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A values assessment is a type of career planning test designed to help determine personal preferences in work-related tasks. For example, some people value working independently while others prefer more interaction with colleagues and/or supervisors. There are no correct or incorrect responses in any type of values assessment; rather, the results of this kind of career test can be used to help people find the closest job matches to the activities, environment and working style that interests them the most.
Commonly, values assessments will help the test taker determine a preference for either creativity or predictability on the job. This value may indicate that the arts may be a better industry fit than finance, however, it will typically take many other questions before an accurate conclusion can be made. A values assessment usually has the same number of questions designed to relate to each value being tested. Other common values indicator areas are working quickly or slowly, having mainly challenging or simple tasks, and being able to work on an independent schedule or needing to keep to a company's strict, methodical process.
Many values assessments are done by the individual on a computer or on paper before being self-evaluated or evaluated by a career coach or counselor. The format of a values assessment may be multiple choice or feature questions in which the test taker fills in his or her response. Some assessments contain a variety of question formats.
Most career evaluations that include assessments of personal values include both extrinsic and intrinsic types. Intrinsic values are those that involve inner qualities such as helping others and being able to do work for which one was educated. Extrinsic values are based on ideals outside the person such as how much a position pays and where the company is located. Analyzing what an individual values both intrinsically and extrinsically on the job can help him or her narrow down the possible workplace options.
The results of a values assessment are often used by test takers to choose further job training or begin an entirely new career path. Just as homeowners looking for the perfect house aren't likely to find every feature they had hoped for, people taking values assessments probably won't find a career or job that meets every single value they have. Yet, the information on a values type of assessment can, and often does, help many people get a clearer understanding of what type of work environment they're likely to function in the best.