Where To Turn If You Lose Your Job

FORECASTS & TRENDS E-LETTER
by Gary D. Halbert
June 9, 2009

IN THIS ISSUE:

1.  The JOHNSON O’CONNOR Research Foundation

2.  Helping People Find The Best Careers For 87 Years

3.  Scientific Testing To Determine One’s Natural Aptitudes

4.  Matching Aptitudes & Careers For Success & Happiness

Introduction

As you read today’s E-Letter, be advised that the Democrat-controlled Congress is working furiously this very week on restructuring our nation’s health care system based on orders from President Barack Obama.  Obama has ordained that the do-over of US health care must include a “government-provided” health care option that will compete with the private sector health care system that we have had for decades.

President Obama’s road map for our nation’s future would eventually have all Americans enrolled in his nationalized health care plan, and this may well come to be over the next few years given the fact that the government has a blank check (printing press), unlike the private health care system we currently have.  Obama’s takeover of our health care system will make his takeover of the banks, AIG, the carmakers, and whatever else is to follow look miniscule.

As I warned often during the presidential campaign last year, President Obama comes from a political persuasion that has no problem with the federal government owning and controlling vast amounts of the private sector.  There is now no question about this (actually, there never was, if you did your homework).  But even I didn’t foresee that Obama would spend and/or commit tens of trillions of dollars in just his first four months as president.

I will have much more to say in the weeks and months ahead about Obama’s systematic takeover of health care and his massive expansion of government, but for this week we return to a theme I have advanced frequently over the years that is not directly investment related.  I have received more positive input on what follows than just about any topic I have written about since I began this weekly E-Letter.

In the pages that follow, we will revisit the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation which I have recommended for years.  This update is timely in that the national unemployment rate is racing higher (now 9.4%) and may hit 10% or higher by the end of the year.  If you or others you know have lost their jobs, or are likely to lose their jobs soon, a trip to Johnson O’Connor to find out what field you/they are naturally best suited for can be invaluable.

As always, the sophisticated aptitude testing at Johnson O’Connor is great for helping your kids or grandkids determine what career path they should (or should not) pursue.  My daughter will be a senior in high school next fall, and her test results were extremely helpful now that we are deep into the college selection process for her.

A visit to the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation can be one of the greatest gifts you can ever give your children, grandchildren or others who are dear to you (or maybe even yourself).  What I am about to describe is something that has literally changed the lives of dozens of my friends and relatives over the last 30+ years.  Some of you may have heard of Johnson O’Connor, but most of you probably have not. 

Don’t jump to any conclusions: this is not my favorite charity; in fact, it’s not a charity at all; and I am not going to ask you to donate any money.   What I am going to do is tell you how Johnson O’Connor helps people decide which career fields they are most naturally suited for, based upon scientific testing of their unique set of individual aptitudes.  Everyone in my family has been through the testing, including me.

So, I urge you to read the following article, especially if you have any loved ones who have lost their jobs or are struggling to find a career path.  Ideally, Johnson O’Connor is geared toward high school students who are trying to decide what to do when they grow up, and more specifically, which direction to go in college.  But it can be equally helpful to those who are already on a career path but aren’t happy or successful.

How I Learned Of Johnson O’Connor

Before I discuss the specifics about Johnson O’Connor (“J-O”) and how they change lives, let me tell you how I found out about this unique organization.  Even before I got out of college and graduate school, I knew exactly what I wanted do.  Yet most college students are unsure of what they want to do after school and end up taking the best (or only) job offer they get.  All too often, that first job (or series of jobs) doesn’t work out, for various reasons.  The problem is, bouncing around the job market for a year or two or more right after college can leave people way behind their peers who get on the right career path to begin with. 

I had a friend I went to college and graduate school with who had trouble with her initial jobs after grad school.  She had been a science major in college (as was I), and then shifted to business in graduate school.  We both got our Masters Degrees in 1976.  She landed a good job in Houston after grad school but was just never comfortable in the corporate world.

I was working in Dallas in the investment business in 1978 when I first learned about Johnson O’Connor, which has an office in Dallas.  I requested information on their testing service and subsequently recommended that my friend go there.  She went, and to her surprise, she learned that her natural aptitudes were not at all suited for either the corporate world or the science field. 

Based on the assessment of her aptitude tests, Johnson O’Connor recommended she consider the field of interior design.  While shocked at first, she ended up changing careers and was quite successful.  I haven’t kept up with her in recent years, but the last time I did, she had bought and renovated several old buildings into bed and breakfasts, and was happy and successful.

