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If you’re a Career Development Professional, you already know how challenging it can be to help people figure out what they want to do with their lives. Whether they are young students trying to figure out what they want to do when they grow up, or older career changers on a new path, there are some tools you can use to make the process a little easier. One of the most helpful of these tools is assessments.

Career assessments are essentially standardized tests that measure a person’s interests, values, and skills/abilities. There are a ton of different assessments out there, each with their own strengths, weaknesses. Some of our most popular assessments include the COPSystem, Career Dimensions, and the Jackson Career Explorer, but there are also several others that work with the unique needs of diverse clients.

So, why should Career Development Professionals use assessments? Well, there are a few reasons.

First of all, assessments can help you and your clients get a better sense of their strengths and weaknesses. By taking an assessment, clients can learn about the types of tasks and activities that they might enjoy or excel at, as well as areas where they might need more development. This information can be really helpful when it comes to choosing a career path that is a good fit for them.

Assessments can also help clients clarify their values and priorities. Some assessments, like the Values and Skills Assessment Cards, and the Knowdell Career Values cards, are specifically designed to help people identify their core values. This information can be really helpful when it comes to choosing a career that aligns with those values.

Another benefit of assessments is that they can provide clients with a starting point for research. Once they have a better sense of their interests and skills, clients can use that information to research different career paths and industries. This can help them narrow down their options and find jobs that they might not have considered otherwise.

Finally, assessments can be a really useful tool for Career Development Professionals to use when working with clients who are feeling stuck or overwhelmed. Sometimes, when we’re facing a big decision like choosing a career path, it can be really hard to know where to start. Assessments can provide a structured approach that can help clients break the decision-making process down into manageable steps.

Of course, it’s worth noting that assessments aren’t perfect. No assessment can fully capture the complexity of a person’s interests, values, and skills. They should be used as one tool among many in the career development process.

All in all, assessments can be a really helpful tool for Career Development Professionals to use when working with clients. They can help clients clarify their strengths, values, and interests, as well as provide a starting point for research and decision-making. So if you’re a Career Development Professional who hasn’t used assessments before, now is the time to get some new tools for your Career Development toolkit.

If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry, it can be overwhelming with so many options out there, with different requirements, and different ways to give them to your clients. Reach out to me, and we can talk about what is best for you and your clients. In the meantime, you can read-up on assessing assessments.

Brad Whitehorn – BA, CCDP is the Associate Director at CLSR Inc.  He was thrown into the career development field headfirst after completing a Communications degree in 2005, and hasn’t looked back!  Since then, Brad has worked on the development, implementation and certification for various career and personality assessments (including Personality Dimensions®), making sure that Career Development Practitioners get the right tools to best serve their clients.