Factors that influence the choice and development of one’s career are not only intriguing to explore, but also essential to making informed decisions. Educators, managers, psychologists, and most anyone who works with the learning and development of individuals is always curious to study these factors. Several independent studies have been carried out across the world that attempt to enlist these factors.
The most important factor that affects one’s career is the personality of the individual. A layman understanding of personality is not sufficient to understand how it makes a difference to the individual’s career. This results in most people never examining their own personality to check whether or not they fit a particular job function or not.
While many theorists and scholars define personality differently, we can broadly describe it as a unique combination of characteristics and qualities that affect their behavior, cognition and emotion. These characteristics and qualities have biological, psychological, intellectual, and sociocultural origins. Each individual’s personality is unique, although several broad types may be defined (it must be noted that different theorists have defined these types based on different fundamental differences, and therefore there is no clear categorization).
An individual’s personality is molded largely by their social and cultural upbringing, besides the existing biological factors. These affect the individual’s world view and how they interact with the world around them. They play a role in determining what motivates them, what attracts them and how they respond in any situation. One’s personality and what motivates them are essential to understanding what career path they would best be fit for.
Personality is not always self-evident and in most cases, specially designed personality tests conducted by experts must be taken to determine one’s personality. There are several types of personality tests, and each type of test determines a certain aspect of one’s personality. By taking a personality test, and consulting with an authorized expert who can interpret the results, we can aim to learn more about ourselves, for instance, our strengths, weaknesses, motivators, interests and skills. While personality assessments are crucial to a better understanding of the self, it is also equally important to assess specific interests and aptitudes of a person. By learning more about each of them, we can certainly make much better decisions regarding our career choices so that we can best apply ourselves in the most productive manner, while also achieving maximum personal growth.
A person’s aptitude is their natural ability for learning and proficiency in a specific area or field, whereas their interests are defined by what they are naturally attracted to learn more about. If someone has an aptitude for something, but no interest, then they will give up very easily. And if someone is interested in something, but has no aptitude for it, it could lead to stress and frustration. While the aptitude and interests can broadly give an idea of which field or area a person should pursue for their career, their personality and motivational factors will determine the best manner in which they ought to do so. For instance, a person’s aptitude and interest might indicate that they would be excellent in the field of marketing. However, because of their personality, they might not work very well in a group, and/or they might be motivated to pursue their goals individually. In such a case, one of the possible solutions might be ot pursue a freelance/independent consulting based career.
Psychometric tests are scientifically designed and unbiased tests that, when administered under the right conditions under guidance of experts, can reveal a lot about an individual’s personality. Psychometric tests are not only useful in assessing the personality of an individual, they also reveal their aptitudes and interests. Such a test or combination of tests could help anyone who is confused as to what they should do in life, or anyone who would like to change their career paths. These tests are carefully structured and mapped to a vast range of occupational requirements, such that individual results also reveal what would be the most fruitful choices and options.
While there are several sources which claim to offer readily available psychometric tests, one must always be cautious. Many websites online claim to offer free psychometric assessments too. It is important to note that not all of these tests are genuine and can often lead to shoddy results. Many websites are built with the intention of fooling people, or deceiving people into paying large sums of money without any results. At the same time, while many of them may give free basic answers, it must be remembered that a generic answer that would be provided to everyone would not be helpful at all. A good psychometric test must be administered by an expert in the field, supplemented with excellent counseling methods to explain the assessments and recommendations. The process of a psychometric test involves not only the objective test itself, but also rigorous counseling and in-depth exploration of an individual’s personality, their aptitudes and their interests.
We live in a world with a mindboggling range of vocational and occupational possibilities. In today’s liberal, globalized economy it is no longer impossible to lucratively indulge in our interests. Given the vast possibilities and opportunities available, it is up to us how we make the most of them. By taking reliable and valid psychometric tests from trusted sources, we can know more about ourselves and unlock our potential, helping us to grow and realize and achieve our dreams.