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Choosing A Career

Choosing A Career

Debra Davenport (Executive Professional Mentor, Licensed Career Counselor & Employment Agent) gives expert video advice on: How do I research different career possibilities? and more...

What are different methods of deciding on a career?

Most people try to fit themselves into somebody else's job description. How do I make my skills work to get this particular job? And what they don't do is step back and say "What do I really feel passionate about?", "What do I love to do so much that I would do it for free?". And that's the key to finding the right livelyhood for yourself. What do you feel passionate about, what do you love to do? Your career should be a natural extension of who you are as a human being. So if you really get clear about that, when you get up in the morning, you should be getting up to live your life, and not just getting up to go to a job. So it's very, very important to get clear about your values, the things you really love to do, how you want to make a difference in the world, that's another very important part, talk to friends and family, do internships, and find out about all different types of careers before you make that decision.

What is a "career assessment test"?

Usually a career counselor will administer any one of a number of different types of career assessments. Anything from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Strong-Campbell Assessment. I use two different types of assessments, called the COPS and the COPES and what those measure are interests and values. And some assessments are better than others and I always caution clients to get with a counselor who really knows the assessments very well. Because sometimes the assessments can wind up causing a little bit more harm than good, if they aren't interpreted correctly. So for example, I've had clients come to see me who have taken the Strong-Campbell Assessment and they've sat down and started to cry and said, "You know the Strong-Campbell told me that I need to be an astronaut, a shoe salesman and a candlestick maker. And I don't want to do any of those things." Well, the reason that the client is upset is because the person who was really assessing the assessment didn't do a good job in terms of really letting the client know what this evaluation really means. So, that's a very, very important part of the component. So if you are going to take assessments online, just be sure that you understand that you are taking an online assessment and that there is no career counselor who really knows you really well to be able to evaluate those assessments. It's always good to get with someone who is trained in those types of tests.