Career Aptitude Tests - Using One To Make A Career Comeback

By: Colleen Langenfeld

Are you a woman who has been out of the workforce for sometime and needs to re-enter the career world? Perhaps you have taken time off due to child-raising or caring for a sick or elderly family member.

Maybe you are feeling some anxiety because you know your skill set is out-of-date or even nonexistent.

If this describes your situation, the first thing you'll want to do is take one or more career aptitude tests. The information you can get from these tests will enable you to build a road map to your future career.

Career testing works best when your expectations are crystal clear. Here are three things you should gain from taking career aptitude tests.

1. Uncover your strengths.
This step is crucial as it lays the groundwork for vital future steps. You may have developed significant life skills through

-- parenting,

-- volunteering,

-- personal growth (think hobbies and household management), or

-- part time jobs.

Within any of these areas, you have learned specific skills. You may not have a college degree in these areas, but they all contribute to your skill base and just as importantly, they demonstrate your learning capacity. Once you know what your strengths are and how you learn, you can conquer or maneuver around nearly any obstacle put in front of you. Think of this as a game and you'll find it more enjoyable and less stressful.

2. Expose weak areas.
This is very important, so don't skim over this part. A personal assessment that doesn't let you look your limitations in the eye is not very useful. This information, combined with your strengths' assessment, will guide you as you decide what education or training, if any, you will need to re-enter the workforce.

Your weak areas will probably never be your strengths, but they don't need to hold you back, either. For example, exploring a weakness in math may show you that one basic math course is all you need to open several career doors on your strengths' list. Why give up a lifetime of happiness and achievement for lack of a four month, twice a week college course? Get real with yourself. You'll be glad you did.

3. Confidence to take the next step.
As already mentioned a solid career aptitude test will accurately assess your current skills and show you what potential areas are waiting for you to explore. A large portion of the stress involved with re-entering the workforce comes directly from not having a track record of self-confidence. Let's face it, a paycheck every two weeks is solid evidence someone thinks you and your skills count for something. If you have been a stay-at-home mom, for example, you have been enjoying different types of rewards, many more wonderful than money. However, in the career world, money counts, and confident people find the adjustment is easier and more pleasant.

Use career testing to accurately consider what your current skills are AND what your potential skills are. Then you can move forward in confidence through job-training or educational choices knowing that you are on the right track for you.

Wherever you are at today is the sum of your past adventures. Use career aptitude tests and other related tools to pull all the parts together for you, to see where you've been and where you might go.

Careers and Job Hunting
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