Discover Your Dream Career

What is Career Assessment?

Are you unsure about which career you want to have? What if you know the skills you possess, but you aren’t sure where these skills are best applied? For example, you might know that you’re a math whiz, but are you better suited for a job as an accountant or math teacher? While many people have clearly defined career plans, not everyone has such well-focused goals. If you are struggling with deciding what to do ‘when you grow up,’ or if you are just looking for a change, career assessment can help you discover the occupation that is the most appropriate for your skills, personality, and lifestyle.

Career assessment involves using various tools to determine your abilities, interests, values, strengths, and weaknesses. These tools can help you discover aspects of yourself that you weren’t aware of and explore career options that you might not have considered. There are many free online assessment tools that can be extremely helpful, but also consider scheduling an appointment with a professional career counselor for a more in-depth analysis.

Benefits of Career Assessment

-Career assessment can provide focus and clarity by helping you choose goals wisely. By concentrating on specific goals, you will be able to sharpen your skills in a particular job area and make yourself more attractive to potential employers.

-Career assessment can reduce job stress and burnout by helping you choose a career that is best suited to your personality, values, interests, and lifestyle. In all likelihood, you have work at a job you hated at some point in your life. Why did you dislike that job so much? Jobs that conflict with your personal characteristics, ideals, and way of life are the ones most likely to cause stress and exhaustion. Career assessment can help you avoid these problems.

-Career assessment can help you advance in your current career. While assessment is useful to those searching for their ideal career, it can also make you a more skilled and qualified employee. Learning more about your abilities, interests, and strengths can provide encouragement and confidence in the job market. Play up your strengths by getting specialized training to boost your job skills in that area. Then, be sure to let employers or hiring committees know about these strong points by featuring them prominently on your resume.

-Career assessment can prepare you for a career change. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, one in three workers considers making a significant career change at some point in their life. Unfortunately, changing careers can be difficult and overwhelming for many people. Career assessment can help by providing you with useful feedback on which career to choose, how to approach the change, and what skills you will need to successfully change careers.

-Career assessment can help you find a job you love. Consider how much time you spend each week at your job. Wouldn’t you prefer to spend that time doing something that leaves you feeling fulfilled, inspired, and content?

Types of Career Assessment

-Personality Tests: There are a number of personality tests available to help you learn more about how your personality affects career choice. The best known of these tests is the Myers-Briggs Personality Tests, which is often used by employers to determine which hiring candidate is best for the job. Another often-used test is the Big Five Personality Test, which ranks your results on the five different dimensions of personality that have been identified by psychologists. Personality tests may not tell you exactly which career is best for you, but they can provide useful information for your career assessment.

-Aptitude Tests: Discovering what you are good at, as well as what you are not, is one of the most important aspects of career assessment. Aptitude tests are a great way of identifying your skills and strengths. Not only will this help guide your career goals, it will also help you focus your resume and make you more appealing to potential employers. Discovering your weaknesses can also help you learn about the areas where you need improvement.

-Interest Inventories: Taking stock of the things that interest you most in life is an important part of career assessment. The “Strong Interest Inventory” is one tool that career counselors often use to help clients discover their interests. Interest inventories generally also include a list of careers that correspond to particular interests. This is a great way to discover possibilities that you might never have considered prior to conducting your career assessment.

Should I Try Career Assessment?

If you are unsure of what college major or career path you should take, you might benefit from career assessment. Using various tools, personality tests, and inventories, you can learn more about your unique abilities, interests, values, and needs.

Before you begin career assessment, make a list of all of the things you like about your current job, a list of your interests, and a list of potential “dream jobs.” Looking for similarities among these three lists can be an important first step in career assessment. Do your interests match up with you dream jobs? How do the things you like about your current job relate to your interests and goals? Remember, career assessment isn’t a one-time thing. We all change and grow over time, so try reevaluating your goals, plans, and interests periodically to help sharpen and expand your career possibilities.

 

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