What should you do with your life?

A question that crosses everyone’s minds at some point in their lives, and yet something that very few people seem to be able to answer.  If you’re pondering this question and find that you really can’t narrow your list of careers down to a handful, it might be a good idea to take a career assessment. 

Career assessments come in all shapes and sizes, and measure all sorts of things- your values, interests, skills, and personality.  You may have taken one of these already.  Even if you weren’t thrilled with the results the first time, consider taking one again.  Because each assessment measures different things, each test can provide you with different clues about yourself. 

Who should take career assessments?  Anyone looking for career ideas, anyone who wants to confirm that they are on the right track, anyone who has no idea what they want to do with their lives.  Give them a shot, if they’re not for you, they’re not for you.

Before you take a career assessment, REMEMBER THESE POINTS:

  • Assessments are meant to give you a base from which to begin.  At the end, the assessment may give you a list of careers that “match” the answers you gave to their quesitons.  This is NOT the end-all, be-all list of things you can do with your life.  This is a list to GET YOU THINKING ABOUT POSSIBILITIES.
  • It’s easy to feel that a career assessment has boxed you in- again, remember that your results are a jumping off point.  They are possibilities, not certainties. 
  • Any person can do anything for a career, given the right education and training.  It’s true.  (ok, its true 99% of the time). 
  • And if something you were strongly considering is NOT in your results, don’t rule it out!  Again, the assessment is about possibilities, not certainties.

Free Career Assessments on the Web- any good career advisor will tell you that the best career assessments are those that you take while working with a career advisor.  They can help you make sense of the results and get you started on “next steps.”  But because many people don’t have the time or the money to get career advising, here are some good, free assessments on the web:

****Some of these will ask you to pay for in-depth results.  I find this not entirely necessary, so don’t feel  you HAVE to plunk down cash in order to gain insight from these assessments.

www.personalitytype.com (personality)
www.typefocus.com (MBTI/Myers Briggs)
www.princetonreview.com/cte/quiz/career_quiz1.asp (career)
www.livecareer.com (career decisions)
www.mymajors.com (college major decisions)
www.careerkey.org (for fee)
www.acinet.org/acinet (employment testing)
www.lhh.com/values/content_valuescard.html (values)
www.myplan.com (values, interests, skills, personality- for a fee $$)
www.typelogic.com (MBTI/Myers Briggs)
www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp (based on Jung theory)

***DID YOU ATTEND COLLEGE SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE?***

If you attended college, you are most likely entitled to the services of your alma mater’s career services office.  For example, at the college I work with, alumni can use any of the career assessments we have available, and we offer one full-length counseling appointment each year for alums.  TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR COLLEGE’S CAREER OFFICE!!!