It’s normal to feel a little lost sometimes. When your job feels routine, when every day brings more of the same it’s natural to want change. Perhaps you fell into the “perfect” job right out of university. Now you’re wondering if it’s a good fit after all. I can relate. I landed my dream career twice –– working in both diplomacy and counterterrorism. Yet I didn’t feel fulfilled or happy. I even felt a bit lost. Transitioning to being a career coach was frightening at times. Yet it has brought me more joy than I ever could have imagined. So, if you’re wondering if you’re in the right field, the first step is a career skills test. Here’s a roundup of some of the best ones online.
Perhaps the best known of the career skills test, the MBTI is often the first step for anyone hoping to see if they are right for a career. Drawing upon the work of legendary psychoanalyst Carl Jung, mother-daughter team Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers developed this test that places takers into 16 personality types that can help them discover not only the best career path but the best life path as well. The paid version is less than fifty bucks and a good starting point for anyone confused about their best path forward.
This completely free test could not be more simple. Utilizing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it offers seven categories including artistic, managerial, and mechanical. Test takes slide a dot from low to high assessing their own talents and preferences. It can also be refined by education, salary, and growth potential. The site then provides a host of careers for you to consider.
While the Rasmussen test can be completed quickly, the more extensive one from Campbell requires a significant time commitment of up to 40 minutes. Still, it’s highly rated for it’s ease of use and comprehensive results that pack a ton of detail into a report that costs less than $22.
Perhaps one of my favorites for its ease of use and amusing ratings system, MyNextMove asks you to simply rate your interest in a variety of tasks. Since it specifically asks you to disregard whether or not your education or skills qualify you to do the work, it’s a bit of a Walter Mitty adventure. Before you even get the assessment you may find yourself thinking, hmmm… I’d much rather build cabinets than work in marketing. It takes some time but it’s also free!
By measuring your Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness (DiSC), the website promises that this test can help you “Better understand your work style and how to build more effective relationships.” The basic online test starts at $30 and goes up from there, delivering information on your ideal work environment and personal needs.
Another longtime, respected test the Birkman Abilities Inventory will not only ask you 36 questions but will only allow you 90 seconds per question –– suggesting that your first instinct may be your best one. It’s been around for 60 years and is still the go-to for many career coaches. Each test costs $25 but you can save four bucks by buying the book for $21.
Similar to Meyers-Briggs, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter is a personality assessment test that use 70 either or questions to sort you into four categories: artisan, guardian,
idealist, or rational. The test is available in a variety of languages and the early, fun part of the test is completely free. However, for a full report it’s between $25 to $60.00.
Take the time to try several of these tests. Besides helping you on your career path, many of them offer quirky and compelling ways to think about who you are –– your values, interests, and personality. There are plenty of resources to find more tests online.
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