Find Your Calling is no Magic 8 ball, but if it were, let’s talk about how to shake it.
As those who have explored Find Your Calling already know, the website kicks off with a quick assessment where you rate your favorite (and least favorite) types of activities, after which you explore the careers that Find Your Calling recommends for you. Sounds simple enough. But believe it or not, there’s a right and a wrong way to take the assessment and navigate the results if you want to find your calling.
Taking the Assessment
Want the best career recommendations? Keep these six tips in mind as you take the assessment:
- Be quick. Don’t overthink your answers. Overanalyzing is killer! Come back and adjust later if you have to.
- Be honest. Don’t put down what you wish you were. And whatever you do, don’t compete with the person next to you for what you think is “cool.” They are what they are; you be you.
- Stay reasonable. Don’t answer all the way YES or all the way NO. I know, it’s hard, but in real life you will have to do at least a little of everything and you won’t be able to spend every minute on your favorite activities—nope, not even when you’ve found your calling.
- Think back. If you have trouble deciding your natural preferences, think back to when you were little. You weren’t on the spot then.
- Be surprised! It happens all the time. “I didn’t even know that was a job!” and “I never thought about that before but it’s right up my alley” are common responses as students explore the career results.
- Fine-tune. Taking the assessment a couple times might be a good idea as you get to know yourself better and see how your career results correspond.
Then try breaking down the questions like this:
Q1: In your day job, how much time would you like to spend planning activities, organizing things, managing lots of details?
Ask yourself: When you were little, did you like putting stuff in its proper place? Cleaning your room? Planning parties? Organizing group activities?
Q2: How much time would you like to spend exploring, figuring out how things work, solving problems?
Ask yourself: Are you always wondering how the car works or where electricity comes from? Are you constantly exploring and making new discoveries?
Q3: How much time would you like to spend working with your hands; building or fixing stuff?
Ask yourself: Are you always fixing your bike? Baking a cake? Helping your dad put together a new bookshelf?
Q4: How much time would you like to spend persuading, convincing, influencing?
Ask yourself: Are you a natural at convincing your parents to get a dog, or getting your friends to watch this movie over that movie?
Q5: How much time would you like to spend helping people by advising, coaching, or teaching?
Ask yourself: When a friend comes to you with a problem, do you enjoy helping them through it? Do you like coaching younger kids through a game? Are you quick to see how something can be done better, and advising others on how to do it?
Q6: How much time would you like to spend expressing your ideas through art, music, theater, film, or writing?
Ask yourself: Do you like being on stage? Do you find yourself doodling on your paper while your teacher talks? Do you enjoy playing with words?
When you arrive at the array of career categories—like finance, business, health services—notice that they’re ranked by how closely they probably match your interests. Each category is labeled with a “match” percentage: 96% match, 90% match, 76% match, etc. But there’s no rule about sticking with the careers of 90% or higher! Find Your Calling isn’t a fortune teller; it’s a smart tool that helps you find your calling. So roam far and wide. Poke around. Explore the careers that sound interesting.
Filtering the Results
I’m a 31-year-old writer with half a dozen job descriptions under my belt—everything from teaching to conference planning to interviewing convicted felons—but despite this experience I still discovered careers I’d never heard of, certainly ones I’d never considered for me. I also discovered careers I wouldn’t exactly adore but would probably be stinking good at.
My assessment tells me 96% finance, 93% business & management, 90% information technology. Lower down are 88% marketing & sales and 86% logistics & transportation.
Some of this makes perfect sense. I’ve worked heavily in management and marketing and closely alongside sales, and I did love flying the seaplane when the pilot handed me the controls (for a few seconds!). But finances? I still wrinkle my nose. No matter how I take the assessment, I can’t get finances to stop showing up on top.
But I’m not worried. Why? Because what Find Your Calling cannot detect (is not meant to detect) is the fact that while I do enjoy indulging my OCD by organizing data in infinite Excel spreadsheets, I don’t like numbers. At all. Math has always felt about as warm and friendly as a corpse. My math score was below my English on the SAT (most people are the other way around) and I’m still haunted by the five years that I spent in a perpetual fog trying to understand Algebra. So…yeah, no, not really into finance. And that’s okay.
On the other hand, once I click on the finance category, the very first job title gets me excited. Why? Risk management specialist. Two magic words: risk and management. I’m an undeniable manager. Details are my friends and I’ve always been bossy (sorry, siblings). I’m also addicted to risk analysis: What could go wrong in any given situation? What are the chances of everything going sideways? How can I stop that from happening?
So right here FYC shows me an opportunity that I could easily have rejected out of hand. By no means do I plan to switch careers, but I’m still nicely surprised at how well Find Your Calling actually knows me.
The moral of the story is, apply your knowledge of yourself while keeping an open mind. Don’t take Find Your Calling as gospel, but don’t toss one of your top results just because you feel an allergic reaction coming on. Click and see! You won’t know until you do.
Take the assessment on Find Your Calling. You can also download the slides and notes from our training presentation for more details on how Find Your Calling works. Still need help? Contact us about scheduling a live training: firstname.lastname@example.org.