I will be a guest on WPLR’s morning show based in New Haven for the next few days. They contacted me as part of a segment on career choice. They suggested that I administer and review a career test and then discuss their answers and suggested career paths accordingly.
This is all in fun and will be entertaining for the audience. I will have to constrain myself, however, from giving my career test lecture. Some portion of Career Counseling Connecticut’s random inquiries will ask if I can give the potential client a test that will magically spit out a career path.
If there was such a test, you would not be on a career counseling website! You would have already taken this career profiling test and be immersed in your happy work day. Similarly, there would not be so much career unhappiness. High schools and colleges would administer THE MAGIC CAREER TEST and we would all start our careers off on the right career path.
Without getting into too much detail, I’ll suggest that (1) values (2) life situation and (3) real work opportunities have to be examined and there is no career test that can come close to accounting for all these variables. Related to values, most everyone would say that they want a career that both earns
Related to values, most everyone would say that they want a career that both earns high income and allows for a great deal of free time. That can happen eventually in one’s career. High-income professionals can choose to scale back and take it easy (although most don’t). But at least for the first 20 years of their career (minimal), investment bankers, lawyers, doctors and, yes, entrepreneurs who create successful businesses do not have a lot of free time. No career test measures the precise value trade-off of time v. money, let alone choice to spend time with family as opposed to earning more money.
As to life situation, this is perhaps where my career counseling work is most helpful versus a test. No career test can evaluate the challenges faced by a single mother or a 40 year old who doesn’t have a college degree or a dad who wants to be highly involved in raising his three kids.
As for real work opportunities, when I work with those who live in more rural parts of Connecticut – and who either want or have to stay there – but want careers that just are not available where they live (not many high powered venture based start ups in the Northeast corner of Connecticut), then we have to figure out how to create a career path based on reality.
Career tests are very helpful as starting points, just not as finishing points.