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March 2022

Choose the right career with Psychometrics

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According to the City and Guilds Happiness index almost five million Brits suffer from ergophobia – a fear of work; that fact alone will not surprise many. However, the fact that some of the Britain’s leading bankers and lawyers are among them may come as a surprise.

There are some very important factors that make people happy in their career. They are:

  • Interests

If you can find a career in which you have an interest or passion, then you are far more likely to succeed and enjoy it.

  • Aptitudes

Your aptitudes are your strong points. To utilise them effectively and harness them to further your career you need to be aware of your relative strengths and weaknesses.

  • Personality

What is the right environment for you to work in? What is the right kind of role for you? What factors will press the buttons to motivate you in the morning and make you bounce out of bed and love your work.

  • Values

Not everyone has the same sets of values; some people believe in a commitment to society, whilst others are simply motivated to earn money. Others will have a set of beliefs which would prevent them working in certain industries.

Career Analysts measure these factors using psychometric questionnaires. They are all online and can be completed at home in your own time. They are however in some depth requiring around 5 hours to complete. This may seem a long time, but we need to go into this much depth to dig quite deeply into you, so that we can then match you up with the best career for you.

Once completed, the psychometrics are followed by a one-on-one consultation with one of our Occupational Psychologists. By that time, he or she will have seen the results of the questionnaires in the form of graphs.

The personality graph is a bipolar graph. One aspect, for instance tension, would be demonstrated at one end of the spectrum as relaxed, placid and patient whereas tense, high energy, impatient and driven would be at the opposite extreme. We measure 16 different personality traits each with opposites – where would you fall in each one?

The values graph measures ones’ preferences for Rational, Material, Aesthetic, Social, Influence and Beliefs as motivating forces.

The aptitude tests measure verbal reasoning, numerical, perceptual, spatial and mechanical, logic and attention to detail. It is not the level of success in this test which is important but which of them you are relatively strong at.

The interest inventory measures your preferences for six major categories of career and each of these are further subdivided into five more specific groups.

In the afternoon consultation we will make a series of suggestions for careers that we believe are suitable and practical for you and talk them through with you one by one. As we go through, we will eliminate those that do not appeal until we are left with a very small number of suitable and practical career options that you can investigate further and make a decision.

The aim of the programme is to arm you with sufficient knowledge to confidently make that decision now and your personal report will remain a point of reference for you to refer back to in years to come.

Need a career change?

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Maybe you’re facing a career change because of redundancy, illness or new family commitments. Perhaps you’ve reached the end of a career in the armed forces or sport? Whatever the reason, changing career or finding a new career can be daunting.

Do you know what career is right for you for the next stage of your career? Which career will fit in with your lifestyle? What are you good at? There are many different things to consider, so let’s look at the steps you need to think about before you start.

Understand yourself better

Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know what sort of person you are and how this relates to success and happiness in your new career? If you are unsure, try using psychometrics to get the answers. If you understand where your skills lie, and what sort of person you are before approaching the job market, you can be more confident in achieving the career change that suits you. Professional careers advice is always a good option. Take a look here:

Know your market

Research your chosen industry or the type of new career you would like. Find out where people are hiring. Networking can yield good results in your career search. Targeting businesses directly is often a good option. Sometimes, offering to work for free for a while works – you can find out more about the job and industry and build up useful contacts!

Update your CV

It may have been a while, but don’t be disheartened by the gaps in your CV. Think about the skills you have gained while out of work, any volunteering or work experience you have done and insert that into your CV, so any potential employers know what you have been up to.

Network Offline and Online

Word of mouth has always been a great way to find out about job opportunities, so get out there and talk to people. Don’t forget social networking too – a profile on LinkedIn and some interaction with groups and online communities will help you get back into ‘work mode’ and learn from others in your industry.

Research and Prepare

When it comes to the covering letter and interview, it will help your confidence to know as much as you can about the company that you are applying to, the job and the sector. Has anything changed since you were last in work? You will look professional, feel confident and be able to answer questions easily if you know as much as you can.

Self-employment and traditional jobs

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Traditional jobs in which an employee is paid by a company are declining all over the country. However, the real effect of this is being masked by the rise in self-employment.

Research shows that the total number of employed jobs fell in 10 of 12 British regions between 2015 and 2021. The number of employee jobs in the eastern and south-eastern regions remained virtually static, while only in London were jobs created by employers.

However over 400,000 people around the UK classified themselves as self-employed. These newly created self-employed jobs were sufficient to offset the loss of employed jobs. This has contributed to an increase in the number of individuals in work over the 2015 baseline.

Other research has shown that the weekly wages of the self-employed has decreased as opposed to those in paid jobs. Weekly wages for employees have increased 6% since 2016, whereas self-employed pay has decreased by 8% in the same period. Typically, self-employed people are now being paid 30% less than the average employee.

Although the move into self-employment can be for personal reasons, some say that a lack of alternatives is the reason. Also, there is worrying analysis that this move is increasing financial pressure on homes across the UK. 

The economist and former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, David Blanchflower says “Self-employment is often a last resort of the desperate. Such workers operate under considerable strain, worried about where their income is coming from, and are sometimes forced to finance themselves by borrowing against their home, exposing their families to the same financial uncertainty that attaches to their job.”

Ways to Turn Your Internship into a Full-Time Job

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One question we often hear is: how do you ensure that you convert your internship into a full-time career.

