What is a career assessment?
As a culture, we’re conditioned from an early age to take tests. Think about how many tests you’ve taken in your life. It’s a lot, right?
One of the most important tests you can take is the career assessment. What makes this test so important? It’s a test that can help you decide where your life might go and what career path you may want to follow.
Continue reading to learn about what such a test actually assesses and the benefits you can gain from taking a career assessment. We’ll also touch on a few of the different types of assessments you can take.
CAREER ASSESSMENT DEFINED
On the most basic level, a career assessment is just a test to determine what careers are good fits for you. To determine this, an assessment runs you through a series of questions about your likes and dislikes, your preferences, and your reactions to certain scenarios. You can find numerous online career assessments that focus on all sorts of different traits, such as your personality, your interests and your values. These online tests tend to be relatively short.
You can take a longer, in-person test at many career centres as part of a career counselling session. Also, many companies use different career assessments to evaluate if you, as a potential employee, would be a good fit with their culture.
WHAT DOES A CAREER ASSESSMENT MEASURE
A career assessment asks a series of comprehensive questions covering different attributes such as your personality, strengths, interests, skills and values. Your answers to these questions will give you a good indication of what sort of career opportunity you would enjoy. Let’s take a closer look at each measured aspect.
Personality. Your personality dictates who you are and how you behave in different situations. An assessment can help you learn which traits are more prominent in how you approach life. To be fair, knowing which traits are strongest in you won’t necessarily dictate the perfect career path. But they can help you understand which jobs you might be more suited for.
Strengths. This category is how well you excel in a given task or area. You might enjoy working with numbers and data, or perhaps you’re really good at solving problems, building things, or bursting with creativity. Once you understand what your strengths are, choosing a career path is a little easier.
Interests. These are the various things you’re drawn to. Assessing your interests are important because this knowledge can guide you in finding work that you’re more likely to be fully engaged with. This engagement will aid with overall attentiveness and a willingness to learn. If you pursue a career that’s aligned with things that interest you, you’re more likely to find satisfaction in the work you do. It’s even possible to find a job that matches your interests so completely, it won’t feel like work.
Skills. Skills are generally more quantifiable than strengths or interests. They include things like organizational skills, interpersonal skills, computer skills, communication skills, and more. Most employers often look for these when considering new hires. So although your answers here will contribute to your test results, they’re not a large factor in determining your career path.
Values. Your values are one of the key contributors to your overall personality. How you treat others and handle different situations depends on the set of values you’ve developed over your life. A career assessment can really help match you up with a career that’s closely aligned with your values. For instance, if you place a high priority on a healthy work-life balance, taking a demanding job would likely make you miserable.
When you get your results back, you’ll probably see that you have a number of new career opportunities you hadn’t considered before. You can use these results to steer you down a career path you’ve always thought about, or perhaps you’ll find a different opportunity more enticing.
HOW DOES A CAREER ASSESSMENT HELP YOU?
When you get the results from your test, you’ll be presented with a list of potential jobs that match up with your personality, values, and interests. You may find that your results offer some insights into your future, which will hopefully make you excited about your career prospects.
But in addition to identifying what careers you may best be suited for, a career assessment can help you understand yourself better. You may not know your strengths, weaknesses, or even your values until you’ve taken such a test.
Lastly, if you’re working with a career counsellor, the results of your career assessment can give them a good starting point to help you draw up your career goals.
TYPES OF ASSESSMENT TESTS
Now we’re going to cover some of the more common tests you can take. Each of these tests have different creators and many different publishers. Before you take any career assessment, it’s a good idea to do a little research to make sure the test is from a credible source.
Adaptive career assessments. This is a newer type of test that asks questions based on your previous answers. They offer an individual experience. The questions asked foster greater self-reflection than other tests and they are often shorter than other types of assessments.
Type career assessments. This category of assessment sorts test-takers into different predetermined categories based on the test results. This can be helpful when it comes to deciding between different equally attractive options. One challenge with this type of test is that people don’t always believe they fit into the category the test has placed them in.
Popular tests that fit into this category include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the DiSC model, the Holland Code, the Strong Interest Inventory and the Clifton StrengthsFinder.
THE BOTTOM LINE
A career assessment asks questions that force you to take an honest look at yourself by asking you questions about your interests, your likes and your strengths. It’s a powerful tool that can assist you in making a lifetime of good career choices as well as learning about personality and who you are.