When Aidan (name changed) was trying to decide what college major he should apply for, he decided to take a psychometric test to help him with his decision. This particular test was based on his interests, and revealed that he had a unique combination of interest in analytical, data driven subjects like science, as well a passion for art and creative expression. When Aidan first saw these results, he was thrilled to be able to put into words what he had been thinking “in his own head” for years. He used this self-knowledge to focus his college major search on science programs that were innovative and encouraged creative approaches to solving data-based problems. In this way, Aidan was able to leverage specific insights from a psychometric test to help him in develop his self-awareness “muscle” and narrow his choices for a college major.
All the cool kids are doing it
Aidan is not alone in his use of psychometric tests to make a career decision. High potential employees, executives, career changers, college graduates and high school students have all tapped benefit from the insights generated from psychometrics. In fact, there are many pivotal points in one’s career where psychometrics can offer a tremendous boost. These opportunities include when you are preparing your career, before college, before your first job search, when you need a career change, or when choosing between different jobs.
There are many benefits to using psychometrics:
• Understand your strengths and how you are different than other people
• Understand what you bring to a team, to a workplace, to a field
• Engage in an in-depth learning process about who you are and how others may perceive you
• Put into words something you knew about yourself but couldn’t explain
In order to successfully leverage psychometrics, there are several key things to keep in mind. Ideally, you should work with a qualified coach or consultant who can help you choose tools that work and that are appropriate to your needs. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can choose the type of tool you need. For example, you may want to explore personality (MBTI, Hogan), interests (Strong, JVIS, CIP), values (MVPI, WIP, CVS), abilities (Highlands) or strengths (StrengthFinder).
It’s fair to say that not all psychometric tools are created equal. Therefore, you want to choose a tool that has a high degree of validity (measures what it intends to measure) and reliability (precision of measurement). Therefore, it is advantageous to leverage a professional to help you evaluate the psychometric properties of a test in order to make sure it is legitimate and would make a meaningful contribution to your career development.
The Psychometrics Weapon
A highly tuned sense of sense of self-awareness can be the most powerful weapon in your career preparation arsenal, if you leverage it correctly. There are many psychometric tools available that can help develop your self-awareness muscle. Working with a coach will allow you to choose the correct tool as well interpret the results in a way that resonates with your journey. For many people, the investment in this process is a catalyst that gives them the confidence they need to choose a college major, make a career decision, differentiate themselves from the masses and move forward in their career path.