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 August 13, 1999

Bookmarks; Assess your career choice on the Web

Just starting to map out your career ambitions? Have you outgrown your present profession? Ready to dabble in a new sideline?
Several Internet sites offer simple to complex personality, career or vocational tests. Some have a small fee but most are free. Regardless, all are interesting to try out. If you like such tests, then you may enjoy this collection and perhaps find some helpful clues about future directions for your life and your work.
Personality tests are best at illuminating the style with which you do your job and may be not quite as great at predicting what career(s) would best suit that style. So take the test results with a grain of salt — they may stimulate your own ideas, making it worth your while to take a few of the following tests.

Personality Tests
The Personality Questionnaire
(www.meyers-briggs.com)
The Personality Questionnaire consists of 60 questions about the way you react and think with regard to different situations in life. The questions are in multiple-choice format, varying between two and four choices. Based on your responses, the test will calculate four individual preferences and determine which four-letter Myers-Briggs Personality Type matches your results. The Web site contains analysis of all the personality types. Each online Personality Questionnaire costs $3.
The Keirsey Character Sorter and the Keirsey Termperament Sorter
(www.keirsey.com)
The Keirsey Site has two interactive tests/sorters: The Keirsey Character Sorter (which is newer and more complete) and the Keirsey Termperament Sorter (which is online in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German). This site has explanations of personality types and lengthy descriptions of the various temperaments.
The site is interactive, and once you’ve answered its questions, it gives its results to you in Myers-Briggs Personality Type language along with graphs, scores and links to analyses. (Free)
Enneagram
(www.freshy.com/personality/enndesc.html)
The Enneagram is a very popular test consisting of 180 questions. Test results are divided into nine personality types: the perfectionist, the giver, the performer, the romantic, the observer, the trooper, the epicure, the boss and the mediator. The Enneagram is useful for stimulating self-awareness, self-observation and growth. Career implications of your test results are briefly addressed in the personality descriptions. (Free)
Resource Materials on Personality Types
(sunsite.unc.edu/personality/faq-mbti.html)
To learn more about personality types and their implications for career choices, log onto the Resource Materials site, which has an extensive bibliography of printed materials that you can find at your local library, or your library can borrow the materials from another library.
Online Career Tests
Richard Nelson Bolles, in the book, “Job-Hunting on the Internet,”
gives seven rules for taking career tests:
1. There is no one test that everyone loves.
2. There is no one test that always gives better results than others.
3. No test should necessarily be assumed to be accurate.
4. You should take several tests, rather than just one.
5. Always let your intuition be your guide.
6. Don’t let tests make you forget that you are absolutely unique on the face of the earth.
7. You are never finished with a test until you’ve done some good hard thinking about yourself.
With these rules in mind, have a look at the career tests listed below.
The Birkman Method® Career
Style Summary
(www.review.com/Birkman)
The purpose of this questionnaire is to help guide you to careers that would be of most interest to you. After you’ve answered 24 questions, you will get a general description of your interests, skills, and preferred style, as well as a list of careers chosen from the book, “Princeton Review’s Guide to Your Career.”
This test is fast, the format is attractive, and it offers some really interesting career suggestions. (Free)
Self-Directed-Search®
(www.self-directed-search.com)
The Self-Directed-Search (SDS) is based on the theory that both people and work environments can be classified according to six basic types: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional. The test results are assigned a three-letter “Holland Code,” named after psychologist Dr. John Holland, who developed the test more than 30 years ago.
The SDS can help you find careers or educational programs that match your own skills and interests. The Self-Directed Search has been modified for this Internet site and designed to incorporate the guidelines of the National Career Development Association. The test takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete online, and you can receive an online personalized report and analysis of the test results for a fee of $7.95.
The Career Interests Game
(www.missouri.edu/~cppcwww/holland.shtml)
This game is a “lite” version of the Self-Directed-Search test listed above and is offered by the University of Missouri. The Career Interests Game has links to various career pages that include such information as job descriptions, employment outlook and potential earnings. (Free)
The Career Key
(www.ncsu.edu/careerkey/index.html)
Developed by Dr. Lawrence Jones of North Carolina State University, the Career Key is designed to measure personality, find jobs that best fit your skills and personality and offer links to chosen professions. This test is based on the “Holland Code” (see the above paragraph on the Self-Directed-Search) and offers excellent career description links via the current edition of the U.S. Occupational Outlook Handbook.
For each occupation, you can find information on the nature of the work, training, working conditions, job outlook, earnings and related occupations. Also, an eight-page copy of the Career Key test can be downloaded and printed from this site. (Free)
Let’s Talk “Career”
(www.dbm.com/jobguide/careers.html)
This site is a comprehensive master list of sites to help you choose the best career. Here you can find links to career descriptions, assessment tools, advisory sites, career databases and professional trade associations and unions.
Career assessment is just the first step to a successful work life. Future columns will address using the Internet for researching the job market, developing portfolios and searching effectively for employment opportunities. Jean Anderson is the business librarian for the Fort Collins Public Library. Suggestions are welcome: anderson@libsys.ci.fort-collins.co.us

Just starting to map out your career ambitions? Have you outgrown your present profession? Ready to dabble in a new sideline?
Several Internet sites offer simple to complex personality, career or vocational tests. Some have a small fee but most are free. Regardless, all are interesting to try out. If you like such tests, then you may enjoy this collection and perhaps find some helpful clues about future directions for your life and your work.
Personality tests are best at illuminating the style with which you do your job and may be not quite as great at predicting what career(s)…

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