our everyday life

Career & Life Planning Assessment Testing

by Tara Duggan

Using career and life-planning assessment testing tools helps you hone in on the path you want to take based on your interests, aptitude and goals. Many free, online assessment tools provide quick access to scores that can reveal hidden talents, opportunities and areas to improve. Whether you’re young or old, take advantage of these resources to guide your plans. These tools listed in the Resources section can assist you in building a better resume, searching for a new job, making a career change or even getting a promotion in your current role.

Assessing Daily Living Skills

Life skills assessments, such as the Casey Life Skills Assessment, help you figure out how well you maintain healthy relationships, work, study, budget, pay bills, plan and use community resources to your advantage. Used typically in conjunction with mentoring, these types of tests produce reports that determine which behaviors, skills and knowledge you lack and need to develop. Use the information to make an action plan so you can make the most of help available to you. For example, if you score low in planning or computer skills, you can use the Internet and other community resources to find out where to get information that enables you to improve in these job-related skill areas.

Identifying Career Interests

Games, such as the University of Missouri Career Interest Game, allow you to explore different occupations based on what you like to do. According to psychologist John Holland, your personality attracts you to certain types of jobs and the people who perform them. By thinking about whether you prefer realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising or conventional people, you can determine what types of work environments and careers might suit you. For example, realistic people tend to have athletic or mechanical ability and excel in jobs such as engineering, medicine and construction. Assessments help you narrow down your interests so you can investigate your favorites more comprehensively.

Learning About Your Personality

To learn more about how you perceive the world, use a tool such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument, which measures your preferences on four scales. Using the Personality Pathways Myers Briggs Personality Test, you rank as either extroverted or introverted, sensing or intuitive, thinking or feeling and judging or perceptive. While making hiring decisions based on one of the 16 types is unethical, according to the Myers & Briggs Foundation, employers typically consider personality when hiring new staff. Your type may reveal how you differ from others and help you manage conflict, build teams and become an asset to any company or organization.

Succeeding At Work

Career and life planning assessment testing can continue throughout your career. For example, evaluating your emotional intelligence helps you discover new ways to communicate and lead more effectively. Psychologist Daniel Goleman identified five components: self-awareness, self-regulation, internal motivation, empathy and social skills. Free online tests, such as Queendom's Emotional Intelligence Test, allow you to determine how adept you are at leading change, persuading others and collaborating on teams. Use these assessments to note performance gaps and build your career development plan on annual basis.

About the Author

Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images