I Had To Try It Myself

Given my friend’s results, I referred several other friends (and my younger brother) who were struggling or unhappy in their careers to Johnson O’Connor.   In every case, the result was the same: a seemingly radical change in career path that led to a happy and successful end.

While I was very happy and enjoying early success in my career in the investment field, I couldn’t help but go to Johnson O’Connor myself.  Actually, I was a little nervous about what I might learn.  As it turned out, my test results of my natural aptitudes showed that I was well suited for several fields.  Here were Johnson O’Connor’s recommendations for me, in order:

1.  Stock Broker
2.  Investment Banker
3.  Journalist
4.  Fortune 500 CEO
5.  Real Estate/Land Developer

[Before you jump to any conclusions, let me tell you that Johnson O’Connor does not allow you to tell them anything about what you may already be doing, career-wise, prior to the testing and analysis afterwards. Only after they have given you the test results and career recommendations do they allow participants to divulge their current occupation – or desired occupation if a student.]

Obviously, I was pleased with my results and somewhat relieved that I was already working in the investment field, as suggested by Johnson O’Connor’s #1 and #2 recommendations.  At first, I couldn’t figure out where the “Journalism” aptitude fit in.  But then, in my final exit interview, I happened to mention my weekly client newsletter, which I had begun in 1977.  “There you go,” the analyst replied, “your newsletter is where your journalistic aptitudes are coming out.”

As for the Fortune 500 CEO option, the analyst noted that while I tested to have the aptitudes to be a big-time CEO, he also stressed that I would never make it that far up the corporate ladder, because my aptitudes also showed that I was (am) too impatient and needed to be in control of my own destiny.   As for the real estate part, years later I became involved in several real estate developments.

An Invaluable Store Of Personal Information

As noted above, I have referred dozens of people to Johnson O’Connor over the years.  In every adult case but my own, the results have suggested a change in career path, sometimes a dramatic change.  While I haven’t kept up closely with every person I referred to Johnson O’Connor over the years, I can tell you that everyone benefited significantly from the experience.

The information gleaned from the Johnson O’Connor aptitude tests and analysis is tremendously helpful.  Not only does it help greatly with career selection, but it also helps to understand one’s personality, the reasons for one’s desires and all sorts of little “quirks” we all have.  It is a unique learning experience that can help throughout one’s lifetime.

Tremendous Help In Selecting The RightCollege

Last year about this time, we took our daughter to Johnson O’Connor in Dallas at the age of 16.  Interestingly, her test results were quite different from her older brother who tested at J-O in 2006.  My son who graduated from high school last year is quite the math whiz, so we were not surprised that he scored very high in the math-related tests at J-O when he was tested three years ago.  But what we did not expect was that he also scored very high in the tests related to “spatial visualization” – an aptitude that is very important to engineers, architects, medical researchers, etc.

For example, when I look at a building, I just see walls (one dimensional), whereas for my son and others with high spatial visualization, they envision the same building in three dimensions in their mind.  Likewise, they can look at a blueprint and easily envision what the completed structure will look like.  In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised since my son has been one of those take it apart and put it back together kids since he was very young.

Based on my son’s scores, Johnson O’Connor recommended that he consider a career in engineering, medicine/medical research, scientific research or architecture.  He is majoring in engineering in college and absolutely loves it.

When you consider how much money it costs to go to college today, it is extremely valuable to know that you are sending your son or daughter or grandchild to a school that offers degrees in those areas they are naturally suited for, and where they’ll have a much better chance of succeeding.

The “Personality” Test At Johnson O’Connor

Johnson O’Connor believes that all of us fit into one of two broad personality characterizations: “objective” or “subjective.”  Generally speaking, people with ‘objective’ personalities are those who enjoy working with groups, enjoy working with different people, and are what we often refer to as “people people.”  Over two-thirds of those tested at Johnson O’Connor are objective personalities (as am I). 

‘Subjective’ personalities, on the other hand, generally prefer to work as individuals rather than in large, fluid groups.  They like to advance in their careers based on their own individual work, or that of a small group or team headed by them.  Subjective personalities can usually work alone for long periods of time and do not need as much recognition or encouragement as their objective counterparts.

My son tested solidly subjective, and quite frankly, that explained more to me about my son and his personality than I had learned in the 16 years of raising him!  While my son gets along well with his school friends, and plays football, basketball and baseball, when it comes to his studies or school projects, he usually prefers to work alone – which is typical of subjective personalities.  While he has lots of friends, he is not the “social butterfly” like his younger sister, who tested objective in her visit to J-O last year. 

