Have you ever wondered what the heck you want to do with your life, professionally and otherwise? Well, even though I haven't, I have a 14-year-old daughter, a freshman in high school, who feel completely lost about what she will be when she grows up. Although I find it extremely early to worry about it, I understand that she is growing up in a culture that fosters being a high-achiever, and as she sees everyone else around her "knowing" what will be their next steps for the next 10 years of their lives, she feels that she is at a disadvantage for not having it all figured out yet.
Well, if you are a parent with a worried teenager at home, a young adult still trying to figure things out, or a middle-ager who decided to start over and could use some help, you might find this useful. Through one of my email subscriptions, I have received a list of career and personality tests this week (some of which are paid, others free) that I thought could be useful to you. Hope you make good use of it. Here is the list and the links:
Applicable across all areas of your life, the MBTI is probably one of the most-used assessments by career centers and managers alike. The MBTI gives you a sense of your personality preferences: where you get your energy, how you like to take in information, how you make decisions, and what kind of structure you like in the world around you. Cost: $150 or free online knock-off. If you don’t want to pay to take the official test, you can take a pretty good (and free) online version here.
The Self-Directed Search (SDS) is built with the idea that people and jobs can be categorized into six different types: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, or conventional. After answering questions about your aspirations, activities, interests, and the like, you’ll receive the three types that best fit you, along with a list of careers that generally fit people with a mix of those types. Cost: $9.95
Sponsored by the US Department of Labor, this tool uses a method similar to Self-Directed Search to help you identify where your career interests lie, then points you towards career paths that might feed those interests. The results section even has the option to search different careers by how much preparation is necessary to get into them, meaning you can find options that are a fit to your current skill level. Cost: Free
MyPlan.com offers a suite of four different tests to help you find your perfect career and measure your career personality (similar to the MBTI), interests, skills, and desired values (the only free test on the site). Cost: Free-$19.95
Pymetrics uses a series of simple (yet surprisingly challenging) mind games to measure different cognitive and social traits (think your level of risk aversion or your attention span). The results detail your strengths and weaknesses, which can give you some hints into what kinds of roles you might excel in. Cost: Free.
The MAPP test is perhaps one of the most comprehensive career assessments out there, giving you a narrative report talking about what sorts of tasks you like best, how you like to perform them, and how you deal with people, data, things, reasoning, and language. The assessment also provides a list of 20 possible career areas for you. As part of the free sample, you’ll receive information about your top trait in each category, as well as 10 possible career areas, so even if you don’t feel like paying, you can still get some valuable insights. Cost: Free sample, $89.95+ for full results.
This collection of activities, developed by Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation for Oprah, will test your strength level in a variety of different skills, from inductive reasoning to structural visualization. If you do well, you can see which jobs require that skill—and get a sense of what types of careers might be a fit for your abilities. Cost: Free.
StrengthsQuest gives college students a sense of what you’re already great at—and how you can use those skills to better your career. After taking the test, you’ll get a customized report that lists your top five talent themes, along with action items using those talents to your advantage and suggestions about how you can achieve academic, career and personal success. Cost: $9.99.
Learn more about how you work and relate to others with this quick test. You’ll get information on how open to new experiences you are, how self-disciplined you are, how extroverted you are, how agreeable you are, and how you handle stressful situations. Cost: Free.
This test tells you which of the eight Enneagram types you are most like: the reformer, the helper, the achiever, the individualist, the investigator, the loyalist, the enthusiast, the challenger, or the peacemaker. Understanding more about your type can not only help you get along better with your co-workers but can also give you hints about characteristics you need in a career in order for it to be fulfilling. Cost: $12.
If you like it, bookmark this page for quick reference in the future.
If you try any of the tests and don't like it for some reason, please share it in the comments box below, so that I can update the list and the other subscribers.