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“Stick to what you know”? Not necessarily…

Wednesday 05 June 2024

We all know the expression, "Stick to what you know," which advises us not to express an opinion on a subject about which we have no understanding. The proverb comes from a story set in the fourth century BC. In this story, an artist named Apelles receives comments on one of his works from a shoemaker. When the cobbler remarked on the shoes, the artist took the opportunity to improve his work. But when the cobbler also commented on other parts of the painting, Apelles responded with these famous words.

The proverb is also sometimes misused to discourage people from trying something new. If you are a baker, you should keep baking until you retire. A plumber should stay focused on pipes.

Such an approach to life rarely does people. People are flexible and capable of reinventing themselves time and again. Science also explicitly distances itself from the idea that you should follow a chosen career path to the end.


One model that is increasingly used is the RIASEC model, als known as the Holland codes or the Holland Occupational Themes. Within this model, a person's vocational interest is represented on 6 dimensions:

  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Artistic
  • Social
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional

The same profile can be made for a position. If you then compare someone's personal profile with the profile of a particular job, you will immediately see whether there is a match. For example, a baker and a builder share many traits that allow them to be successful in their choice of profession.

This is good news for construction companies that are struggling with chronic staff shortages. They can tap into a new source of personnel! And for bakers for whom there is no longer any work (or who no longer feel like baking sweet rolls), this new way of looking at traits creates new opportunities.

Look more at interests and motives

Occupational choice tests based on interests and motives show that we have divided the job market into too many segments. In an interview, Bart Wille, university lecturer in industrial psychology and HRM at the University of Ghent, said that we should look beyond the classic job profiles: "On the labor market, we have started to think more and more in terms of boxes: We have erected fences between jobs where that is actually not necessary." He therefore calls for people's professional options not to be narrowed down but to be broadened based on character traits and interests.

How do you get a picture of someone's interests and motives?

Many HRM professionals would be only too happy to answer that call. But, to do that, you have to know what someone's interests and drives are. You can always ask them directly, but this will only provide a partial picture at best. The natural tendency to answer in a socially desirable way can also cloud this picture.

To have a prospective candidate extensively examined by a team of psychologists is going too far. However, TestGroup's online MBO career test, The Bridge Career, at a fraction of the cost and time, provides you with a report that clearly outlines your candidate's personality, interests, and career anchors.

Online MBO Career Test

The Bridge Career MBO career test is an online test developed by a team of professionals and scientists at Utrecht University. Accordingly, the MBO career test is not only scientifically validated (and therefore reliable), but also has great value in the workplace.

The test uses artificial intelligence (AI) and provides insight into the candidate's career preferences and career anchors. The normative-ipsative split technology ensures that the system immediately realizes when the candidate is giving socially desirable answers and asks additional questions to ensure that no dishonest answers taint the report. Questioning the reported scores is therefore something of the past.

Although the online MBO career test has a total of 312 questions, which sounds like a big challenge, most people can complete the test within half an hour.

Taking the MBO career test without any hassle

Taking an online MBO career test is as easy as can be. When you decide to offer a candidate a career test (or if you want to take one yourself), simply request it via TestGroup’s website and within 30 minutes, the candidate can begin the test anywhere of anytime they feel comfortable.

Our AI system compares the answers of the candidate with the profiles of 232 MBO professions and tells you whether there is a match. In addition, the online MBO career test provides insight into personality, competencies, and interests.

The result is a truthful report that clearly displays a person's career profile. With this report in hand, you can plot your future.

This is what our satisfied customers say about us

“The Bridge Ability Suite provides us with insights into things we may have overlooked ourselves, and it helps us to stimulate diversity within our organisation.”

Janine Mulder

Kwink Groep