Many companies wanting to hire a graduate begin by offering candidates a short 3- or 6-month internship before deciding whether or not to recruit them full time.

So, how do you make sure you get your ideal career:

Be Impressive

Often, the best course of action is the obvious one. First and foremost, the way to ensure your new boss takes you on and keep you is to be the best applicant.

It sounds obvious, but you have to be punctual. For the initial trial period, always try to start work at least ten minutes early, and stay a bit later than you need to each day. Be keen to learn and work hard. If you’re asked to do tasks that seem menial, do them with as much enthusiasm as you can find. Sometimes it is a test of your attitude.

Establish goals and meet them!

Get specific goals for your internship – and achieve them. Have a quiet chat with your boss now and again. Is there anything else you can do? Ask for more responsibilities. This shows that you are efficient in doing what has already been asked of you, and that you are keen to work hard and take on more.

You also need to remember that your internship is an opportunity to learn as much as possible. Even if it doesn’t end up becoming a full-time job, it’s a great opportunity to learn about the job as well as how organisations work. Learn from your supervisor, how are you performing? This will draw their attention to you.

In addition, establish personal goals at the start of your internship. What do YOU want to learn from the experience? This can include mastering technical skills, refining personal soft skills or establishing a list of contacts. Most importantly, impress your new employers with your work-rate.

Add Value to the company

The company will expect you to learn, but graduate jobs are also about adding value to the business. This doesn’t just mean showing enthusiasm and focus. Sometimes you should take the initiative too. Without being too pushy, when appropriate, pitch ideas to your supervisor. Ask if there’s anything more you can take on as soon as you’ve completed your task. Be prepared with an answer when you’re asked your opinion on business decisions. The last point is crucial, as it’ll illustrate that you’ve really thought about, and understand, the business. This shows your dedication to the organisation.

Become Indispensable

By taking the initiative and taking on additional duties, you can gradually become indispensable to your potential employer. Recruiters are looking for three things in candidates.

1. That you want the job.

2. That you can do the job.

3. That you’ll fit in with their organisation.

If you’ve already shown that you tick these boxes, why would they incur time and costs recruiting someone else? It doesn’t make sense financially to take someone else on when they’ve already invested in training you.

Make use of any specialist skills you have. If you’re fluent in a second language, think about areas of foreign client management or foreign marketing where you could help. If you have some knowledge of social media, computer design skills, or experience running a blog, make sure your supervisor knows. When your internship is up, they may realise that you’ve become a very useful addition to the company.

Essentially, it’s simple: what can I do to make sure I’ll be missed?

Be a Social Butterfly

While you’re there, join in with the social side of the organisation. Attend company networking events. Use lunchtimes to chat to other employees and get them on your side.

As you approach the end of your internship, if some influential voices within the company are saying how much of an impact you’ve made, it will help your cause. Go the extra mile outside of work as well as inside it.

Tell Them How You Feel

When it’s coming towards the end of your internship, let people know how much you’ve enjoyed your time there. It shows you care about wanting to stay. Make sure they know you really want the job! It’s no 1 on the list of things they are looking for. It’s evidence of loyalty.

Stay in Touch

Sometimes, factors beyond your control things mean things don’t work out. Maybe the budget isn’t there for a full-time position. Or they don’t think there is enough workload for you at this time. If this is the case, stay in touch with them. Use the contacts you’ve built up. Call every now and again to remind them you are still really interested. When a position comes up, you’ll be the first person they’ll call.

Professional careers advice with psychometrics

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At this time of year, many people are thinking of changing career. However, it’s very easy to make the wrong career choice and at this stage of your life mistakes can be time-consuming and costly. Good, professional careers advice is strongly advised in order to avoid falling into the trap of drifting into an unsuitable career path.

Potentially the career pitfalls are destructive. A lot of boxes need to be ticked in order to make the best career change for you. Let’s look first at practicalities. If you are making a career change, then it is assumed that you have already had a career in the past, so you need to look carefully at why you want to make that career change.

Is it that you have become disinterested in the career that you were doing? Is there a ceiling you can’t break through? Have you fallen out of love with the organisation? Careers advice based on psychology and psychometric testing will help you untangle these issues.

Or is it more to do with your personal circumstances? Do you want to spend more time with family? Do you have another career in mind or a hobby or project you want to indulge? Maybe you want to travel and see more of the world or maybe you feel you want to give something back to the world and offer yourself more selflessly. Getting serious career advice from an occupational psychologist will do much more than help you pick through these considerations.

There are a lot of other factors to consider and that is where psychometric tests come in. If you are going to make a career change at this stage, you might as well do the job properly. Time is running out to re-address this issue in another couple of years, so you should aim to get it right this time.

Getting good career advice can help you identify important aspects other than practicalities. Have you considered how much your own personality impacts your career choice? Or your values and beliefs – maybe they’ve changed over the years? Or your interests. How motivated are you to succeed? How driven are you. Did you know that these personal factors can actually be measured and quantified using psychometric tests?

You must be careful here because only fully qualified occupational psychologists are able to interpret the results of these psychometric tests and give proper careers advice based on the results. So, doing an online career test with a computer-generated report will not suffice. The real psychometric tests take up to five hours to complete so don’t take the short cut.

Once you have completed the questionnaires, the occupational psychologist will study the results and draw some preliminary conclusions about what careers advice would be most appropriate for you. After that, you can sit down together, discuss those career options and formulate a career plan for the next stage of your life.

Good luck.