I’m seeing a career counselor. It’s pretty awesome and I’m realizing quite a bit of stuff about myself – like what an awesome procrastinator I am. Yep, that came up.
She asked me to complete a personality test, and also an interest test, and analyzed the information gathered. Before I even started the tests, I was asked to select a gender.
Call me crazy, but should my gender really influence my career interests in 2014?
I mentioned to my mother that I was seeing a career counselor and she told me about the career aptitude tests she was made to take in grade school. In her day (let’s say sometime before the 80s), girls were handed a pink aptitude test, and boys were handed a blue aptitude test. Those with similar interests would receive different job recommendations based on their gender. So, for example, while boys would have a strong aptitude for being a doctor, a girl with similar aptitudes might get a nurse, or nurse’s assistant, as an ideal profession.
The results of my interests test was compared to the interests tests of successful and career-satisfied women in several fields, and then used to make a recommendation of a career that might interest me. So, for example, if my interests were similar to those of a female architect (who is very happy and fulfilled in her career), the program would recommend that I consider a career as an architect.
But what if I had selected that I was male (instead of female)? Instead of recommending that I try out a career as an advertising account manager, would it recommend that I be a business leader? An engineer? A male model?
And along those lines (this, folks, is what we call a tangent), what about the career paths not on the test? What if I want to be a phone sex operator, or an exotic dancer? Or a serial killer? Or the person who screws lids on the toothpaste tubes? Or a circus performer? Or a vagrant? Surely there are people out there with the personality, interests, and aptitude for those careers. I guess these tests are designed for main stream careers. Want to be a high-fashion model? Oh, sorry, the test doesn’t have that as an option. Have you considered accounting?