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PSYCHOMETRIC CAREER ASSESSMENT
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From my personal experiences in India and abroad, the best utilization of a psychometric test is easy to achieve and very much possible. Having said that, you should also remember that the role of a psychometric test is to provide assistance with choosing an appropriate career. It does not work like an independent machine with a secret formula. It will try to capture your thoughts and experiences you have gained through discussions, effort and practice. Back in 2012, I remember one of my students Gautam who was so desperate to choose the perfect career that he spent endless hours researching various professions and assumed that his psychometric test is a magic tool that can solve this puzzle like a Maths problem. When he received his report with a list of top 5 suggested career paths, he called me to express his disappointment and said “I already knew about these 5 professions. Who will tell me which one of these is perfect for me?”.I asked him to calm down and elaborate on his definition of “perfect-for-me career path”. He said he wanted to choose something where he can succeed effortlessly and make lots of money. I probed him further saying “So you think that Sachin Tendulkar is successful just because he was able to choose the perfect career for himself?” “Yes, of course!”, he responded. I understood his dilemma and shared a brief detail about how Sachin underwent, and continues to do so, a very exhausting daily routine with long hours of practice to keep himself fit for the national team. With this context, I explained to him that he has high chances of succeeding in all the top 5 recommended paths if he pursues them with dedication. For choosing one out of those five, he must have a consultative discussion with his parents and counsellor. He understood my point and agreed to bring his parents for a face-to-face meeting with his Counsellor. They finally zeroed in to Computer Engineering as the course and the booming Software industry as his target. Gautama is currently one of the highly accomplished Project Managers at a leading Technology company, keeps developing new skill-sets and loves his perfectly balanced life!Discussion with parents, personal commitment to making efforts and gentle interrogation for realitycheck by a trusted Counsellor are critical aspects that must accompany psychometric testing for maximising its effectiveness. Expecting a psychometric test to function like an answering machine is an unreasonable assumption
The word “prediction” is a bit misleading when we are looking at observations &recommendations made by a psychometric test. As your doubt indicates, by relying on any prediction, we tend to lose
sight of the underlying factors that will lead to a particular outcome. This tendency to become complacent is dangerous. Career guides and professionals use psychometric tests as an input to get a clearer, unbiased understanding of a student’s interest & aptitude and a work-profile suiting it. They never use it as the only input and suggest that a person can relax if the test confirms her/his fit with current work profile. I personally suggest my candidates to intensify their hard work in a particular direction with a ruthless focus on the key parameters that define their personal meaning of success and use a psychometric test as a confirmation of their conviction. You must develop the habit of setting short and long term academic as well as career goals for yourself, re-setting them and learning from your
success as well as failures. Unfortunately, we cannot delegate our career decisions to psychometric tests! In the 21st century knowledge economy, that ownership will always be with us as an individual.
I am glad that you are considering the assistance of a psychometric career test at an early stage in your life. One of the best ways to extract the maximum value out of your psychometric test is to be clear with your specific doubts at this stage. For example, in case you have studied biology and science in 11th& 12th, are you questioning whether you should continue in this direction? Or are you pretty satisfied with your past decision and are in a dilemma about whether to continue with pure life science or applied life science as your undergraduate program?In either of the above cases, a relevant psychometric assessment report and discussion with a counsellor can help you re-confirm or re-consider your choices. The questions will be more like prompts for you to share your feelings about situations and tasks that you have experienced in the past. You do not have to assume and predict anything if a particular prompt sounds unfamiliar to you. There are no right or wrong answers here. The point you should remember is to be absolutely truthful in your responses and never try to pose as someone others expect you to be.As you rightly mentioned, the prompts, your response and the conclusions are closely linked to each other. The algorithm that generates your report assumes that your answers are unbiased and candid reflections based on real life experiences of past. It uses these inputs to come out with your key interests and aptitudes. It is important to note that these characteristics will keep evolving as you progress through your life while encountering new situations in personal as well as professional sphere. Hence these conclusions must be viewed in the broader context
Yes, and with so many insider guidelines floating on the internet, it is fairly easy for anyone to learn how to fake a career test. However, in my view, it is a self-harming trick to play that catches up with us soon! So, stop and think twice before learning this trick. Or, learn the trick but promise yourself that you will never use it. Let us remember the basic fact that a career assessment’s recommendation is based on the candidate’s responses. Now, for example, if someone is taking a test for deciding on which course to choose, she/he may respond falsely to get a recommendation of her/his liking. But once the study program begins; the struggling and frustrating experience will be a clear indicator of the lie. It is similar to the more common situation where people lie during job interviews to force fit themselves into a role in desperation. They assume that once they get in, they can somehow manage to meet the expectations of their superiors and peers.
I am sure you would have discussed your interpretation with your parents at length and arrived at a mutually agreeable decision. This is a fairly common occurrence and there is no harm in going ahead without consulting a professional counsellor if there are no specific doubts about your report. But if you are skipping this step because of lack of time, I would request you or either of your parents to at least have a quick telephonic discussion with a professional that takes less than 30 minutes to take an informed opinion on your decision. In the long run, you may find a counselor’s additional insights useful. Your report, apart from the final recommendations, has many subtle reflections about your assumptions, interests, aptitudes and preferences. They look like unnecessary details to you but a professional counsellor can help you understand it in depth. This exercise may help you gain a better understanding of yourself and utilize it in your personal life decisions as well. A face to face/ telephonic / Video discussion can take place later at your convenience once you have taken care of your immediate career decision and related administrative procedures. In fact, it is highly recommended to have a detailed session with your counsellor only when you are completely at ease and not under the pressure of some upcoming deadline