How effective are career and personality assessments?

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By Lori Jazvac.

Career Professionals of Canada’s recent tele-networking session on Personality Type and Career Development offered some insightful information. Some people may shun career assessments and believe that they are possibly equivalent to a daily horoscope, when in reality they are valuable tools in gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves. Career assessments can be applied for both personal and professional growth.

Several years ago, I recall taking a lengthy Myers Briggs test and dismissed the results twice due to doubting its relevance and implications. In later years, I discovered that if I had paid attention to the possible career choices indicative for my personality type, the “idealist,” I would have changed my career path much earlier – to one that truly aligned with my particular strengths, personality, and values of an INFP. Looking back in hindsight on the results, my career choice as a Resume Strategist/Career Consultant corresponds with the values and personality type of an INFP.

This does not mean that you must strictly adhere to a certain career path or the choices outlined in an assessment. Nor do you have to segregate yourself into a tightly carved out niche that precludes you from exploring other interests or arenas. Rather, the career tools and assessments such as StrengthsFinder, Career CruisingCareerscope, Human Metrics or Kiersey, can offer you unique insights about your personality, interests, preferences, aptitudes, career preferences, and your work methodology that will maximize your productivity. If you cannot identify what distinguishes you from other candidates applying for the same position, then consider the career assessments as a tool to identify recurring patterns and themes. TypeFocus can be applied to choosing academic majors and investigating best suited occupations, which help scholars to navigate career exploration and decision making.

Career tools may reveal your particular strengths, explaining how you can leverage your extraverted or introverted personality to your advantage. If your type signifies an extravert, the career assessment results will provide the rationale as how to effectively lead a team to achieve optimum results. Your dominant traits will be revealed as to how you perceive the world and your experiences, and effective strategies that you can apply to solve problems. If you are, however, an intuitive type rather than a practical problem solver, you would likely excel in careers that leverage that intuitive ability.

Career assessments can present you with a clear picture of your weaknesses and how to improve them using strategies related to your personality type’s strengths. While we cannot be fixated on the results of every assessment, we need to allow such tools to guide us in our personal growth and professional success, regardless of the stage we are at in our careers.

Even if you do harbour a skeptical perspective concerning career assessments, know that you may truly gain a newfound appreciation for your boundless capabilities and ignite the talents that lie dormant if you remain open to the results.

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