First of all, I'd like to wish everyone a - somewhat belated - Happy New Year. I hope that 2009 is filled with personal and professional successes for you, your friends, and your family.
Now, since it is a new year, there's no better chance to start looking at your career - and yes, even if you're just a teenager, it's never too early to start thinking about and even planning for your future career. After all, you don't just become a doctor or a lawyer overnight!
Even our school systems recognize that you have to plan for your career. In fact, that's why there are courses called "Careers" or "Life Skills".
For example, I remember being in grade 10 and having to take a half-course called "Careers". In this course, we were supposed to look at our potential career path and we learned how to write a resume and cover letter.
Of course, when I was taking the course, I thought it was a huge joke. All I did was make a presentation on the job I wanted at the time. While I had an idea of what I wanted to do back then, it's definitely changed since then - multiple times in fact!
Looking back, however, I do see the value in having a course like this. Far too often, teens are forced into making potentially life-altering decisions, but aren't given the resources to make a proper, well-researched and thought-out decision. And with these resources, you can make a better judgement about what you want to do.
But even so, I find that many teens - even most people - don't really have an idea about what they want to do. And it's not a case of being lazy - often, people have many potential career paths they could walk down. It then becomes a question of which path they'd like to take and if that map is available.
And that's where this posting can help. If you don't have the chance to take a course like "Careers" or don't know where to start researching about a career, I've compiled a list of interesting links that offer online career aptitude and personality tests for free!
Now don't read too much into these tests - after all, they aren't as in-depth as the tests you can take in-person. But I find that they are a good starting point because they may help you identify something you're passionate about or something you really know well. And don't lie - there's nobody judging you, so be honest and you might learn something about yourself that you didn't even know!
Like I said, don't read too much into these results - just think of these tests as opening the doors to all the career paths available to you.
Even if you feel like you don't have the time, I recommend taking at least one of the tests. Seriously, spend 10 minutes less on Facebook or Myspace and try one. You have nothing to lose and you might just discover something new about yourself or a potential career path you didn't even know existed!
All the best!
- The Jung/Myers-Briggs typology
This is my favourite online personality test. It is based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and it takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. The results give you a breakdown of what your personality is and possible careers - plus, you'll get to know what celebrities have your type of personality.
- SchoolFinder.com's 3-Step Career Test
This is the first career aptitude test I did and it really opened my eyes to a possible career in the media. Even after taking the test 5 times, 'journalist' is always at the top of the list! You will have to register to take the test, but it is well worth it - not only can you do the test, but it will point you in the right direction when it comes to schools that offer relevant programmes.
- The Internet Personality Inventory Survey
Another great test that gives you results explaining what your personality is based on the Big Five personality traits.
- Campus Starter Career Test
This test is good for students as you can find a career that interests you and learn what schools offer relevant post-secondary programmes.
- Fun Education Personality Test
This is a quick and simple 44-question test that will definitely give you insight into elements of your personality that you may not be aware of.
- Fun Education Career Personality Assessment
This is a really long 485-question test. You can do part of it and return at a later time. It's really in-depth and it can definitely give you much-needed career insight.
- Career Explorer Aptitude Test
Another career aptitude test that provides interesting and insightful results, along with a listing of schools that offer programmes relevant to the career paths you show an aptitude for.