Career Assessment – Matching Your Attributes with Your Career
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Eshna

Last updated May 6, 2016


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  • On an average, people jump jobs at least 15-20 times in their working lives. A Career Assessment Test helps you work those job changes based on your personality.
  • Career Assessments are tools that match PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES with a CAREER PATH to ensure ULTIMATE HAPPINESS with the job chosen.
  • Aptitude Tests, which are Honest, Flexible and have Realistic Expectations, make you extract the most out of them.

It is not too uncommon to find individuals who did well in college, starting their career off with a job that utilizes their thinking capabilities and theoretical knowledge, only to find themselves lost some years down the line. Although the job might have seemed apt earlier, it has reached a stage where it becomes unfulfilling and leaves them unsatisfied.

Many people including some well-known personalities have gone through this phase. While some have chosen to do something about it (case in point being Actor James Franco who despite having a brilliant academic record, chose to pursue films), others just continue doing what they already do (even though it may make them unhappy for the rest of their lives).

So what actually goes wrong?
Why don’t perceived interest sets match the chosen career path somewhere down the line?

The answer lies in knowing, understand and matching interest sets/ skills with a career that will sustain through the years.

Although most of us think we know our attributes inside-out, it is only an in-depth Career Assessment profiling that will reveal many hidden aspects of our personality and match them with the right career.

Career Assessments are described as ‘Scientific tools designed to help people understand how their personality (attitudes, interests, skills, values, motivations) impacts their satisfaction with their future careers, resulting in well-deserved potential success.’

They are mostly done by students, but lately many professionals are also using them as a way for mid-career self-analysis.

Career Aptitude tests in their basic form comprise of a series of questions that have been designed in such a way, so as to understand and evaluate your career path based on your answers. These answers are also matched with behavior, values and core beliefs to arrive at certain options that suit you.

The tests usually have;
  • A series of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ’s) with a particular answer.
  • Statements of declaration with yes/no answer
  • Questions that number from 10 to a 100, depending on the source and nature of the test.
  • Content that asks questions, such as
* What do you like?
* What you want to learn?
* Do you think out of the box or follow the beaten path?
* How do you see yourself many years down the line?

Career Assessment Tests are relatively new and became renowned post the introduction of the National Defense Education Act, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958. It was done mainly to get parents to send their wards to school.

Off-late though, numerous such aptitude tests have sprung for college students and young professionals, based on different requirements. Among these, there are only a few that have shown proven efficacy in showing career preferences.
  • The True Colors Test, is one such, which groups different individual personalities into four main colour groups. Based on the answer to the test query, you are allotted a colour that closely matches your personality trait.

Therefore, Gold is Responsible, Orange is Spontaneous, Green is Conceptual and Blue is Compassionate.
Using this colour coordination, you can decide on which stream you want to pursue; whether arts, business or medicine.

Although with a broader perspective, this True Colors Test is commonly used by people all over the world as a reliable evaluative tool.
  • The Myers-Briggs test is another personality evaluation test that has been proven to be effective especially among teenagers.
 
This test breaks down personality types into 4 different categories; extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving.
 
On completion, the test throws up four different letters which gives an idea of your personality, something like INTJ or ENFJ.
 
If for example, your score is strong in INTJ, Introversion and Thinking or IN and T, it means, that you are intelligent and a thinker. Therefore a career in research or teaching might be apt for you.
 
This test has been thought to be very effective for discovering future career options.
 
Although career assessment tests are plentiful and a new one is released by some university or company every other day, not all of them are reliable. Just like any other evaluative tool, they have their virtues and pitfalls.
 
If you want to use a Career Assessment Test for what it is, and get the most out of it, always remember the following points:
 
  • Ensure that they are Honest- These tests by their very nature are designed to focus on an individual’s strengths and positives and not much on the negatives. Therefore the answers that are produced are a result of the queries that have been answered in the first place.

Always be honest when taking the test. Don’t be politically correct when answering them; rather, base your answer on how you actually feel.
  • Ensure that they set realistic expectations- Career tests are just a means to an end, and not the end in itself. They show the path that can likely be pursued, but can never guarantee happiness and eventual success.

Only hard work put in consistently, will make the career path a success.
  • Ensure that they give scope for flexibility- Research in recent times, has shown that most workers hop at least 15 jobs on an average, over the span of their working lives. And that’s why aptitude tests may not be able to zero in on an exact career for you. As age advances, people undergo changes in their interests and skills and these reflect in their choice of jobs.

Keep an open mind, when reviewing such career tests, and be open to flexibility, which is the need of the hour.
Career Assessment Tests are not the final say in deciding your choice of career. But when used wisely and understood clearly, they reveal facets of your personality that will help you in choosing a career which will bring you, personal fulfilment.

About the Author

Eshna is a writer at Simplilearn. She has done Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT and The Telegraph. She loves traveling and photography.


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