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How to Test Your Skills for Future Careers

by Tara Duggan, studioD

If you feel stuck in your career, it might be time to investigate other options. One way to start is to take online quizzes that test your skills for future careers. These tools help you prevent poor choices and allow you to focus on areas that match your current competencies, personality and work preferences. Additionally, career planning surveys help you assess your current strengths and weaknesses. Then you can explore jobs that might be a fit for you and create a plan tailored to your needs. Even if you are just starting out, you can take advantage of online tests to guide your career development.

Identify Your Skills

The U.S. Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop Skills Profiler website enables you to create a list of your skills and match them to jobs that use those skills. You identify your skills in seven areas: basic, social, complex problem solving, technical, system, resource management and desktop computer. Then you rate yourself from one, the lowest, to seven, the highest. This allows you to compare your highest-rated skills with related professions.

Explore Career Options

The My Skills, My Future website allows you to enter your current or past job and find potential matches. For example, teachers may find that a new job as an instructional coordinator may be a terrific fit, as this career also involves understanding people’s reactions, requires knowledge of learning strategies and involves helping people. The Brainbench website provides access to a free personality test you can use to direct your career planning, as well.

Complete Exams

Test your current skills by completing online exams offered by professional organizations in your field. For example, the Project Management Institute publishes quizzes that cover a variety of topics and allow you to earn professional development units that help you maintain your project management certification. Additionally, the Skills Assessment website provides access to free exams that help you assess your skill in office software applications. Once you receive your scores, you can identify areas you might want to pursue for further enrichment to embark on a future career. You can also assess your typing and clerical skills on the Career Step website.

Assess Interests

The O*NET Interest Profiler website provides access to a vocational interest assessment instrument. To use it, download the file and user guide. Install the Computerized Interest Profiler and use it to identify your interests to decide what kinds of occupations and careers might suit you. The Interest Profiler presents a series of statements about job tasks. You respond by indicating whether you like or dislike the task. At the end, a summary of your results is displayed. Your strongest interests have the highest codes and represent work personalities defined by psychologist John Holland: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising or conventional.

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

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