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Best Career Assessments for Identifying Your Ideal Career

Quizzes and assessments have become a fun way to pass the time and alleviate boredom, with BuzzFeed’s oddball quizzes taking over social media. However, there are plenty of very useful personality and career assessments out there that can help you find the right career for you—many of which are used by career coaches on a regular basis.

Some career assessments help you uncover your strengths and values while others match you up with specific occupations and industries based on your interests—both are helpful in finding a career path you love and suits your personality. With that in mind, we put together a list of some of the best career assessments out there for identifying your ideal career.

MBTI – Myers Briggs Type Inventory

Developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs, the Myers Briggs Type Inventory is the most widely used personality test around the world. It uses an introspective questionnaire to indicate four psychological preferences in how we perceive and experience the world and how we make decisions. The four categories: Favorite world (extroversion (E) or introversion (I)), information (sensing (S) or intuition (I)), decisions (thinking (T) or feeling (F)) and structure (judging (J) or perceiving (P)) make up different combinations based on a person’s answers to create 16 personality types.

“This is a highly validated tool. When applied to the world of work, it helps to frame how to ‘approach your own work in a manner that best suits your style, including: how you manage your time, problem solving, best approaches for decision-making, and dealing with stress. Knowledge of type can help you better understand the culture of the place you work, develop new skills, understand your participation in teams, and cope with change in the workplace.’ This tool shows me the types of personalities which have performed well in specific occupations. This provides clients with a place to start in their thinking,” says coach Lynden Kidd.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath and the Gallup Organization

Modeled after Clifton StrengthsFinder, which was developed in 1998 by Donald Clifton, Tom Rath and a groups of scientists at Gallup, StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a new revised version of the assessment. Built on more than 40 years of research, this well-known assessment has “helped millions discover and develop their natural talents.”

It is based on the 34 common talents (strengths), all of which have unique names. The more dominant a theme is in an individual, the greater the impact it has on that person’s behaviour and performance.

“The test is now administered by the Gallup organization. For US$15.00, this inventory can be taken resulting in a report detailing your top five strengths.  The report is well done and helps clients with focus on what they do well – a key part of the ‘tell me about yourself’ tale in the job search,” says Lynden Kidd.

“One of the best ways to identify your ideal career is to select one that best corresponds with your personal strengths.  The StrengthsFinder tool allows you to identify your strongest talents, and how you can best utilize and maximize those strengths in your career and even as a leader.  What better way to identify the career that is best for you than to select one based on skills and qualities you are naturally good at already?” says coach Tonya Echols.

“I highly recommend StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath to all of my clients. Often times when I am coaching clients, they like to spend a lot of time on areas they are not strong in. I normally hear ‘I wish I had this skill or I wish I had that skill.’ I ask the client to focus on the skills they are strong in and then I sometimes hear crickets. I encourage all my clients to focus 80% of their time on their strengths. StrengthFinder is an assessment with a series of timed questions. The history behind the assessment is based on a 40 year study conducted by Donald O. Clifton, the Father of Strengths. He compiled a list of 34 common talents among humans,” explains coach Marla J. Williams.

Here is what StrengthFinder will do:

  1. By answering the questions honestly the assessment will result in your top 5 strengths.
  2.  Each of the strengths are broken down into explanations of how to apply each strength in career, life, ect.
  3. Real life scenarios are given in which you can picture yourself.

“For example one of my strengths is Intellection, it states that I like to read and study articles and books. I love to receive information to retain and use for another time. After I read this I was amazed, because it was spot on,” Marla J. says.

O*Net’s My Next Move

“There are many options available to gauge one’s interests. I think an easy one to find and use is found on O*Net’s My Next Move and provides a score in six interest areas. The great thing with getting a RIASEC (the acronmyn comes from the first letter of each of the six interest areas: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional) score is then my clients can use the interest feature to further explore occupational areas.  For example, my top scores are 1) Artistic and 2) Enterprising. I can explore a list of occupations which relate best to those scores. So, if I am struggling to get clear and want to learn more – the O*Net Summary reports are very helpful,” says Lynden Kidd.

True Colors

“True Colors is a great assessment that identifies your temperament type or “personality style”. Developed by Don Lowry, the assessment is based on the works of Hippocrates, Carl Jung , Katherine Briggs (Myers/Briggs Type Indicator) and David Keirsey,” explains coach Mary Kruger. “Author Don Lowry likes to refer to his assessment as edutainment – part education and part entertainment. What’s different from other assessments that rely solely on written assessments is that True Colors uses a series of four playing cards which illustrate the characteristics of the four temperament types in pictures.  The cards offer a tactile way of determining your temperament type, unlike other testing. You might be a Green, Gold, Blue or Orange. Most people have characteristics from all four styles- think of each of us as plaid or part of a rainbow. However typically one style will be more dominant.”
By learning your predominant color you can then see what types of careers you are drawn too, and learn more about your strengths and communication style. As you learn more about all the colors you will gain awareness which will empower you in not only career choices but also relationships, communication, handling conflict and appreciating others differences. You will be seeing color from a whole new perspective. Interested in doing a True Color Assessment? Feel free to contact me.”

VIA Character Strengths

The VIA Survey of Character Strengths is a short self-assessment that helps a person understand their core characteristics – your best qualities. It was created under the direction of Dr. Martin Seligman, the “father of positive psychology” and Dr. Christopher Peterson, author and scientist from the University of Michigan.

“VIA focuses on character traits. It was originally developed by Dr. Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology. It is used in a lot of scientific research. I find it to be very accurate.” says Marla Williams.

Fascination Advantage

The Fascination Personality Test identifies your primary “advantage”—what makes you different and better.

“It focuses on how you add value, what makes you different and better. It is your super power!” explains Marla Williams. “When you communicate using this advantage, you have more of an advantage. There is an express version that is very thorough.”

Discovered by Sally Hogshead and based on 10 years of research, the test identifies 49 personality archetypes. “Each personality archetype has a “primary” advantage. Your primary advantage is what makes you most persuasive and captivating. You also have a “secondary” advantage. Your secondary advantage is your second highest mode of communication. It helps to balance out and support your primary advantage.” according to the website.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you decide on your ideal career? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Kristen Moran

Kristen is the editor and community manager at Noomii.com and the Noomii Career Blog. Kristen's desire to ask questions and share information with others led her to pursue journalism. While she has worked at various publications, covering everything from municipal politics to local restaurants, it was her love of self-improvement and sharing inspiration with others that made Noomii the perfect fit. Connect with Kristen through Twitter.

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