If you have decided to explore your career options, you may want to consider taking some sort of career self-assessment. Assessments can tell you more about yourself. They can help you better understand your strengths by identifying areas in which you already have skills, abilities and interests.
They can also alert you to areas for which you need to develop your strengths. You can make decisions about your career with more confidence if you understand what you like and don’t like, as well as what you do well (and not so well). It may also help you identify occupations that you are like to find satisfying based on the similarity between your work values and the characteristics of certain jobs.
There are a few things to keep in mind when taking assessments.
• There are many career assessments; you should look at several and see which one(s) feel right to you. Your friend may really like one assessment, while you have a totally different reaction. Don’t be afraid to try several. And taking more than one assessment may give you a more well-rounded opinion.
• There is no “perfect” assessment that is “right” all of the time. You know yourself better than anyone else does—and better than any assessment. If the results don’t feel like you, that’s OK. The purpose of assessments is to help you think about things that you might not have in the past.
• Regardless of what an assessment says or doesn’t say, you are still unique. Assessments categorize—they cannot tell you what is unique or special about YOU.
• Taking the assessment is just the first step. Reviewing the results is not enough. Its also important to think about the results in context. Talk to other people—do they have the same views of you and your strengths as the assessment? Or are the results very different from your and those who know you best? You need to think about what the assessment(s) revealed, and whether you agree.
Using the results of a career assessment can help direct your next steps and move your career transition forward.
O*Net Resource Center has a suite of free self assessment tools here: