Building a career is not just about finding the best-paying job, then moving to the next as soon as possible. A career is something that you spend more time with than anything else in your life, even your family, so it has to be right. No matter how much the pay or prestige, if you really don’t like the work you do, or the lifestyle of that job or industry doesn’t fit your values and ideas, it can make work a daily challenge just to get through.
Finding a career that you enjoy, that suits your values and expectations, is just as, if not more important than, the terms and conditions of a specific job opportunity. Yet how many people do you know who chose a career almost at random? Sometimes this works, and finding that thing you are passionate about is certainly one way of identifying a career path you will find fulfilling over time, but that doesn’t work for everyone. After all, if your passion is model railroads, listening to music, or something else that you are unlikely to monetize easily, that is not much of a help where your career is concerned.
The Strong Interest Inventory® Defined
The Strong Interest Inventory® is a different approach to finding the career you are best suited for. Instead of leaving everything to chance, following what someone you know does, or just chasing rewards in the hope you can convince yourself to like whatever it is eventually, the assessment asks a series of questions to identify your areas of interest and then uses that data to evaluate the best types of career opportunities that fit your needs.
Taking somewhere between half and three-quarters of an hour, it is a comprehensive assessment that can really help you find the ideal option for your career. Given that the wrong career choice can have such a negative impact on your life, a test like this can really make a difference and is well worth pursuing. The Strong Interest Inventory has proven effective for people of all backgrounds and career goals, though what does it actually do?
By assessing your responses to career interests in a wide range of subjects and industries, it highlights areas where you have an affinity and as a result, suggests career choices based upon that.
Who Can Benefit from the Strong Interest Inventory?
Anyone who is looking to start or change a career can benefit from the test. It can be used by students too, with the test approved for use by anyone aged thirteen or older, however, for those under eighteen, a career counselor would usually utilize the College and Skills Confidence Inventory Test as a better tool for understanding the student’s preferences.
Because the test helps us understand not just the kind of areas you are interested in but also the way you prefer to work and the kind of environment that would suit you best, it can be a great help not just for the start of a career, but for anyone who is finding their current employment uncomfortable or just not the right fit.
For instance, the test can establish whether you would be better off working in a small group or a large team, and this alone could explain why you are struggling with your current work situation. Crucially, it is important to remember that it is never too late to take control of your career and find a better option. Taking the Strong Interest Inventory Test can be the first step on your journey to a better working experience, and that can transform your life.
Additionally, a new product entitled The Strong Interest Inventory 244 Career Satisfaction Report, created by Michael M. Morris, is a gender-neutral assessment, which is especially helpful for those who are binary or gender-neutral. The report also includes college-based items as well as career items; it includes one’s top 20 career options as well as their top 20 college major options based on their answers to the 244 items or questions.
Where to take the Strong Interest Inventory?
Completing The Strong Interest Inventory generally will take between 30-45 minutes. It has been proven to be a highly effective career and/or college utility. How you take it depends on your own situation and needs, there are two options to choose from.
Paper and Pencil Self-Scorable Version Option
Though not used these days very much, a self-scorable paper and pencil option for the Strong Interest Inventory is available. With the online version available, most people prefer to complete the assessment on their computer or tablet and simply submit their answers at a click of a button. An interpretation session with a certified assessment interpreter should always accompany your completed assessment to understand your report(s) best.
The self-scorable option can be useful for those that are not very computer or tech-savvy and have a difficult time using a PC or Mac Computer. Or for those in remote areas where internet access is limited.
By far, the most popular option today is a digital test taken online. The benefits are obvious. You can take it any time, wherever you are, whenever works best for you. Once you have completed your assessment(s) you will receive a PDF copy of your report/results to share and/or print as you prefer. All results are kept on a confidential server and can only be seen by yourself and your certified interpreter.
In the marketplace, there are several standalone websites that offer digital versions of the Strong Assessment. These vary in the prices they charge, the interpretation services they offer, their customer service structure, as well as whether they are more of a boutique practice that attends to a small number of individuals or ones that focus more on the general public. One would be surprised to see that for the same assessment and service, one website might charge as little as $50 for a Strong Interest Inventory Profile and Interpretation session, while another might charge as much as $300 or more.
Often enough, Universities offer a discount for full-time students. A full-time student might pay as little as $20 for an assessment profile at a University Career Center. These career centers are normally only available to students that attend the said university.
As a paid assessment, it is vital to make sure you use a professional and reliable administrator (website) with a track record of delivering the right service, including providing a consultation to review your results with you. Additionally, it is of the utmost importance to be sure that the assessment you complete and the results you receive are the official and genuine Strong Interest Inventory whose rights are owned by The Myers-Briggs Company, and that the administrators are certified with the Myers-Briggs Company to provide their tools.
What is the Strong Interest Inventory Assessment like?
