So you have heard that a South African Government Job is a solid career option. You’ve done some preliminary research and there are indeed some career options available that seem to suit the qualifications you possess, or are working towards. The average pay scales look promising as well. But is a government job really right for you? A job is about more than simply making a living, you have to enjoy it if you are going to turn it into a long term career. But how can you determine if you’ll enjoy a job if you have yet to try it? Career assessments can be one big tool that helps.
Career Assessments Definition
Career assessments are tools to help guide an individual towards the right career field for them. They take into account personality traits, intellectual capacities and personal preferences to determine what fields an individual might be best suited to. They can be useful to everyone from high school students to seasoned professionals unhappy in their current career.
There are many different career assessments available, so many in fact it can be hard to know which to choose. The following information is about some of the better known and better respected of these career assessment options:
The Myers-Briggs personality tests are possibly the best known such tests in the world and were first developed during World War II by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs-Myers, using the theories of famed turned of the century psychiatrist Carl Jung.
The Myers-Briggs test can be useful in helping determine how an individual’s patterns of behavior affect their attitudes to work in general and once a personality type is determined it can become easier for someone to determine what career environments they will be based suited to.
Everyone who takes the Myers-Briggs tests is assigned a 4 letter “code” upon completion consisting of one letter from each row of the chart below:
|Where a person focuses his or her attention||Extraversion (E)||(I) Introversion|
|People who prefer Extraversion tend to focus on the outer world of people and things||People who prefer Introversion tend to focus on the inner world of ideas and impressions|
|The way a person gathers information||Sensing (S)||(N) Intuition|
|People who prefer Sensing tend to focus on the present and on concrete information gained from their senses||People who prefer Extraversion tend to focus on the future, with a view toward patterns and possibilities|
|The way a person makes decisions||Thinking (T)||(F) Feeling|
|People who prefer Thinking tend to base their decisions primarily on logic and on objective analysis of cause and effect||People who prefer Feeling tend to base their decisions primarily on values and on subjective evaluation of person-centered concerns|
|How a person deals with the outer world||Judging (J)||(P) Perceiving|
|People who prefer Judging tend to like a planned and organized approach to life and prefer to have things settled||People who prefer Perceiving tend to like a flexible and spontaneous approach to life and prefer to keep their options open|
For those who want to take the official full Myers-Briggs personality test they have to contact an authorized test centre and meet with a counselor before and after taking the test to explore how the results pertain to your individual situation.
The Strong Interest Inventory
The Strong Interest Inventory is another well-known personality test that is actually most often used by university and college counselors with students but it can also be useful to career changers. The tests was developed by three psychologists, E. K. Strong, Jo-Ida Hansen, and David Campbell based on the work of John Holland an MIT psychologist.
This test is based around six Holland codes and is actually far more career specific that the Briggs-Meyers test. Each of the codes refers to a “work personality” and suggests careers based upon which of the codes applies to the individual talking the test.
The Holland Codes are:
Realistic: practical, physical, concrete, hands-on, machine, and tool-oriented
Investigative: analytical, intellectual, scientific, explorative, thinker
Artistic: creative, original, independent, chaotic, inventive, media, graphics, and text
Social: cooperative, supporting, helping, healing/nurturing, teaching
Enterprising: competitive environments, leadership, persuading, status
Conventional: detail-oriented, organizing, clerical
Once an individual has their Holland Score in hand to get the most out the assessment they should discuss their results with a careers counselor or coach.
When searching the Internet you will find there are a lot of websites that offer free on-line career assessments. As the kinds of tests described above are not inexpensive and if you just need a little help determining your best career path for you some of these tests can be helpful. Most of them are based upon the Holland Codes in one form or another and most provide some insight that is useful.
Would a Career Assessment Help You?
People who best benefit from career assessments are those who are not clear about their career path yet – students or new graduates – and those who are not happy with their current profession and are contemplating a career change. If you fit into one of these categories then a career assessment may indeed be a great tool when deciding if a South African government job is the right fit for you, but it should not be considered definitive, instead just another tool to add to your arsenal of job hunting tools.