Standing at the career crossroads with no idea what direction to take? Why not start by taking a few self-assessment tests to aid you in mapping out your strengths and weaknesses.
Are you still uncertain of what it is you really want to be when you grow up? Do you oscillate widely in your career preferences and wonder what profession you are really suited for? The decision on what road to take as you map out your career is often a difficult one and one which requires through self-analysis and much research. Self-assessment tests are a useful tool to explore as you stand at the career cross-roads as they can shed light on your personality, skills, strengths and motivations and help you find some focus and direction. While no single test will provide you with the definitive answer on who you are and what career to pursue, they are well worth exploring as part of a general self-analysis and as a means to fine-tune your career planning activities, highlight strengths and identify weaker areas that could use development.
The advantages of taking tests from the career experts at the Middle East's #1 job site Bayt.com:
- A quick, easy and reasonably accurate way to gauge your skills, interests, values, motivations and/or personality as a foundation for planning a career move or making career change choices.
- Tests can highlight areas of strength and weakness to aid you in your career choice as well as in your performance enhancement activities on the job.
- Many tests are totally free and most are available on-line with comprehensive results often ready almost immediately.
- A great way to explore career avenues you may not previously have considered and identify personality traits in yourself you may not have thought of before.
Tips to remember when taking tests:
- There are very many tests available and some are much more professional and accurate than others. Make sure the tests you take are credible and highly rated. It is always better to take more than one test and compare results.
- Trust your intuition when interpreting test results. If something seems way off the mark, go with your gut instinct.
- Tests should be used as part of a more comprehensive self-assessment and career research effort. They are no substitute for talking to a career counselor and friends and peers in different industries. Use the tests to complement a much larger research and self-assessment framework.
- Remember that you have your own unique set of strengths, weaknesses, skills and values and while a test may succeed in placing you in an appropriate 'category', it cannot capture completely the essence of you and the full impact of your values, competencies and experiences, nor can it predict fully how you will react in different circumstances.
- Results are only as accurate as the accuracy with which you answer the questions. If you answer in terms of how you would like to behave instead of how you really would behave for example, or if you pick a random answer because none of the answers seem relevant to you, the results will be skewed accordingly and will misrepresent your true behaviour and motivations.
Some of the better known tests are:
MAPP (Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential)
The MAPP focuses on measuring your motivations and interests and how these relate to your aptitude on the job. The goal is to aid you in identifying your motivations in order to leverage them to optimize your career and lifestyle engineering activities. Very detailed results for the test are sent via e-mail and for a small fee, you can opt to receive even more detailed results and guidance. The test is comprised of 71 questions and can be completed in less than an hour.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The MBTI is one of the most widely used and administered person ality tests in the world and is well known for its accuracy and effectiveness. The test analyzes your preferences in four main categories:
- Where primarily you direct your energy (Extrovert versus Introvert)
- How you prefer to process information (Sensing vs Intuition)
- How you prefer to make decisions (Thinking vs Feeling)
- How you prefer to organize your life (Judgement vs Perception)
The test then categorizes your results into 1 of 16 personality types such as ESFP or ISTJ or ESTJ.
The Birkman Method
The Birkman Method plots four behavioural types (expediting, communicating, planning and administrating) and expresses possible career interests and work styles accordingly. The test is claimed to remarkably accurate and is original in that it does not assume behaviour is necessarily equated with motivational needs; in other words it does not assume the way you act is the way you would like to be treated. A shorter version of the test is available on-line for free and the full test which analyzes behaviour by four dimensions (interests, style, needs and stress behavior) can be taken for a fee.
Holland Self Directed Search (SDS)
Dr. John Holland's Self Directed Search is based on the theory that both people and work environments can be classified into 6 basic types and that people who choose careers that most match their types are most likely to achieve success and job satisfaction. The 6 types are: Realistic, Conventional, Enterprising, Investigative, Artistic and Social. An online version of the very popular and highly respected test is available for a small fee and takes 15-20 minutes to complete. The results are summarized on a detailed personalized on-line report.
Keirsey Temperament Sorter
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter is related to the Myers Brigg Type Indicator and gives results in the form of Myers Briggs types based on Carl Jung's theories of psychological type. The four broad 'Temperaments' are classified as: Guardians, Artisans, Idealists and Rationals. The 70 question test is available on-line for free.
ImproveNow Jobstyle Indicator and Personal Style Indicator
The two tests measure job style and personal style respectively and the results are provided in the form of a very detailed report with an even more detailed report available for a fee. The Jobstyle Indicator (JSI) seeks to improve job performance and satisfaction by helping you to identify and articulate behaviour styles pertine/nt to the specific job. The PSI gives you a profile of your personal style and analyzes the relative influence on your work and personal life of four 'dimensions' of personal style: Behavioral (ACTION), Cognitive (ANALYSIS), Interpersonal (HARMONY) and Affective (EXPRESSIVE).
Ansir's 3 Sides of You Self Perception Profiling System
This lengthy test (168 questions), is a 3 part self perception test that helps users identify dominant personality styles in three realms, Thinking, Working and Emoting. The test is based on the ancient premise that human beings are three-sided beings and recognizes intuitive and spiritual personality styles. The Ansir 3 sides of You methodology recognizes 2,744 personality style combinations. The test is available for free and yields very comprehensive results.
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