So, What Is The Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation?

The Foundation is a non-profit scientific research and educational organization that was founded in 1922.  They have two primary commitments: 1) to study human abilities; and 2) to provide people with specific knowledge of and about their aptitudes that will help them in making decisions regarding which colleges to select and which careers to pursue.

Each of us has a unique combination of personal aptitudes.  Some of our aptitudes are stronger than others. Johnson O’Connor (as well as others) believes that unless we are able to “exercise” (use) at least our stronger aptitudes in our work or elsewhere, we are very likely to be frustrated.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been to Johnson O’Connor and used their service to learn more about themselves and to derive more satisfaction from their lives and careers.  Johnson O’Connor’s unparalleled specialty is testing and identifying one’s natural, inborn APTITUDES.  In their own words:

“Aptitudes are natural talents, special abilities for doing, or learning to do, certain kinds of things. Manual dexterity, musical ability, spatial visualization, and memory for numbers are examples of such aptitudes. In a comprehensive battery of tests available only through the Foundation, these and many other aptitudes are measured. These measured traits are highly stable [always present] over long-term periods.

Every occupation -- whether it is engineering, medicine, law or management -- uses certain aptitudes. The work you are most likely to enjoy and be successful in is work that uses your aptitudes. For example, if you are an engineer but you possess strong aptitudes that are NOT used in engineering, your work might seem unrewarding, difficult and unpleasant.

Aptitude testing is one tool for career selection. It can help you find where your aptitudes lie, what type of work uses those aptitudes, and why certain occupations may be more rewarding for you than others… What the Foundation does is give you an inventory of your aptitudes and examples of types of work suggested by the combination of these aptitudes… The Foundation, however, does not provide employment counseling services.”

Why Johnson O’Connor Is So Different

As noted above, Johnson O’Connor has been doing aptitude testing continuously since 1922.  Over the years, they have pioneered (and continually improved upon) aptitude testing.  Participants who take the tests will wonder, I assure you, how certain of the tests can be so revealing.  Some are very simple tests, while others are more difficult for certain people.  My brother, for example, breezed through all of the engineering tests that I could not begin to complete.  That explains why he is a successful engineer and I am an Investment Advisor.

The tests are just one critical part; the analysis of the test results is equally important.  The experts at Johnson O’Connor have the benefit of 87 years experience in evaluating the test results and making career recommendations accordingly.  While they do not recommend only one career path (usually they include at least three or more), each recommendation is suited for the participant’s unique set of aptitudes and abilities.

There are times, especially among older participants who are already entrenched in the workforce, when it is simply impossible to make a career change as suggested by the test results and analysis.  In these cases, Johnson O’Connor often suggests certain hobbies or other non-work related activities that may help exercise one’s stronger aptitudes which are not used in the workplace.

Johnson O’Connor’s time-tested theory is that if one has strong aptitudes (and most people do), they need to be used and challenged on a regular basis, preferably in the workplace where we all spend a great deal of time during our lives.

Not An IQ Test, But Does Test Vocabulary

It is important to understand that Johnson O’Connor’s aptitude tests are NOT designed to measure or determine IQ.  There are various organizations that offer IQ tests (beware: not all IQ tests are accurate or valid).  Most experts agree that IQ tests are not inherently helpful when trying to decide on a career path. Two people can have identical IQ scores but very different aptitudes. 

Also, Johnson O’Connor’s tests do not consist of written or oral questions. They maintain that it is too easy to answer a written question as one feels inclined at the moment, or as they feel it “ought” to be answered.   So, J-O does not administer question/answer tests.  Again, some of their tests may seem unusual, but they are time-tested and extremely effective.

Johnson O’Connor’s battery of tests does include a vocabulary test.  It is widely accepted that one’s vocabulary is an indication of his/her general knowledge.  Most experts, including Johnson O’Connor, agree that one’s vocabulary level is one of the best predictors of overall success in school and of performance on the SAT-Verbal and other similar tests. A good vocabulary is also a common characteristic of successful people in many occupations.

Vocabulary knowledge is not an aptitude, however, in that anyone can learn new words and increase their vocabulary. Thus, as part of Johnson O’Connor’s program, they teach participants the importance of increasing their vocabulary and provide some specific study materials that are very helpful in doing so.  Parents, you will love this!