The assessment itself consists of two hundred and ninety-one items regarding your preferences in an occupational setting, your interest areas, and how your areas of interests match those professionals in their varying careers that state to be happy and content in their line of work.
The Strong Report contains career recommendations, including but not limited to your 10 top best-fit careers, as well as your high, medium, and low levels of interest areas in a graphical, text, and data presentation dependent on your responses to the assessment items. The Strong Interest Inventory is mostly completed by answering one of five ways, which are:
- Strongly Like
- Strongly Dislike
The remainder of the choice questions are answered by choosing one of the following, known as the “Characteristic Section”:
- Strongly Like Me
- Like Me
- Don’t Know
- Unlike Me
- Strongly Unlike Me
With your reported responses, your report will be computer generated and will provide the occupational fields that suit you best. If you are in college or a Junior or Senior in High School and complete a Strong Interest Inventory with a College Profile, it will also provide college major and curriculum recommendations.
Whichever way you choose to complete the assessment, it is the results that matter most. Within your results, you will receive a plethora of data pertaining to your interest patterns and best-fit careers. In more detail, within your ten-page Strong Interest Inventory Profile Report, you will receive your:
General Occupational Themes (GOT’s)
The GOTs provide basic information about the six main areas of individual interests. The information from the GOTs will give you a bird’s eye view of your interests. The GOTs use two different scoring systems. The first scoring system is called the STD score or the Standard Scoring System. The STD scores are generated based on the average scores of both the working male and working female population without considering gender differences. The second scoring system is a Gender-Specific Scoring System which takes gender into consideration. The six interest categories that make up The General Occupation Themes are known as The RIASEC Diagram:
The RIASEC Diagram includes the following Areas of interest:
Individuals who fall into the Realistic category prefer to partake in building and fixing, physical activities, agriculture and farming, and handling emergencies. Some Realistic related careers include civil engineers, police patrol officers, veterinarians, bakers, and airline pilots.
Those that fall into the Investigative Category tend to enjoy the field of science, mathematics, and research. Typically, these people like to work in unstructured environments and prefer to work independently. Some common careers under the Investigative Theme include chemist, intelligence analyst, critical nurse, and political scientist.
Individuals in The Artistic Theme category are inclined to create ideas or art forms. Interests that are part of this theme include writing, dancing, photography, and music. Typical jobs for those in the Artistic Theme include but are not limited to interior designers, singers, drama teachers, and landscape architects.
Those who fall into the Social Theme Code Category generally show a high interest in helping and caring for others. These individuals enjoy socializing, teamwork, collaboration, and functioning in a friendly environment. Some Social Theme careers include customer service representatives, mental health counselors, social workers, and chiropractors.
People who are competitive, risk-takers, and ambitious generally will fall under the Enterprising Theme Code. Naturally, these individuals enjoy selling, persuading, and leading others. Typical careers for those who score high in The Enterprising Theme Code consist of lawyers, real estate brokers, sales managers, telemarketers, and flight attendants.
Conventional Individuals enjoy and show a high interest in working with data and numbers. These persons are organized, precise, and efficient and prefer a work environment that is structured and stable. Some common careers that belong to the Conventional Theme Code are accountants, cashiers, statisticians, immigration and customs inspectors, and data administrators.
Basic Interest Scales (BISs)
The BISs use the same two-scoring system as the General Occupational Themes, which use combined gender items and gender-specific items. The BIS is a facet of the General Occupational Themes. There are 30 Basic Interest Scales. The Basic Interest Scales answers the question “What do you like to learn” and “What do you like to work on.” Each BIS is represented by an interests area, such as Science, Mathematics, performing arts, etc.
Occupational Scales (OS)
The results of an individual’s Occupational Scales provide individual information on how similar their interests are compared to professionals of the same gender working in similar fields who have stated they are happy with their current occupation. The premise here is that if your interests align with an individual functioning in a specific field of work and that individual feels fulfilled in their work, then it is more likely you will also feel the same way in that field of work.
The OS also provides one’s top 10 Strong Occupations that are most closely aligned with your interests as well as occupations that are of dissimilar interest to you. This section also introduces the O*NET™ Department of Labor Database, which provides important information about various occupations, such as daily tasks, work activities, educational requirements, salary, etc. One can search The O’Net Database for careers that apply to them using their GOT Code, such as Realistic or Artistic, etc.
The Personal Style Scales (PSS)
The PSS is the only scale that doesn’t use the RIASEC code. Your results will be based on polarizing options. Your score can be on the right scale, on the left scale, or your score may fall into the midrange. The PSSs are all about your environmental preferences. This scale identifies your unique preferences in work style, learning environment, leadership style, risk-taking style, and team orientation. The result of the PSSs will help individuals explore how they would like to learn, work, play, or just live in general.