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Working out what career path to take can be one of life’s greatest challenges, largely thanks to the vast array of options available to you.
Enter: career tests.
Career tests, or career assessments, measure things like personality traits, skills, abilities, interests and skills to provide you with clarity and recommendations for career paths, effectively taking out the stress and even societal pressure of choosing a career. The best of these career tests, like our very own CareerHunter, are scientifically validated and all use their own unique algorithm to match your responses to possible careers, which is especially handy when you’re not 100% sure on what direction to take.
But beyond this, why should you consider taking one?
Here we’ll explore the 10 main benefits of career tests, whether you’re just starting out or starting over in your professional journey.
1. You figure out your strengths and weaknesses
One of the main benefits of taking a career assessment is that it allows you to identify your personal strengths and weaknesses. This is particularly helpful when it comes to making decisions about your career.
Your strengths are those abilities that you have honed, the things you’re good at, either thanks to natural talents or through hard work, perseverance and learning. Your weaknesses are those areas where you need to improve, things that you still struggle with.
Being aware of these aptitudes and limitations lets you develop a plan of action that will help you realise your goals. You can relate your skills to the profile of the career you choose and determine any strong or weak points that need your attention.
2. You can identify careers that match your goals and talents
An important reason many people try out these tests to help them find the right career is that the results usually provide suggestions of corresponding job titles. If you’re feeling particularly lost in the world of work, taking a test that gives you a list of possible suitable options could be just what you need.
Usually, individuals already have an idea of their main aptitudes and their ambitions but may not be fully aware of all the job prospects available. Completing a career assessment can provide you with an extensive list of aspiring choices that match your objectives and abilities. With the knowledge gained about yourself and your ideal path, you can match your profile to your desired career.
3. You become more aware of yourself
When you take a career test, you reflect on your personality traits and the ways in which you react to events. Naturally, this deliberation helps you to increase your self-awareness which, in turn, can positively affect your employability as you strengthen your emotional intelligence. You do so by identifying how you deal with conflict, take criticism and approach stressful situations.
In order to answer the questions in a career test as accurately as possible, you must explore who you are psychologically. Personality tests and psychometric assessments often give you an understanding of various aspects of your character, and help you better understand how you behave in different situations. Our Work Personality Test, meanwhile, goes beyond giving you a general list of personality traits and provides you with detailed insights into your personal style so that you can be more conscious of your motives and attitudes at work.
4. You learn about your values and principles
Another advantage of using career tests to help you find your way is that you’re able to clearly define what is most essential to you.
There is currently a generational gap in the labour market regarding the influence of personal principles in an individual’s pursuit of an occupation. Simply put, younger professionals are more likely to search for a job at a company that shares their values and would even take a pay cut for this.
Understanding what you value and what type of culture fits you at work will help you choose positions and companies that keep you satisfied throughout your career. Indeed, being familiar with your values will help you select organisations or businesses that operate with a similar code of conduct to your own.
5. You identify where your interests and passions truly lie
We’ve all heard people say ‘Do what you love’ and ‘Follow your passion’, but often there are people who don’t always know exactly what that is. One straightforward way of finding this out is to take a career test.
We spend so much of our lives at work that it seems to be fair advice to find something that will keep us interested over the years. And in order to be successful in our careers, we shouldn’t only be good at what we do but also motivated to do it.
To remain engaged in our jobs, we need to find some aspect of it enticing. This means that by working in a field or position that we find pleasurable, we can be sure to enjoy it. By considering your passions and not only your skills when looking for a vocation, you’re likely to pursue a field that keeps you focused and implicated for longer.
6. You discover what motivates you
Another of the clear advantages that career tests offer is the discovery of your underlying motivation. By taking certain tests, you can find out exactly makes you want to do what you do. You can also determine how you’re incentivised and the purpose you really give to your work.
We all want to feel some sense of satisfaction at work, but that could come from very different sources. Motivation tests can help you to find out what inspires you to succeed as a professional.
Some jobs pay well, some give us power, others challenge us or allow us to make an impact on our community or the wider world. Some people search for stability, while others look for autonomy. None of these are wrong answers. You simply need to understand what you care about most. Once you’re able to confirm what’s most important to you in a company, you can make better decisions about your career, shaped by your attitude to work.
7. You make better-informed career decisions
As you learn more about yourself, the way you like to work and why, you can start building your professional profile. Knowing what encourages you and what doesn’t, you’ll likely get better at making decisions surrounding your career, such as what to study or whether to do an apprenticeship.
Once you have a clearer understanding of what you want from your career, you can also be more confident in your decision-making process. Imagine you decide you want to become a dentist: you needn’t doubt so much about the next steps. You can research what qualifications you’ll need and how to get them and start getting involved in the right areas.
Through career test results, people can gauge what journey they need to go on and, therefore, save both time and money by having a clearer vision of their career.
8. You uncover careers you might not have previously considered
Some career tests give you the ability to recognise your strengths or personality traits, but most are geared towards providing you with suggestions of employment. A very useful aspect is that they often present many possible job titles that you may not either have known existed or considered for yourself.
Additionally, with technology advancing at the speed of light, there are new roles emerging all the time. App developers, digital marketing specialists and even influencers are just a few that have been established thanks to the digital age. These and many other new career options can all be explored in addition to more traditional roles.
9. You evaluate your educational needs
It doesn’t matter whether you’re in school, college, university or in the workforce when it comes to learning for a job. Most professionals continue to study, do courses and train throughout their lives. It’s possible you will even re-evaluate your educational requirements several times as you age.
Career testing is a sure-fire way to demonstrate exactly what things you need to learn to get started in any profession. Your results will most likely show what certifications you’ll need to do the work you choose.
You may find your ideal occupation demands only a high school diploma but offers on-the-job training, or that you need to complete a master’s degree to be considered for a position. Also, with a full list of possible career options available, you can use this as a jumping point to do your own research into what academic and professional training you’ll need.
10. You discover if you’re on the right path
A final benefit to consider if you’re looking at taking a career test is the way it can help you to readjust. When you have a goal in mind for whatever reason, it’s advantageous to revisit your plan to make sure you’re on track. This is the same idea as testing yourself to ensure your goals and interests are still aligned with your profession. Whether at school or contemplating a career change, taking the time to evaluate your abilities will help you stay focused.
Many areas of our personality are aspects that won’t change from childhood to adulthood. However, we do learn and experience many different things as we grow, which can easily have an effect on our calling. You could discover a love of skiing or sewing or computer programming, for example, and want to build your life around that new passion. By taking a test, you can see how your experience and character can help you transition your career. It can also give you an idea on how to start heading in the right direction.
Career testing can be extremely helpful to improve your employability and give you insights into yourself. Something that is very important to remember is that these tests are designed to give you information; they are not a rulebook. The results may surprise you and you sometimes may not agree with them, but the idea is to look for what the suggestions have in common. Interpret your results as best you can by investigating what skills are highlighted and what areas interest you. This way you can make an informed decision on which path to follow.
What’s your take? Join the conversation below and let us know about your experience with career tests and which ones you would recommend!