Almost daily, people ask me how they can find career help. They feel stuck, they can't find a job, they want to change positions, and the list goes on. What to do? There are a number of career assessment tools, self-help career books, and career coaches — all of which are valuable for enabling people to navigate their career progress.
In terms of assessment tools, there are many that you can use to better understand your career interests. Some of the more popular ones include: the Work Expectations Profile, Career Anchors, Strong Interest Inventory, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Career Leader. These tools are often used to help people see how their interests are similar to others in certain careers, to help them figure out their primary areas of competence, motives and career values, or to measure the importance of various work expectations they have. Using assessments enables individuals to explore fields that they had not previously considered.
You can also use self-help career books to undertake a career journey on your own. "What Color Is Your Parachute?" is a well-known workbook that is published annually, offering exercises and thought-provoking questions to stimulate career discovery. Gallup's Strengths Finder 2.0 is another book that includes an online assessment that you can complete to determine your top five talents, and a discussion of 50 ideas for action based on your talents. There is also the very popular "Knock 'Em Dead" series of books (for resumes, cover letters and other career search strategies). All of these resources, along with the many others available, offer advice and tips on skills to practice to improve the likelihood of finding a job with a good personal fit.
You can also work with a career coach to explore your career interests, review your resume and practice interviewing. Career coaches can often help you figure out your passions for what you really want to do or areas where you excel. They can provide the tools or practice needed to help you take your job search to the next level. They can be helpful when you have tried everything you can think of and you are still at a loss in the job market, or you just don't know what direction to go in.