Learn About Yourself
There's no better guide on your career path than having a true understanding of your own interests, skills, values, personalities and strengths. Self-Assessment is an active process of reflecting and learning about yourself that will be fundamental to building a career path that fits you. The process can be formal or informal. You can write a career test or you can spend some time just reflecting on your own.
Self- Assessment is essential whether you are:
- choosing your major
- beginning to explore occupational alternatives
- considering further education
- launching your job search
Your choices have a better chance of being a good fit when you know what is most important to you. You will feel more confident.
Explore the following questions and pay attention to themes (e.g. a preference for activities that involve working with your hands, enjoyment of activities where you have a sense of achievement, or are helping people, or a preference for working alone) :
- Make a list of all the activities you have participated in during the last five years, including work, volunteering and leisure activities.
What have you liked and disliked about each activity?
Pay attention to what you did, the context, the people you worked with. What are the themes?
This will help you gain insight into your patterns of interests, skills, values and personality attributes.
- What have you learned about yourself from your school experiences?
Are there subjects that you especially enjoyed?
Specific topics or papers you wrote that really interested you?
How might this connect to different occupational possibilities?
- What about academic skills?
Have you discovered a skill for presentation?
An enjoyment of debate, writing or research?
- Evaluating your own strengths and skills can be challenging.
What kind of feedback have you received from others in a workplace or volunteer setting?
What did your teachers say about you? (caution: remember that you need to ask yourself if these comments feel like an accurate description)
How might others close to you describe you?
- Think of a time in your life that you felt proud of yourself.
What does this story tell you about what is important to you? What you value?
- Think of a time when you got so engaged in something that you lost all track of time.
What does this tell you about what motivates you?
Think of a career assessment as a test without correct answers. It’s designed to increase your self-knowledge by measuring interests, skills, values or personality attributes. It can help you evaluate choices, feel more confident about where you are or identify a new pathway to explore.
Before writing any assessments, meet with a career counsellor and together you will choose which one(s) will be most helpful in your specific situation.
Career Cruising: Matchmaker
This is a free, online assessment where you will answer a series of questions after which Matchmaker will produce a list of career suggestions that will be ranked according to how well they match your identified interests. To improve results be sure click the “answer more questions” button until you have completed all 116 questions. Write this one online. Print and bring your results to your appointment.
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The Via Inventory of Strengths
This free online assessment gives you feedback about 24 character strengths (core positive capacities for thinking, feeling and behaving in ways that benefit yourself and others) which have been found to be universal across countries, cultures and beliefs. Take the assessment to learn more about your own key character strengths which underlie your values, interests, needs and motivations. Write this one online. Print and bring results to your appointment.
Strong Interest Inventory
The SII assesses your interests using 317 questions to explore your likes and dislikes. Based on your responses, you will receive feedback about general patterns in your occupational interests and more specific information about how your interest patterns compare to people in a wide variety of occupations. This information can assist you in expanding your ideas of work environments and occupations that may be satisfying to you.
Career Values Scale
The Career Values Scale helps identify key work values, preferences and needs. These values are a part of a person’s core beliefs and give meaning to the person’s career and life. They are a useful indicator of job satisfaction and personal goals.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator
The MBTI is designed to assess your personal preferences in a variety of situations. It will assist you in understanding your personal strengths and weaknesses, and how you relate to people with different preferences. It can give you some idea of the types of work environments that will be most satisfying to you, and help you understand some of your own unique contributions to the workplace.
This assessment assists you in identifying your transferable skills for career planning, career change, and self- marketing purposes.
Career Decision Making Difficulties Questionnaire
The CDDQ can assist you in understanding why you are feeling stuck in decision making process. Results can identify both internal and external barriers to decision making (e.g., motivation, beliefs, information, etc.).