Nearly 10 million people are collecting unemployment benefits, up from 2 ½ million two years ago. How many are lawyers? It all depends on what blogs you read. But SOME of those thousands of out-of-work lawyers and new grads should be using this downtime to re-assess their practice … even their career in law. To help, we gathered eight valid, modestly priced online career assessment tools. Self-knowledge is crucial, particularly in this economy. It’s the way in.
Career Discovery (www.CareerDiscovery.com) – Online career assessment co-developed by Tim Butler, director of Harvard’s MBA Career Development program, author of Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths. The assessment defines a “universe of possible business careers” in which one could express their interests. $95 (password-protected, good for 60 days).
CareerKey (www.CareerKey.org) – Assigns users to one or more of six personality types and helps identify occupations most likely to fit their profile. Developed at North Carolina State University’s College of Education. $9.95
DISC Classic Profile (www.discprofile.com) – Well-established online assessment tool. Identifies and measures work style patterns in four personality categories. From the home page, click on the DiSC Classic Profile ($25.95), or The Classic 2 Plus ($59.95), an enhanced version.
Focus Career (www.FocusCareer.com) – Widely used career-planning system. Developed by the same design team that pioneered IBM’s computer-based, career-planning program. $39.95.
Jackson Vocational Interest Survey (www.jvis.com) – Educational and career-planning tool offers a detailed snapshot of interests and how they relate to the world of work. Authored by a former President of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics. Takes about 40 minutes to complete; highly detailed report, $19.95.
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (www.keirsey.com) – A temperament and work personality assessment. Inividualized, 70-question assessment ranges from $11.95 to $19.95.
Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential (www.Assessment.com) – MAPP, first developed in the 1960s, measures motivation in specific work areas. The online package offers a vocational analysis, a narrative interpretation of your ratings in nine trait groups, a personalized 20-page report, and a summary of your top six motivators. $19.95to $129.95.
Self-Directed Search (www.self-directed-search.com) – Discover the careers that best match your interests. An online assessment based on the occupation codes popularized by Dr. John Holland. Requires 20-30 minutes to complete. A personalized report is e-mailed to users along with a list of the occupations and fields of study that most closely match their interests. $9.95.
* Recommended reading: Solo By Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be (Carolyn Elefant, 2008), Lawyers at Midlife: Laying the Groundwork for the Road Ahead (Mike Long, 2008).