Career Placement Tests Can Be Limiting
Poor career choice outcomes can occur as a result of using a career placement test. Many test results can limit career choices by providing only a small number of job possibilities to choose from.
The Dictionary of Occupational Titles, when in print, listed over 28,000 different careers.
But the dictionary was always outdated because new job types are always being created.
There is a real possibility that you might be an ideal fit for a job type that doesn’t exist yet. Your inborn job skills, values, and desires could point to a job, not in any occupational lists.
A Career Test Will Never Show You a Job Like This!
There are many examples of completely new job types being created by organizations for just one person because somebody decided that the gifts and abilities that they have would benefit their organization.
So a person can secure a job even though the organization didn’t have any particular job opportunity on offer. If that sounds strange, it shouldn’t. It happens a lot.
So a career placement test will always fail to recognize great job opportunities like this.
Create Your Own Job
Robert Greenleaf was someone who was renown for thinking outside the square.
In his excellent book Servant Leadership, he talks about how most of the jobs he had in his life were created just for him.
Responsibility of any career counselor who provides career advice is to be sure that they are using the best possible methods available to help clients.
Using a career placement test where the test recommends a specific list of job types at the end of the test, is probably not the best way of helping a person with their career choices.
When someone is seeking career help, then they are usually making some weighty decisions and need to feel confident that the knowledge and processes being utilized are the best available.
A vocational assessment test that is used to help a person work through their career objectives, will often stifle the process and produce inferior outcomes compared to other career consulting methods. They often lack verifiable reliability and validity data.
This can result in career choices that can be damaged by either leading a person in a direction that isn’t truly suited to them or, the more likely scenario, missing possible career options that may fit very nicely.
In my earlier days as a career counselor, I never felt like I was doing my best job when I used career placement tests with clients.
For quite some time I was unable to put my finger on why this was.
Then I became aware that when I had helped clients most effectively were times when I had not used this type of career test.
If you do take a vocational test as part of your career development plan, then be wary of their limiting results and the danger they have of not identifying some very suitable careers.
Alternative methods, when used by good career counselors, will nearly always produce better career search results for the client than if a career test is used as part of the process.
One of the best methods is to start by analyzing your natural career motivations.
You can do this by using the inborn job skills assessment.
It will take you a bit longer than most career placement tests however the results are nearly always significantly better. And It will cost you a lot less.
Other career development articles include:
Career aptitude test – Questionable career counseling results?
Career personality test – Is there a conflict of interest?
Career assessment – Uniqueness not highlighted!
Career testing – Why the experts are running.