What’s the right job for you? Your abilities, interests, and financial goals are key to finding the right occupation, but there are other factors as well.
Who you are as a person—your likes and dislikes, your comfort levels in various situations, the things that energize you—will contribute to your success in any given career.
Becoming an accountant, for example, might meet your financial goals. But if you dislike detailed work, you may not do well in an accounting role and you probably won’t enjoy the work. Likewise, if you love working with school-aged children but the thought of dealing with their parents one-on-one makes you anxious, a career as an educational assistant could be the perfect fit.
The right job is good a match
A career that’s a good fit for your skills and personality gives you the best chance of overall success. You’ll enjoy your work, perform it well, and feel less stress.
Think about what you prefer when it comes to organization, discipline, and decision making. Are you a team player or more of a solo adventurer? Do you prefer to challenge the way things are done or go with the flow? Do you embrace change or resist it?
Knowing these things about yourself provides a foundation for your career.
Get started with self-assessments
Use CAREERinsite—alis’s free interactive career planning tool—to discover your interests, abilities, skills, values, options, and more:
- Learn about your abilities and interests.
- Try all the exercises in the Know Yourself section of CAREERinsite for an in-depth self-assessment.
- Visit Career Cruising (available through many high schools).
Discover your personality type with a personality test
A personality test can help you understand your personality traits. It can explain why you’re so good at problem solving, or why you try to avoid conflict at any cost. It can also suggest why you may be better suited for one job than another.
Try a few of these personality tests to ensure you have a range of results:
- KnackApp for Apple and Android—Download this free mobile app for some unique game-based tests that will tell you about your personal strengths and recommend career paths. (4 mobile games)
- Are you an extrovert or introvert?—Discover whether you’re a people person or if you work best on your own. (10 questions)
- Toxic Person test—We’re all a little difficult sometimes, but self awareness is the first step. Learn what type of difficult person you can be on your bad days and what you can do to be a little kinder. (25 questions)
- Photo Career quiz—Rather than reading and answering questions, simply choose the photographs that you find most appealing. (30 photo choices)
- Decision Style test—This test measures how you make decisions when competing motivations are at play. (37 questions)
- Myers Briggs at 16 Personalities—Take this free personality test for a “freakishly accurate” description of who you are and why you do things the way you do. (54 questions)
- Holland Code Career test—Answer questions about what types of work tasks you enjoy. (60 questions)
- Humanmetrics Jung Typology test—Discover suitable careers based on your personality type. (64 questions)
- Enneagram test—Take this personality test to discover your Enneagram type. (88 questions)
- Big 5 personality test—Find out how you score on the big 5 personality traits and learn about the 30 subscales that exist. (120 questions)
- TypeFinder personality test—Find your personality type and recommended career paths. (130 questions)
Study your test results
Once you’ve taken a few of these tests and reviewed the results, ask yourself:
- What are the top results on each test?
- Do similar findings keep coming up?
- Are the results realistic for you?
- What kind of work seems like it will suit your personality?
For example, if most of the tests say you’re an introvert, you may want to consider jobs that let you work a lot on your own. Extroverts, who get energy from being with other people, might be happier doing teamwork. An introvert would probably be very unhappy as a salesperson or a teacher. An extrovert probably would not enjoy spending hours coding software.
What to do with what you know
There’s a lot you can do with the information you now know about yourself. Use it to gain traction in your quest for successful employment. Build confidence in your everyday interactions. Get ahead. Here are a few areas where self-awareness can benefit you:
- Reference your interests, abilities, skills, and values when developing your resumé.
- Focus on your strengths to communicate confidence in your cover letters.
- Lean on your self-awareness when you answer interview questions.
- Anticipate things that could challenge you and plan how to work around or through them.
- Build positive relationships.
- Work on areas you know you can improve on so you can continue to grow as a person and move forward.