A career interest test
How this can help you

Will a career test help you in your career decision making, and to decide on your career objectives?

The answer is yes - absolutely! This type of test can be extremely helpful, especially if you are:

  • At a very early stage in your career and haven't yet worked out what you should do.
  • In mid-career, and know that you have to, or want to change your career direction..... but..... you're unsure about your next career objectives.

Career interest tests and job satisfaction

The theory is..... if you're interested in your job you're more likely to enjoy doing the work.

You might be wondering - why anyone would be in a career or job where they don't have any job satisfaction.

There's lots of reasons. But often people are in their career for other people's reasons, not their own.

For example, I've assisted many people studying at university who are in a field of study that their parents thought would be a good idea. Or..... they have chosen their area of study because their friends or family thought they'd be a good teacher, social worker, engineer etc.

Many of my clients are people in mid-career who've come to the realisation that they hate what they do, and that perhaps they never were suited to their occupation.

I've met hundreds of people who have changed from one job to another, or one field of study to another on a trial and error basis, hoping that eventually they'd magically discover a job they would enjoy doing.

Are you in the right job?

Life is far too short to get into a guessing game about what's the right job or career for you.

A career interest test can help remove a lot of the guesswork.

Let's face facts. A job or career change can be potentially very risky.

A career interest test can help remove some of the guesswork - completing such a test is an excellent form of career research.

A career interest test
What information will you get?

A career interest test, sometimes called a career interest inventory, will provide information about work and activities that you enjoy doing.

Sometimes the test results will also provide you with an accompanying job skills list that will further help you evaluate your suitability for certain jobs or careers.

Your interests are different from your abilities

Just because we are interested in something doesn't necessarily mean that we are good at it.

Similarly, people might have developed a range of skills, and are very competent at what they do......but they dislike having to use these skills.

There's no enjoyment, no job satisfaction for them in having to do so.

What are your employable strengths?

Your employable strengths represent your best chance of landing your job of choice. So....what are they, and how will you identify yours?

Your strengths exist where you combine a high level skill with strong interest and enjoyment in using those skills.

You'll want to be able to articulate your strengths when writing your resume, and during interview.

A career aptitude test will often be the best way to find out what your key skills are.

Types of career interest tests

There are many types of interest tests that you can take.

Each will differ in terms of how areas of employment interest are categorised.

Most tests available on the internet will involve the payment of a small fee.

But......there are also many free career interest tests available, particularly on federal and state government developed websites.

The more common career interest tests include:

  • SDS - self directed search, also known as SCII - Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory - this is based in part on John L. Holland's six personality types (also known as the Holland Codes)
  • SII - Strong Interest Inventory. Based on the Holland Codes this test typically takes about 25 minutes to complete. It is widely used in for educational guidance in relation to career choice.
  • The Career Key - a career interest test, also based on the Holland Codes

These tests all work in pretty much the same way.... the test asks a range of questions that help to identify what your interests are.

Your answers are then compared with interests that are associated with a range of related occupations.

When you look at this list of occupations on your report you'll probably already know about some of them.....and also know that they are not for you.

There will however almost certainly be some occupations that you either know only a little bit, or nothing about. It's these occupations that you'll want to investigate as part of your ongoing career research and career planning.

What are the Holland Codes?

These are a set of personality types proposed by psychologist John L. Holland as a part of theories he developed in relation to career planning and vocational choice.

Holland's theory is that choice of occupation is an expression of one's personality. The six personality types he proposed can be related both to the person, and to their work environment.

The six personality types, sometimes called the Holland Codes are:

Realistic (A doer) - practical, physical, preference for hands-on, use of tools, equipment and machinery is preferred. Related occupations include fish and wildlife management, mechanic, construction worker, fire fighter, police officer, information technology, engineer etc

Investigative (Thinker)- analytical, intellectual, scientific, explorative. Some related careers include scientist, researcher, biologist, technical writer, industrial designer, lawyer, engineer, pharmacy, science.

Artistic (Creator) - creative, original, independent, unconventional, expressive. Careers include artist, author, cartoonist, singer, actor, drama coach, composer, graphic designer, animation, art therapist

Social (Helper) - cooperative, supporting, helping, healing, nurturing. Careers include psychologist, teacher, doctor, nurse, surgeon, counsellor, trainer, occupational therapist, nutritionist.

Enterprising (Persuader) - competitive environments, leadership, persuading and influencing. Related careers include real estate, TV or movie producer, entrepreneur, sales roles, industrial relations consultant, political campaigner, management consultant, journalism, retail, public relations.

Conventional (Organiser) - detail oriented, organising, administration, clerical. Careers include banker, accountant, tax consultant, statistician, traffic controller, proof reader, copy editor, personal assistant, secretary, retail, technical writer.

Free career interest tests
Where do you find them?

The links below will provide you with access to a free career interest test:

  • The O*Net Resource Center - A U.S.A. Department of Labor resource. The Interest Profiler test is compatible with the Holland Codes.
  • My Future - An Australian Government website which contains a number of career planning and career research resources. These are located in the My Guide section of the website.

New! Comments

Has this helped you in your job search? What else would you like to see here about job search? Leave me a comment in the box below.
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