How a Career Test Works and How It Can Help You Find A Job That Fits
There are a multitude of job tests, career advisors and quizzes out there that are designed to help you find the ultimate fit for your career path.
But you don’t need to go through the rigmarole of completing a full career test with a career advisor to work out which fields would suit you best. We are breaking down how a typical career test works, what questions they ask, what those questions mean and how to translate this into finding a job that fits you.
But first things first, what is a career test?
What is a career test?
A career test or career assessment is a test that can be administered by a career counsellor, career advisor, a human resources department, or even just completed online. It includes questions about your preferences, interests, aversions and passions.
It works by compiling all that information and delivering weighted marks in different categories that help identify the most suitable career for you. There are different types of careers tests, some longer than others, each with different focuses.
But generally, they try to identify:
- Aptitudes and skills
Let’s breakdown these topics and understand how to interpret them.
It’s important for a career aptitude test to find and rank your interests because you’re unlikely to survive in a career that you don’t like or care about. It’s the most obvious and one of the most important parts of the test is finding a thread of interest that applies to the job. It doesn’t have to be that everything you do in the role interests you but some aspects of it need to engage you and interest you, otherwise you’ll struggle to pay attention to the job.
Here’s some questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about a career change to pinpoint some interests:
- What are your hobbies?
- What do you do for fun?
- Are there any topics that you keep up to date on just for fun?
For instance, the shows you watch, the podcasts you listen to and the specialty websites / blogs or influencers you follow should give you some insight into your interests. This might be a lot of cooking shows, culinary podcasts, or it could be martial arts and cobra kai.
Whatever you find yourself drawn to for entertainment could provide an insight into your interests. Once you establish that you can try to find an overlap with an industry that will let you apply your skills to a task that involves your interests.
What are you naturally good at? Where do you excel without effort? These are the kinds of questions to ask yourself to identify your strengths, some people are naturally gifted writers, or just very good with people, others are gifted problem solvers. Understanding your natural strengths will help you to identify the roles you’ll excel at.
To work out your strengths consider:
- Which subjects did you excel in at school?
- What comes easy and what is hard work for you?
Once you’ve established which areas you’re a natural at, you can compile a list of jobs and industries that will play to those strengths.
Aptitudes and skills
We are all gaining new skills as we sail through life but in the context of a careers test, they’re looking at what you have a flair for, for example; typing speed, coding and complex problem solving might be tested to help evaluate you in this area.
This is harder to test without actually doing a typing speed test, but you can consider the following questions:
- Are you a touch typist?
- Have you done any coding?
- Do you enjoy problem solving?
Make a list of all the skills you’ve gained over the years. This could include formal training such as first aid certificates or short courses and self-taught skills such as the ability to put together a presentation or use a particular software.
Values are a big one. In western society we often draw a lot of meaning from our jobs and so it’s important that your role and what you do aligns with your values. Your values could mean you don’t feel comfortable doing sales roles or it could mean you need to find a career where you can put family first, or you can be helping people.
Our values are a key component in the matrix of our whole selves, so it’s important you find a role that fits with your values.
This an interesting one, finding your values is more complex than simple questions and answers but here some prompts to get you thinking:
- What’s most important to you in life?
- What makes you happy?
- What do you need from work?
Obviously, you need enough money to pay your bills, but what else is important to you? Do you want to make a difference? Have flexibility? Be challenged?
Once you understand what you derive value from and what you want in a role to be happy this can help you refine your list of jobs roles that will support that.
Your personality can really drive how you respond to and manage tasks in a role. Your personality affects how you engage at work, how you respond to others and how you manage your dynamic in a team.
That’s why it’s so important that you understand how your personality will impact, whether it be positive or negative on your job role.
When it comes to pinpointing your personality traits that will impact your career you’ll want to think about a few things:
- Are you a leader?
- Do you work well with others?
- Are you good with people?
- This will help you to pare down your list of possible jobs options.
So, once you have all the information how do you translate that into a job that will fit you?
Well, it’s time to review the kinds of careers you could have, how flexible they are and how well they will work for you based on the insights you have gleaned.
There are a few industries that offer a lot of flexibility as far as your skills and personality traits go. So regardless of your results you might find a job that fits in with these industries.
The security industry has a lot of flexibility, there is a job to suit everyone in this industry.
If you’re not a morning person and you don’t love talking to people, you could be a roving guard. These guards drive around checking buildings are secure and the security system has been switched on. They don’t have to deal with the public much and it’s a night shift job, meaning it also pays better.
If you like to be where the action is, and you never want to be bored, then working as a guard at the emergency room in the hospital might work for you. You’ll have an important role to play and you’ll see plenty of action.
If you’re a people pleaser and you like helping people, you might enjoy working as a concierge at one of the fancy hotels or large corporate buildings.
These are just three examples of vastly different roles but there are so many more to explore in security including CCTV monitoring, Cash-in-transit, body guarding, gatehouse, retail security, event and entertainment security, crowd control, and many more.
Virtual assistants have an amazing amount of flexibility in their jobs. As a VA you can chose what kind of tasks you do and who you work with. This could be managing emails, drafting correspondence and sorting their calendar. Or it could be managing their website, booking forms, and scheduling social media.
As a VA you can decide what kind of clients you take on, choosing the sort work you do and the industry you work in.
To get started on this path we’d recommend checking out the Certificate III in Business with an administration specialisation.
Work for yourself
Do you have a passion you haven’t pursued or are you skilled in a particular area, but you just can’t stand working for other people anymore? If you create products or work as a service provider, you could go into business for yourself and carve out a career that fits you perfectly.
The hard part about working for yourself isn’t finding what you love but rather all the little things you have to know in order to successfully run a business. That’s why it’s important to have a little help. We recommend the Certificate III in Entrepreneurship and New Business. This course covers everything you’ll need to know in order to run your small business.
If you’re not sure which direction to take in your career get in touch with our friendly course advisors they can help you chose the right next step for you!