There is a dizzying array of career assessment tools offered these days to help solve your career change woes. From free online career aptitude tests to a full-blown two-day career assessment inventory. There is no shortage of options.
But are some assessment tools better than others? In short, the answer is yes.
So when changing careers, should you be completing the more popular type of career test* or looking at some other form of career assessment.
*I differentiate here between a typical online career test and a well-validated and verified test which most are not.
Avoid Most Online Career Tests
If you have read my career tests page, you’ll know that my advice does not usually include taking most online career tests.
However, some other career assessment tools are quite helpful.
I use the term career assessment tools to describe any means that are used to help in career assessment in any way.
This may be as simple as a process of applying probing questions during a career counseling session.
A career test however invariably involves predesignated questions of some sort, like an online aptitude test.
You Already Know What the Test Results Will Be
I watched a video recently of Richard Bolles, author of the best selling career book of all time, What Color Is Your Parachute. Bolles retold a situation of somebody he knew who had just undergone an extensive 2-day career assessment test battery.
The gentleman was particularly excited as he recounted to Mr. Bolles how the test results were “Amazing – almost all the test results were so accurate about me“.
He turned to him and said, “How did you know they were so accurate?”
The person thought about this question for a moment and said: “I just knew”. How did he know the test results were so accurate unless he already had that self-knowledge?
And this is one of my problems with tests, they usually only tell us what we already know if we had examined ourselves well enough.
But the train to provide some mystic insight into a personality or motivational type.
One of the most beneficial and simple career assessment tools that you can apply to help you identify what you are best at, is to systematically look assess your past life for achievements that you enjoyed and felt that you did well.
Then look for common themes or common skills used among those various achievements.
The achievements can be work or non-work related and should usually include some examples from various stages in your life including your childhood.
For full details on this career assessment exercise, see the Dream Career Finder. This includes a downloadable skills list you will need to complete the assessment.
This type of assessment has proven to be very reliable with all types of people, even those who feel they have never been exposed to many fulfilling experiences in their life.
Click below to go to the link
If however, you really want to complete a quick online career test, one of the most commonly used is John Holland’s self-directed search.
Just a word of caution about most online career tests, although they may be advertised as free, often you are only permitted to complete the career test for free, but to access the full report, there is a charge.
So not truly free!