TruSpark: Powerful Assessment And Career Exploration For Students

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Not sure where to start with career exploration for students? If the process of helping your teens figure out what they want to do in the future seems overwhelming (even frustrating), you're definitely not alone!

There are so many possibilities to navigate. It can feel like a lot of pressure because you want to help them take the right classes and start on the best path towards personal and financial success. Plus, it can be hard enough to get your kids to communicate about their weekend plans, let alone what they want to do with their lives!

Luckily, I've discovered a powerful resource that makes it so much easier for your kids and you to start and enjoy career exploration. Find out how I'm using it with my boys and why I think it can help you, too! And use our special code for $10 off any purchase!!

Teen boy using laptop for career exploration for students with TruSpark and with worksheets.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. As always, I’m providing my honest opinions and was not required to provide a positive review.

Career Exploration Does NOT Have to Be Hard

I know all about the struggle of guiding tweens and teens through career assessment and exploration. I went through it with my two older boys and myself when I was in high school.

⭐️ I'll share our stories, in case you can relate. If you'd rather jump to the nitty-gritty about TruSpark and its powerful career exploration for students, scroll down to the next sections 😉

A brief overview of my negative career assessment experiences: I had absolutely NO idea what I wanted to study in college or do for a job. With excellent grades and test scores, I was told that I could pick whatever I wanted. No help! I took every career assessment test that my guidance counselor could find - and was told I could do well in anything except auto mechanic or chef. No surprise there - but again, no help!

I ended up choosing the wrong major for me (Biology). I felt hopeless until I sorted it all out and switched to Psychology (and then a Master's degree in Counseling).

Due to my past, I really wanted to make career exploration a positive experience for my boys. I mean, with my background, that should be easy right?

Um, nope!

I floundered with my oldest. (Poor thing, he's often been the guinea pig in our homeschool.) He knew that he did not want to go to college and wanted to get into a trade. We got a late start with career planning. I felt very fortunate that he found an apprenticeship in construction and has thrived.

My second boy was a bit easier. We chatted about his interests and narrowed down his career choices. He's now at college studying History and Secondary Education with plans to become a teacher and soccer coach.

From all of that, I'm determined to go about this whole career exploration stuff a lot smarter with my younger three boys. And that's why I'm so excited about TruSpark, a powerful mix of assessment and curriculum for helping students with career exploration and more!

Teen boy using laptop to access TruSpark for career exploration for students with Career Exploration Worksheet in background.

What is TruSpark?

TruSpark is an online assessment and curriculum for career exploration for students. It's designed to be used with grades 7-10 (early- to mid-teens). The program helps identify your teen's 3 primary motivations and begin career planning based on that information.

I'll share my understanding of the program based on our experiences. TruSpark provides a much better explanation in their FAQs section, as well as their research model page.

TruSpark was developed by clinical psychologists, certified teachers, career recruiters, researchers, consultants, and life coaches. It's based on 19 Core Motivations - what truly drives an individual to think, act, and feel. Motivations influence our decision making, friendships, habits, and more. It can take a bit of digging but unearthing your motivations can be eye-opening. At least, it has been for my boys!

How do your teens discover their core motivations with TruSpak? Through the power of story!

It’s a one-of-a-kind, narrative-based assessment experience that combines a teen’s own personal stories with an interactive sorting process.

shared on TruSpark's research model page

Your teenager can work independently on TruSpark with its online, guided, and self-paced program. The assessment doesn't take long (only about 10-15 minutes) which is perfect for a busy teen!

Once your teen's assessment is complete, they receive their results with their 3 Core Motivations, as well as key characteristics and 5 related occupations. Your teen can learn more about each of these occupations on MyNextMove (a derivative of O*NET, a free interactive career exploration tool for older teens and adults) with just a click.

TruSpark actually sparks career exploration and planning! Your teen is taken from story-based assessment to greater self-awareness of motivations to career possibilities. TruSpark makes the connections for you and puts you on the path to finding an occupation that works for you - a fantastic time, energy, and money saver.

