When you don’t have the right job fit, some days feel like there is no end in sight. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to suffer through your work day – many folks do it, day in and day out.
And even though you might want to make a change, it’s hard to know how to go about it. Fortunately, there are tools available to help you find the right career path or reinvigorate the career path that you are already following. These tools are known as career assessments.
What are Career Assessment Tests?
Career assessment tests, also known as talent assessments and career aptitude tests, are tools that you can use to identify your personal strengths and attributes, in order to select a career that will bring you more satisfaction. When you take an assessment, it helps you to see how your personal skill sets and attributes can impact your satisfaction and success in different careers & job functions.
These types of tests consist of a series of questions for you to answer, and then your responses are scored and analyzed. After you take the test, you will receive a report which helps you to understand the results and how they apply to your career path.
The assessment questions are designed to help you discover your strengths, so that you can make decisions that will help you to feel more satisfaction in your work. It can help you to become a better employee, because you will have more insight about how your strengths can be used in your current job. Or, if you are looking to make a change, the assessment results may help you to get a better idea of the type of job that you will enjoy.
How Long Have Career Aptitude Tests Been Around?
The National Defense Education Act of 1958 had an impact on the use of career assessment tests. This act provided funding to schools for career guidance, with the purpose of helping students decide on school subjects based on their career interests. When the funding was made available for the high schools, the options became more readily available to everyone interested in using career aptitude tests to further their career path.
These assessments have gained popularity over the last few decades. More companies are seeing the value of assessing potential and current employees in order to determine the employee’s strengths. Studies show that identifying those strengths allows a business to utilize the employee more effectively, and it results in better job satisfaction for the employee as well.
These assessments are also used by career counselors, guidance counselors, and rehabilitation counselors in order to help their clients choose a career path that is a good match for their personality and strengths. Counselors understand the importance of setting their clients up for success in their employment situation, which impacts other areas of their life as well.
Why Companies Love Talent Assessments
Because career assessment tests help to uncover the talents, aptitude and skills of a person, the test results can be insightful and beneficial for both the individual and the company. An individual taking a career assessment test can easily see their strengths and weaknesses, and in turn select a career which focuses on their strengths and minimizes their weaknesses. Research has shown that these assessments increase an individual’s understanding of themselves, increase job satisfaction, and opens their mind to additional job possibilities.
Companies can use these assessments in the hiring process to find the right applicant for the job, and it is becoming more common to use career aptitude tests during the application process. These tests can also be used with current employees in order to help with employee retention. Often, employees leave a company because they find a better job opportunity elsewhere. But, if a company is proactive in helping the employee to see the career possibilities without leaving the company, then the employee is more likely to be satisfied with the company and stay for a longer period of time.
Another way talent assessments can be beneficial for companies is because it gives insight about employees who may be having problems at work. Instead of firing the employee, the company can look at the career assessment and have a better understanding of how they can work with the employee. Too often, employers rush too quickly into termination, because they don’t realize that there are other options available to fix the problems that are occurring.
Psychology Plays a Big Role in Job Satisfaction
Career assessment tests are psychology based, which is good because psychology has a big impact on the way you interact with other people at work. The psychological understanding of your job satisfaction can bring great insights to the ways you interact with your boss, coworkers, employees, and anyone else that you come in contact with at work.
For example, things that may affect your job include:
- Daily hassles and irritations
- Fairness perception
- Feedback from management
- Difficulty of job tasks
- Support from coworkers
If a person is satisfied with their job, then small things don’t seem like a big deal. But, when job dissatisfaction is present, then mountains can be made out of molehills and additional problems can arise. Because of this psychological aspect of job satisfaction, if an employee is constantly irritated by small daily tasks, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are spitefully trying to irritate their coworkers. Instead, the job dissatisfaction might be causing the small issues to feel like big problems for that employee. A career assessment test can help to identify the root cause of job satisfaction, and a few minor changes might help to improve satisfaction and decrease the problems which were previously so prevalent.
Understanding Career Motivators
Career motivators are the behind-the-scenes reasons why you enjoy a job or not.
Motivators vary from one person to the next, and it’s fairly common to be unaware of what your primary career motivator is. Do you primarily like to accumulate knowledge, facts & research? Then you would need a different job function and/or work environment than someone who needs to experience beauty, harmony & balance in their workday. A person who is driven by helping people and eliminating conflict would not excel in the same job or career as someone who is motivated by gaining power and focused on advancing their position.
And while we all have a primary motivator, it’s also possible to have a blend of two or more motivators. Determining these hidden, driving forces inside of you is difficult without the use of Career Assessment tests.
Finding your right career fit requires understanding these hidden needs within you, and making career choices that do not conflict with your motivators. For example, if your primary motivators drive you to maximize a return on your investment of time and effort spent, working in an environment that prioritizes and values beauty & aesthetics over ROI is likely going to create frustration in the short term, and drive deep dissatisfaction in the long term.
Using the Results of Your Career Assessment Test
Once you take a career assessment test, the results won’t be valuable until you start applying them in your life. The main goal of the assessment test is to help you understand yourself and the types of work tasks that you enjoy, and an improved understanding can help you to make better informed decisions.
Celebrate your strengths, and find career options that allow you to maximize those strengths. Look for ways that the results can affect the career that you choose, and be more selective in the types of jobs that you are willing to work. Identifying your core strengths and desires is the first step down the road to career success.