Career Assesment Tools – which one to use?


A few months ago when I was working with a client who was struggling to figure out what career path to follow, I was asked what I thought of career assessment tools and which one I would recommend.

There are numerous career assessment tools available on the internet and at that time, I was not prepared to recommend any of them.

Why? Two reasons:

  • Firstly, because too many people use them in the hope that they really will forecast the one ‘right’ career for them and if I am to be honest, career choice is pretty much impossible to predict – there are way too many factors about an individual that contribute to career choice that career tests cannot fully capture.
  • Secondly, the career process is a journey i.e. it is an ongoing process and not a one-time decision because once you have decided on the direction your career is going to take, that is just the beginning of your journey to a successful career.

I much prefer to spend time asking my clients questions and trying to identify the “Yes. Buts” that are holding them back.  Getting clients to identify their motivated skills, their values and their strengths can be a real eye opener for them and it gets them thinking more outside the box about their career choices.

However, this particular client was persistent and it was then that I realised that some people ‘need’ to use career assessment tools so I decided to do some investigation into what was available and whether or not I would be happy to recommend any or use any with my clients.

I knew that there were a lot of career assessment tools available but I hadn’t appreciated just how many!

And so began my research.

I tried a whole range of tools from those that are free to use to those that you have to pay for and was surprised by the results – few gave the same or similar results and some of the careers suggested for me were just so wrong – but they made me smile!

Some were extremely basic and simplistic while others were incredibly high brow with results presented in long, wordy reports that were difficult to follow. There were also some that were quick and easy to use while others had so many different questions to answer that I got bored half way through, which is not ideal.

After several weeks, I finally finished my research and pulled it all together and  now, to meet the request of my clients, I offer the MAPP (Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential) career assessment tool on my website.

I chose MAPP because:

  • it has undergone extensive validity and reliability testing by a number of psychologists
  • it has been shown to be consistent over time
  • it takes only 15 minutes to complete
  • you can see your results immediately and
  • it has received a lot of positive feedback from careers professionals worldwide.

You can try it out for yourself here for free by clicking on the image below.

While I am happy for my clients to use MAPP, I still believe that it is important to spend time discussing the results to see if they do in fact meet with the client’s  values, motivated skills and strengths and for them to be open to considering alternatives if they are to ensure their career success. Then there is the fact that I still believe that there are way too many factors about an individual that contribute to career choice that career tests cannot fully capture but MAPP provides a good base on which to begin a discussion.

If you do try out MAPP, please take time to comment on it below or email me, anne@power-to-change  to schedule an appointment to discuss your results.

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