11 Jan Career Quiz – Worthwhile Or A Waste of Time?
If you’ve come back from holidays and are considering a career change or further study, but you don’t know where to start, you have probably considered doing a career quiz.
So – are they worthwhile or a waste of time?
It really comes down to how certain you are about the direction you want to go in and the roles that you have in your sights.
When You Don’t Need A Career Quiz
What if you know with reasonable certainty what you want to do? If this is the case, it is possible that career quizzes may be a waste of time. However for many a double check is usually of value. If you are confident in your options, then setting up alerts on job posting sites, gaining the qualifications, talking to friends or networking in those industries and connecting with people of interest on LinkedIn will probably get you a reasonable result.
When You Do Need A Career Quiz
If you genuinely don’t know where to start, the sense of being overwhelmed can lead to serious procrastination, and the longer you do nothing, the more you hate your current career.
For most people in this situation they want someone or something to guide them through what’s out there, and help them id they are torn between a number of equally interesting options. In these situations a career quiz can benefit you in the following ways;
- They help you organise your thinking, so you can make quicker and clearer decisions
- They provide a framework to objectively compare one option against another
- They ask you intelligent questions that force you to reflect on what you are good at, what your interested in and why.
Why are these important?
Because the quality of your life is often determined by the quality of the questions you ask, and if you are not experienced in asking the right career questions, you can keep making the same career mistakes.
It also comes down to the quality of the career quiz, and in this case you usually get what you pay for.
Many of the free career quizzes are a tick the box, generic solution. By this I mean they group you with every other person and spit out a list of 20 – 50 careers that may or may not suit you. Inevitably, some will suit you, whilst others seem completely contradictory to the life you see for yourself. This can leave you more confused than ever.
The key here is that you MUST have some say over the outcome, and some choice in your own future.
One of the main psychological theories that underpin motivation is called Self-Determination Theory, originated in the by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan.
They argue that for people to be truly self-motivated and fulfilled in whatever they are doing, they need to be doing something that challenges them and that they are good at. It is also important to be able to relate to the people that you are working with, and most importantly have some autonomy over the decisions and outcomes you are creating.
For this reason, if you are looking for a career quiz that isn’t a waste of time and just lists random jobs for you, look for the following attributes;
- It balances psychological knowledge with freedom of choice;
- It asks you about your life outside of work as well as career interests; and
- It helps you research the career options it suggests or that you are interested in.
Where good career quizzes are really useful, is that they open you up to new career opportunities and help you to feel more confident about the options you may have been considering.
We all ‘Don’t know what we don’t know. By that, I mean there are currently 91,893 jobs advertised on Indeed in Australia, how are you meant to understand which is right for you? A good career quiz will reduce this list to those that suit you, create the opportunity for you to choose the ones that interest you, and then provide a framework to assess these against your lifestyle considerations and research what each career involves.
By organising your thinking and letting you research your own choices, career quizzes give you the confidence to take action, at whatever pace suits you . That might be talking to friends or family, testing the water with work experience or internships, or jumping straight in to applying and interviewing for available positions.
A good career quiz is not meant to solve all your problems, or make your decision for you – it will start the conversation on career options in a manner which reduces the anxiety around decisions, inspires action, and helps you feel positive about your future.