What is the Purpose of the Assessment Phase of Career Development?

Every student and career changer faces questions about their strengths and whether their potential occupational choices match potential majors or significant fields of study. Research-based career assessments and inventories can provide answers.

Assessment tools should support the following goals of career development: Expanding self-awareness – Interests, Skills, and Values. Furthermore, a practical assessment should help a person to increase external awareness.


Self-awareness refers to being aware of oneself: character traits, emotions, motives, and desires. It involves mindful reflection over time. Students who possess self-awareness understand what they like and dislike, their career goals, and if their actions meet internal standards; this gives them confidence when seeking opportunities that align with their skill set, interests, and values.

Career assessment tools such as interest inventories, assessments and workbooks, and assessment centers can assist individuals in becoming more self-aware. These tools can be utilized by students engaging in career exploration, new college graduates entering the workforce, and experienced professionals looking for their next move. While no single test can accurately indicate which occupation best matches one’s skillset values and interests – these assessments aim to give individuals insight that enables them to make this determination for themselves.

Whether you are conducting a career assessment for students exploring their options or an experienced employee evaluating their current circumstances, it is crucial that before proceeding with this tool, it is analyzed about audience, objective, environment, and debriefing period as well as support strategies during its use.

For instance, when conducting an online career assessment, all users should have access to it, and you should provide a proctor or counselor to oversee and facilitate its use. Furthermore, ensure enough resources to meet with every user to discuss their results and offer feedback.

Finally, you must understand how an assessment will enable each aspect of self-discovery to the diamond shape. Career assessments usually increase self-awareness to various degrees by helping individuals learn more about themselves while at the same time helping individuals to connect their unique traits, preferences, skills, and interests to specific careers.

This may involve providing the individual with a list of careers that align with their characteristics or introducing them to a path they hadn’t considered previously. Either way, the goal should be to help them see how their unique skills and interests can help achieve professional satisfaction.


Interests are one of the critical elements in career development and have been shown to predict job satisfaction and stability. They’re an essential element in career advancement but one of the more complex components to assess – not simply knowing what you like doing and enjoying, but also knowing the skillset and environment which best fit with them.

Career counselors utilize interest inventories as an effective method to identify an individual’s interests, which are questionnaires designed to measure them. Such inventory questions usually rank different activities or people from general to occupationally specific. Holland’s RIASEC model, for instance, categorizes interests into six groups: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.

Other career assessment tools include value assessments, personality tests, and aptitude assessments. Though all assessment tools have limitations, they can still provide helpful information to assist individuals during career development. When choosing an assessment instrument, it’s essential to remember its audience, objective, environment, and user debrief. It is also vital that an advisor be available post-assessment.

Studies on graduate students revealed that their career interests changed over time, which is consistent with career theory, supporting the notion that curriculum and other experiences during university play an essential part in career interest formation (Bimrose et al. 2005; Dalyrimple et al. 2021).

The most frequent change was within their Standard Industrial Classification category, followed by shifting to another broad SIC category and becoming more or less sure of their action plan. A few graduates reported rejecting one plan altogether, leaving them uncertain of their plans.

Other influences on career interest development included family, lecturers, and staff from lecturers or instructors, placements, or co-curricular activities. This is in keeping with previous research into compelling careers interventions which indicates teachers and other staff members play a vital role in supporting career learning (Quinlan et al., 2021).


Assessment Phase Employees will gather information about their professional abilities and interests to establish career goals. This process often includes exploring occupational options and reviewing skills to see whether they are transferrable or require further development. HR departments or independent consultants usually oversee this stage of career development and may include training programs designed to prepare them for new roles or responsibilities.

Assessment processes vary depending on what is being evaluated and its method, but some of the most crucial assessments include self-awareness, interest, and aptitude testing. Interests play an essential part in career assessment as people tend to work more effectively when they enjoy what they’re doing – those whose jobs they find stimulating often achieve the optimal engagement threshold known as “serious play,” meaning they enjoy their jobs while being practical.

Identification of interest is an integral component of career assessment because it can assist people in discovering careers that suit their personalities, values, and aptitude. Aptitude evaluation can be more challenging; although its influence could potentially have some effect on career decisions, it likely won’t have the same significant effect as other factors.

Career assessments go beyond these components, encompassing psychological testing and performance appraisal. Psychological tests such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or interest inventories can be valuable tools in career assessment; performance appraisals provide employees insight into which strengths and weaknesses most affect future job prospects.

Career planning workshops can also serve as an effective form of assessment. Led either by an HR representative from within the company or external consultants, these events provide participants with information regarding career opportunities in their organization. Furthermore, career planning workshops may also assess an employee’s skillset in preparation for promotion.

Career planning can be complex, yet necessary for making informed choices about jobs or careers. A comprehensive assessment should include areas like work content/technical skills, personal growth/management skills, and leadership abilities.


Self-assessment is integral to career development for many reasons, from helping you select work you enjoy doing to determining what skills and qualifications are necessary. Self-evaluation tools used during this process may include career workbooks, exploratory assessments, and individual counseling sessions.

Career assessment’s primary purpose is to identify a person’s most significant professional values, such as being an effective leader or working in high-pressure environments. Consolidating these values helps narrow down possible career options to explore.

Personality evaluations such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Holland Code personality profile can give people a good indication of which types of occupations might best suit them. Based on Jungian personality theory, these assessments believe those with certain personalities tend to thrive in certain professions more readily; for instance, extroverted people may fare better at sales than introverted individuals.

An essential aspect of career assessment is identifying occupations where a person may excel. An assessment may reveal that someone possesses qualifications for performing in several industries; any occupation not mentioned should not be discounted just because it doesn’t appear on an assessment result list. When exploring occupations that seem potentially suited, extensive research should be performed on any that appear promising to ensure it matches up well with one’s interests, aptitude, and values; this way, one can ensure their chosen career fits them and remains motivating enough for continued participation.