Career Guidance Test

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Tests tend to be scary, since, from our earliest years in school, the concept of a test connotes passing and failing, even when the context is career counseling, rather than competitive final or entrance examinations. But a career guidance test need not have a competitive dimension, even though getting a job is itself a competitive process.

Many guidance tests are designed to determine "best-fit"-the best match between available careers and personal talents, interests, developed skills, values, temperament and goals. Some tests used by companies to competitively screen applicants are nonetheless not competitively graded, even though competitively applied by HR departments-for example, the widely utilized Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Hence, testing per se should not create unease, especially when the test is more of an "inventory" that can provide helpful guidance than a performance measure that can create anxiety.

A career guidance test is a tool used to help an individual analyze the career goals that (s)he has previously set, and assess how successful the strategy is likely to succeed or has succeeded in achieving personal career goals. An essential part of this process is to explore and assess key factors such as skills-challenges-interests matches, personality-temperament-job fit and personal values and resources alignment.

Through the analysis of the individual's inputs in various categories, such tests can generate a list of suggestions that will help with career development and advancement. While guidance-related tests are not foolproof, they can give the individual a better idea about how to improve certain areas or implement certain strategies so as to better improve chances of achieving one's career goals. Given the ever-changing market conditions in today's world, such advice and guidance will come in useful to help the individual steer through the turbulent environment.

In addition to aptitude tests, e.g., for mathematical or design talents, there are tests that can do double-duty by serving as company-administered applicant screening tools and as personal career guidance diagnostics. Among the most popular is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which, its supporters and proponents claim, identifies personality types in terms that suggest best-fit occupations as matches, with no pass-fail implications whatsoever.

There are several benefits of taking a career guidance test. Firstly, it allows the test-taker to have a comprehensive assessment of his or her work-related personal values, interests and preferences so that he or she can discover best fits. Secondly, not only does it identify, but also clarifies what the individual wants most. Thirdly, the test can create and develop strategies for achieving one's career goals. Fourthly, it helps to identify personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as pinpoint certain work experiences, traits and skills that can be highlighted in a resume. Fourthly, it facilitates setting appropriate career goals, as well as making the necessary adjustments to support career aspirations.
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