Online Career Counseling
When We Grow Up
When we were little, people were always asking us: What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, we might have known then, but it turned out that wasn't what we wanted after all, or we're simply not sure what we do want. That may lead some of us to explore online career counseling. After all, what could be better than taking a free, interactive online test that gives you quick answers to the career dilemma?
Answer to Your Prayers?
The fact is that while the idea may seem the answer to your prayers, these online tests may not do the job of sorting out your job problem. Real life career counselors remain skeptical over the efficacy and accuracy of such tests. Further, they assert, the results of these tests deserve the seasoned eyes of a career counselor who can give the best spin on what the data says about you as well to as guide you in the right career direction.
Some of the problems of online career counseling include:
Limited and sometimes contradictory interpretation of data
Lack of accountability since sites don't list the qualifications of those responsible for developing the assessments.
It is impossible to assess the validity and reliability of such data as compared to data offered by offline professional career counseling services.
For the above reasons, the old maxim, "You get what you pay for," may well be applied to online career assessments. Still, the tests aren't all bad. They may well open up your mind to career choices you may have otherwise never thought about along with suggestions of career avenues to explore. Perhaps the best advice is to keep your expectations at a low level.
Taking several different online tests may be helpful if you're doing the free, online assessment in spite of these admonitions. The reason for this is that one particular job may end up jumping out at you, again and again. That is the job that may bear looking into and for which you may be well-suited.
What is offered in terms of online career assessment tests varies in great measure in terms of what is offered, what is measured, and whether or not they really are free. The easiest tests to take are the ones that are fully interactive, with a simple click of your mouse taking you through the whole thing from questions to results. The best tests measure a combination of your skills, values, personality, and interests. The results of your test may be a list of possible careers or a detailed interpretation. As for costs, you may find that while some tests really are free, other offer a partial result for free, and withhold the rest for a fee. Some sites never claim to be free at all and these may be some of the more accurate analyses available online, with real experts behind the scenes interpreting the data you submit.