The Value of Assessments in Exploring your Career Options

Updated: Jul 5, 2020

Whether you are in high school, just graduating college, changing careers or returning to the work force it's never too late to learn more about YOU! Career assessments, personality assessments, and work style assessments are invaluable at any point in one's life. They may confirm things you already know, as well as, teach you new things about yourself.

In this week's blog, we will review 7 assessments to measure a person's personality, insights and character strengths, motivations, and the meaning and satisfaction of life. Each of these inventories are designed to give you a piece of the puzzle. It is our recommendation to utilize them together to build a beautiful picture of who you are.

Let's begin with three assessments found on the website. Founded in Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman gives us a good place to start to measure authentic happiness. Click on the questionnaires to view a list of options. The 3 questionnaires that we will focus on in this blog are: VIA Survey of Character Strengths Inventory, Meaning in Life Questionnaire, and Satisfaction with Life Scale.

VIA Survey of Character Strengths Inventory Understanding your character strengths will help you to find a career that is authentic and fulfills you completely. This thorough inventory consists of 240 questions on a Likert Scale that measures character strengths. Once completed the assessment report is generated which ranks your top strengths. For example, a Counseling Educator's list of strengths may rank like this:

1st Gratitude

2nd Creativity, ingenuity, and originality

3rd Fairness, Equity, and Justice

4th Kindness and Generosity

5th Curiosity and Interest in the World

This list is accurate since all of these strengths are utilized both in education and counseling fields.

Meaning in Life Questionnaire Understanding your existential search for the meaning of life and the actual presence of meaning in your life is important, especially when deciding to make a career change. A much shorter questionnaire of only 10 questions, this inventory packs a punch in making some probabilistic guesses between the search and meaning. Here's an example of someone who scores high on the presence scale and low on the search scale.

You feel your life has a valued meaning and purpose, and are not actively exploring that meaning or seeking meaning in your life. One might say that you are satisfied that you’ve grasped what makes your life meaningful, why you’re here, and what you want to do with your life. You are probably satisfied with your life, optimistic, and have a healthy self-esteem.

Satisfaction with Life Scale Does the desire to finish a Master's Degree override your middle-aged good sense that you go back to school? Or do you feel so satisfied in life that the thought of any change gives you a panic attack? The Satisfaction with Life Scale is a simple 5 question inventory that will give you a clearer picture about yourself.

The inventory results break down into 6 categories: Highly Satisfied, Satisfied, Slightly Satisfied, Slightly below average in life situation, Dissatisfied, and Extremely Dissatisfied. Knowing how satisfied you are in life will help you to decide what changes, if any, need to be made.

The Myers Briggs Career Assessment & Strong Interest Inventory can help you with career planning at every stage: from your choices of subjects and majors in school to choosing your first career to advancing in your organization or changing careers later in life.

The Strong Interest inventory provides robust insight into a person’s interests, so you can help them to consider potential careers, their educational path and the world of work. Built on psychologist John Holland’s theory, it’s backed by more than 80 years of research into how people of similar interests are employed, and what motivates individuals in the workplace! That's a lot of clout if you ask us!

Both inventories give the client a freakishly accurate account of who you are and why you do the things that you do. The MBTI breaks down into 6 combinations (or personalities), which can be described at An abbreviated test can also be taken at this link.

The Insights Inventory is not like the other inventories mentioned above. This inventory helps you to get out of you're own way in the workplace by focusing on understanding both your work style and personal style. You’ll learn what impact various responsibilities and pressures have on you, clarify which work situations are stressful and how you tend to react. You will learn strategies for responding to stress in productive ways, as well as, identify your strengths and discover easy ways to build upon them. This will help you feel good about the traits you have and assist you in making the most of your interpersonal skills.

What I find invaluable about this inventory is the fact that it helps you to be proactive in your workplace. Have you ever left a staff meeting feeling disconnected? Or do you feel misunderstood by supervisors? This inventory will help you to see if work situations and your work styles are at odds with each other. It will identify how your personal style might hinder you in your professional world. That way you can make professional adjustments before drastic results are made.

Knowdell Motivated Skills Card Sort rank orders your skills into categories to help you determine your transferable skills, job burnout, and what weaker skills should be removed from your resume. This Card Sort will teach you the kinds of careers that will maintain your focus and passion, while keeping you motivated.

This inventory ranks skills into four categories: Motivated/Transferable, Developmental, Burn Out, and Low Priority. Each grouping is designed to show you what you enjoy and are good at, what you enjoy, but may need to develop, what you are good at, but dislike doing, and what don't enjoy and will only be mediocre.

All examples of inventories are meant to work together to give an accurate detailed picture of your work style, personal style, strengths and weaknesses so that you will be the most fulfilled in and outside of the work force. If you would like to learn more or take the above inventories, contact me at

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