Quick Quiz to Start You on Your Way
In today’s changing job markets, how can you determine your best career path? That’s not an easy one to answer. Make careful choices, considering your strengths, your passions, and your needs. Consult professional career counselors, visit a career development center in your area, or even take a career planning course at your community college. To get you in the mood, here’s a quick, unscientific, just-for-fun career path quiz.
1. What are you naturally good at?
a. Focusing on a detailed plan for a specific task
b. Planning a huge party
c. Writing music, spinning stories, or creating works of art
2. When you use your top skills do you need:
a. Deep thinking time
b. Lots of tools and equipment
c. A team of people to make you shine
3. When you’re working, which style suits you best?
a. A quiet place where you can rely on your own skills.
b. A super-charged, active environment.
c. Opportunities to share what you know and demonstrate your skill.
4. Do you prefer:
a. Solid directions and constructive criticism
b. Visible results that reaffirm your progress
c. All eyes and ears focused on you
5. At a party would you rather bond with:
a. A doctor
b. A computer programmer
c. A diva
6. If you’re to feel happy and secure you need:
a. A solid income, positive feedback, and a mentor
b. Decent money, sense of community, and a chance to advance
c. All the money in the world and the adoration of everyone you meet, more or less
7. Your level of education and training is most like this:
a. You’ve taught yourself a specific skillset and you excel at OTJ learning.
b. You have an associate degree or better and love continuing education.
c. Who needs education? You were born for fame and fortune.
8. Your idea of an activity level is:
a. Bring it on—you work out every day and still have energy.
b. Keeping fit and healthy is important but no need to be a fanatic.
c. You’re almost compulsive about everything including exercise.
9. How do you get along with people—all people?
a. You can be a team player and you don’t mind some alone time.
b. You like being the captain but also enjoy other’s input from time to time.
c. You love being head and shoulders above the masses and you’ve perfected the royal wave.
10. The perfect work day is:
a. 9-5 with time and a half beyond that.
b. Working till the task is completed, but it’s nice to have some comp time or long lunches.
c. Your work is your life and you’re “on” all the time.
11. Retirement looks like this:
a. A solid pension program, camping and fishing, relaxation
b. A second home for getaways, good health, and group activities
c. Money, fame, and a book deal
12. Your idea of risk looks most like this:
a. Life is a risk and you try to keep a bit of control.
b. Risk is OK if the payoff is worth it.
c. Life’s a circus, the world is a carnival ride and you say, “Go for it!”
What your answers might mean:
Not all people can succeed at all jobs—many factors play into how satisfied you might be in a given type of occupation. Of course, not all lawyers have identical personalities and not all baseball heroes have the same education, but your answers above may indicate that you’d be most comfortable in a certain type of endeavor.
Here’s my take on it:
If your answers were mostly A choices you resemble people successful in hands-on fields—medicine, science, skilled trades, teaching. Those careers are fairly structured, require specific knowledge of tasks and procedures, and provide consistent supervision. Financial rewards are adequate and job satisfaction is often solid.
Those who answered mostly B might find dream jobs in computer programming and law. Other possibilities include corporate management, consulting, entrepreneurs, architects, designers, production oriented jobs. These folks are managers, thinkers, and dreamers who believe in advanced education. There’s fair to great money here and, often, job security.
If your answers consistently fall in the mostly C area, creative juices drive you and you may be destined for stardom where risks are high, financial rewards might be stupendous, and you could find yourself at the center of an adoring crowd. These are movie stars, rock stars, sports star, and acclaimed novelists. At the top is a small and select group, but don’t despair. You might not be destined for celebrity, but you’ll love pursuing any career in the creative arts, even if it’s as simple as being a local journalist.
The best career advice, is think about what you’re good at, do what you love, and the rest will follow. Whether you define success in dollars, in satisfaction, in accolades, or in pats on the back, if you remain true to your own passions and fine-tune your talents, you’ll be on the way to a long and happy life’s work.