Frequently Asked Questions

I help people consider their various career options. E.g., when a person is high in forgiveness or humility, how do I link these to a desirable career option or advise the person against it?

The VIA work was not created for the purposes of career matching and therefore counselors in that field should consider other tests such as “interest inventories” rather than using the VIA as a career prescription. That said, the amazing way that VIA contributes to the “career” field is to help the individual “discover” their strengths and then consider how they might use these signature strengths in their current work or in various potential jobs. If the client is someone who has selected a new career then match the strengths after. Matching should not be – “well, you are high in curiosity and creativity so your best career match is ____.” Rather, the idea is, “you have selected the medical field as your top career choice at this point. Let’s discuss how you might use your signature strengths of ___ and ____ and ____ in the medical field.” We believe this type of “retrospective strength matching” can be done with any career choice. Sure, some professions lend themselves nicely to certain strengths (e.g., many lawyers tend to be high in judgment/critical thinking but we would not want to exclude a student interested in law who has judgment at #22, nor would we want to tell the student with judgment at #1 that they really must do law). Finally, consider the idea of aligning talents, interests, resources, and character strengths; VIA calls this alignment “the power zone.”


Further questions?

Contact the VIA Institute: 

The VIA Institute on Character
312 Walnut Street, Suite 3600
Cincinnati, OH 45202
VIA's Communications Specialist Kelly Aluise: