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The Scoop on Career Assessments

MoneyWise | May 5, 2022

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Show Notes

Finding the right work makes life a lot easier. As the saying goes, “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Today, Rob West talks about how to find that job.

  • Finding the right job starts with finding out what you love and what you’re good at. Romans 12:6 teaches that God has given each of us skills that enable us to do good works. It reads, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them … “
  • There are at least two times in life when finding the right job or career is especially important: when you’re dissatisfied with your present work, and when you’re deciding on what education to pursue.
  • One way to avoid dissatisfaction in your future work and avoid wasting money pursuing the wrong college major is to take a career assessment test. The woods are full of them, online and in print … for example, the Strong Interest Inventory by Myers-Briggs, the Career Aptitude Test by 1-2-3Test.com (that one’s actually free).
  • And of course, there’s Crown Financial Ministries’ Career Direct which is one of the few that is biblically based and designed to show your God-given skills and interests.
  • These assessments really aren’t tests where you’re given a grade like A, B or C, but more of a multiple-choice exercise with no wrong answers. Answer as honestly as possible and base your answers on how you feel now … not on what you’d like to be in the future. The results you get will only be as good as the information you put in.
  • A career assessment will only make broad suggestions for what field or fields you might pursue. For example, it might say that you’re well suited for something in the medical field. It won’t say that you should become a cardiologist … or for that matter, even a doctor. And any results are only a starting point for your career discovery process. You’ll need to do further exploration to confirm those results and narrow down the possibilities.
  • In other words, a career assessment will get you to the right side of town – maybe even the right neighborhood – but you’ll have to go up and down the streets yourself.
  • The whole point is to reveal things about yourself that you may not be aware of. And think broadly about your results. Don’t focus too strongly on a particular field. An assessment may reveals that you’re a good listener, you care about others, and always want to help others with their problems. That could make you a candidate for a career in psychotherapy, but it could also mean that you’d do well in ministry. So think broadly about all the possibilities.
  • You may be a little skeptical, especially if you’ll be paying $100 to $500 for an assessment. There are also free assessments, but sometimes you get what you pay for, so let your career exploration begin by checking out the assessments themselves. Read reviews and testimonies of people who’ve actually been helped by a given assessment.
  • You may want to take more than one assessment to corroborate any results you might get. You should also be talking to people who are actually doing the job or jobs you’re considering. Find out what’s involved. Being good at something is essential for liking your work, but being well-suited for a particular career doesn’t guarantee that you’ll like doing it.
  • And don’t forget that you have direct access to the greatest career counselor — God. As you go about your search, pray for wisdom and guidance. James 1:5 teaches, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

On this program, Rob also answers listener questions:

  • My 90-year-old father is a veteran and qualifies for help in paying for caregivers. If he pays me for this service, how do I file that on my taxes?
  • I want to take some equity out of my house since rates are low, and investing that to try to gain a few percent interest on my money. Is that a good idea?
  • I have a 401k that I will be rolling over to an IRA. My neighbor says I should put some of the money into a Roth IRA so that if my kids inherit it, they wouldn’t have to pay the taxes on it. Good idea or bad?
  • Should I buy a new car or lease one? In today’s car market, which makes more sense?
  • I’m finishing a nursing degree. Many hospitals are offering signing bonuses right now. How are those taxed?
  • I’m on disability, but I am able to work some on the side. What’s the best way to manage my money to get the most out of it so that my kids and I can enjoy some of God’s provision?

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