to hang a chalkboard in my bedroom. I begged my mom to take me to the district office where they sold discarded textbooks for pennies. I used to drag folding chairs into my bedroom and make the neighborhood kids sit in rows and listen to me teach. Which they did. Often.

Anyway, so when I was 15 I was going to be a Food Scientist. By the time I was 17 and had taken Chemistry in high school, I decided that Food Science didn't interest me nearly as much as I thought and decided to follow a career in International Relations instead. That's where St. Vincent and the Grenadines comes in. But more on that in a future post.     

My 15-year old self filled in all the pages about my interests. For each item, I checked yes or no if I felt strongly about an item and left it blank if I was indifferent. Here's one sample page:


It was absolutely fascinating to go back and see what I said at age 15. I found my 41-year old self arguing with my 15-year old self. "Why didn't you check yes on organizing papers?! Every single piece of paper you owned was alphabetized and labeled!"  

In 1987, I said yes to: playing musical instruments, skiing, meeting new people, 3-dimensional puzzles, illustrating books, interviewing people, making charts, making greeting cards, leading tours, being a camp counselor, keeping a diary, listening to music, saving money, photography, teaching a friend, decorating rooms, making pottery, a neat loose leaf book, math puzzles, working at a church bazaar, being a yearbook manager, using a label maker, drawing, algebra problems, organizing meetings, typing from a Dictaphone, flower arranging, painting by numbers, building model kits, learning the Bill of Rights, playing Monopoly, organizing a work area, doodling, writing letters, making graphs, making lists and collecting stamps.

Here's the analysis:

My top score (green) says, "You enjoy expressing yourself creatively. Unstructured and free-flowing job environments will probably suit you. If you have the talent, a career in the arts would be a likely choice." Second was this (red): "You're a people lover. Your way of problem solving is through discussion and you're probably good at getting your views across. You would enjoy a career that involves training, teaching, developing, or helping others.  

I ended up working and running recreation programs all through college, taught elementary school for 11 years, and now am working in the craft industry, first doing design work and now doing both design and writing.

Interestingly, I went through and answered the questions how I would today. Neither green nor red came out on top! Instead, my top was blue:"You feel the most comfortable doing well-structured tasks. You're likely to be efficient, practical, and orderly in the way you go about your business. Chances are you'll fit into a large organization very nicely." Second was purple: "Economic goals are important to you. You feel comfortable in leadership positions because you enjoy the role of persuader. You're good with words and are more likely to find job happiness working with your mind than with your body."

Fascinating! I think the lesson is that I don't quite fit neatly into a box. I am a very creative person who likes structure and order. I love to lead and/or teach large groups, but I'm not all that social and greatly prefer one-on-one time over parties or bigger get-togethers. I am good with words and enjoy everything about writing, especially the creative aspects of it.

Which description best fits you?


  1. How fun to go back and see your test scores and retake it now!!!!

  2. How cool!! That IS fascinating to learn about yourself in that way!!! I would be very interested in what my answers would lead to. Very cool post! :)

  3. Without doing the full test I'm somewhere between purple or green or some combo of both! How fun!! Are you going to have Trevor take the same quiz?! It would be fun to see what his says!! :)

    1. It's so outdated that it wouldn't reflect Trevor's interests well - almost nothing about computers, technology or anything that he loves. As of now, he wants to do to UC Davis to study robotics and laser mazes. :)

  4. How interesting. Creative within a structure. I can see that with your food experiments!


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