Using Personality Tests In Career Change
If you are looking to change career then you’ve either probably got something in mind, something that’s been your Plan B for years, or you are going through the process of soul-searching to find something that suits you and the life you want to lead.
There’s been a lot of controversy over the government’s news carer quiz which you can find here, but it can be an interesting place to start. If it’s pointing you towards people orientated jobs, such as social work or teaching, then, even if you don’t fancy these, the fact that it’s picked up you would be good working with people is useful.
What about proper psychometric tests?
There is a lot that can learned from using a selection of personality tests at this point in life. They can be used to help narrow things down or double check on your possible career choice. Will it match your personality? If you do this job, do you need to completely change your behaviour? Is this going to make good use of your strengths – important if you want to be happy?
You’ve probably done one of the tests that will look at your personality type: big picture or small detail person for instance, or introvert or extrovert. You can then look at your future path with your own characteristics. For instance, a big picture thinker who hates being tied down and having to dot all the is and cross the ts, will hate a job where they have to do exactly this, even if the pay is amazing. Likewise, if you are an extrovert who love working in a team, solo working won’t keep you fulfilled for long.
A good strengths test will reveal your strengths and weaknesses. Real career success and happiness means choosing a path that plays to your career strengths, and uses these everyday.
I love a tool called the Risk Compass. Knowing your risk comfort zone can be really useful. If you are a Wary type, for instance, a career on the trading floor may be very hard for you, and you probably won’t have the personality to take enough risks to satisfy your clients. Move one classification over, to the Prudent type however, and you could a be a good choice for some careful clients.
Likewise, you may have to take on a loan for training, go back to school or take a step back salary-wise. Knowing your approach to Risk will help you think carefully, and assess whether your risk type could be holding you back. It also helps you identify other’s risk type – people who could be affected by your decision. Knowing this can help you to get them on board too.
First, you will need as much information as you can get about your possible career or job.
Using what you have gleaned from your tests, you can assess it against the criteria above. So, if we discover that you hate being told what to do, you’ll know that a rigid hierarchical career may be hard for you to enjoy.
However, it’s not just the career choice. Where you work matters too. You may have the perfect skill set and personality for a career in PR, but you would flourish in a smaller agency rather than a larger more faceless organisation.
We work with psychometrics as part of my career coaching process. You can book a session at members’ rates here.
Paula Gardner is a career psychologist and coach and the founder of The Redundancy Recovery Hub. Author of The Career Pause and Pivot, Paula regularly coaches clients around moving forwards after redundancy. Having changed career mid-life, and previously ran her own PR and marketing agency, Paula’s USP is her real life experience as well as psychology and coaching know how.
Look out for Paula’s psychology based tutorials, or book a one to one at members’ rate here.