A career quiz seems like a fairly innocent and fun thing to complete.
Career tests and quizzes are all over the Internet and are often free to complete.
So what’s the problem?
Although they might be fun and easy to complete, they present some significant problems for a person looking to make quality career choices.
1. A Career Quiz Will Limit Your Thinking
About Possible Job Types
Most career quizzes provide a list of careers at the completion of the quiz.
This job list is very finite and leaves out numerous career choices that any given individual could consider.
The dictionary of occupational titles [no longer in print] listed over 22,000 different job types and even this did not cover all possible job types available in the world.
So a quiz that produces a possible list of perhaps thirty or forty career choices, will always be woefully insufficient for a person considering how to choose a career.
Some career quizzes don’t provide specific job options in the results but provide general areas of work to consider.
Although this may be a slightly better option than one that offers specific job types, the root problem of ruling out so many possible career choices still exists.
2. A Career Quiz Usually Lacks Validity and Reliability
The vast majority of career quizzes on the Internet lack verifiable validity and reliability.
This is true even of the very best of these quizzes.
Renowned global career experts agree that there are some serious problems with career quiz results.
Howard Figler [co-author of The Career Counselors’ Handbook], Arthur Miller who has worked in the corporate side of career consulting for more than forty years and author of “The Power of Uniqueness” together with the National Career Development Association [NCDA] in the United States have all voiced their concern at the number of career quizzes that are untested and probably invalid.
The NCDA noted in 2008 that one test that was flawed was actually sponsored by the US government.
3. Better Career Selection Methods Are Available
One of the basic problems of these types of quizzes is that they simply do not probe very intelligently, nor deeply enough into a person.
They do not provide good information for anyone entering the workforce nor quality career change advice for those looking to change careers.
All good career selection processes should begin with a proven and in-depth analysis of the individual’s unique gifts and inborn job skills and seek to unravel the sometimes masked desires of a person.
It is very difficult to overstate the benefit of spending some time one-on-one with an adept career counselor.
A computer software program can never be substituted for the intelligent, fluid and trained mind of an encouraging career counselor.
As someone once said a computer is nothing more than a dumb machine that adds numbers.
But as is the case in any industry, there are good career counselors and not so good career counselors.
So be prepared to do a bit of investigative work in an attempt to get a recommendation from somebody you know who has used one before.
4. A Career Quiz Provides a Quick Answer – But Quick Is Not Always Good
There was a plaque that hung in an office that I worked in that said:
We do three types of jobs here-Good, Fast and Cheap.
You may choose any two!
If it is good and cheap, it will not be fast.
If it is good and fast, it will not be cheap.
If it is fast and cheap, it will not be good.
A career type quiz invariably falls into the “fast and cheap, but not good” option.
There are many times in life when quick and cheap is not good.
One of those times is when you are making some fairly weighty career choices.
Although it is true that you are not stuck in a job for life, it is one of the more important decisions a person makes in their life and some careful thought and planning would be wise and prudent.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.
The tendency to want fast results to address life’s challenges is a growing dilemma in every area of life.
Often the answer to quality decision making is to simply slow things down.
5. A Career Quiz Is A Superficial Way of Dealing with An Important Issue
A career quiz is a relatively superficial intervention.
There is no evidence it can help solve the weighty issue of making quality career choices.
If you have a reasonably important issue in life that you need to solve, you would typically address that issue with the relative importance it deserves, including respected and proven resources and methods.
For example, if you had a large amount of capital to invest, nobody would recommend filling out a quiz online about finances that will ultimately tell you where to invest your money.
Most people would wisely say “this is an important issue that needs to be dealt with by the best people and with the best resources available”.
For most people, a good career choice can represent many years of their lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
An evenly paced decision-making process involving the best practices available is the best approach when making career choices.
So What Is the Best Approach?
The foundation of all good career choices is about knowing who you are in relation to your motivated abilities and inborn job skills.
A good investigative career counselor is a great place to start, however, you can advance this process by doing some self-assessment work on yourself.
If you aren’t sure exactly where your hearts desire lays, or you think you may know but need to confirm your ideas, I recommend you complete the inborn job skills assessment.
This assessment is the most accurate and deeply probing career assessment instrument that I know of.
It does involve a little work on your part, but it is time well spent in the long run.
Learn more about your inborn job skills.