Knowing yourself is a good starting-point

If you are at a career crossroads, either by choice or design, you may be struggling to plot your next move. Because of the difficult economic circumstances, many people feel they should grab whatever job comes their way, rather than continuing to plan their career in such a way as to suit themselves in terms of their skills, attributes and behavioural characteristics.

An excellent way of exploring what might be your next move is to carry out a psychometric test. There are many excellent psychometric tests on the market and when coupled with feedback from the organisation running the test, they can help you make a very worthwhile decision about your future.

My view on psychometric tests is that they are a starting-point or a signpost – they are not definitive. Most of them analyse your behavioural characteristics.

Are you the kind of person who can make quick decisions, or do you need to assemble huge amounts of information first? Can you work on your own initiative or do you need clear direction?

The best psychometric tests help you to see those characteristics in yourself and perhaps help you to understand yourself better. The great American economist and writer Peter Drucker consistently argued that self awareness is the most important attribute for professional and personal development.

Do not look to a psychometric test to tell you that you should definitely be an astronaut, but rather as a starting-point from where you can begin to further explore your possible career choices.

It can be very helpful to show your psychometric test to somebody whose opinion you trust. Many career coaching and counselling professionals use psychometric tests to inform further discussion, and they are trained to tease out your skills and attributes further to help you arrive at a decision for yourself.

However it is vitally important to understand that career decisions ultimately are your choice. Others, be they career guidance teachers in school, or career professionals in the broader society, are there purely to guide you and help you find the way rather than to show you the way.

The decisions ultimately lie with you, but by taking a psychometric test you arm yourself with the kind of information you need to make an informed decision about your next move.

This week’s

top tips

In interview it is good to show that you have a strong understanding of previous roles you held.

This assures the employer that you will be able to gain a good understanding of the role they’re seeking to fill. While you may feel your previous roles are not strictly relevant to the current job you’re seeking, employers like to feel they take on people who can get to grips with the job.

So if you have ‘got to grips’ with jobs in the past, then this is clearly a facility you have: an ability to understand what is needed in a particular role.

Make it clear that this is a transferable skill, and that you would be able to get to grips with the job currently up for grabs. Employers like to see competence and success in your past, and so you should outline just those.

Give yourself the career edge by attending our Free Online CV Workshop every Monday evening (6-7 ). Do this from the comfort of your own home – all you need is access to the internet. More: www.slinuacareers.com/cvworkshop

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