Teen boy using laptop to complete career assessment from TruSpark.

Our Experiences with TruSpark for Career Exploration

I wish that I would have had this type of resource for myself when I was going through my own career planning. Also, TruSpark would have been a fantastic tool for when I worked as a mental health therapist with teenagers and their families.

I appreciate how TruSpark enhances growth mindset skills, like self-awareness and self-understanding.

It was fascinating to watch my boys' faces light up as they worked through their assessments and the curriculum. After answering a few questions in a story-format, the assessments were complete.

Smiley (9th grade) was pleasantly surprised by his results. He often underestimates himself and his abilities (middle child). It was totally awesome to watch his self-awareness bloom as he went through the assessment and results.

Example of career assessment results based on Core Motivations from TruSpark.

After reading through his assessment results, we talked about the 3 Core Motivations that he was given (The Overcomer, The Finisher, and The Achiever).

He said, "Well, I never really thought of myself that way. But, when I apply those ideas to things that I really enjoy - like building big Lego sets or working on computer stuff - it makes sense!"

So far, Smiley has narrowed down his career choice to involve hands-on work that requires creativity and challenges.

Bear (7th grade) and I were blown away by his results. Both of us thought that he would be pegged to do something with science or education (like a professor). His Core Motivation results were:

Example of TruSpark assessment results.

I wasn't sure if he'd be interested in any of the suggestions. Well, he was intrigued by Human Resources Manager. I never would have thought of that occupation or even suggested it to him!

Bear went down a rabbit trail of learning as he read up on what a Human Resources Manager does, what type of education is needed, potential income, and typical work expectations. Although he's not 100% sure that's the field he wants to get into, Bear is excited to discover more about the career and use it as a starting point for further exploration.

How Can I Use TruSpark in Our Homeschool?

Oh my stars! I believe that you can use TruSpark (and all that you gain from it) in so many ways. Just a few of the ideas that I have for implementing TruSpark information to boost our homeschool middle school and high school experiences are:

  • Curriculum choices - finding and using materials that allow students to learn about and explore concepts, skills, and knowledge related to career interests
  • Planning - mapping out the appropriate courses to make sure students are on the right path for pursuing their career choices
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Enrichment opportunities
  • Conversation starters - chat about the Core Motivations and potential careers

FAQ about TruSpark and Career Exploration

How does career exploration help students?

As your students get older, they may find themselves wondering what it is that they'd like to study or what job they'll have in the future. Career exploration can help your kids gain better self-awareness, as well as help them map out a plan on how to set and reach goals. Students can save time, money, and energy by taking the right classes and courses. Plus, they can also discover new job opportunities and career possibilities.

What ages can I use TruSpark with?

TruSpark is designed to be used by grades 7-10 (early- to mid-teens).
If you're looking for career assessment and curriculum for older students or young adults, I encourage you to learn more about TruMotivate, a sister company of TruSpark.

What type of pricing options are available for TruSpark?

At the time of this review, TruSpark provides 2 pricing options: Curriculum + 1 assessment bundle ($29.95) and 1 assessment ($19.95). I think that is super affordable! Oh, and you can use code rock24 for $10 off any purchase 😊

Try TruSpark and the Career Exploration Experience

Take the struggle and overwhelm out of career exploration for students. Use smart resources, like TruSpark, to empower your teens with the tools and information they need to make important decisions and to succeed.

Want to see if TruSpark is right for your kids? Make sure to get TruSpark's FREE printable Career Exploration Worksheet. It's a two-page activity that's a fantastic place for your student to jot down their thoughts and research.

Not sure if TruSpark is right for your teens? Try the FREE sample of TruSpark curriculum.

Ready to go for it? Use code rock2024 for $10 off any purchase! (Offer expires 8/31/2024)

⭐️ Please let me know in the comments area at the bottom of this post if you have any questions about TruSpark assessment and its career exploration for students 😊

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