Assess Your Needs

Discover your strengths and needs...

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" is one of the most common questions young professionals are expected to answer at academic and professional interviews.

Conducting regular self-audits and formal assessments at least once every 4-5 years helps keep your goals, skills, interests and actions aligned from high school through retirement and makes it easier to answer this question... and to explain your answer.

Your personality traits, learning style and go-to responses to new information, projects and stress are essential to helping you gain a deeper understanding of what you value and how you interact with others as well as the world around you. 

STEP 1: NEEDS & GOALS AT EACH STAGE OF YOUR CAREER PATH

 

Young Professionals need different resources at different stages of their lives and careers. Some are closely atuned to their values and defining traits at an early age while others progress in life struggling to understand or determine their defining traits and values.

The key at any stage in work or life? That's right... ETHOS, LOGOS. PATHOS!

BASIC TIMELINE: WHAT YOU NEED TO STAY ON TRACK AT EACH STAGE

  • 17-18: Burgeoning Young Adults: What's Next?

    • Basic assessment of your strengths, weaknesses and go-to responses to new information, tasks, people and opportunities.

    • Advice on assessing the current and future job market; projecting professional trends.

    • Advice on transitioning to the right collegedegree program or professional certification.

    • Learning about all the factors of the application process (testing, contacts, etc.)

    • Staying organized to achieve success! 

  • 18-21: Tier 1 Career Planning: College-to-Career

    • Assessing new strengths, weaknesses and go-to responses after your advanced formal training.

    • Gaining experience through internships, coaching and other opportunities.

    • Nailing your interview, communication and presentation skills.

    • Staying organized to achieve success!

  • 21-30: Burgeoning Young Professionals: Post-Baccalaureate Training 

    • Assessing the current job market and projecting professional trends.

    • Assessing the gaps in your current training.

    • Assessing the value and ROI of transitioning to graduate/professional programs.

    • Learning about the application process (testing, contacts, etc.) for Graduate School, Law School, Medical School, Business School, etc.

    • Assessing new strengths, weaknesses and go-to responses after receiving your terminal degree.

    • Staying organized to achieve success!

  • 21-30: Tier 2 Career Planning: New & Emerging Professionals

    • Developing a healthy Work-Life Balance (WLB) Plan.

    • Developing your personal brand (a.k.a., Positive Professional Identity).

    • Assessing the gaps in your current training -- the possibility of juggling school and work obligations, where to find reliable training (on-site employee training and external training options).

    • Earning the respect of supervisors and peers as an emerging young professional.

    • Knowing your value at a new member of the workforce.

    • Becoming a flexible, purposeful team player.

    • Embracing a community leadership role.

    • Becoming an Entrepreneurial Disruptor (knowing when your breakthrough idea bears merit; overcoming age-related obstacles to secure mentors, funding and related resources that are key to your project development; etc.).

  • 30-40: Tier 3 Career Planning for Established Young Professionals

    • Gradually elevating your career status and social network.

    • Assessing your WLB Plan to ensure that it is still suitable for your current lifestyle.

    • Assessing and updating your personal brand based on your training and experience.

    • Assessing the gaps in your current training -- seeing if you need a new technical skill. 

    • Scheduling monthly updates to your resume.

    • Scheduling self-assessments to ensure that your goals and skills are still aligned.

    • Knowing when and why to apply for transitions, promotions, etc.

    • ROI of working for your employer (HR benefits, pension plans, etc.)

Getting Started: Follow this simple career path timeline!

STEP 2: 4 TYPES OF ASSESSMENT EXAMS

FREE/LOW-COST RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS & EMERGING YOUNG PROS!

(A) FREE SII EVALUATIONS

Throughout the U.S., most high schools and colleges offer free personality and career assessment programs to registered students and new graduates. During the COVID crisis, many are extending the courtesy of free (or very low-cost testing to Alumni transitioning to new employment after nation-wide employment cutbacks. These are called SII (Strong Interest Inventory) evaluationsThe goal of an SII is to gain a deeper understanding of your values and interests to match you with satisfying career paths. The most common SII are the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) and the Keirsey testing.

  • MBTI and Keirsey are the standard evaluations offered at high schools and colleges.

  • Discuss the significance of the exams and possible outcomes with your Career Advisor before taking the test and schedule an appointment to review your results.

  • For high school students/new grads, these are typically available through your College Office.

  • For college students/new grads, these are typically available through your Career Services Center.

  • Just email your Career Advisor to schedule an evaluation. You will need to confirm your active student status to get your free test OR request a fee waiver as a new graduate.

HOW SIIs WORK:

  • These tests draw information from select personality traits you indicate as prevalent or dormant.

  • The range of questions will be about how you react to change, challenges and other people. 

  • The automated list of career options may be limited based on the version of the program at your school.

