Assessing Your Career

amaxwell@govexec.com

Do you have what it takes to be a manager? Are there areas in which you can improve? Would another job suit you better? The Office of Personnel Management has launched a new World Wide Web site, USACareers, to answer such questions.

USACareers is designed to allow government agencies to help their employees assess their skills and identify personal strengths and weaknesses through diagnostic tests.

Access to the site is restricted to federal, state and local government entities with subscriptions, which include a one-time base fee and an annual support fee. For 300 people in an organization to have access, the base price is $6,000 and the annual support fee is $1,500. For 5,000 people to have access the base price is $65,000 and the annual support fee is $16,250.

The site first asks visitors to choose their current occupation or an occupation of interest. Then they can select from four areas to explore: competency discovery, competency development, career exploration or job search.

In the competency discovery section, visitors can assess themselves and have others assess them on their strengths and weaknesses for a particular occupation.

In the competency development section, users can create a career development plan and find training courses to enhance their skills or learn new ones.

Finally, the career exploration section helps users identify occupations best suited to their interests, and the job search section helps them locate appropriate federal jobs.

USACareers "will help employees gain a lot of knowledge about themselves and direct them towards areas that would be useful for them," says OPM spokeswoman Mary Ann Maloney. "It can be a very powerful tool."

Agencies interested in subscribing to USACareers should contact usacareers@opm.gov.

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