How Can Testing Aid in Your Career Development

How many of us have felt lost or stagnate in our career direction? Whether you are just starting out and looking for some career guidance or well into your career and looking for more satisfaction, the use of career and personality assessments can be a valuable tool. Although these tests are not intended to be used alone in making career decisions, they can be essential when coupled with guidance from a career counselor or coach.

There are various types of career and personality assessments however, for the sake of this article I will focus on two major personality/career assessments: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Strong Interest Inventory (SII).

The MBTI is the mostly wide used personality assessment that provides an accurate picture of an individual’s personality type. This assessment brings insight into how we interact with the world, gather information, make decisions and if we prefer to live in a more structured way or spontaneous way. The MBTI produces a four letter code that represents your best-fit personality type. If used properly this assessment can be a powerful tool in making career decisions.

The Strong Interest Inventory is a tool that millions of people have used for guidance in exploring careers and college majors. Research suggests that people tend to be happier and more productive in careers that align with their interests. This instrument measures your interests to help identify optimum career choices and increase your life/career satisfaction.

What Can Testing Do For You?
The power of personality and career assessments such as the MBTI and SII can make a major impact on your career and individual development. Below is a list of uses that these assessments can provide:

o Career change
o Choose a career
o Explore the world of work
o Increase self awareness and job satisfaction
o Understand different learning styles
o Improve individual or team performance
o Boost self esteem
o Increase conflict management skills
o Identify college majors and choose appropriate education/training
o Better work-life balance
o Reduce stress

How to Use Career Assessments?
Whether you take the MBTI or Strong Assessment it is vital to use these results in conjunction with a career coach or counselor. A personality/career test alone cannot give you the proper guidance to make career or life decisions. Also keep in mind that no single test can tell you what you should do or should be.

When using the MBTI and learning about your “type” you can understand yourself better and value other people who act and think differently from you. When you understand yourself better you can deepen your knowledge of the type of work that is best suited for you. Learning about what is stressful or uninteresting in a work environment will bring more insight into your work preferences. Understanding your type can make you more aware of work activities that are satisfying and also help pinpoint specific sources of dissatisfaction.

The MBTI can also help you understand others better which can lead to enhanced relationships and collaborative environments. In the workplace, understanding your type as well as others can help improve overall team performance and make your interactions more effective with people of other types.