This summary is divided into four parts:

  1. Theoretical Foundations - on this page
  2. The Career Key S-E Test
  3. Content of the SEK Website
  4. Invitation to Researchers & Selected References

The Self-Employment Key™ (SEK) is based on the scientific work of many individuals and organizations. It is a system of interrelated parts designed to help a youth and adults make good career decisions.

Theoretical Foundations

Two highly respected theories provide its foundation: Irving L. Janis' and Leon Mann's model of decision making, and John Holland's theory of vocational choice.

Janis and Mann Decision Making Model. According to this model, the best decisions are made when individuals consider a wide range of alternatives; consider the consequences of each; search for new information about these options; and make detailed plans for implementing their decision. The SEK is designed to do this.

By taking Career Key's measure of Holland's six personality types and matching their results with occupations, individuals discover new career options (alternatives) -- ones likely to lead to satisfaction and success. They learn detailed information about these career options, their major pros and cons (consequences), and what they need to do to make good plans.

The Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience measures give them additional information about how their personality relates to self-employment; suggests consequences they might experience; and suggests how to plan for them. The SEK self-help articles further inform.

They teach individuals,

  • How to learn more about themselves and their career options,
  • Holland's theory and how it applies to their career choices,
  • How Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience relate to self-employment, and
  • How to make good decisions -- ones they are least likely to regret

John Holland's Theory of Vocational Choice. Holland's theory is the best known and most researched theory on the topic of career choice. It is widely respected and used by professional counselors. To learn more go to "Holland's Theory of Career Choice and You".