Self-Assessments Can Provide Valuable Information

How to Make an Informed Decision

Woman-Cheering.jpg
Courtesy of Getty Images.

In Search of a New Career

Completing a thorough self-assessment is the beginning of the career planning process.  I often tell students that unless you know who you are, you will not be able to find out how you best fit in today’s job market. Each individual has a personality, set of interests, skills, and values that make them excel in a certain line of work. By identifying these attributes, you too will learn what types of positions and even organizations will be a good fit for you.

Is There a Test That Will Make It All Better?

I often get the question from students and adult clients asking, “Isn’t there a test I can take that will 'find' me a suitable job?” Just like in any relationship, if things were that easy we wouldn’t have to put any effort into finding a person or a job that meets our expectations. The thing to keep in mind is that a career is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your life, very similar to if or who you will end up marrying and if you will want to raise a family.

What Causes Us to Want to Make a Major Career Change?

Since these decisions are of such magnitude, it’s usually not in someone’s best interest to have the results of a “test” tell you which person or job you want to take, especially since it could result in a decision that lasts a lifetime. On the other hand, it could be an excellent idea to take several self-assessments to make you more aware and to help you question where you stand and what you want at this point in your life.

We often see individuals looking to make a total career change in their mid-30s, 40s, or 50s and we may wonder what it is that makes them want to make this big decision at this time in their life. The same goes for relationships where people may decide to call it quits rather than do the work it takes to make it right.

The major problem with both these scenarios is that if they had taken the time and evaluated the decisions they were making at the time, in a majority of cases, the decision-making would have been different and a different person or career may have been chosen in the first place.

What Type of Information Can a Self-Assessment Provide?

Some of the major self or career assessments are those that include personality, interests, skills, and values. There are a number of different assessment tools an individual can use, but I am going to talk here about some of the ones I use most often and how they can work when evaluating career options. You will want to check the reliability and validity of the assessments you use to ensure that they have stood the test of time and have been validated by some form of professional standards.

There Are No Right or Wrong Answers.

One of the key things to remember when working with self-assessments is that there are no right or wrong answers. Everyone possesses a set of attributes that are specific to themselves and no one attribute is better than another. By understanding your MBTI results or your theme code once you complete the Strong Interest Inventory, you will have a better idea of how you fit into a specific relationship, job, or situation.

Should I Do a Career Assessment?

For anyone wrestling with making a career decision, I do recommend the value and the insight that a career assessment can provide. We don’t often take the time to evaluate ourselves and how we, as individuals, go about surviving in this world.  By completing several career assessments, you will most likely come up with reasons as to why certain decisions in your life have or have not worked out. For anyone that decides to do a career assessment, I do recommend that you find a professional career counselor that understands how the results are calculated and that can further explain the results.