Can career assessment testing be helpful to your career development plan?
Or is it a bit simplistic, perhaps even arrogant of us to think that the magnificence, uniqueness, and complexity of a human being could ever be quantified by a relatively crude career assessment tool.
Joseph LeDoux, a New York University neuroscientist says that there is no such thing as the ‘neuroscience of personality’.
We know from science that no two people who are alive today, or who have ever lived, or who will ever be born in the future, have the same DNA.
In fact, each person has over 3 million base pairs that are different from any other person that has ever, or will ever, live.
That’s astonishing uniqueness!
So, if that’s what science and neuroscience say about our uniqueness and personality, on what basis can professional career counseling propose that career assessments are a great way to discover your career personality and from there, make well-informed career choices?
Can the great and mysterious wonder of the human faculty ever be reduced into a neat little set of assessment parameters?
I doubt it!
We are unique in too many ways.
There is no other person quite the same as you on this planet and there never will be.
As Dr. Seuss succinctly put it:
Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
~ Dr. Seuss
Uncovering this uniqueness inside of you in the most unrestrictive manner is paramount when considering how to choose a career.
And generally speaking, a career assessment test is restrictive.
I have noticed that some people can become very disillusioned when a career assessment test result doesn’t produce the outcome they subconsciously or secretly hoped for.
At the bottom, every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
The magic wand of the test fails to produce results that line up with their innate career objective.
If they feel the test results weren’t particularly useful to them, they may think they don’t have the natural abilities they thought they did. (which is often not the case).
Alternatively, if a career objective that you were ‘secretly thinking about’ doesn’t show up as a realistic option during a career test result, you may mistakenly discard it, never to consider it again.
If this ever happened while working on a client’s career development plan, I would always want to put more investigation into the job types the client might have been ‘thinking’ about despite the fact that it didn’t show up as a valid option on test results.
If we can spend some time unraveling the deep heart issues of a person – what in fact makes them tick at the core of their being – then that will inevitably be more effective at uncovering genuine career passion than career assessment testing.
So where good career counseling involving skillful questioning and probing can enhance a client’s career development, career tests are limiting, somewhat finite and contrary to always keeping the door open on the marvel and wonder of our uniqueness as a human being.
Other career development articles relating to career tests that you may be interested in include:
Career aptitude test – Poor career counseling results?
Career placement test – Why they can limit career choices.
Career personality test – Is money the motive?
Career testing – Why the experts are running.