Part 4: Other Career Theories (not Career Personality theories)
Some of the career trait theory tests do not measure personality characteristics but instead measure abilities, aptitudes and values. While these do not fall into career personality theories, tests of this nature should be considered as part of your career decision process.
Career ability tests are almost the same as career aptitude tests with an expanded and more detailed explanations for career applications such as the Highlands Ability Battery. They identify where a person’s ability to perform in a certain career role and could be viewed therefore as providing some insight to career success. Career values tests, of which there are few useful ones on the market with the exception of Career Anchors, assess ones current priorities critical for making a final career decision.
In addition to career type and trait theories, there are factor and life span theories. Holland’s typology could be categorized as factor theory in that it classifies occupations by certain task factors. The Strong Interest Inventory is the best career test example of this career theory. Others include Self-Directed Search and Campbell Interest Inventory.
Life span career theory is the final other type of career theory. Donald Super constructed the life span and life space theory identifying the critical influences on a person in different roles and life stages. Few tests are available for life span theories. Assessment of life span typically relies on paper pencil exercises or career interviews with a career counselor or career coach.
Career personality testing is usually one of the first steps a career coach or career counselor should take you through once they have assessed a person’s career needs. A Life Span assessment should be included in the assessment or career profiling phase and ideally should follow the career personality testing phase.
Career Life Span Assessments identify key career and work values and the current priority of these values which a person uses to ultimately decide upon one of the possible suitable career paths. It also identifies current lifestyle needs and influences of others on the decision. If ever a person struggles with choosing between career options, it is wise to engage in a type of life span assessment. The Career Profiler identifies the life span assessment phase as the nurture part of the profiling step. See Career Steps Model.