Access to resources gives people a headstart in life and career. Without wanting to spark a debate around fairness, equity and social justice on this post, the gap between those who know how to access the help they need, and those who don’t, won’t or can’t is growing and it’s incredibly damaging in terms of economic development and productivity, and critically, health and wellbeing.
Thankfully, if you have the resource of time, and a little motivation, I have found some free tools that you can use to help build some of the self-awareness that is useful to help you build actions and directions useful in your career or work. These are all tools I used before changing careers.
Holland codes (RIASEC) on Opensource Psychometrics
This is probably the most common (and pervasive) assessment tool around. It forms the base of a lot of rebranded tools, both in paper and online.
“The Holland Occupational Themes is a theory of personality that focuses on career and vocational choice. It groups people on the basis of their suitability for six different categories of occupations. The six types yield the RIASEC acronym, by which the theory is also commonly known. The theory was developed by John L. Holland over the course of his career, starting in the 1950s. The typology has come to dominate the field of career counseling and has been incorporated into most of the popular assessments used in the field.”
This resource was designed with Australian high school students in mind, but please, if you’re an adult, don’t let that put you off. This is a very powerful free tool, better than most paid offerings on the market. It’s a resource I used around 18-24 months before deciding to undertake post-graduate study to become a career counsellor and I found it incredibly useful to explore the reality of different options.
Take some time to explore the site. Set up a profile and navigate through the questions. These seemed similar to the usual interest profiling type questions. The really useful part is having a profile to work with that you can keep coming back to.
From there you can launch into exploring different industries and start to build your own ideas as you learn.
You can retake the questions again to test the validity. The first time I jumped in and did it was a particularly difficult time at work, so I retook a few weeks late to compare the results (there were just slight changes, though I personally found it really interesting).
My Next Move – oNet Interests Profiler
Based on the Holland codes, however, this also links to other free career exploration resources. Great for sparking ideas and exploring connected industries.
5-Minute Career Action Plan
This is a nifty self-guided document published in the UK. Honestly, this will take you longer than 5 minutes, as it should. Treat it as a live document, you may not be able to answer all the questions, use them as prompts to guide your discovery.
Your local library!
Depending on where you live, local libraries often provide access to a huge array of underutilised resources. Particularly a growing range of digital resources like Linkedin Learning (perfect for testing interest in learning about subject areas before committing to formal study) and eBooks. They can often be good places to find out about local services, you may even discover local career support is available, waiting to help, but doesn’t have a marketing budget and struggle to promote themselves to people.
PS – I love libraries 🙂