January 21, 2009

It's a new year - and a great time to look at your career path!

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.

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