Current layoffs and high unemployment rates have left many people scrambling to find new work or return to school. Clarifying your interests and abilities is vital to school and career success. When I was director of a college counseling center, students found quite helpful a series of psychological assessment tools that were used with them for career planning and placement decisions. Today, similar tools are available for free online. Deciding upon a college major or new career direction seemingly can be a daunting task. The following online resources will help lessen the burden.
The free Interest Profiler and Personality Test are online assessments which will help you to determine your potential college major / career interests, as well as personality type. These simple and short assessments are easy to answer. Upon completion, they automatically even score themselves.
Using the information from the Personality Test Manual and D.O.T. can help to narrow one’s search for a college major or career direction. Use the personality test to check its corresponding manual for career opportunities which will likely best suit you, based upon your personality type. Narrow your search further, by cross-referencing this information with career opportunities best suited to your particular interests, based upon information from the profiler. Finally, check information within the D.O.T. about job descriptions, educational requirements, near-future opportunities, salary ranges, and so forth.
In order to solidify your choice, “What Color is Your Parachute” and "Getting Straight A's" are a couple of good reads, once one is close to settling upon one’s career and/or college major path. Additionally, state unemployment offices and vocational rehabilitation agencies may even have money available to qualified residents, who need assistance in returning to school or with new job placements.
Once your college major or career path is finally established, it is quite important to address issues from job interview anxiety and job stress to dealing with procrastination and exam nerves. Many people find self-hypnosis audio programs helpful in dealing with the normal anxieties surrounding these issues. Hypnosis is simply an exercise in deep relaxation and focus. While in this state, people can often benefit greatly from “post-hypnotic suggestions” to help achieve a desired goal.
One example wherein the relaxing effects of hypnosis can be very beneficial is with “state dependent memory” or “state dependent learning.” This psychological notion relates to the idea that people remember things better when they are in the same emotional state during recall, as when they first learned the material. This fact explains how and why many students may often find themselves “freezing” during an exam. They may know that that they understand the material, yet have difficulty recalling it, because they are anxious during the test after having learned the material while relaxed in their dorm.
By utilizing these simple online career planning and placement tools, the new job seeker or new college student can finally go from confusion to clarity in choosing their best career path.
Online Interest Profiler
Online Personality Test
Personality Test Manual
Dictionary of Occupational Titles (D.O.T.)
What Color is Your Parachute?