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Assessing Your Career

May 10th, 2010

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Before choosing a career, or even picking a major, it is important that you know and understand your personality and how it can relate to your occupation. You can do this by taking career assessments, which can give you valuable insight into your strengths, interests, and preferences. If you are curious as to how your personality traits could translate to an occupation, try taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or Holland Self-Directed Search.

The Holland Self-Directed Search was developed by John Holland, who believed that one's vocation was an expression of their personality. Believing that one's personality was largely influenced by their interests, he came up with six occupational types based on them; Artistic, Social, Realistic, Investigative, Enterprising, and Conventional. The inventory results contain a Holland code, consisting of a combination of three letters. Each letter represents one of the six occupational types and appear in descending order of interests. The combination of the codes can be used to describe up to 720 different personality types. An individual's personal code is then matched to a corresponding list of occupations they are likely to be interested in. This assessment can not only help you understand more about yourself, but also help you see how your skills and interests can relate to a career path.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can help to assess your personality type and is useful in exploring career options. In career counseling, it can help someone determine what their best environmental fit would be at work. The assessment is separated into four categories; favorite world, information, decisions, and structure. The favorite world category contains questions about whether or not you prefer to focus on your inner world or the outer world around you, or rather, if you are extroverted or introverted. The information category contains questions about whether you prefer to focus on basic information or to interpret it, or rather, if you sense things or rely on your intuition. The decision category contains questions about whether you prefer to make decisions based on logic or emotion, or rather, if you base your choices on what you think or feel. The structure category contains questions about whether you prefer to immediately make decisions or stay open to other options, or rather, if you tend to judge the outside world or perceive it. Your personality type is then determined by the interactions among these preferences. This results in an individual being classified as one of 16 personality types, each expressed in a four letter code. The results can indicate suitable occupations and workplace characteristics that you would be the most successful in as well as find the most satisfying.

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