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So does it make sense to leave one career for another to only find out that this new career may not be the right one either? How can you prevent this from happening? Career assessment tools will provide a deeper understanding of yourself and prevent “career hopping.”

I was talking with a close friend who after 30+ years as a nuclear engineer, learned he was in the wrong career. OMG! So, he started a new career and he has fallen in love with his new work. I have an attorney friend who woke up one day and decided she would be happier selling real estate…and she is! By the way, she is very good at it.

Successful career transitions happen every day. But, it isn’t easy. It usually requires a lot of hard work and planning. They can and often do result in setbacks in salary and stature. Trust me, been there done that.

How did we wind up here?

Often, and I am sure you have seen this, many of us have no idea what we want to do when we head off to college.

I am sure you would agree its very common for high school students to get little or no useful career advice. “Get good grades and get into a good college.” My wife and I raised two beautiful strong daughters. I remember that the only career advice the school gave them was how to get into a good college.

Mid-Life Career Changers

Mid-life career changers are often in this position because:

  • Their first career choice was the wrong one.
  • They have become bored with their current career.
  • The lack of long-term prospects (e.g. advancement and earning potential).
  • Military personnel leave the service for many reasons but most know going in that it won’t be the only career they have.

Is this you? When you entered college were you sure you knew what career you wanted? Are you now leaving a career facing a daunting new career? Are you anxious…even a little? Most of us are.

For those transitioning from the military

Fellow comrades, you should be anxious. We know that we can do anything once trained. It is in our DNA and the reality is, we can and have. I am damn proud of that and I am certain it has been the key to my success after leaving the Navy.

What we don’t understand though, is that industry doesn’t have the patience for learning on the job.  Military vets like myself find our way.  But first, let’s figure out what you were born to do so you don’t leave one job for another you will hate.

There is hope if you’ve made a bad career choice

Poor career choices are preventable and mid-life career changes can become a reality. You can have a “do-over”. Millions of others, including myself, are a testament to that. To correct the problem and find the right career, you must understand yourself at a much deeper level.

Remember my friend the nuclear engineer? Let me tell you a bit more about him and his transition into a career he now loves.

I have known him for over 30 years. He is a very successful and sought-after nuclear engineer. But, he woke up one day about three years ago and realized he was miserable. Can you relate? He discovered the nature of the work wasn’t in his nature. He needed help.

Solution? He found a great career coach who had him take a battery of personality assessment tests. These tests revealed that he was a people person. Deep inside, he knew this. But, his coach helped him understand that he would never be happy working in an analytical job. Good at it? The recruiters pestered him all the time. Happy? No.

He is now working in the media space as a podcaster and videographer. He is telling the story of a small town outside of Atlanta. He has never been happier. And the town loves him.

Acceptance is something we all desire and need. If a talented 30-year nuclear regulator can change careers in his mid-50s, so can you!

Personality and Career Assessment Tools

Chances are you have heard of some of the major personality tests or have even taken some. They go by the names:

  • The Motivated Appraisal of Personal Potential (MAPP)
  • The Keirsey Temperament Sorter
  • Myers & Briggs
  • DISC
  • The Predictive Index, etc.

How are they designed?

They are all a little different of course, but they provide for self-exploration. They help you better understand your personality traits. According to Job Hunt magazine, those specific traits are:

  • Values
  • Interests
  • Personality
  • Skills
  • Strengths
  • Behavioral and Communication Styles
  • Personal brand – what differentiates you from the competition
  • Entrepreneurial Propensity
  • Motivators
  • Leadership Profile
  • Work-Life Balance and preferred lifestyle

The “Five Factor Model (FFM) is the basis for most of these tests. The five factors are:

  • Openness to experience
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness, and
  • Neuroticism

These acronyms, “OCEAN” or “CANOE”, are often used to represent them.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits#/media/File:Bigfive_en.png

Do companies and the government really use career assessment tools?

Many companies do use them. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that the “Predictive Index” assessment complies with their guidelines for the federal government.

That said, not all companies use them. Phew! The following is the order of common hiring methods:

  • Behavioral interviews 62%
  • Online, minimum-qualifications screening questionnaires 41%
  • Skills testing  38%
  • Interviews with behaviorally anchored rating scales 26%
  • Situational judgment questionnaires 23%
  • Organizational fit questionnaires 23%
  • Personality testing 22%
  • Aptitude testing 18%
  • Scorable job applications 16%

Source: SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) survey commissioned by ACT, December 2014.

So those who are hiring use career assessment tools, should you?

Absolutely. The exercise of self-exploration may help you in deciding if you are in the right career. Or, it will help you avoid the wrong career.

It contains the assessment tool’s purpose, where you can find it and cost. I haven’t taken them all, but I have taken many of them. You can download it for free. There is no obligation whatsoever.

Take one or more of the assessments and see if there are any surprises. Knowing what makes you tick will also help you in the hiring process and on the job. Go ahead, get started and determine what career is right for you!

Why am I providing advice and this freebie?

If you read my bio you will see that I have significant experience in transforming and rebranding myself. Not once, but many times. I want to share what I know with you.

I am also creating a program for those who may need more professional career transition help. I plan to launch that at year’s end. More to follow on that.

Take care till next week,



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