By: Marissa Bell
Part of the Career Toolbox Series

When we were kids, people would ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and the answers were simple. A firefighter, a ballerina, a veterinarian, an astronaut. As we grew up, however, the answers got more complex and a lot less easy to come up with. After a while, for some, the only response available for that dreaded question was a nervous giggle and a quick change of subject. It can be scary when everyone else in a class is listing off exactly what they want to do after college and sound like they’ve known since they were 6, and your answer is, “I have no idea.” There is a constant pressure to know what you want to do when you leave college and to start preparing for it from day one, from parents, from teachers, from advisers, even from friends. And, if at the age of say, 19, you still don’t know have any idea what you want to do with your life, suddenly everyone is giving you worried looks.

But keep this in mind: There is nothing wrong with not knowing what you want the rest of your life to look like. Yes there are some people who do, and good for them, but there’s a difference between not knowing and doing nothing about it, and not knowing and trying to figure it out. TypeFocus is an online tool that will help take you from the “doing nothing” stage and the “actively trying to figure it out stage”.

What is TypeFocus?
TypeFocus is a free online personality assessment that asks you a series of questions that at first may seem mundane and simple, but are actually very calculated and specifically worded to get an in-depth analysis about your personality and what qualities and skills you posses. Its goal is to create self-awareness so that users have a better understanding of themselves, and in turn, can create a more educated decision about what careers they would enjoy given their unique interests and preferences.

What does TypeFocus tell you?
After you take the assessment, the analysis gives you pretty specific information. The program assesses your answers and tells you what traits you possess, what type of situations and activities interest you, and what things you value in the work place. At the end, the program combines all of these things and gives a list of careers that satisfy those conditions.

Explanation that came with Floral Designer

Things to Remember to Maximize Benefits
First thing to do to make TypeFocus most helpful to you is to take it by yourself when you’re in a serious enough mood to care. If you’re with friends, if you’re just not in the mood, you’ll start answering questions untruthfully, which will affect your answers, and make the results unusable. Yes, some of the questions seem like they’re crazy, but there is a reason for all of them, so take it seriously and answer truthfully. The most important thing to remember when taking the TypeFocus, or any personality assessment, is to not focus on the results, but rather what the results mean. When I, an advertising and psychology major, took the test, my top results were a florist and a clergyman. I scoffed and dismissed the results. I never took the time to try to understand why I got those results. Once I did, I realized that I was someone who was creative, and enjoyed being a leader, but also valued communication with others and wanted a nurturing workplace. If you just take results at face value, they will mean nothing. Take the time to really understand your results. With TypeFocus, it’s nice because all you have to do is click on the job title to get an in-depth explanation about exactly why that result appeared for you. It’s the traits that matter in a position, not the title. I don’t want to be a florist, but I know I need a job that is people focused and creative to be happy. And knowing that tells me that being a researcher isn’t for me which is priceless information to know when choosing a career path in school.

Where to Find TypeFocus/Other Options
TypeFocus is free for University of Miami students and alumni, but if you just try to log on via the website, you will have to pay. In order to create a free account, go to your HireACane account, login, and scroll down. In the middle of the page about halfway down is a graphic that says, “TypeFocus, New Users Here!” click there and voila! There are three separate assessments, make sure you take all of them to reap the full benefits. All together, it will take about 25-30 minutes. Other options you have if you still want more is the SDS, a self-graded assessment, or the Strong Interest Inventory, which costs $10, but comes with an hour long appointment with one of our advisers to go over the results. Feel free to come in to Toppel between 8:30-5:00 and we’ll set you up with either.

Utilize these tools so that next time someone at a holiday party asks you what you want to do after school, or the kid next to you starts talking about his 10 year plan, you don’t feel an overwhelming urge to slap someone.