What career is right for me?
It’s a big question and if you’re not sure what type of work you want to start or move into, don’t worry – you’re not alone. With so much information and so many options out there, it can be tricky to know which tools can help you make a career decision.
SEEK’s Resident Psychologist Sabina Read has a list of tools that you can use to help guide a career decision. She says to keep in mind that any career tool is best used as a starting point for conversation rather than as a definitive solution. “Use the results to learn more about yourself and consider how best to honour your values and strengths in your current and future employment,” Read says.
1. Career and personality quizzes
While personality tests are usually conducted by a psychologist or HR professional, Read says there are many online tools that can help you learn more about yourself and your career.
- Values in Action questionnaire
“This is one of many free questionnaires from the University of Pennsylvania’s Authentic Happiness website,” Read says. “It helps identify strengths, which are beneficial to utilise in all stages of a career, and more generally in life too.”
- The Valued Living Questionnaire
What do you value in your work? What kind of worker would you like to be? What sort of work relations would you like to build?
This is a snapshot of what you’ll be asked in this questionnaire. It helps you identify your key values in 10 different life domains including your career. “Although this tool is not specifically focused on work, it can be useful to take a broader perspective of values to understand the relationship between our personal and professional lives,” Read says.
- Test your preferred work type
There are also online career quizzes and career tests that you can do to get an understanding of your preferences for different types of work, such as whether you’re attracted to creative, enterprising, practical, helping, administrative or analytical roles.
2. Seeing a career coach or psychologist
“A professional third party can help shine the light on blind spots and invite fresh ways of thinking and behaving,” Read says.
You can contact the Australian Psychological Society and use their ‘Find a Psychologist service’. “This allows you to enter the issue, such as workplace or executive coaching, and your location,” Read says.
If you’re engaging a psychologist or a career coach, Read says it’s important to approach your sessions with an open mind rather than thinking you’ll get an answer on what job you should do. “Together, you and the professional can identify what would make the sessions most useful for you. Are you wanting to make a career change? Update your resume? Get a promotion?”
Having a clear idea of what you want the outcome to be and discussing this with the pro will ensure that you get the most out of your sessions together.
3. In-house HR professionals
If your organisation has an in-house HR professional, it can be a good idea to ask to meet to discuss your career. “HR professionals have a wealth of knowledge and access to useful tools,” Read says. “This process can be helpful without explicitly disclosing your thoughts of leaving the organisation. Obviously, the level of transparency you bring to the table will depend on the relationship you have with HR and the level of trust that exists with the individual.”
4. Your personal networks
“Every conversation is a learning and networking opportunity,” Read says. “Rather than hoping your network will miraculously hand you a job on a platter, approach each conversation with curiosity and finish the meeting or phone call by asking if they could suggest others you could talk to.”
Read also recommends speaking with your family and friends as they can often provide insights that you may not have considered.
When you’re making career decisions or deciding your next step, it can be hard to know where to begin. But trying out career quizzes, tapping into experts and talking with your network, friends and family can help you find clarity and the direction you need get you moving forward.
5. SEEK Career Advice
We’ve got interactive tools that can give you ideas for your next step, based on branching out from your current role or simply exploring a job or industry you want learn more about.