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The Real VISA

The Real V.I.S.A.Who am I? What am I good it? Where will I be awesome?  These are just a few of the questions we ask ourselves as we start to figure out what we will DO with our lives.

Career assessment tools help us answer these questions by exploring what I call The Real V.I.S.AThis is an acronym where the letters mean Values, Interests, Skills and Abilities

I developed The Real V.I.S.A.  acronym almost 15 years ago, to help people I coached realize the value in how these four factors could influence our life and career choices.   This form of Honest Yearly Personal Exploration (H.Y.P.E. = another of my acronyms to help people do this type of personal evaluation yearly or often) is critical for career and life growth.  Discovering our own personal Real V.I.S.A.  is only one component in a 5-Point Career Development Model

The bottom line is that the more we understand our preferences the better we will be able to make career, work and life decisions.

Below are free or low cost career assessment tools to use to help in this process.  This is not an exhaustive list by any means and I have indicated who could most benefit from the assessment eg Anyone.

Visit a career center or ask a career coach to help you put your findings in context.  

Big Five Personality Test

(Anyone) This career assessment has 50 items that must be rated on a 5-point scale where 1 means “Disagree” to 5 which means “Agree”.  The Big Five takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

Career Wise

(Anyone) A survey which will take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete.  This survey will let users rate activities they enjoy, their personal qualities, and academic subject of interest.  Career Wise will then cluster career areas around personal likes.

Clifton Strengths

(Anyone) You may know this test by the name: StrengthsFinder.  This talent assessment is offered by the Gallup organization.  They acknowledge that the assessment will help you discover what you naturally do best, learn how to develop those talents and use your results to effectively live your best life.


(Anyone) This is a well-known, widely used self assessment tool that helps with understanding one’s dominant personality style.  It is designed to look at your decisiveness, interactiveness, stability and cautiousness.

Holland Code Career Test

(Anyone) This is a free, 10 minute test that will give you valuable insights on your interests and how those interests could translate into career and work success.  Most career centers can help you take the Holland Code test and will explain the results.

Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI)

(Alumni, Working Professionals) The LPI is based on the work of two leadership experts and founded on the best selling book – The Leadership Challenge.  I would not recommended this for students, but instead for those with professional work experience because it is a 360 degree look at your leadership skills.  If you want to grow as a leader, we highly recommend the LPI.

Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

(Anyone) Dr. Robinson, Founder of The HBCU Career Center,  is Certified to administer the MBTI assessment which is used by millions of people worldwide yearly.  Many college career centers are also staffed with professionals who are able to administer the MBTI. According to the creators of the instrument, “development can be achieved at any age by anyone who cares to understand his or her own gifts and the appropriate use of those gifts.” (Source is Isabel Briggs Myers, Founder of the MBTI via MyersBriggs.org)

My Next Move

(Anyone) This is another interest profiler that is based on the US Department of Labor’s O*Net Database.  It connects your results directly to the US workforce, job duties, tasks and skills required for almost every job.

Values Worksheet 

(Anyone) This Values Worksheet is a product of University of San Diego.  It helps you identify your personal values and helps you connect those values with your work and career choices.

If you have used others you want to add to this list, please share at mrobin(at)thehbcucareercenter(dot)com!


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