A job isn’t everything, but it’s far from nothing. On the average weekday, people spend more time at work than with their families. As writer Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our day is, of course, how we spend our lives.” If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve had a job you, more or less, hated. You may still work at that job. And if so, you’ve likely considered finding another.
However, most of us don’t want any job. We want THE job. Humans desire more than a gig to help them make ends meet; they want a career, a role taken seriously, and the security and respect that comes with that.
Yet, individuals with a career so meaningful aren’t a common commodity; in fact, they’re rare. They’re so scarce that we even attach fanciful names to our ideal professions, such as “dream jobs.” That name says it all: dream job. Even the term itself is rife with conflict. Dreams happen in the ethereal, where experience collides with imagination. And therein lies the tragedy, jobs are finite, literal, and concrete, anything but dreams. Their requirements and responsibilities align neatly in a quantified series of bullets to read and boxes to check on an Indeed jobs post.
And yet, we dream on, idealizing and constructing an imagined reality we hope has potential. This reality has us working on something we care about, usually for a fee that renders us considerably wealthier and, heaven forbid, a bit happier than we are in our current positions.
In this series, you’ll find instructions for taking the first steps to realizing your ideal career. These posts serve as the initial blueprints to help you toward career fulfillment. You’ll gain a better idea of how to find out what your dream job is. And if not that, you’ll at least know how to find pieces of the career puzzle. And in case you haven’t picked up on this from this article’s title, aptitude testing is involved.
Finding a great career isn’t a waiting game; it’s a hunt. The milestones along the path to meaningful employment can be measured not in miles traveled but in targets of problems solved. Thus, this series will focus on solving three problems and how aptitude tests help you do it.
Problem 1: How To Switch Careers With Aptitude Testing
Choosing a career path is challenging. The complexity of the decision can leave us feeling overwhelmed and uncertain, and for good reason. Research shows that the more stressed we are about careers, the worse it makes our job prospects and often leads to indecision. I promise it doesn’t have to be this way. This series will explore how aptitude testing enables you to change careers effectively. Believe it or not, changing a career resembles changing a tire. The most obvious similarity is that both are done much more manageably with tools. Have you ever changed a tire before? It likely doesn’t rank high on the “most enjoyed moments” list.
However, imagine changing a tire without a tire iron or a car jack. The difference between having the right tool or not means the difference between a problem being solvable or impossible. Changing a tire is simple, but it’s only simple with tools. The same analogy applies to finding a career. You just need to wield the right tool for the correct problem.
The tool for finding the optimal career for you lies in the most effective guidance. By “effective guidance,” I mean data-driven, evidence-based insights. An advanced aptitude test is the right way to start a career transition. Aptitude tests (or at least the right one) give you powerful insights into your…
- Mechanical Aptitude
- Problem-solving ability
- Optimal Learning Strategies
- Project Management Approach
- Administrative Aptitude
- Technological Talent
Most careers fit into one or more of those categories. Thus, knowing where your aptitudes lie is crucial. The benefits of an aptitude test are apparent. Otherwise, you’re operating on incomplete or completely wrong information at worst. And if so, you’re in for a world of confusion. Without proper career data on our aptitudes, we may find ourselves on a path that does not align with our abilities, talents, or interests. This mismatch can lead to dissatisfaction, lack of fulfillment, and feeling stuck, not to mention financial stress. Aptitude testing comes to the rescue by providing insights into your natural abilities, strengths, and inborn talents. It helps us understand ourselves better and make career choices that align with who we are at our core.
Problem 2: Career Change Dilemma
Many individuals reach a point where they yearn for more fulfillment and satisfaction. They realize that they are not living up to their full potential or that their current career path no longer excites them. However, making a career change can be intimidating. There are fears of the unknown, concerns about financial stability, and doubts about starting over. I feel you. I’ve been there.
Aptitude testing plays a crucial role in this scenario by helping individuals identify transferable skills, explore new career options, and gain the confidence needed to pursue a different path. It validates their decision to change and empowers them to embrace new opportunities.
In this post, we’ll discuss how aptitude testing can help determine if you need to switch careers. If you do, we’ll give you a clear plan to do it, starting with aptitude testing.
Problem 3: How an Aptitude Test Can Help a College Student Pick a Career
College sets the course of a student’s career. Well, technically, it doesn’t have to. But it sure makes things easier if it does. Most students understand the importance of picking a major. However, many students feel overwhelmed by the pressure to make the right choice. They may need clarification on their interests, talents, or the range of career options available to them. Aptitude testing provides valuable guidance to college students by assessing their natural abilities.
When I say “natural abilities,” I don’t mean their personalities. I mean inborn talent or a proclivity to wake up and naturally excel at something. Natural ability doesn’t give you a free pass to not work hard at improving your craft. After all, Beethoven held a surplus of musical talent but still put his hours of practice in. But, in an ideal world where everyone gets what they want, you would ideally find yourself in a job that capitalizes on your natural strengths. This scenario works loads better than spending most of your energy overcoming your weaknesses.
Additionally, college students knowing their aptitudes have other benefits. If they know their strengths, they know when they’re underutilized. Speaking to parents of future college students, my colleague and friend Jo Leanard, a career coach based in Pennsylvania, wrote this.
There will be times in your kid’s life, I can almost guarantee it, when they…
a) decide to leave their job because they hate it
b) get fired
c) decide to go back to higher education
d) want to take a break from their careers to regroup.
Ideally, students take aptitude tests in high school. But late is better than never. College students benefit more from aptitude testing than high school students because time works against them. They have to make their career decisions in less time. Thus, college students or parents of colleges readily see and want the benefits of aptitude testing.
Your career matters, and making career choices aren’t easy. Aptitude testing offers a valuable tool to navigate the challenges associated with career choice. By providing insights into our natural abilities, strengths, interests, and values, aptitude testing helps us make informed decisions, gain clarity, and enhance our confidence in pursuing fulfilling careers. Stay tuned for the upcoming blog posts in this series, where we will provide practical guidance and strategies to leverage aptitude testing for a successful career journey.
 This study identified the 5 people that make up a ‘work family, Umoh, Ruth – accessed at https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/14/this-study-identified-the-5-people-that-make-up-a-work-family.html on 26 June 2023.
 Do I decide my career? Linking career stress, career exploration, and future work self to career planning or indecision, Zhang Z, Yu X, Liu X – accessed at Front Psychol. 2022 Aug 23;13:997984. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.997984. PMID: 36081730; PMCID: PMC9448360.
 How to ensure your kid is never unemployed, Leonard, Jo – accessed at https://joleonard.com/how-to-ensure-your-kid-is-never-unemployed/ on 29 June 2023.