When it’s time to take charge of making a shift in your career, it’s not easy deciding which path to choose. You might ask yourself… Should you move up? Move over to a similar role in another company? Move on to something different altogether? Can you break free from the golden handcuffs? Should you take the buyout and start over? Once you decide that change is imminent, the following steps on what to do about an intelligent career progression path can seem downright paralyzing. This is the beauty of a career assessment test.
What is a career assessment test?
Career assessment tests are continuously evolving, as is what you may be learning about your likes and dislikes in a professional role. Therefore, taking a career assessment test can be done at any time. Results may be mundane, but they also may be surprising. You can get new insight, perhaps even unique insight, that leads you to action at any time.
A career assessment test is a tool that helps you figure out your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and personality traits to identify what kind of job might be best for you. They can help give you insight into what kind of work would suit your skills and personality best. Career assessment tests can take various forms, like personality tests, interest inventories, and skills. assessments. Some tests may also include career counseling or coaching sessions to help you better interpret your results and develop a plan for your career.
Who should take one? At what stage in their career?
Career assessment tests are suitable for individuals at all stages of their careers, whether they are just starting, considering a career change, or looking to advance in their current profession. These tests can benefit women feeling stuck or unfulfilled in their current job.
There are several reasons why women might consider taking a career assessment test. For example, they may be unsure of what career path to pursue, seeking confirmation that they are on the right track or seeking ways to improve their job satisfaction and performance. By taking a career assessment test, individuals can better understand their strengths and weaknesses, explore potential career options, and make more informed decisions about their professional future.
It’s much easier to navigate this often daunting path when you think in terms of three areas required for a quantum leap:
- Mindset (what matters most), your strengths,
- Skillset (auditing your background vs. your dream job), and
- Toolset (effectively presenting your brand so your expert status resonates with critical decision-makers).
For those who are the primary source of income for their family and would like to advance their career, taking an assessment test can help determine which job opportunities may be a good fit for them. The stage in the assessment should be carried out when their current job does not allow them to support their finances sufficiently. Taking an assessment could open doors for better opportunities.
Also, when you’re coming back into the workplace after an absence – a long illness; for women, a maternity leave, or something to that effect, taking an assessment test is a good step. If you’ve already found a job but are looking to move up within your company or find a new opportunity elsewhere, it can help give you some insight into what type of role would be best suited for you. And if you’ve been working in the same field for years and wondering if maybe there’s something else out there for you, it can help confirm that yes—there’s something else!
A career assessment may allow those with more work experience to explore new opportunities that suit their interests or consider returning to school for higher education credentials. Those in the later stages of their careers may find that a career assessment test can help them to identify opportunities for growth or change, so they can stay engaged and remain competitive in the workplace.
Why should someone take a career assessment test?
Some reasons to take a career assessment test include the following:
- To gain self-awareness: Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values can help you make informed career decisions.
- To identify suitable career paths: The test can suggest careers that align with your preferences, helping you focus your job search.
- To get direction: A career assessment test can offer guidance during times of uncertainty, enabling you to make more confident career choices.
- To enhance career satisfaction: By identifying careers that align with your interests and values, you can increase the likelihood of job satisfaction and long-term success.
An assessment test can save you big time, trouble, and stress in your job search. It allows you to confidently pursue your desired career, empowering you to make yourself a valuable asset even before getting the job. Take a career assessment test if you are feeling stuck or uncertain about your path. It can be helpful to get a sense of what you’re good at, what you enjoy, and how your personality might influence the kind of work you’d be good at doing.
Taking the time to complete a career assessment test can save someone from making costly mistakes by choosing the wrong job based solely on salary or societal expectations rather than considering personal interests and abilities.
What do career assessment tests include?
Career assessment tests can vary widely in terms of what they include, but most assessments include some combination of the following:
- Self-assessment questions: Help individuals reflect on their interests, values, and personality traits. They may ask about hobbies, preferred work environments, leadership style, and other career satisfaction factors.
- Aptitude tests: Aptitude tests assess an individual’s natural abilities and strengths in various areas, such as verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, and spatial reasoning.
- Personality tests: Personality tests measure an individual’s personality traits, such as introversion/extroversion, emotional stability, and openness to experience. Personality tests can help individuals identify careers that align with their personality type.
- Interest inventories: Interest inventories measure an individual’s interests in different career fields, work, and leisure activities. These tests can help individuals identify careers that align with their interests.
- Skills assessments: Skills assessments measure an individual’s skills and competencies in various areas, such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. These tests can help individuals identify areas of strength and potential areas for development.
- Values assessments: Values assessments measure an individual’s values and priorities. These tests can help individuals identify careers and organizations that align with their values.
