I am what you might call a serial career and personality assessment-taker. I like learning about myself and keeping my options open. In college, I took Strengths Finder™ and the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator™ test twice. I kept a folder with all my test results and files, pouring over them frequently as I tried to envision how my personality fit in with potential careers.
These tests and others were helpful in some ways, but they didn’t really show me anything new. There was still something missing. It wasn’t until several years into my post-college career that I heard about Apt™ Careers.
As someone who was navigating the uncharted waters of a career transition, I was looking for guidance and affirmation that I was headed down the right path. Having gone months without employment, I wasn’t sure if I should consider pursuing a job in my field or move on to something else. I was seeking clarity but could only find confusion.
When I signed up to take Apt Careers, I knew something was different. The program didn’t seem as concerned with my notoriously fickle wants and desires as it was with what naturally drives me. The questions were not geared towards what I liked, but instead how I would instinctively respond to situations. When you begin the test, it is described as being “all about the freedom you need to do your best.”
This was a term that was new to me. I had been asked about skills, IQ, and things I enjoy, but never freedom. It seems so simple: if I don’t have the freedom to be myself in a job setting, I will experience stress, frustration and burnout. Consequently, my employer will be saddled with a worker unable to perform at his peak.
Many people are not experiencing freedom in their careers. In fact, 70% of Americans say they hate their jobs, and 80% of workers say they feel stress on the job. The fact that Apt Careers targets job stress is another unique factor, especially for someone like me who tends to get easily stressed.
The Conative Aptitude™ Survey portion of the assessment asks what you need the most and least freedom to do. It’s very easy and quick; just check a few boxes and you’re onto the next section.
But the assessment doesn’t forget about your interests. It allows you to pick four out of 15 different interest areas to recommend careers in those fields. I chose art/entertainment/fashion, communication/media, science/research/higher education, and technology: applications. You can then rank your choices in order of priority.
After this point, you can view your results. It is here that the big “a-ha” moment came for me. I felt particularly enlightened viewing my top 20 well-suited and 20 poor fit careers. There was a combination of familiarity in recognizing that these careers would be perfect/terrible for me and novelty in recognizing that some of these were not options I had considered before. In some cases, thanks to more than 1,200 jobs in the database, some of them were jobs I didn’t even know existed. I would make a great Opinion Pollster or Museum Curator, but I wouldn’t cut it as a Hot Air Balloonist or Smoke Jumper. Searching for a career can be a stressful experience, and so I greatly appreciated the humorous options as well as the serious ones. Some of my other favorites include Pickle Taster and Snake Milker. But these are all real jobs. Somewhere in the world, people have those titles, and hopefully they love what they do.
As a detail-oriented person, I appreciate the section which allows you to view your odds of success for all the careers in the database. These careers cover 50 pages of possibilities. For me, they range from Story Editor (98%) to Professional Whistler (2%). Again, these are the jobs that would most and least likely allow me the freedom to achieve by being my natural, instinctive self.
You can also explore your top options by the interest areas you chose, or, perhaps more invaluably, you can expand your search by looking for good fits that fall outside of your chosen areas. This is great for people who are open to looking for options beyond what they have previously considered.
I think my favorite thing about Apt Careers, however, is that it’s highly personalized. My survey result is mine, and I can come back to view it whenever I want. It will always be there to guide me, to fly me on fanciful explorations of potential jobs or ground me as I make a real decision about my future. I don’t make decisions easily or lightly, and Apt Careers gives me all the tools I need to thoroughly research and consider my options.
It ultimately comes down to freedom. The freedom to know that I am capable, that following my instincts will never lead me astray. That I can shoot for the stars and not be afraid of what others think. That I can have a successful career without stress. It may take time and effort, but Apt Careers is a light to help guide the way. For that, I am grateful.
You can try the assessment for yourself today.