- Education

What are the best models for self-assessment that can help facilitate a positive career change?

Education plays a crucial role in society and is the hallmark of any vibrant, developed nation. This is because education teaches us the key skills we need to navigate the world and succeed in life. While this is naturally true on a personal level, it is especially important for our working lives. Having a good level of general education makes it easier to not only find a job but also to perform it well.

When it comes to higher education, specific qualifications such as degrees are crucial because they teach you industry-specific knowledge. As a result, specific degrees are often needed to work in certain roles. Education is also very useful when it comes to changing careers. Here is a look at why this is so important. 

Education helps prepare you for your new career

In the same way that academic learning can help prepare you to move into specific fields right out of college, it can also be useful when preparing to switch careers. If the role you have targeted needs specific qualifications you don’t have, completing a suitable academic course can help resolve this. 

Academic learning is also a way to gain the skills and knowledge required to perform your new role to the best of your abilities. It enables you to move into a new career with total confidence and enjoy a successful, rewarding adventure.

Moving into nursing as a new career 

A good example of this idea in action is someone who wants to move into the nursing profession from another unrelated sector. One of the major barriers here is not possessing the necessary qualifications to make this switch right away. However, courses are more accessible than ever thanks to online learning, and the process of studying for new qualifications does not have to take a long time. In fact, fast track nursing programs such as those offered by Elmhurst University offer students the chance to become registered nurses in under two years.

Making the right career choice is essential when switching  

While you may feel that your current career path is wrong for you and find yourself desperate for a change, many people do not know which industry to move into instead. This can be a difficult issue for some because it means they cannot see a way out of their current sector. 

Not knowing which career path you wish to switch to also stops you from taking steps to make it happen. This can result in delays when it comes to picking up new skills you may need in a new role.

Of course, not knowing which career you plan to pursue next can also cause you to switch to the wrong one by mistake. People may do this when they are fed up with their current job and feel that anything else would be better – even if they are not sure exactly where their passion lies. 

In this case, it is easy to jump into a new industry that is not suitable for you and that you do not enjoy being part of. It also means you may switch into a sector in which you do not have the right traits or characteristics to excel.

How do you know which career you want to move into next? 

We have noted above that facilitating a positive change in your career relies heavily on knowing which sector you want to move into next. It also depends on knowing what skills you need to succeed in the new role. The first step is to conduct some research into any career you are considering and pin down the essential skills that are required for succeeding in it.

However, this is not enough to guarantee a positive career change on its own. In addition, you must undertake some serious self-assessment to see what skills you possess, where you may need to improve, and if your personality aligns with the new industry you’ll move into.

If you have what it takes, you can be fairly sure you are switching to a role that you are well-suited to. If you do not seem to have the skills needed for the career you plan to move into, you can take steps to develop them through study or find another sector that suits you better.

Best models for self-assessment 

A good way to guide you on the right path is using the best self-assessment models. These easy-to-follow processes allow you to get a clear idea of your skills and areas where you might need improvement. Many will look at the personality type you have as well.  

Once you have used these models to assess your own skills and personality, you can look to change into a career that is best suited to them. This should make any career change a positive one and ensure you enjoy your new position. 

What are the top self-assessment models when it comes to facilitating career changes? 

SWOT analysis

One of the top self-assessment models in terms of individuals is SWOT analysis. Although this can often be used on projects or to assess whole organizations, it is also effective when applied to people. Personal SWOT analysis involves examining your:

  • Strengths 
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

How does this technique help before changing careers? The most obvious example is the way it digs into your strengths and skills in which you have a high aptitude. You may conduct a SWOT analysis on yourself and find you are an excellent communicator, which is ideal for a range of sectors. 

By the same token, using this analysis technique personally can help you identify areas of weakness. This can show you where you need to improve if these skills are essential for the sector you want to move into. 

Opportunities can be useful to delve into because they show you which sectors may be on the rise or which particular roles are currently in high demand. Looking into potential threats is also worthwhile because it can highlight any negative personality traits that could stop you from thriving in a new career. 

Holland Code 

This is another tool for self-assessment that can be useful when thinking about changing the professional path you are on. The Holland Code is a test developed by American psychologist John L. Holland that helps to determine your suitability for certain careers. It is based on careers being split across six distinct types: 

  • Investigative 
  • Social
  • Realistic
  • Artistic
  • Conventional 
  • Enterprising 

The Holland Code test identifies the type of career that may be best for you from the above list and compares them to other areas. At the end of the test, people are given a three-letter code, and this shows their most pronounced personality types. By finding out the type of role you would be best suited to and whether the career you plan to switch to suits your personality, you will be able to make a more informed choice.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator 

Another effective and widely used tool for self-assessment is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This was created by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs but is based on Jung’s theory of the four major ways people experience the world around them. This encompasses thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition. 

The MBTI test involves filling out a questionnaire that digs into how you experience the world around you and what type of personality you might have. By doing this, you reveal more about yourself and why you may act in a certain way in some situations. This can be useful when thinking about changing careers because you can choose to work in an environment that triggers your positive behaviors.

