Each year 250,000 servicemembers transition out of the military. While a stressful time for most, it can be even more so if the veteran does not know what they will do for work after getting out. Many want to stay in the same line of work they did in the military, but others want to try something different … they just don’t know what “different” is right now.
One tool that can help figure out where your interests lie is the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.org, a tool provided by the Department of Labor. It is a fun little tool that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to pick your brain and come up with a list of jobs it thinks would be right for you. It consists of four separate areas:
- Job Zones
It begins with a series of 60 diverse questions by having you choose one of five answers for each question ranging from strong dislike to strong like.
After answering the questions, the profiler returns scores in six different categories with examples of what is in each category:
- Likes working with plants and animals
- Likes working with real-world materials like wood, tools and machinery
- Likes doing outside work
- Searching for facts
- Figuring out problems
- Creativity in work
- Work that can be done without following a set of rules
- Giving advice
- Helping and being of service to people
- Persuading and leading people
- Making decisions
- Taking risks for profits
- Working with clear rules
- Following a strong leader
The higher the score, the more interest you have shown in that category.
Next, the profiler has you select one of five job zones based on either your current experience, education and training or the skills in these areas that you plan to get before pursuing a career. The zones range from having “little to no job preparation” to “extensive job preparation”. You can drill deeper into each job zone to get more information on the experience, education and training required for that zone.
After selecting a job zone, the profiler generates a list a list of six jobs/careers it thinks are either a “Best Fit” or “Great Fit” for you based on the information you entered or selected during the profile sequence. As a final and optional step, you can click on “Find More Careers” and search out more careers based on any of the six interest categories.
I took the profiler test myself and it returned the scores below in each of the Interest areas:
- Realistic – 25
- Conventional – 21
- Investigative – 20
- Enterprising – 14
- Social – 12
- Artistic – 7
As far as a Job Zone, I chose the fourth one – High job preparation. This Job Zone level suggests the following:
- Experience: Long-term work-related skill, knowledge or experience
- Training: Several years of work-related experience and training; may require both OJT and classroom
- Education: Most of the careers require a bachelor’s degree, but some do not
Based on my answers and selections, the profiler returned five jobs/careers that it felt I would be a best fit for me:
- Airline Pilot, Copilot and Flight Engineer
- Automotive Engineer
- Biochemical Engineer
- Bioinformatics Technicians
- Biological Technician
- Biomedical Engineer
I found the profiler to be surprisingly accurate in its results.
For veterans transitioning out, and who are unsure of what they want to do, it can help suggest some possible career choices. And not only may it help reduce the stress in that area of transitioning, it is fun to use. Try it and see for yourself!