I think that most of us have found ourselves working at a job that isn't right for us. When this happens, it can seem that no matter how hard you try, you just can't succeed. Most of the time, the reason for this is because the skills needed to really excel at the job aren't the skills that we have. For example, several years ago, I applied for a job with a research company. I'm great with research. While others might find it tedious, I love digging for facts. The problem was that once I accepted the job, I was given the task of typing strings of numbers into a database. It was an important part of the research process, but I am really bad at numbers. I made so many data-entry errors that my boss seriously considered firing me. Fortunately, he was a great boss, and we were able to work together to find a way to change my job to actual research and giving the data-entry heavy portion to a researcher who needed to work at a faster pace. The swap worked out well and both myself and the other employee were more productive.
But, how can you know what skills you have and what you're good at, before you accept a job? There are several different tests you can take that will give you a better idea about what type of person and employee you are. Here are the two most common personality tests:
Meyers-Briggs – This test has been around for a long time, and unless you're a recent college graduate, you've probably taken the test before. Although it's more of a personality test rather than a career test, you can use the information to help you find the right type of job. There are hundreds of places online that offer the test for free and provide in depth analysis of your test results. According to the test, there are 16 different personality types, each with its own area of expertise. Although a personality test can't tell you specifics about your situation, the Meyers-Briggs test does give you a general idea of what type of person you are and where your strengths lie.
Holland Codes – This test was named after a psychologist who studies the reasons why people make certain career choices and what types of work different types of people enjoy. Like the Meyers-Briggs test, it is an extensive survey, but the big difference is that instead of asking personality related questions, it focuses on your occupation. The test places people into 6 different categories: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional. Of course, no one is completely one thing or the other, and most jobs require employees who fall in several of these categories. That's why test takers are ranked by the top three categories they fit into and from there, they can get a better idea about what type of job is going to be a good fit for them.
When you find a job that is right for you, success becomes easier and your satisfaction with your career will increase. In addition, knowing your strengths will allow you to market your job search to jobs that require your specific talents. As employers continue to search for the right employees for their job openings, they may even begin using these tests as a hiring tool.
Have you ever taken one of these tests? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
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