Posted by: Sky | January 8, 2014

Start the 2014 with some Career Planning

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Happy 2014 everyone!

For all of you who added career planning to your New Year’s resolutions but have no idea where to begin and keep asking yourselves the dreadful ‘what am I going to do with my life?!’, don’t panic, we have all been there.

To kick-start a new year and make career searching easier for everyone I thought I should share these two links that I found instrumental when deciding on my career path. With an exciting drum-roll sound in my mind I present you… the jazzy duo: Prospects Career Planner and TARGETjobs Careers Report.

What are these, you ask?

Both are career planners- online questionnaires designed to help you decide what career path best suits your skills and personality. Yes, both are a good way to get to know yourself better, brainstorm about possible career options and identify your strengths and weaknesses. However, a career planning website is not there to decide on your future for you. Therefore, if you do not like the suggested career options or you feel that your skills would be better used somewhere else, remember, you’re the boss.

Prospects Career Planner

(link here)

The Prospects planner is great for those who are still looking around and haven’t decided on a career. The questionnaire is pretty easy and it takes about 15 minutes to complete. You will be asked to rank yourself from ‘very likely’ to ‘not likely at all’ in 4 different categories: general (personality), skills, motivations and desires. After you submit your answers the planner will generate a list of job titles that were matched to you. For instance, my top 3 matches were press sub-editor, environmental consultant and management consultant.

The good: the questionnaire takes little time and effort to complete. It provides you with a very long list of job titles that you can use to brainstorm. You can consider different kinds of jobs.

The bad: it is not too accurate. Since all the questions are based on your opinion about yourself, it is more of a reflection of what you think you should be doing than a career test based on your competencies.

I would recommend for: people who have not yet set their mind on a specific career. Also, people who would like to consider a wide range of careers.

TARGETjobs Careers Report

(link here)

The TARGETjobs planner is much more in-depth than the Prospects one. However, it takes double the time to complete (it took me about 30 minutes). Step 1 works very similarly to the Prospects planner- you self-assess yourself. However, step 2 is where the fun begins. You will be asked to complete 4 psychometric tests. After submitting the results you will be presented with a list of jobs ranked by how well they suit your preferences and competencies. You will then be able to rank them yourself by your personal preference and voila, your careers report is complete.

The good: it is quite in-depth for a free online questionnaire. Weights your opinion of yourself against your capabilities as assessed by the psychometric tests. Also, you get to practice free psychometric tests, so yay TARGETjobs.

The bad: the psychometric test results are slightly skewed. Since users are allowed to take the test over and over again when you are being ranked against them, your score might be lower than it should be.

I would recommend for: people who are serious about career planning as you’ll need patience to get through all the tests.

Anything else to know, you ask?

You will have to register to both websites in order to do the tests. And share your results! What were most unexpected career matches you got?

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Responses

  1. Nice summary Sky! I agree these can be really useful tools to start your careers research/planning especially if you can use them in conjunction with a more personal chat with, for example, a Careers Adviser. When I did the Prospects one many moons ago it did bring up ‘Careers Information Officer’ – spookily enough – my job title – but also ‘Police Officer’ – something that I
    don’t think I could be less suited too (must have been the ‘helping people’ aspect of the role perhaps?)

  2. Haha, that’s brilliant! And I completely agree that career planning shouldn’t begin and end with an online questionnaire. Nothing beats a face-to-face conversation with a Careers Adviser.


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