Utilizing Career Testing in Career Coaching

Career coaching should never just be about getting a job. It should be about finding your passion and your purpose. At Goose Creek Coaching, our career coaching is focused on helping people do just that. As someone involved in career coaching, life coaching and mental health coaching at the practice, I have three assessments at my disposable for those who are trying to find a road map for a rewarding work life.
With each of these assessments, it is important to view the client in a broad context. I liken it to a narrowing funnel where I am able to examine a client’s interests through an assessment and filter in and out certain options. Examining a client’s preferred ways of operating in the world helps us further narrow the list. Reviewing a client’s resume, work history, life experience, confidence and skillset helps we funnel it even further. Then, examining the client’s financial, emotional, geographic and family needs helps us, hopefully, narrow the list to a promising handful of occupations that we begin exploring.
The process of helping people begin to search for a position moves more smoothly in many cases when we utilize assessments. Once the process is done, we are often ready to work together to apply for jobs, develop resumes, write winning cover letters and prepare for interviews. Knowing the client helps the coach do a better job; knowing yourself helps the client more easily get a job.
The three primary tests we utilize are the Strong Interest Inventory, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation. Clients can take any combination of the tests that they decide, with input from their coach, to take. There are several versions of each test, some focusing on college students, high school students, those going through career transition and other scenarios.
The Strong Interest Inventory helps us zero in on the top 10 occupations that have the potential to be most satisfying in a client’s life, general occupational themes that give us an idea of broad interest areas and personal styles in the work place. The Strong provides highly personalized results based on answers to hundreds of questions that compare the results to more than 250 occupations. The test also compares a client’s answers to answers of those who are satisfied or dissatisfied in certain fields. An option with the Strong is to also take a Skills Confidence Inventory that assess an individual’s self-assurance about their ability to succeed in certain fields.
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator, known as the MBTI, is an assessment that has been taken by millions of people to help them develop a framework or positive change, to build better relationships and to realistically achieve their goals. The assessment results are based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type and provide practical information about a client’s preferred way of operating overall and in four specific areas. The areas of focus are based on whether an individual gets their strength from a natural outward focus or an inward focus; whether they prefer to take in information and process it through a step-by-step fashion or in an intuitive big picture fashion; whether they make decisions based on logic or personal considerations and whether they deal best with the world in a planned or spontaneous fashion.
The third test, the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation, or FIRO, helps us understand a client’s interpersonal needs and how those needs impact their behavior and communication style. Its primary focus is on how a client behaves toward other people and how a client wants people to behave toward them. The test assesses the client’s expressed – what they tend to do – and wanted – how much they want others to do — need to be a part of a group, to control a situation and for affection.  The FIRO can help a client make change in their behaviors, give them specific insights into the needs of others and help us come up with developmental recommendations for clients.
Utilizing these assessments, along with individualized coaching, to help filter potential career fields helps increase the likelihood of success for our clients. It’s an approach that we designed to help make sure that when our clients come back, it’s only for tweaking of their resumes, preparing for an interview or getting ready for a change – not because they are still unsure of what their passion and their purpose is.

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