The Job Coaches: Tests could help find right career

“Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits.” — Unknown

photoJanice was determined that she would break free from her old habits this year, especially her job. She was miserable at work, feeling like the proverbial square peg in the round hole. Janice knew she didn’t enjoy her job anymore, yet she didn’t have a clearly defined sense of what she would like to do. She wanted to better understand her career strengths and occupations where those abilities could best be used.

Perhaps you’re like Janice, feeling burned out and wanting some new career ideas. Perhaps you’re part of the 45 percent of Americans who, according to a recent Conference Board survey, are unsatisfied with their jobs. If so, consider starting the new year by taking some self-assessments. These tests can help you gain better insights into your abilities and interests, then aid you in identifying career options that match your personal preferences.

Having this personal profile is good for making informed career and life decisions. As Carol Kleiman, former business columnist for the Chicago Tribune stated, “It is important that your future job or career fit your personality.”

Where do you find the ability, values, personality and career assessments? The Internet offers self-directed assessments. Self-directed means that you can take the test and review your own results. You do not need a certified third party to analyze and interpret the data. Some tests are free; others charge.

The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth created a new Center for Leadership, noting that “effective leadership starts with intimate knowledge of yourself.” If you want to increase your knowledge of your strengths, weaknesses, what you like/dislike and gauge potential career options, here are some self-assessments you can check out.

–If you want to look at career choices that link to your job performance strengths and preferences, investigate the free Career Steer assessment at www.careersteer.org.

–The Career Interest Test, at www.careerplanner.com, costs $29.95 and identifies general types of work (broad categories like accounting, engineering, human resources, marketing, etc.) that might be right for you based on what you like, and want, to do.

–The Keirsey Temperament Sorter at www.keirsey.com. is a free assessment providing insights into how you respond to people and situations as well as how skillfully you get along with others. This information can be helpful in determining if working with groups of people or on your own is right for you.

–The Princeton Review Career quiz matches your interests and work style to careers where those interests are involved. The test is free: www.princetonreview.com.

–The work of Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, into personal tendencies and preferences is the foundation for the Jung Personality Typology Test. This is offered for free at www.humanmetrics.com and can offer insights to your personality and preferences.

–The free Career Values test helps you understand your values and what you want in a career: items like independence, creativity, knowledge, status, precision, earnings, etc. Find the test at stewartcoopercoon.com/jobsearch/career-values to help define what standards and principals are required for you to feel satisfied and engaged at work.

–The Kolbe A Index identifies your natural talents and how you take action. Your method of operation is then matched to careers in the Career MO assessment. The assessments are found at www.kolbe.com and cost $63.95 when taken together.

Use this information about your interests, values, natural talents and personality as data points in making the career decision that’s right for you.

Jane Perdue is CEO of The Braithewaite Group.The Job Coaches are experienced volunteers from the Center for Women’s Job Counseling Program. Ask them a question by calling 763-7333 or e-mailing info@c4women.org. For assistance, make an appointment; a donation of $10 is requested for appointments.

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