How to Help Your Teenager Discover Their Core Motivations with TruSpark

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TruSpark is a story-based motivation assessment scale helping teenagers understand their core motivations and leading them into purposeful career exploration.

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What is TruSpark and Core Motivations?

TruSpark is a tool that helps your teenagers discover their core motivations in order to identify career paths that will be truly fulfilling for them in their adult years. It combines a curriculum and a motivations test to really provide a full understanding of what core motivations are and why they are important. Finally, TruSpark partners with O*NET, a website that gives detailed descriptions of hundreds of jobs, to direct teens into meaningful career exploration that lines up with their core motivations.

TruSpark is Research-Based

TruSpark is based on 60 years of research that has been widely used in business and industry. Now, it’s been adapted for early- to mid-teens to easily identify their core motivations early in life before they embark into higher education or post-high school careers.

Digitizing the TruSpark motivations assessment has made it accessible and relevant to a younger audience. Teens will enjoy the simple drag and drop system that helps them hone in on the things that are most important to them.

TruSpark Uses Your Teenager’s Real-Life Experiences

I love how TruSpark used my teenagers’ real-life stories to provide them with unique and relevant results!

Now, you might be thinking, “My teenager has to write out their story? How am I going to get them to do that?” Don’t worry…it’s just a couple of sentences!

The TruSpark curriculum gives great instructions on what types of stories to choose. Writing it down is really just to get them thinking about the experience, so they can understand what it was that motivated them to do a good job.

If you have a teen who gets stuck when it comes to writing, just have them tell you about the experience, and you can type out the sentences for them. Don’t let a writing block stop them from taking this motivation assessment. It’s not a test of their writing skills.

Telling their own story gives your teens a chance to really think about real-life experiences. They can recall what they actually did, instead of trying to decide what they would do in hypothetical situations, as you see on so many career aptitude tests.

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TruSpark uses your teenager’s own experiences to help them identify their core motivations.

TruSpark is a True Core Motivation Assessment Scale

Unlike a career aptitude or personality test, TruSpark is a true core motivations assessment. Core Motivations are the inner drives that cause us to make the choices we make. They are the reason we like or dislike certain things.

Knowing the “why” behind our feelings and behaviors can help us learn a lot about ourselves. It gives us direction and frees us be more intentional about how we choose to spend our time and energy.

I know I’ve spent a lot more time than I should have in my life drudging through things I had committed myself to because they weren’t things I was motivated to do. Some of those things have been necessary for completing larger tasks,such as taking classes I didn’t care for because they were required for my degrees. Others, well…dishes and laundry…need I say more? All too often, though, I just didn’t know how to say no.

I want my kids to understand that there will be some things in life that they have to do whether the motivation is there or not. But, I also want them to know what drives them and choose goals that line up with their core motivations. I want them to be happy and fulfilled with their life’s work.

That’s why TruSpark is such a game-changer!

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The steps of TruSpark‘s motivation assessment help your teens answer the question, “What motivates you to do a good job?”

According to TruSpark, there are 19 different core motivations. The TruSpark assessment will use your teen’s real-life stories and their responses to what was most important to them about those experiences to identify their top 3 core motivations.

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My own TruSpark core motivations results were right on target!

Then, it matches them with 10 possible occupational matches to get them exploring career options.

Career Exploration Based on Core Motivations with O*NET

Career exploration can be overwhelming! After all, there are so many options from which to choose. And with the way technology is constantly changing, there are new types of jobs being created all the time.

With the core motivations and occupational matches that TruSpark gave my teens, they now have a starting place for career exploration. They may not choose those specific occupations, but they know what types of jobs might provide them with the most fulfilling life.

O*NET is a website that is used by job seekers and students to explore potential careers. It gives information on salary, needed skills or education, and the growth of each industry.

When I was in high school and college, we had a printed version called The Occupational Outlook Handbook. I remember actually going to the library at my college and standing at the end of the checkout desk looking through this huge book…okay, now I’m really telling my age!

Although O*NET probably holds much more information than that giant book I had to search through, my kids can get that information with a lot less effort. O*NET has a platform called MyNextMove that is interactive and age-appropriate for teens and tweens.

After my kids took the core motivations assessment, the last section of the TruSpark curriculum guided them through the process of using MyNextMove to take a deeper look at possible career matches.

I really like how the curriculum and the assessment work together. TruSpark doesn’t just give my kids knowledge about their core motivations and then leave them hanging. It guided them on how to use that knowledge to make life decisions. It’s a great tool, and I’m so glad we found it!

Core Motivations and Homeschooling High School

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Understanding core motivations is a key factor of a meaningful homeschool high school experience!

Finding out what motivates your kids can make a huge difference in the overall homeschool experience. You can work with those motivations to produce a positive outcome for your child’s academic success, self-confidence, emotional well-being, and family relationships.

If you can help your child answer the question, “What motivates me?”, you can really curate a personalized homeschool high school experience that will set them up for a lifetime of fulfillment. Knowing what kind of work gives them a feeling of satisfaction will enable them to intentionally move toward those types of opportunities.

And, if you happen to be homeschooling a teen with ADHD or another learning difference, you know that finding the things that motivate them can be quite a challenge.

Having them complete the TruSpark curriculum and assessment will give you insight into what types of homeschool curricula to choose. The knowledge they gain about themselves, combined with the more personalized educational experience that you can provide, will create a greater sense of ownership over their own learning. It’s a win for everybody!



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I love to share my passion for family, faith, learning, and adventure! I am a worship pastor's wife, a homeschool mom, a former public school teacher and counselor, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology. My heart is to encourage and support families who are homeschooling kids with ADHD, homeschooling high school, and raising teenagers. I'm so excited for you to follow along on this joyous journey!

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