How to Choose a Career by Self-Assessment Test

by William Henderson

Deciding what you’ll be when you grow up is something you may do more than once during your lifetime. Most people try out different careers before settling on one that works for them. Taking a self-assessment test can help you narrow the field of possible career paths. The results of a self-assessment test can help you select a career that best fits your personality, outlook, job goals and abilities.

Self-Assessment Tests

Self-assessment tests include a series of multiple-choice questions, or yes-no questions. You can use a self-assessment test to help you figure out which careers best suit you, how well you work with others, if you prefer to work alone and how satisfied you will be performing different aspects of a job. There are two main types of self-assessment tests -- self-directed tests that give results that you can analyze and interpret on your own, and tests that require someone to analyze and interpret for you.

Results and Analysis

If you opt to take a self-directed assessment and have trouble understanding the results, the test often provides resources for services that can help. You likely will have to pay for these services, since the self-assessment test did not include someone to analyze the results for you. If you opt to take a test that needs someone to analyze the results, the cost of this service is included in how much you pay to take the test. Results from self-assessment tests may include keywords that describe you, such as dependable, punctual and team player, which you can use when looking for employment opportunities. Results can also reveal the personalities of the people you will best work with and in some cases the careers that you may enjoy the most.

Myers & Briggs

Perhaps the most widely known and employed self-assessment test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This test can you identify if you prefer to focus inward or outward, how you prefer to take in information, how you make decisions and the kind of structure within which you best work. “When you understand your type preferences, you can approach your work in a manner that best suits your style, including how you manage your time, problem solving, best approaches to decision making and dealing with stress,” according to Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Meyers, the women who created the MBTI. “ Knowledge of type can help you deal with the culture of the place you work, the development of new skills, understanding your participation on teams and coping with change in the workplace.”

Strong Interest Indicator

The Strong Interest Indicator measures your interests and can show you how well you may fit in six different career types -- social, conventional, investigative, enterprising, creative and realistic. (reference 8) Your results will show how your answers stack up against those provided by people who work in more than 12,000 occupations and who say that they are happy with the work they do. You may want to take Strong Interest Indicator in conjunction with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to help you better understand your personality and the work for which you may be best suited.

About the Author

William Henderson has been writing for newspapers, magazines and journals for more than 15 years. He served as editor of the "New England Blade" and is a former contributor to "The Advocate." His work has also appeared on The Good Men Project, Life By Me and The Huffington Post.

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