While one should never discount the value of good old fashioned intuition, a vocational assessment is one way to steer career seeking individuals in the right direction. After all, the hardest part of finding a job is often figuring out what career path you want to pursue. Once you have that questioned answered it’s just a matter of formulating a plan that will get you where you want to go. Often, the creation of that plan is also part of a vocational assessment.
A vocational assessment is a comprehensive process that systematically uses work, either real or simulated, as the focal point for assessment and vocational exploration, the purpose of which is to assists individuals with vocational development. Vocational evaluation incorporates medical, psychological, social, vocational, educational, cultural, and economic data into the process to attain the goals of evaluation” (Dowd, 1993). Source: VEWAA Glossary of Terminology
The purpose of vocational assessment is to:
- Provide a comprehensive plan of what an individual CAN do and plan a course of action to reach that goal
- Enhance an individual’s self-knowledge and vocational decision-making abilities
- Maximize one’s ability to successfully secure employment in a desired field
So you may be thinking, “Okay, that’s great! But what does that mean and how does it help me?”
The answer is simple. A vocational assessment streamlines the career development process by helping an individual identify what type of career best suits him/her based on their existing interests, skills, strengths, and abilities, as well as the likelihood of securing employment in their chosen field based on aptitude and current job availability.
However, while the answer may seem simple, the process is not. Almost all of us at one time or another has asked ourselves what we wanted to do for a living. I think it’s safe to assume that long ago most of us accepted the reality that winning the lottery isn’t a good plan.
Don’t be afraid to seek assistance in determining your future or helping someone else determine theirs. At the end of the day, the decisions you make and the direction you take are still up to you. However, learning things about yourself that you previously didn’t know may help you identify careers you never before considered because you didn’t realize they involve activities you’re already passionate about.
For more information on vocational assessments, call Goodwill of Greater Washington at (202) 636-4225.