career decisions / career development

7 FREE online questionnaires to help get you started on your career planning

I confess I’m a sucker for free online questionnaires and there are many that will enable you to explore possible career ideas, values, preferences and motivations. Rather than treat the notion of career planning as a serious endeavour, why not have some fun playing with some questionnaires to see whether what you find may help you contemplate alternatives?

Health warning

These questionnaires are not ‘the answer’– they won’t tell you what to do and they shouldn’t be seen as attempting to label or limit you. You will always be much more than the results of a few questionnaires. However, you might find that you come up with some helpful ideas to explore further. Discovering different facets of yourself may reveal what’s important to you and open up new ideas.

Having a friend who is also staring out on their career planning and working through the same questionnaires together can be useful – you can bounce ideas off one another and enjoy poking fun at one-others attributes or shortcomings in a safe environment.

Personality preferences

A fun entry-level questionnaire to get you started is icould’s Buzz quiz. You can explore what ‘Career Animal’ you are and which celebrities you share personality preferences with. A longer version of the questionnaire is the 16 Personalities where you’ll receive a longer more-in depth report

The benefits...understanding your own and other’s preferences can help to understand why some people are easier to work with than others. Understanding your own preferences can help you describe your likely approach in interviews. For example whether you have a preference for the bigger picture or detail, whether you find being around other people energising and how you approach making decisions. There are no right or wrong responses.

Communication iMA Practitioner

The benefits…explores your personality and how you approach communication with others. You will be allocated a ‘colour’ and provided with a free report on completion.

Values Personal Values Assessment

The benefits…exploring what’s most important to you in work can be helpful when making decisions about which organisations you’d like to work for and whether their values fit with yours.

Motivation Work values test

The benefits…understanding what motivates you in work in particular will help you consider specific job roles and enable you to see whether they are likely to give you what’s important.

Character strengths

Positive Psychologist Martin Seligman has a whole range of different free questionnaires on his website including Wellbeing, Resilience, Optimism and Happiness. One of the longer questionnaire is the VIA Character Strengths

The benefits…this will identify specific qualities you possess and which may be helpful to consider when you are ‘selling yourself’ on paper or at interview. Remember to be ready to provide supporting evidence at interview if you’re asked ‘what would you bring to this role/team?’

Career ideas

There are two questionnaires on the Prospects website

The benefits…these may help to generate career ideas. The website then has an extensive list of many different jobs with more in-depth information about each. Each role has a section at the end ‘alternative careers’ where similar jobs that may also be of interest can be found.

Entrepreneurship The Entrepreneur Test

The benefits…if you are contemplating whether to set up your own business and are wondering whether you will have the necessary skills and attributes, these questionnaires will get you to explore what’s required.

What next?

Once you’ve worked through these resources you may find it helpful to have a conversation with one of our careers team who can help you with your next steps. Here are the different ways we can help you.

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