Time Involved, Cost & Locations

Normally, the process involves two half-day testing sessions, followed by a third half-day when the results and analysis are provided.  It is also possible to accelerate this to one full day of testing and a half-day of analysis. 

In the last appointment, participants are given a transcript of their scores, including charts and graphs, as well as a book and other explanatory materials.  All test results are strictly confidential.  A staff member explains in detail each of the scores and what they mean.  And they explain each of the career recommendations and why they were selected.

If participants have questions at any time (before, during or after testing), Johnson O’Connor is happy to answer them.  One of the best features is the option of follow-up meetings and discussions after testing and evaluation, which are free in the first year after testing (afterward only $100 per follow-up session).  I have several friends who went back for follow-up discussions regarding jobs they were considering and how those opportunities might fit their aptitudes and/or what adjustments they would likely have to make in that particular job.  My daughter and I did a follow-up meeting for her late last year.  This is an excellent opportunity!

The cost for the Johnson O’Connor testing and evaluation is currently $600.  While this might seem pricey at first glance, I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this testing pay off in spades.  This is especially true for high school students who don’t know what they want to do.  It can save years of expensive college costs if the student knows in advance what he/she wants to pursue.

Just as important, it can change the life of an adult child, loved one or close friend that is stuck in an unhappy or unsatisfying job situation, or anyone who has recently lost their job.  Johnson O’Connor tests many adults who are in their thirties, forties and even fifties.  Actually, this information on your aptitudes is very useful and very interesting to know at any age.  With older people, naturally, they should have a real willingness to make a change. 

Johnson O’Connor has testing centers in major cities around the country.   The locations and phone numbers are listed at the end of this E-Letter.

Conclusions

I could not recommend Johnson O’Connor more highly!  Whether you are a parent, a grandparent or whatever, you can give a young person a big advantage by having them tested at Johnson O’Connor.   Even if you are not related, you can “gift” the testing fee to the minor, generally with no tax implications, or just pay it directly. 

With the kids out of school for the summer, now may be a great time to plan to have your high-schooler tested.  You’ll be glad you did.  Likewise, if there is an adult person that is close to you (spouse, relative, in-law, friend, etc.) who is struggling in his/her occupation, this is a chance to possibly rescue their career. 

Even if you are happy and successful in your career, you will find it very helpful to know what your natural aptitudes are and are not.  And if you have recently lost your job due to the recession, getting tested will greatly help you to know where to look for work.  Either way, you will understand a lot more about yourself.

I encourage you to learn more about Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation at: http://www.jocrf.org.

In closing, let me remind you that I am not associated with Johnson O’Connor in any way.  I receive no compensation or anything else for recommending them.  I am merely one of hundreds of thousands of grateful folks who have been through their program over the years.

** Feel free to forward this to anyone you feel might benefit from it.

Johnson O’Connor Locations:

Atlanta

404-261-8013

Los Angeles

213-380-1947

Boston

617-536-0409

New York

212-269-0550

Chicago

312-787-9141

San Francisco

415-772-9030

Dallas

972-991-8378

Seattle

206-623-4070

Denver

303-388-5600

Washington, DC

202-828-8378

Houston

713-462-5562

 

 

 

Very best regards,

Gary D. Halbert

SPECIAL ARTICLES

Obama Tells American Businesses to Drop Dead (read this)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_hassett&sid=aaaBdVMkjPnU

Obama's 'Jobs' Numbers Are Phony
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124451592762396883.html

Obama vows to speed up stimulus spending
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/washingtondc/la-na-obama-stimulus9-2009jun09,0,5788007.story


Read Gary’s blog and join the conversation at garydhalbert.com.


Forecasts & Trends E-Letter is published by ProFutures, Inc. Gary D. Halbert is the president and CEO of ProFutures, Inc. and is the editor of this publication. Information contained herein is taken from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed as to its accuracy. Opinions and recommendations herein generally reflect the judgement of Gary D. Halbert (or another named author) and may change at any time without written notice. Market opinions contained herein are intended as general observations and are not intended as specific investment advice. Readers are urged to check with their investment counselors before making any investment decisions. This electronic newsletter does not constitute an offer of sale of any securities. Gary D. Halbert, ProFutures, Inc., and its affiliated companies, its officers, directors and/or employees may or may not have investments in markets or programs mentioned herein. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. Reprinting for family or friends is allowed with proper credit. However, republishing (written or electronically) in its entirety or through the use of extensive quotes is prohibited without prior written consent.

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