By: Elizabeth Mimms
Are you struggling to decide what to do with your degree? Do the various career paths seem to blend together, leaving you confused?
A self-assessment can help you to identify the right career and clarify the opportunities that align with your unique goals and talents. By taking an assessment, you increase your satisfaction with your career plan and uncover potential roadblocks to success based on work environments and personality quirks. Assessments offer an encouraging, work-centered look at who you are, what motivates and interests you, and which particular careers suit you well.
Columbia Southern University is pleased to provide assessments and research tools via CareerQuest, a comprehensive database hosted by Career Services and located in the myCSU Student Portal. There, you can put your resources and education to use in securing your ideal job. There are two resource articles within CareerQuest pertaining to assessment: Career Finder and Career Explorer, both located under the Resources tab.
Career Finder helps you explore your interests related to work and, based on the findings, goes on to suggest relevant career options. This assessment is based on the popular theory of vocational choice developed by John Holland. His theory proposes that career decisions are based on personal orientations, or six personality types: Realistic, Artistic, Investigative, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. Each type signifies a cluster of unique personality traits that, depending on how strong or weak they manifest based on the assessment, gives indication of potential success (or lack thereof) in an organization or job position. The old adage “birds of a feather flock together” is a good way to think about this assessment because it’s based on the notion that if you enjoy the type of work you do and the type of people you work with, the outcome will be overall career satisfaction.
The Career Explorer feature (also located in CareerQuest under the Resources tab) allows you to research popular careers or leading industries using the Occupational Information Network (O*Net). O*Net is one of the best resources available for descriptions of job duties and for resume writing and career exploration assistance. The website, sponsored by the Department of Labor, provides tailored state-specific salary information and links to relevant occupations if you are unsure about your career direction. O*Net also details expected knowledge, skills and abilities within a particular field and lists multiple job titles used to describe a position.
Use Career Explorer, Career Finder and O*Net together to obtain a more holistic view of who you are as an individual entering into the group dynamics of the world of work.
Ready to take an assessment now? Before you log into CareerQuest, think about what kind of information you want to gain from the experience.
A great way to start thinking about the outcomes of career assessments is to ask yourself the following questions:
- Are there aspects of work that I definitely do not want to do?
- How can the results of an assessment help shape my career goals?
- How will my career choices complement other facets of my personality?
- What strengths and talents do I want to use every day on the job?
Overall, the mission of Career Services is to provide students and alumni with resources to reach their career-related goals. Many of the resources available to students can help identify degree-specific career paths and help prevent stalling due to being overwhelmed with choices.
Once you have determined your relevant skill sets, interests and personality factors, you can do anything you set your mind to.
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