Career Assessments: Helpful or Not?

It’s good to be open to career insights from all kinds of sources. 

As a career coach and radio host*, I have had clients use everything from numerology to astrology to figure out an auspicious time to launch a new career, website or business.  I personally have also found color tests insightful.
These instruments assess your type based on the color choices you make from successive sets of different combinations. I even interviewed the author of one color test on my radio show because I found his assessment to be spot on in assessing my strengths and personality. I recently retook the Dewey color test and found it continues to hit the mark.  Try the free color assessment for yourself and comment below if it hits home (or doesn’t) for you!
Though they can offer insights, I have one major problem with assessment tests: They’re limiting.
  • Knowing your strengths and personality are important factors in finding the career you’re meant for but they’re not only ones.  I help my clients assess themselves in eight different areas as part of a larger Soul Search, Research and Job Search process.  These elements include: your top interests, key motivators, skills you want to employ, ways you want to contribute/find purpose, your best qualities, the best work environment, activities you get the most enjoyment from, and salary & benefits. By working through exercises and self-reflection questions we prioritize what’s most important to you and brainstorm career possibilities that match the elements of your ideal career. Answer this brief questionnaire if your career needs and goals include clarifying what you’d like to do.
  • Assessments also tend to shoehorn you into existing careers. After Soul searching, Researching and Job Searching with countless clients, I have found the ideal careers are most often new niche areas my clients can fill, or a unique take on existing careers.  Often the right answer is combination of career options not previously thought of (and that wouldn’t typically show up in an assessment).
There’s no a magic wand for figuring out what you’re meant to do with your life; but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun investing the time and energy to reflect on who you are and what you came here to be.  Opera Singer Beverly Sills said it best, “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” 

*If you miss Making A Living with Maggie on SiriusXM, subscribe to my podcast available on iTunes. Listen to my latest for tips to update your interviewing skills!

Photo courtesy of Adikos.

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