Career Beliefs Inventory

Career Beliefs InventoryThe Career Beliefs Inventory (CBI) is a tool designed to help people identify career beliefs that may be preventing them from taking action to achieve their career goals. Many people hold beliefs that block their career progress. Maybe they believe that there is only one path to a successful career and that they have already missed one essential step on that path. Maybe they believe they must enter a certain occupation to win family approval. Maybe they believe that hard work is unnecessary until they have clear goals. These are just a few examples of beliefs that have caused troubles for other people and might possibly be interfering with their career progress.

This inventory, consisting of 96 questions, helps individuals examine beliefs about themselves and the world of work. It identifies 25 belief scales that might possibly be creating difficulties. Career specialists use this inventory as a springboard to discuss attitudes and assumptions that need to be examined when making and implementing career choices. The 25 scales are organized under five categories: current career situation, conditions necessary for happiness, factors influencing decisions, willingness to make changes, and willingness to exert effort. The inventory takes about 25 to 30 minutes to complete.

The CBI was developed from over a thousand stories collected from people who could report a belief that they once held, the trouble it caused, and how they corrected their troublesome beliefs. The reported beliefs were grouped into categories, edited for brevity and clarity, and summarized into 122 items that were then administered to over 7,500 participants. A number of factor analyses were computed from these data, and eventually 25 revised scales were defined based on the 96 best items.

The CBI Applications and Technical Guide is the revised manual published in 1999. It contains a summary of the reliability and validity data, directions for use, and a table of norms. The norms would be necessary only if clients wondered how common, or uncommon, their beliefs were. The recommended method for using the CBI, however, is to help people identify beliefs that might be causing trouble for them.

It is used as a conversation starter to begin exploring possible dysfunctional beliefs that may be inhibiting clients from taking appropriate action now.

Two scoring versions are available:

  1. Self-Scorable: Users can score their own booklet and see their own results immediately. An explanation of each score is included.
  2. Computer Scored: A separate prepaid answer sheet is mailed to CPP, Inc. (formerly Consulting Psychologists Press) for scoring and results are mailed back.

Also available is a client workbook titled Exploring Your Career Beliefs. It includes techniques for integrating CBI scores with results from the Strong Interest Inventory and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

These materials are distributed by CPP, Inc.


  1. Krumboltz, J. D. (1999). Career Beliefs Inventory: Applications and technical guide. Palo Alto, CA: CPP.
  2. Levin, A. S., Krumboltz, J. D., & Krumboltz, B. L. (1995). Exploring your career beliefs: A workbook for the Career Beliefs Inventory with techniques for integrating your Strong and MBTI results. Palo Alto, CA: CPP.