When I was in high school I took a career placement test (like probably everyone else.)
I still remember looking forward to getting those results because like many multi-passionate people I was torn in many directions.
I didn’t know which way to go.
Back then, I thought about going to veterinary school, being an interior designer, going to art school, being a marketer, going into social work, being a writer. . . seriously.
All of those things and more vied for the top position on my list.
So I was hoping that my career placement test would clear things up a little.
You know those times when an adult is kind of embarrassed to look at you as a kid?
This was one of those times.
I don’t know what I did to tick off the testing gods, but I couldn’t believe what stared back at me from that paper. . .
While I expected to get results that aligned with at least one of my interests, clearly nudging me in a direction, what I got back instead was shocking.
I got two results.
One of the results I don’t honestly remember. But the other one?
What?! I seriously couldn’t believe it. I was waiting for someone to jump out at any moment and tell me they were playing some sort of joke . . . but it didn’t happen.
My Shock and Horror
Circus performer just felt so off the mark from what I had expected.
I mean, hadn’t the test picked up on my love for art, or my need to be helpful? What about my interest in writing and compelling people with words?
No. None of that came through. Instead, it seemed to think that I should sport a sparkly sequined tutu and stand on an elephant.
I was horrified.
Not that there was anything wrong with performance or working in the circus, but that everything that I thought about myself could be horribly wrong. . .and that I might end up doing something I didn’t care about for the rest of my life. . .
I took that paper home and burned it in the sink.
What I Realized About My Career Placement Test
Slowly, after I stopped feeling bad about myself, I realized something.
There wasn’t anything wrong with me. There was something wrong with the test.
See these tests can’t possibly figure out something as complex and unique as a person.
People need to figure themselves out and then understand what their place is in the world – not get stuffed into little boxes.
Years later I’ve found that being a coach and an entrepreneur allows me to help people, write, be a marketer and create visual marketing pieces – which feed all of my interests. But no test picked up on that.
Maybe you’ve felt the same way? Like no test has ever really been able to point you in a career direction, and so you’re left trying to sort it out on your own. . .
Career Change for You
If you want to change careers, you can’t rely on some career placement test to tell you where you’re going to fit. Maybe you’ll have a better experience with your test than I had with mine, but still, you can’t rely on a piece of paper to guide you to a new career.
Instead, you need to be able to figure out what you want on your own.
What would you do if you didn’t have to work?
Do you have friends who have jobs you wish were yours?
Look around and see what you want for your life (even if you don’t think it’s quite realistic yet). Don’t aim for the impossible. Aim for something you think you could create if you went for it. . .
What would that be?
The First Step On Your Journey
You can create the career and life you want (just like I did – circus smircus!) and I’d love to show you how.