  • It's important to read the assessment with your advisor to review the gist of your qualities and deficiencies to best identify careers (creative, analytical, etc.) and training options that are best suited for you. 

SII Models

(B) COMPREHENSIVE PERSONALITY EVALUATIONS 

There are more comprehensive assessments available through the  Wiley's Everything DiSC platform (Ranging $72 and higher) , the Enneagram Institute (Ranging $20 and higher) and other sources recommended in our Assessment Options page.

  • These tests provide a more refined assessment of your EQ (Emotional Intelligence), which people often overlook when determining the professional and social environments that are best suited for them.
  • The range of questions are similar to the SII testing, but the focus is more on how your personality traits (your strengths and deficiencies) can best serve a particular team or performative style.
  • The goal is to help eliminate frustrating phases of growth as you work your way up in a fixed career, which implies that you are already on a particular career path.  
  • These tests can also uncover a few hidden or innate traits that you were not aware you possessed or consciously using. This factor is very valuable to those who are considering alternative career paths.

HOW STRENGTH-FINDING TESTS WORK:

  • These tests draw information from select personality traits you indicate as prevalent or dormant.

  • DiSC and Enneagram Evaluations include a detailed written description of the findings based on your answers to a multiple-choice exam.

  • The range of questions are similar to the SII testing -- how you react to change, challenges and other people -- and include things like perceived comfort/frustration levels in given situations. 

  • The focus of these exams is more on how your personality traits (your strengths and deficiencies) can best serve a particular team or performative style. 

  • For those who find the written results clear, A short audio introduction about the overall classification detected by the test is usually provided.

  • If the detailed written results and short audio are not clear enough, you may connect with a professional consultant to help interpret the assessment details.

DiSC MODEL

DiSC: This assessment consists of 4 general categories charted into a pie graph:

  1. Dominant

  2. Influential

  3. Steady

  4. Conscientious 

Most people are not 100% one or the other, but rather a combination of tendencies leaning more towards one classification or another in the pie chart. Because of the way the graph is set up, it's important to review the notes on each part of your assessment and to see whether your goals and personality align. For a list of all the possible combinations, Click Here.

See the buttons at the end of this page for free/low-cost testing options.

ENNEAGRAM MODEL

ENNEAGRAM: This assessment is set up more like a dreamcatcher or Moravian star and consists of 9 general categories:

  1. The Reformer: Perfectionist/Moral Center

  2. The Helper: Supportive Advisor

  3. The Achiever: Ambitious/Successful

  4. The Individualist: Expressive/Dramatic

  5. The Investigator: Thinker/Analytical

  6. The Loyalist: Guardian/Responsible

  7. The Enthusiast: Optimistic/Spontaneous

  8. The Challenger: Protective/Decisive 

  9. The Mediator: Receptive Peacemaker 

 

Click the orange links for a short audio about each category.

See the buttons at the end of this page for free/low-cost testing options.

Again, most people are not 100% one or the other, but rather place towards the center of the star with tendencies leaning more towards one classification or another. The classifications are slightly more straightforward that the DiSC, but still help to determine whether your goals and personality align with similar accuracy.

CLIFTON & HIGH5 MODELS

CLIFTON/HIGH5: These exams test for similar aptitudes based on the variety of EQ questions asked to test your response to scenarios that are similar (or identical to the DiSC and Enneagram questions. Clifton frames you in 4 strategic classifications (similar to those of DiSC) while High5 places you based on 5 emotional categories (as evidenced by the graphs above). Individuals are assigned a % for each category, which indicates their strengths and gaps/weaknesses.

See the buttons at the end of this page for free/low-cost testing options.

VIA (ARISTOTELEAN) MODEL

VIA: The VIA tests more specifically for the emotional and intellectual virtues behind the strategic classifications of the other exams. It is similar to the Enneagram and High5 exams. The classifications are slightly more detailed than the other exams, however the classifications are couched in the philosophical context of "virtues" rather than "strengths," which is very insightful but requires some decoding for those who are not accustomed to Aristotle's theory of Virtues, Vices or The Golden Mean.

See the buttons at the end of this page for free/low-cost testing options.

 Step 3: Complete a short survey to determine the assessment option that is best for you! 

 

  • Select "Schedule Philo4Thought Consult" if you'd like advice on which evaluation best suits you

  • Select "Assessment Options" to view available low-cost testing and assessment options.

  • Select "Philo4Thought Passport Membership" to set up or renew your membership and gain access to available Members-only discounts on these and other services.

Dedicated to Dr. Marijo Russell O'Grady, Dyson College Dean of Students (RIP 08/08/20), Prof. Patricia Mary Lucas, Political Science THE Mary Louis Academy & St. John's University (RIP 09/08/18) and to all the great mentors and advocates who have helped and inspired out team and many others.

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