It can also help you learn more about your personality and whether it aligns well with the career you’ll move into. Someone who is laid-back may well not enjoy working in a frantic, fast-paced sector such as hospitality.

SOAR analysis 

Whether it is online education or more traditional studies, SOAR analysis is often taught in business programs. It is also something that is effective in terms of analyzing yourself.

SOAR analysis is similar to SWOT in the sense that it looks at your particular areas of strength and weakness. Where it differs is the focus it places on aspirations and results. As the name suggests, these are looked at in SOAR instead of opportunities and threats.

Aspirations focus mainly on what sector you most want to operate in, why you are so interested in it, and what you expect to get from working in it. Results help you to define how you will track your progress toward your aspirations and can help you move into the sector you feel best suited to. 

By including results in this analysis model, people can stick to their plan for achieving a positive career change. They can also highlight their progress in moving into an industry they have identified as suiting their strengths. Many people prefer to use SOAR for self-assessment purposes as it can be seen as more action-based and effective in pinpointing the sector(s) in which you aspire to work.

NOISE analysis 

As with SWOT and SOAR, NOISE analysis is often used in relation to whole businesses or large-scale projects. It can also be used as a self-development tool and one that can highlight skills and areas of strength. By doing this, you can choose a career to move into that relies heavily on these skills. 

The individual elements of this model include: 

  • Needs (What do you need to move into an exciting new career?)
  • Opportunities (What external issues are stopping you from doing this or developing the skills required?)
  • Improvements (How can you adapt to find or take advantage of career-based opportunities?)
  • Strengths (What do you excel in, and what are your top skills?)
  • Exceptions (Which of the four elements above are missing?)

The overall aim of NOISE analysis is to dig into what might be missing from your current skills at work and see what could be holding you back from making a positive career move. In addition, it is focused on finding solutions to this and identifying which skills you are strong in already. The use of opportunities is in line with other self-assessment models and helps you concentrate on what openings might be present already in terms of changing careers.

Stepping outside of academic self-assessment models 

These techniques are proven, widely used on a global scale, and effective at revealing more about your strengths and weaknesses, but some people may choose to adopt a more informal approach to assessing their capabilities. How can you approach this?

A good place to start is by asking friends or family who know you well for their opinion. While this will naturally come with some bias, it can often throw up some surprises in terms of what others think you’re good at. People can often see things we do not in terms of our own skills. 

Family and friends can also be a good source of advice on which new career would be a positive change for you. They may suggest a sector you have not thought of before or offer reasons why an industry you had planned to move into might not be suitable. When gaining a range of opinions from other people you trust, you can often stumble across some very useful insights. 

Basic approach to self-analysis for positive career changes

If you want to stick to pure self-assessment to facilitate a positive change in your career, you could try a more basic version of the models we have explored. Just writing down what you are good at and what you struggle with can be enough to make the right choice. 

It can also help to think about what tasks you like doing in your current job and seeing if any new career includes them. Another good tip is to think about the type of role you enjoy and look at career changes that deliver this. For example, if you like working with a lot of different people, a career-facing role might be right for you.

Self-assessment can be a positive experience 

A lot of people shudder when they think about undertaking any kind of self-reflection and looking deeper into the skills they possess or where they might need improvement. This is understandable, but do not let your fears hold you back from this valuable exploration.

Self-reflection can be a very rewarding experience that can motivate you to improve and develop skills in areas that might need work. Highlighting where you are strong can also be a real confidence booster and give your self-esteem a major lift. 

How does this all tie in with changing your job? Using the top self-assessment models can fill you with enough confidence to not only switch roles but also excel in your new one. In addition, they allow you to work on areas of weakness that could hold you back in your new role and prevent this from souring the experience.

Personality-based models of self-assessment also come in handy for moving into a new career that you will enjoy and get the most from. All this clearly shows that self-assessment is something anyone should do before switching industries.

What if you make the wrong career choice after self-analysis? 

If you have performed a period of proper self-assessment before switching careers, this should not happen – but what can you do if it does? 

The first thing to look at is how long you have been in the new position and what it is you don’t like. It pays to give yourself a good amount of time to settle into any new job and avoid moving on from it too quickly. By thinking about what it is you don’t like about it, you can plan how to combat this. This could entail developing new skills to make previously tough tasks enjoyable or getting used to how the industry in question operates. 

If you find yourself desperate to move on again, it is best to use a top self-assessment model before deciding on where to head next. This should help you avoid moving into another industry you don’t like and make for a much more positive experience. 

Know where you are before choosing where to go

It is impossible to know which career path to take next if you do not have a firm understanding of who you are as a person. This applies not only in terms of your skills but also your overall personality. A great tip for making a positive change to your career is undergoing a period of self-reflection to understand where you excel, what type of personality you have, and which skills may need improvement. 

By doing this, you can pinpoint which new industries would suit you best and give yourself every chance of success. The self-analysis models we have looked at are an excellent starting point and can help you make the right decision when choosing another career path to take.

About Ishani Ramson

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