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Career Assessment: The First Step to a Successful Career

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Career assessment is the process of assessing whether a career is suitable for you regarding your personal needs and wants. According to the Business Dictionary, this refers to ‘tests and assessments taken to measure preferences based on the individual’s personality, character, traits and skills’.

The information you get from career assessments helps you become more self-aware, and their purpose is to help you get to know yourself so that you can make a well-informed decision about your career. In simple terms, career testing and assessments tell you what you are good at, what makes you happy, what your personal values are and what you are truly made of. This helps to build the foundation of a successful career that is guided by your professional goals and aspirations.

Areas of assessment

There are many types of self-assessment tools that can help you in your career, exploring personal traits and characteristics in the following areas:

  • Skills and abilities (aptitude)
  • Career interests
  • Work values and motivation
  • Personality type

Now let’s look at these areas in more detail.

1. Identifying Your Skills

Choosing a career that aligns with your skills increases the chances of you becoming successful in your professional life. The first step to becoming more self-aware is finding out what you are good at. This includes getting to know where your true talents lie and recognising the abilities that come naturally to you. Doing so can help you:

  • Recognise your strengths and what careers they useful in
  • Find out what you can do with a great ease
  • Identify your blind spots and the areas that need improvement

While there are many types of professional skill, it’s worth looking into employability skills, transferable and technical skills. Working on skills such as communication, organisation, leadership and decision-making ASAP mean that you are going to have a wealth of career options to choose from.

For example, do you think of yourself as a creative individual? Do you write, or paint? Are you able to calculate a complex equation in your mind quickly? These are abilities that you have and can do better than others and can be truly proud of.

2. Looking At Your Career Interests

What do you like doing in your free time? If you have no idea what you can do in your career, you might want to take a closer look at your hobbies. If you often lose track of time while singing, dancing or taking care of pets, being with children or helping your friends out with their personal problems, these could be indications of what careers you are best suited to.

Looking deeper at your career interests is an effective technique for finding out what you might enjoy doing professionally. This is particularly helpful if you have no idea of what you want to become. Besides you want to choose a career that you are going to enjoy and your interests can help you determine whether you are bored or engaged by your surroundings.

3. Paying Attention to Your Values

What are your personal values? By ‘values’ we mean, all those beliefs and ideas that are important to you and guide your actions. When you are choosing a career, you need to take these into account because they make you who you are and they lead the way to greater job satisfaction. These are some of the work values that you may want to keep in mind:

  • Autonomy: receiving little or no supervision
  • Helping others: providing assistance to individuals or groups
  • Prestige: having high standing
  • Job Security: a high probability that one will remain employed
  • Collaboration: working with others
  • Compensation: receiving adequate pay
  • Achievement: doing work that brings results
  • Leadership: supervising/managing others
  • Challenge: performing difficult tasks
  • Creativity: using your own ideas
  • Influence: having the ability to affect people’s opinions and ideas

These can be further explored to help you find out where you would like to work, what you would like to do and what your ideal conditions would be.

4. Finding Your Personality Type

Your personality determines how you respond to the outside world, take in information, make decisions and structure your environment. Essentially, this is what makes you the person you are and sets you apart from others. It also determines the unique traits and personal characteristics that you have developed from a young age and how you grew up.

You can get to know your personality type by taking a personality test, which can give you an idea of what jobs you are more adaptable to. These can help you discover your own psychological makeup and as a result land a career that you feel most comfortable in. This is essential if you want to avoid finding yourself in a job that you hate or find stressful, unfulfilling and unrewarding.

Available Assessment Tools

Many career tests can help you find out what your interests, skills and work values are by asking you to rate which activities you prefer to carry out. This should help you choose the career that you can see yourself in as they can give you a clearer idea of the kind of job, work environment and duties you are prepared to take on, connecting your interests to possible careers.

Many aptitude tests have attempted to approach the complex facets of personality. We have grouped the three most popular tests for you to try out:

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  1. John Holland’s RIASEC Model
  2. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  3. The MAPP Career Assessment Test

It’s important to point out that to make an informed decision you need to take all aspects into account. It’s not enough to focus on just your skills or interests, rather look into the full report of your self-assessment that you get from completing career tests. This is going to help you get more accurate results, and make a decision that you won’t regret.

There is no best career path, only decisions that may or may not lead to the right or wrong career. Making a decision is difficult because you never really know where that is going to take you. You are taking a risk, so you will need to draft a plan.

However, this becomes a lot easier with career assessment. A well-informed decision doesn’t simply come after weighing up your options but instead getting in touch with your true nature, and what better way to do that other than learning more about yourself?

If you want to find your ideal career, you can use our own comprehensive testing platform - Career Hunter - that lets you test your interests, personality, motivations and skills. Don’t forget your career is one step away!

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