Evaluation tool uses psychometric principles to help you choose ideal career

Thursday, August 23, 2012
Atlanta/Washington: An evaluation tool based on years of research could make a difference for anyone trying to decide, "What should I do when I grow up?"

For students choosing a course of study or for those considering what kind of work will stand the test of time, an economic analysis firm Crown Financial Ministries spent more than 10 years developing and fine tuning the newly re-launched Career Direct using standard psychometric principles of testing and measurement and putting those to work in 17 languages.

Career Direct eyes to become a game changer for job seekers and prospective students.

So far, more than 120,000 adults and students worldwide have gone through the program. It asks up front the basic question of life – who are you? – before telling you how to spend your 100,000 hours of working life. And with that much science and personal testing behind it, Crown Financial Ministries has learned that some career mistakes can be avoided, beginning with too little time spent in considering what are a person's best skills and talents.

"Finding out your unique skills should be the first thing any job seeker or student does before changing your life for your job or investing your hard-earned, even borrowed, money in education," said firms' President Robert Dickie III.

In an article featured in Fox News this week Dickie noted, "More than half of all students change majors at least once, and a recent survey found that the average American man changes jobs every four and one-half years, the average woman every three years. The model of employee and employer forming a lifelong relationship no longer fits.

"Today choosing a career is generally not a one-time decision; it's a series of decisions, made through different stages of life, experience, and responsibility. But with more than 60 percent of Americans saying they are not satisfied with their current jobs, it seems obvious that it's time to consider new patterns for choosing a profession."

Through research, the firm has identified 8 common errors people make when taking a job and when trying to find a career that will satisfy:

1. Choosing the first or easiest job you can get. To choose a job based on its ease is not being a good steward of talents and abilities. Our goal should always be to move into areas in which we use our strengths.

2. Choosing a job based on salary. This error is so established in our culture that it'll take a strong commitment to a larger vision to choose a job based on talents, rather than on money alone. And if that high-paying job disappears, your resume advertises you with skills in a profession you may hate.

3. Choosing a job because it provides a good title. Doing what you're good at and what you enjoy is generally a far better consideration in choosing a career than selecting a title and doing the work that accompanies it. You are not your title.

4. Taking a job just because management offers it. Discuss your work-related attributes with your employer to indicate the areas that will be the best fit for you. You may be better off expanding your area of responsibility in your present job, instead of moving away from your skills and area of expertise.

5. Choosing a job because that's what your parents do. While it is fine to follow in your parents' footsteps, make sure that you share their skill sets and passions for the work. Don't choose a career track only because that's what your parents do. Discover your gifts and develop your career plans around them.

6. Choosing a job to fulfill your parents' unfulfilled dream. Parents must be careful not to steer their children toward something the parents would like alone; rather, children should be encouraged to follow a career path that best suits them.

7. Choosing a job just because you have the minimum ability to do it. There are many jobs we can do, but a job that involves our strongest skills, our personalities, and our motivations will take us farther and last longer.

8. Choosing a job or major without any serious study of yourself. Evaluation tools exist to provide a roadmap so that people can avoid becoming lost in pursuits that don't satisfy without knowing why. Before investing years of your life or possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in education, take serious time to reflect on your skills and interest. Don't spend more time researching the next car you'll buy than you spend researching your career.
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