Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Dave McDonald from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Dave McDonald

Astronomer

Smart Futures

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Dave McDonald

A caring attitude is essential for Health and Safety – you need to be passionate about getting the message across to people and telling them why it is so important. After all, no-one wants to see anyone suffer harm or be in pain.

For astronomy, a yearning for answering the unanswered questions is a must. You also need to be dedicated and focused and not put off by the weather

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Creative?
Creative
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Self Assessment

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Personality

Having the right personality for the job can help enormously. Finding an occupation that 'fits' your personality sound like it should be easy, except when we consider that 'personality' is a very complex thing to measure!

There are many personality theories, and some have been adapted for use to guide occupational choice. In general, personality self assessments are probabily better for personal understanding than for occupation selection, yet they can provide added depth of information from which to refine your choices.

You can take our free personality test when you login to your Career File (signup required). The results of this test may help you to be aware of your strengths and characteristics, which can be used to help you with your choice of career direction.

 Go to the CareersPortal Personality-Profiler here:  Go to Interest-Profiler 

Useful Links

Typefocus [US] 
Typefocus offers a personality test based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Full version requires payment, but a good free version is available here.
Keirsey Temperament Sorter II [US] 
The most popular personality test of all - now free online with a brief report (full reports have to be purchased). Good range of related resources also available on this friendly 'American' site. Free, Registration required.
Personality Theories 
Comprehensive look into major personality theories used by psychologists, HR professionals and business trainers.
Big Five Minitest 
This test gives a very quick Big Five profile and is more for understanding the model thank for serious personality assessment, although as a quick simple guide it works well
Finding Potential - Free Psycometric Tests 
Free access to industry standard assessments that include: two personality questionnaires, two 360's, two sifting questionnaires for sales & administrative roles and an individual engagement questionnaire.

Paper Based Assessments

You can download a number of self assessments from the links below.

Skills:
Use the exercise on this downloadable worksheet to discover the most sought after skills needed to get jobs in the modern workplace. By rating yourself on these skills, you can see where your strengths and weaknesses may lie. Then, you can look for opportunities to develop and practice your underdeveloped skills.

Download:
Worksheet - Career Skills Self-Assessment
[pdf - 540Kb, 4 pages]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet

Career Interests
Use the exercise on this downloadable worksheet to identify where your interests lie. This exercise takes no more than 10 min to complete and can help identify what career interest groups you are most interested in.

Download:
Worksheet - Career Interests Self-Assessment
[pdf - 97Kb, 1 page]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet

Values
This brief exercise helps to clarify your values according to six commonly used categories.
Download:
Worksheet - Values Self-Assessment
[pdf - 145Kb, 2 pages]
Download Self-Assement Worksheet