Along with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, the Strong Interest Inventory is one of the assessments I use a lot in my coaching practice. The Strong is an extremely effective tool for people who want to explore what other types of careers might be a viable option for them. It can also be used by students who are exploring options relative to the type of major they should pursue. There is actually a recently released version of the Strong that is directed specifically to students and people who are just starting their careers.
I want to write here about the use of the Strong as a tool for people interested in career exploration, career enrichment, and career transition. The assessment is administered online, and it generally takes about 40 minutes to complete. For many of the people with whom I have worked, taking the Strong was their first real opportunity to take a look at what might be a good fit for them in the context of their likes and dislikes.
The purpose of the Strong is to match the client up with certain careers based on the client’s interests as determined by the results of the assessment. Research has shown that people are happiest when they work with others who have similar interests, likes and dislikes. If you think about it, it makes a tremendous amount of sense. The assessment does not measure aptitude or education, nor does it tell you what specifically you have to do to enter any of the recommended careers. It is, however, an excellent starting point.
I do not believe that anyone should use the results as an absolute indication of the type of job/career they should pursue. Other things like personal values, financial needs, and other life situations have all to be taken into account. However, this tool, especially combined with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, gives us the real opportunity of exploring a path that just might lead us to true satisfaction with our careers and/or leisure activities. Of course, the results should be explored with a professional who can offer you objectivity and guidance throughout the process.