Stage One: Reticence
I was not excited about this aspect of my job. First, I was required to take the tests myself. From my training in Testing and Research. I learned to take test results with a grain of salt. After all, no test is perfect and there is often a significant degree of error associated with all generated test results. Though not excited about it, I completed two of the most widely-used and researched career tests available: the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Strong Interest Inventory. While I had studied these exams in graduate school, I remained very skeptical. Even though I had learned that these exams are among the best-researched career tests available and that thousands of individuals had used them for decades all over the world, I just wasn’t comfortable about the prospect of working in a job wherein I was mandated to rely on these tests to help students.
Stage Two: Surprise
I was entirely surprised when I read my MBTI report. It was like someone had reached into me, then neatly organized and described so many facets of my soul. I know that sounds dramatic, but this really was my impression. The report highlighted all of the most important aspects of how I process information and the values that I hold most dearly. It also plainly described all of the personality weaknesses about myself that I often strive to avoid. The report then described job titles and my own personal strengths and weaknesses in the work world.
The Strong report was also enlightening. This report thoroughly related me to more than 300 career fields, ranking my likely alignment with these professions. It also perfectly described the kinds of work environments I would prefer and how I prefer to communicate with others in the work world.
Overall, the results from the two assessments completely wowed me. (And yes, the best-fit career title noted on both assessments indicated Career Counselor.) While the results were certainly affirming to me, it was a little spooky. How did these tests formulate my responses to some pretty simplistic seeming questions into such a thorough and comprehensive look into my soul? After years of researching these two assessments, I have found that consistent, rigorous research has been at the cornerstone of the production of these tests.
Stage Three: Affirmation
Happily, I began working with men and women, teenage through senior adult, to help them make career decisions from application of results of these tests. Individual after individual, I found one client after another to be as wowed as I was with my results. Whether you have or have not already chosen a career field, these tests can affirm your choices of the past. As in my case, these tests helped me feel confident in my career choice and confident about continuing to build my career around the generated results. Most importantly, these results helped me feel comfortable in the fact that many career choices would likely never be a comfortable fit and that I could feel secure in crossing them off the list of career options. I did (and still do) find this information to be completely liberating. Basically, I realized that I was not a freak for not being like another person, and I also wasn’t a freak for being good at a career that wasn’t strong for someone else. My life now is about helping others come to this same realization. If you have never formed a career choice, are unsure about yours, or are tired of a life in a seemingly unsatisfying career field, career consulting can bring you to this sense of self-confidence and satisfaction.