The old idea of staying in one career your entire work life has been thrown aside. Nowadays, not only is it much easier to swap jobs it’s also much more common. Whether it is a career assessment issued by your employer or when you take it online, it’s a good idea to do this regularly because it can help you to reflect on your current job, what your future wants are, and how to align those two.
What are some of the best career assessment tests, and why?
A career assessment test is designed to help you explore your interests, skills, and values to gain insight into what kind of work or profession might be the best fit for you. These assessments are typically administered online or through paper-based tests. These tests are widely used and respected in the industry and have been shown to provide valuable insights into a person’s natural tendencies and abilities:
- The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): assesses your personality type based on four kinds: extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. The MBTI can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and how you might fit into different work environments.
- The Strong Interest Inventory: evaluates your interests in various fields, activities, and work environments. The results can help you identify potential career paths that align with your interests. The Strong Interest Inventory measures an individual’s interests across six areas: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional.
- The CliftonStrengths assessment: identifies an individual’s top strengths across 34 themes, such as communication, strategic thinking, and empathy.
- Holland Code Career Test: helps to identify your dominant personality type and then suggests career paths that match. This test consists of questions based on six occupational themes and takes about 20 minutes to complete.
- O* Net Interest Profiler: This test is excellent for those unsure of a career path, especially if they have multiple interests. For example, if you enjoy playing the violin, writing stories, and caring for sick people, choosing one area to focus on can be difficult. This test collects your interests to suggest the right career paths. MyNextMove is sponsored by the US Bureau of Labor & Statistics and asks you to rate your interest and aptitude for performing particular tasks, such as building cabinets.
The other type of assessment you can take is a personality assessment, which is excellent for leaders as they develop their management skills and leadership style because it points out the areas where they may be weak and the areas where they may be vital. (Yes, even you – a top performer – have weaknesses. The more you know them, the further your career will go.) There is also the PI (Predictive Index) Assessment. The results of this test will be an insight into your personality that will be yours alone to make actionable.
The best career assessment tests include a wide variety of questions. For example, if you’re applying for jobs as a programmer, you should be able to answer questions about programming languages and what they do but also give your thoughts on different programming paradigms, such as functional or procedural. It’s also essential to ensure the test includes questions about your personality traits and work habits. You might think these things don’t matter in a coding role, but if you don’t like to work alone or have difficulty staying focused on one task, it could affect how well you perform on the job.
How can you put a career assessment test to good use?
- Raise your hand and say yes to the process: Stay open to new opportunities to recognize and process necessary (but subtle) nuances of what you desire.
- Do some career soul searching: Determine if your current role can expand into something better (move up) if your best bet is to move over to a new team, or if you are ready to move on to something different altogether.
- Assess your strengths and priorities: Determine what matters most and what you want your legacy to be as you nail down your non-negotiable preferences.
- Inventory your accomplishments: Quantify wins whenever possible. Note how they align to critical imperatives such as strategy, leadership, HR/team building, finances, product development, etc.
- Itemize your prior responsibilities vs. where you see your next role: For example, you may have been implementing but now seek to manage a team.
- Build a business case. Use an organized system. Identify your dream role, documenting essential requirements, phrases that reflect their culture and work expectations, etc.
- Update your LinkedIn profile, resume, and portfolio. Ensure that they are stuffed with the right keywords to improve your chances of attracting your desired attention.
- Leverage connections. Connect with your dream team of influencers who can help you through recommendations or insight into your desired next squad’s people, process, and culture. Invite them to a virtual coffee to learn more.
- Go into the interview fully prepared for an engaging conversation. You are interviewing them for the right fit, too. Let them get to know you and leave the meeting knowing confidently that this is your “Cinderella moment,” and you are ready to contribute to the win-win.
One of the benefits of using career assessment tests is that they provide employees with a better understanding of themselves and their strengths. This information can guide career development plans, identify training opportunities, and assist with performance evaluations.
One downside to using career assessment tests is that they are not foolproof. They aren’t the end-all-be-all. They’re just one piece of the puzzle. While they can provide valuable insights, they should not be the only factor in career decisions. Other factors, such as education, experience, and personal goals, should also be considered.
The bottom line is that while these tests can provide leading indicators, they stop short of a plan. Use them for insight and as a learning tool. However, they do not provide a dynamic foundation for a job search goal because results are unrelated to your experience and education.
In conclusion, taking a comprehensive career assessment test provides valuable insights that help individuals make more informed decisions regarding their professional lives. It enables people to identify areas of strength and weakness while evaluating job prospects suited to personal interest resulting in higher job satisfaction in the long run!