Planning a career move is intimidating, but it might be time to jump if you’re dreading going to work every day and it’s affecting your well-being. However, knowing which career move to make can be trickier than you’d think. Sometimes, you’ve only planned for one career path, or you’ve been in the same position for so long that you’re at a loss for ideas.

If this sounds like you, you can use a specific type of personality testing called career aptitude tests to help you brainstorm the best career for your personality type. Truity’s free career tests allow you to discover your strengths and weaknesses and which jobs might be right for you based on your temperament and work style.

The benefits of using career tests

Career tests might sound uninspiring, but finding the right career quiz can open your mind to unforeseen possibilities and be quite the opposite. Whether you plan to stay within the same industry or not, you may realize you haven’t considered positions you’d be a perfect match for. Making a career shift should be a mindful choice, so planning is often better than leaping into the unknown.

When you take a career aptitude test, like the Career Personality Profiler based on the Holland Code and Big 5 system of personality, you’ll get clear examples of your work styles and your primary area of interest, plus your secondary area of interest, for a panoramic view of your strongest assets. You’ll also get to see which areas are the least interesting to you. For me, it was Persuading – meaning I shouldn’t be looking at careers that are based around leading, motivating and influencing others, like a management consultant or sales associate. This is good information to know. It's just as helpful to know what you don't want in your career as it is to know what you do.

Someone with similar results to mine might find their top interest area is “Creating.” My results listed several career tasks I would enjoy, such as creating art, writing and designing. But a high-quality career aptitude test goes deeper than this, breaking down how you behave in the workplace and pointing you to concrete career paths, such as a public relations manager or editor for someone who scores highest in Persuading, with Creating second fiddle.

What a career assessment test or personality test will tell you

Before you Google search for a “what career is right for me quiz,” it’s good to know that each career test has strengths and limitations. Take some time to learn what the test is measuring and how accurate and reliable the career test is before you rely on it. Also, bear in mind that no test can tell you what career you should choose. The final choice is yours. No one knows how to find your dream job but you because you need to do the work to align your personality with a fit.

But what career assessments will tell you is which areas you may want to consider based on your personality, interests and working styles. Depending on which test you take, you’ll receive insight into how you behave in the workplace. Your workplace behavior can include how you communicate, think and solve problems, what motivates you, how you work on a team and more.  

Careers assessments help eliminate career choices that throw you off balance

You may know what you struggle with in your current job, and maybe that’s why you’re ready for a career change. But do you know how to put these struggles into words? And are you sure you understand why you find particular tasks challenging?

This is another area where a career aptitude test can help, but it is a good idea to also take a more general personality assessment, like the Myers and Briggs-based TypeFinder as well. Put the results together, and you likely will get a clear understanding not just of what’s important to you, but also how your communication, decision-making and energy styles interact in the workplace environment.

Once you know your challenges, you can eliminate jobs that ask you to do something that doesn’t come naturally to you. You can, of course, learn to sharpen some skills, but not all skills are ones you’ll want to sharpen. 

For example, my combined personality and career assessment tests clearly state that a structured job with little variety would go against my nature. My test results clarify that my interests are better aligned with unstructured environments that allow me to create. Some job roles, like being a writer, should be a great fit for me. But if I had to do that job in a structured workplace where I had to explain my process in an overly detailed way, I believe I would soon find myself depressed and unhappy with my career choice—if I even got past the interviews for this type of work place!

Finding a career that makes you happy

Because everyone is unique, no one human experience on the job will be the same. Someone who loves working in construction may hate an office job, and vice versa. Despite this knowledge, it’s worth looking over the happiest jobs in America based on personality type to give you further insight into what might bring you career fulfillment.  

Additionally, the best jobs for Introverts won’t always fit Extraverts. An Introvert might love a work from home job, while an Extravert might hate it! A helpful personality test to grasp your preferences in life and work is the TypeFinder for Career Planning test, which will explain if you’re an Introvert or Extravert, how you organize your environment, how you make decisions and how you collect information.

It’s also worth exploring what job fulfillment means to you. You might like multiple things and struggle to choose a career when you want to do everything, so taking some time to pursue career exploration, in addition to personality tests, could be a valuable plan for you. You may also want to hire a career coach if you cannot formulate a plan on your own.

As some food for thought, you can find meaning in any career if you reframe how you think about your work. Finding a purpose in a job well done, for example, or embracing tasks that echo your values are helpful ways to change how you view your career.

Narrowing your options

Chances are, your career aptitude test will give you more career options than you know what to do with. Begin with a list of potential job moves and narrow it down. Cross out the ones that don’t fit your strengths, skill sets and interests. Then, make a “career map” to plot potential pathways to your new job. 

Research what you must do to get from point A to point B. And while you’re planning, keep yourself motivated by staying positive. Creating actionable goals to tackle each day — like signing up for a training course or refreshing your resume — is an excellent place to start.

While waiting to land the job, keep working on your personal growth. Knowing yourself and your goals is the true pathway to success.

Happy career planning!

As you continue your journey to change your career, whether in a small- or large-scale way, you can remain confident that self-discovery will aid you in your search. Explore as many of Truity’s free career tests as you can. Keep track of each career quiz and jot down your working styles and strengths. 

Meanwhile, remember that a person’s path to career fulfillment or success doesn’t have to look linear. If you need inspiration, try not to think of your success as a straight line. There’s a wonderful TED Talk on this topic by career development consultants Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper. Or you could lean into being a multipotentialite who doesn’t have one true calling and find ways to weave in more than one career path.

Most of all, don’t get discouraged as you make a new path for yourself. It may take time, but the best changes don’t always happen overnight.

Cianna Garrison
Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.