Are you undecided about what to do with the rest of your work life? Maybe you have had jobs that did not seem to be a good match for you. Some jobs utilized your skills and competencies but you did not enjoy them. Other jobs were enjoyable at first but you quickly became bored. Perhaps this is your first job and you want to be sure that you will like it and stay with it. The ideal situation is to find the right job fit for you – one that matches your skills, competencies, intellectual level, interests and personality type.
How can you determine your best job fit?
Take a career test or two. These types of tests can help you narrow your job choices and identify career paths that are compatible with your interests and personality. There are free test available online. These tests are reminiscent of the vocational tests you took in high school. If the free tests do not work for you, look for more in-depth analysis by recognized tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, The Keirsey Temperament Sorter or the Strong Interest Inventory. You will be charged a fee for taking these tests but they are top-rated. If you are a college student or graduate, your Career Center may offer some of these tests free of charge.
Many companies will screen candidates using these career assessment tests. Research shows that putting the wrong person in the wrong job creates employee dissatisfaction, lowers productivity and increases turnover. When the right person is placed in the right job, meaning that the job fulfills the employee’s abilities, goals and personality type, it is a win-win situation for the company and employee.
Talk with vocational counselors.
Vocational counselors match their clients with available jobs. To do that, they must understand the client’s education, skills, interests, job history, goals and potential. Vocational counselors are located in state employment offices, veterans’ facilities, government and private sector agencies. In colleges and universities, they may be called placement or career counselors. They do not charge a fee. In some cases, they may offer aptitude, interest or career tests. These counselors try to match their clients with available jobs.
Once you have had an assessment, your results may show that several careers will work for you. There are ideas you can try to determine which job results in the greatest overall job satisfaction for you. You can volunteer in a chosen career path. For example, if Sales comes up as a top career choice for you, volunteer to help a non-profit organization do fund-raising. Sell potential donors on the good works the organization is doing and see how much you enjoy communicating the benefits of giving. Do your interests lie in healthcare? Volunteer at a hospital and learn how nurses, doctors and aides interact with patients. You get the idea.
Another possibility is to talk with someone already in a job that interests you. Talk to them about “A Day in the Life of a ….” Find out what vocational background and skills their jobs require and what their rewards and problems are. Determine if the activities they perform and the people they interact with pique your interest. These folks may even become a mentor to you as you step into a new career.