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2022 | Anuha Som

Anuha Som from Onslow College, Wellington was presented with her Gold CREST award recently for her project on how one’s vocational identity correlates with their sense of wellbeing.

Mentor: Johannes Karl

Representative teacher: Reece Geursen

Gold CREST medal presented by: Dr Brent Clothier FRSNZ


Anuha's Executive Summary states: 

How significant is the impact of vocation on one’s sense of overall well-being? This study seems to indicate that vocation can have a significant impact on the well-being of an individual – specifically their sense of eudemonic and hedonic well-being. One of the main conclusions of the study is that those who strongly identify with their vocation seem to be substantially happier than those with a low vocational identity.

A sample of 25 participants was gathered and surveyed on their vocational identity, alongside three pre-developed surveys aimed to gauge their overall well-being. These surveys aim to quantify a person’s degree of hedonic happiness, the amount of meaning in life they currently felt, and the degree to which they were still searching for meaning in life.

The results gathered in the survey, also display three nebulous groups of individuals. Firstly, those with high vocational identity, who are not in search of meaning in life are shown to be significantly happy (>~9). Whilst the second group portrays the contrary, those with low vocational identity who are not in the search for meaning in life are relatively unhappy (<~5). Lastly, individuals who are strongly searching for meaning in life are generally somewhat happy, regardless of the strength of their vocational identity (~7). Refer to the graph (Figure 1) in the appendix.

The results drawn from this project reveal two different approaches that may help adolescents make vital career choices. The first is based on the idea that a stronger vocational identity, generally results in substantially having a more content and satisfying life. The second approach is based on the idea to keep actively searching for meaning in life as the results show that hedonic well-being is shown to be >~7, where the strength of one’s vocational identity doesn’t play a role.