Picture of woman thinking about her career

It’s no secret that during these turbulent times, some industries are sadly struggling more than others. With Retail, Travel, Hospitality, and Entertainment being some of the sectors that have taken the most devastating hit, thousands of people have already been made redundant or are currently at risk of losing their jobs. As a result, many are looking for a career change with a view to find their next role. And in an ideal world, with time and resources on your side, you could use my Career Change Coaching Programme. The programme guides you, step-by-step, through the career change process by helping you to identify the perfect next move for you, so you can make your choice and transition with more ease and confidence. However, if you don’t have the luxury of time right now but want to start thinking about which job and sector will suit your existing skills and personality, I have compiled a list of free (or low-cost) resources to help you with your next career change.

1. “Do What You Are”

Do What You Are book“Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type – Completely Revised and Updated”, by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger, is a classic in its genre. Now on its fifth edition, the book has updated sections and insights that include technology, online resources, and job listings.

At its core, the book helps you with your Personality Type. But unlike online quizzes, it gives you a lot of information to help you make decisions about which options of the assessment to choose and explains your results in detail.

Through helpful workbook exercises and real-life examples, the book highlights the strengths and pitfalls of all 16 personality types and shows you how to use your unique strengths towards your job search. This is an excellent low-cost, accessible resource to help you with your next career change. However, it’s a large book. So if you’d like to read it, you might want to order it ASAP.

You can buy the book from Amazon on Kindle or paperback.

2. Prospects.ac.uk

Although this website is aimed at recent graduates, their Job Match Assessment specifically and the resources on this website more in general, can still generate some useful career ideas for you.

The website is free to use. However, you have to register an account with username and password in order to use their services. Once you log into your account, you are asked to answer 26 questions. At the back of this 10-minute questionnaire, the website matches you with various job groups. The website uses 15 different job groups (Dynamo, Solver, Pioneer, Inspirer, Guardian, etc.), and, based on your answers, gives you a percentage match to the job groups you qualify for.

You can then click on each job group and see the various job profiles that fit that group. With over 450 job profiles available, you can take your pick. And to narrow things down a bit further, you can filter the results by your preferred industry or sector (Communication, Building and Planning, etc.), and then add any relevant job profiles to your favourites. You can also find information on responsibilities and salary for each job profile.

3. CareerExplorer Career Test

The CareerExplorer Career Test is US-based but is still a great tool to help you with your next career change. By combining a variety of data, it produces a comprehensive list of career ideas for you. Although the website also offers a paid-for service that looks more in-depth at your strengths and weaknesses, this assessment is free and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

The test looks at four key components:

  • Interests. This is important because if your career matches your interests, you’re more likely to experience job satisfaction in your role.
  • History and goals. This area looks at where you live, your professional experience, and salary expectations to identify careers that are relevant to you.
  • Workplace. Will the typical workplace of a specific career make you happy?
  • And finally, personality. Does a particular job or career fit your personality?

Based on your answers, the test measures you against 140 different traits and uses the data to build a psychometric model of who you are so they can find your top matches within their 800+ career encyclopedia. It’s a great free service that gives you more insight and information than most other similar career tests.

4. Gov.uk

The government’s free National Careers Service provides “information, advice, and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training, and work”.

Through the National Careers Service page you can:

  • Explore careers. By entering a job title, you can find out what the job entails and whether it’s the right fit for you. Or you can explore jobs by category.
  • Use their Skills Assessment services.

Here you have access to two different services.

  • Their Discover your skills and careers assessment is a 5-10 minute online test that asks you about the type of work you want to do. It gives you a summary of job groups that might interest you based on your answers and also provides you with more detailed information about each role. You can save your results and come back to them at any time.
  • Their Skills Health Check is a set of quizzes and activities designed to help you explore your skills, interests, and motivations. You’ll be able to download your report once you’ve completed at least one assessment.

Through the same portal, you can explore free online courses available on various topics and at different skill levels – from introductory to advanced, through the find a course service.

5. The 16Personalities

And last but not least, the 16Personalities assessment, much like the book mentioned above (“Do What You Are”) gives you career information based on your personality type. The test is free and takes less than 15 minutes to take.

The 16 personalities are divided into four broader types:

  • Analysts.
  • Diplomats.
  • Sentinels.
  • and Explorers.

You then have four different personality types under each of these four groups and can find out more about the traits of your specific personality. The test helps with your strengths and weaknesses, your career paths, and workplace habits, but also with other more private areas of your life, such as parenthood, friendships, and personal relationships.

When it comes to matching jobs to your personality type, this test doesn’t go into as much detail as the other assessments about exact job titles. But it still provides incredibly useful insights on your personality. So use this if you’d like to understand what types of work are likely to make you feel more fulfilled and, conversely, what careers it’s best you avoid.

In my opinion, this is one of the best free personality profiling tools available online. The danger is using online assessments to help you learn more about yourself is that it is hard to take in all the information provided at once. I really like the fact that this website stays in touch with you by sending you occasional emails that give a short reminder/insight into your personality, making it more likely you are able to absorb and act on the information.

Further resources to help you with your next career change

I hope you find these resources helpful. Using these free or low-cost tools can help you identify your transferrable skills. Not to mention that some of these tests can help you get to know yourself better and explore new career options with better insight and more confidence.

If you’d like more information on career change or on looking for your next role, the following articles from the website may be of interest:

And if you’d like more tailored and personalised support in the form of coaching, feel free to check out my Career Change Coaching Programme.