The career we choose in our lives shapes us, defines us and ultimately reflects who we are as a person. When it comes to making a decision about your career, not many people put a lot of serious thought to it. They assume that once they start their careers, they’ll manage to get a grip on things and then see if their personality is suitable or not for the job in question. This kind of attitude results in disastrous career growth and life.
Our careers are what we do in our lives for self fulfilment and to realise our innermost goals and ambitions. It is a means of achieving our dreams and goals. Why then do more people not take their careers seriously? In today’s times, the importance of choosing the right career is crucial to the extreme. There are many avenues available to understand and explore the various career options available in the market today but people generally tend to ignore them and settle themselves into a herd mentality wherein they follow the ‘currently trending’ career of their times. Whatever may be the career chosen by the individual, if there is no compatibility or likeness, then, there is a good chance that the person in question will not have a happy and successful career life and suffer from a stagnant career.
To prevent such a scenario, most career guidance experts suggest that candidates take a psychometric test. Now, simply put, psychometric tests are basic personality tests designed to extract the core information from the individual. It lists out the likes, dislikes, weaknesses, strengths and other basic traits of the individual. The usefulness of the psychometric lies in their ability to determine the way the candidate would react to various situations. This, in turn helps career counsellors/educational guidance experts in categorising the candidate into various careers for which he/she would be suitable for.
Career tests too are a highly useful tool for determining the best possible career for an individual. An important point to keep in mind when taking a career test is that no career test can single out the best career for you, rather, it gives the candidate a list of career options for which they are best suited for. There are types of career tests each having its own utility
1. Personality Tests- These types of tests help the educational expert determine the way the candidate’s mind works. The way he/she thinks, behave and reacts are the core traits observed in these types of tests. Knowing the kind of work you like to do and the kind of work you would go a mile to avoid helps narrow down possible career choices. Each individual is different, some people prefer interacting with large crowds while others prefer a closely knit circle, our personalities are as various and diverse as the stars in the bright night sky. It can be observed that many people who opt for a personality test are those who already have a career and are looking to make a change. When people are dissatisfied with their work environment or are unable to relate to the people around them, a personality test helps by giving them a clear picture of their core values and helps make the right change in career.
2. Interest Tests- Interests tests are used to determine what ticks your clock. Most interest based tests make use of the Holland code developed by Dr. John Holland in 1970. The Holland code categorises the person’s personality under a series of predetermined traits. For example, a person who is creative will fall under artistic while a business minded individual would be categorised under Enterprising. The Holland code is not entirely reliable f course because it considers the traits of people to be of only 6 kinds but even though the Holland code has its limitations; it is still highly helpful in determining the interests of the individuals and classifying them under 720 personality types.
3. Aptitude Tests- Aptitude tests are another popular tool used in career counselling but it is not the first option that is presented before an individual who is confused about their career path. These tests help establish the natural inclination or ‘aptitude’ of an individual. There are certain tasks that an individual is naturally good at. Some people may have an excellent mind for math while others can grasp languages quickly. Once the natural aptitude of the person is confirmed, the career expert will then propose a series of other test to further eliminate career options and lastly, put before the candidate a set of career options that they would be best suited for.
There are many tests and techniques to determine a person’s values, personality and traits and career counsellors suggest the one’s that they feel the candidate ought to take. These tests are highly important in the times of now because the number of people who end up unhappy with their jobs is increasingly drastically and herd mentality is forcing people into professions they may not be suitable resulting in a huge divide between skilled and unskilled labour.
When approaching a career counsellor, be prepared to take a series of tests and understand that they are only being suggested for the benefit of the candidate. If your career counsellor advises you to take a psychometric test or an aptitude test, just go for it and watch as the results help you choose a career that gives you a happy and successful personal and professional life.