Maybe you took my advice from the last blog post, and you saw a career advisor. If you did, were you given the option of taking a career assessment? If so, you might be wondering just what a career assessment can do for you.
A career assessment is a tool that helps you match specific aspects of your personality with careers. Sometimes the assessment results will suggest specific careers or jobs, like electrical engineering or law enforcement. Sometimes the results will be more general and will suggest, for example, jobs where you do hands-on work. The best assessments are validated, which means experts have determined that the assessment is consistent, reliable, and effective. Check with your career advisor if you have questions about assessment validity, or if you’re striking out on your own, consult the source of the assessment to determine how it was validated.
A good career assessment can give you a leg up in your career decision process. At the very least, the assessment can serve as a jumping-in point for career research. Tests such as these might reveal possibilities you haven’t yet considered. Taking a career assessment can also provide assurance that the career path you are pursuing is, indeed, the right one.
No matter how good an assessment tool is, there are some things it won’t be able to do. A good assessment will not make a career decision for you, and if a test does suggest that there’s one right career for you, you should view it with skepticism and suspicion. Career assessment results are also only as good as the information put in on the front end, which means that if you have no clue about what you like to do, or what you’re good at, or what interests you, then the test won’t be able to tell you much. If I just described you, you are probably better off doing some research or speaking with a career advisor before you take the assessment.
A career assessment isn’t a crystal ball, but a good one can provide insight you didn’t have before you took it. Keep in mind that a career journey is unique to the individual career seeker, and one size does not fit all. If you find one career assessment unhelpful, move on to another one! If assessments aren’t your thing, pursue other avenues of career discovery.
If you’re a present or former Calhoun Community College student, you can find the assessment we offer here: http://www.calhoun.edu/focus.