Knowing yourself is one of the most important steps in your career journey. To develop career ideas, you need to better understand your interests, values, strengths and skills and how they relate to meaningful work. You can start this process through four pathways:
- