When I help people make a career choice, I use assessments to help to suggest jobs that the client may want to explore based on the results of 3 assessments – the Highlands Ability Battery, Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory.

I need to help my clients see beyond the list of jobs that are suggested and remind them that these are just suggestions – if being a florist is suggested it is an indicator of running a small people orientated business and in doing something creative so you can’t take assessment results at face value.

Jobs also change, and what we think about a job may not be correct.  The content and type of person needed to undertake a specific job may have moved on. So looking at a job in an older version of an assessment may not be assessing you against the new elements of this job.

The fire fighter is a really great example. Being a fire fighter is not all about fighting fires. 20 years ago when a fire fighter was not putting out a fire they would wait around the fire station. But they realised that prevention was really beneficial and fire fighters are now heavily involved in community fire safety work. They give talks to groups and visit people at home checking that smoke alarms are working etc.

To be a successful fire fighter is much more than saving lives and buildings, and I guess they still rescue as few cats. It’s also about being able to communicate effectively with different groups and quickly building relationships with people such as old people who are often nervous when someone knocks at their door.

So the skills and personality needed to be successful in this role have changed, and this may encourage some people to take on the role, but others to realise that they need to develop themselves to be a successful applicant.

When you do find a job that interests you, it is important to do the research so you really do understand about the job.  

Published On: November 10th, 2007 / Categories: Career Coaching /

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