Skip to main content
Career management

Unlock the secrets of career guidance assessments: empower your path!

eye 50 Published on 06 Feb. 2024
tag #Potential identification

Career guidance assessments have now firmly established themselves in the assessment landscape, serving both to guide students in their initial choices and to assist adults in their career management. The famous RIASEC model plays a significant role in guidance sessions. To recap, RIASEC is an acronym where each letter corresponds to a type of personality interest. Yes, even though this model aims to assess our dominant interests, it is based on personality. Let's explore other intriguing facts related to guidance and these assessments.

The Untapped Potential of RIASEC

Interest assessments reveal a wealth of information such as learning styles, preferred environments, decision-making styles, out-of-comfort zones, potential aptitudes, ideal corporate cultures, and sources of motivation. Intriguing, isn’t it? However, most professionals only scratch the surface, focusing solely on the visible aspects provided by these assessments, i.e., the fields and activities that interest the individual. Some, more seasoned, delve deeper by examining personality traits and the resulting values. Thus, only a few utilise the richness generated by interest assessments. Don't hesitate to educate yourself to understand the full potential offered by this type of assessment. Doing so will enhance your feedback interviews, increasing precision and relevance.

The Major Phases that Transform Interests

Just like personality, interests remain stable throughout life. However, this does not preclude reassessments and career evolutions. In this regard, three major periods prompt existential questions. Can you identify them?

The first period spans from the end of studies up to 35 years when the individuals establish themselves in the working world. They experiment and deepen the possibilities outlined by their RIASEC profile. Their existential goal is to find their path, prove their skills, and build a professional identity. The second questioning period extends to up to 50 years. Many engage in skills assessments because they seek to discover the common thread of their story, even if it means altering it to give real meaning to their life. It is notable that they tend to avoid activities that oppose their RIASEC profile (e.g., S (Social) rejects what is R (Realistic), A (Artistic) rejects what is C (Conventional), etc.). Finally, after 50 years, individuals search for a way to leave their mark and explore a different approach to their profession, fully embracing the last moments of their active lives. Interestingly, it is not uncommon for these seniors to engage in activities that are opposite to their RIASEC profile!

Not All Equal Before RIASEC Profiles

If we combine RIASEC types, we can obtain 30 pairs. Some of these profiles, quite common, are found in a large majority of the population. This is the case with R-C (Realistic-Conventional), S-A (Social-Artistic), or E-S (Enterprising-Social). Others are much rarer, to the point that the list of professions that can be proposed to them is quite limited. The A-C (Artistic-Conventional) profile is statistically recognised as being the rarest. Indeed, it is not easy to combine originality and respect for traditions, to improvise while being methodical, or to have innovative ideas while staying grounded. The same goes for R-S (Realistic-Social) and E-I (Enterprising-Investigative), two other rare profiles, as the former involves cohabiting productivity and altruism, and the latter, seeks influence and concern for transparency.

Interest assessments are of great value, provided that one fully masters their scope and is aware of their specificities. These nuances enable a different approach to orientation processes, whether due to an atypical interest profile or because the results take on new meaning depending on the life stage. Guiding a young person surprisingly differs from guiding a senior, and the results of interest assessments, beyond the simple discovery of the RIASEC code, offer a wealth of information that deserves to be fully exploited. If you are curious to discover your RIASEC code, do not hesitate to take the test!

Helen Simard

Consultant psychologist (career guidance and psychometrics)

Theses articles may also interest you
Career management | 02 Nov 2021
How to support Career Change

A search for meaning,  yearning for freedom, feelings of stagnation and of not being valued, reevaluating  priorities,  lack of motivation,  craving for new challenges, a dream to chase, mismatched values, feeling useless, lack of interest… it is likely that some of these elements will resonate with your clients.

HR Trends | 26 Oct 2021
Why assess vocational interests?

Factoring in interests within career management is beneficial on a number of different levels. On a personal level to understand where you best fit , of course, as this is the crux of this approach.