How Apps Can Be a Game-Changer for Your Career

It’s estimated the self-help industry in the U.S. is around $10 billion annually, and Americans are getting access to even more advice and success strategies through apps. Want to find the right career for your strengths? Figure out how to use your introversion to get ahead? Hang on….there’s an app for that.

When considering a job or career, you may turn to a personality assessment to determine what type of job you should have or what kind of employer would be a good fit.

Such assessments are becoming more popular because they’re being developed into apps that can help you quickly discover that you sound like a whining ninny at work or that you can quit your job without burning bridges.

Kerry Schofield, a psychologist, says that such self-help apps appeal to many people because they’re so easy to use. Instead of having to make an appointment with a career coach or psychologist, a few taps on your smartphone and you’re able to discover information about yourself that might have been much more costly or time-consuming in another setting. Perhaps more important, apps allow you to privately find out about yourself without having someone in human resources or your boss also know your results.

“I think these apps are often a Godsend to many people, especially those who might be shy,” she says. “It gives them a way to communicate about themselves.”

Schofield, a psychometrician who helped design the quizzes used in an introversion measurement app by Good.Co, says that apps can also help educate people more about their personalities, to see that there are many different shades to individual behaviors.

For example, the Good.Co self-assessment app not only looks at whether you’re an introvert or not, but offers deeper assessments to see what type of introvert you are. Schofield says that the quizzes are built around 20 years of psychological research into individual differences.

“Like most personality traits, many of us fall somewhere in the middle,” says Schofield of introverts and extroverts. “People in the extremes (of being introverted or extroverted) are quite rare.”

Another interesting aspect of using apps to look at your strengths and weaknesses is that research indicates you are more honest with your answers when only you see the results. In other words, you may give answers to surveys at work that you feel your boss or colleagues may want to hear, but you’re more inclined to be brutally honest when it’s just you and an app.

“I think when people are more honest with themselves, then they can begin to learn what they can do to make the most of their true strengths,” Schofield says. “For example, maybe as an introvert you’re capable of contributing a great deal because it’s your quiet confidence that impresses people. Everyone has something special.”

There are many apps on the market that can offer you self-help and career improvement advice, such as:

  • Unstuck. A free app that helps you resolve your problems while providing motivation. For example, it offers digital coaching, asking if you are a “tunnel visionary,” a “waffler” or a “lone leader.”
  • Sociidot. Do you have trouble accomplishing the goals most important to you? This free app aims to help you “take a stand now and create the life you really want to be living.” You start with one dot, then connect it to the next “to make your roadmap come to life.”
  • WorkOnIT. “A better you is only a tap away,” is the promotion for this app that is aimed at helping you with SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, trackable) goals. The app offers coaching advice to help you “understand how to go about achieving your goals.”
  • Lift.  Users choose one or more habits they want to develop and then “check in” when the action is performed (you have to perform the habit at least three times a week to gain “momentum”).  Support and encouragement is provided with community users who give you “props” for accomplishing your tasks.

Schofield says that she believes apps will eventually lead more people to get professional help via mobile devices. She predicts more psychologists and other career counselors will use apps to connect with those interested in improving their lives – but aren’t comfortable having formal visits in an office or simply don’t have the time.

What kind of apps would you find the most helpful for your career or self-improvement?







Anita Bruzzese

Anita Bruzzese is a syndicated columnist for Gannett/USA Today on workplace issues and the author of “45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy.” She has been on the Today show, and quoted in publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Self.com and BusinessWeek.com. Her website, 45things.com, is listed on the Forbes top 100 websites for women.

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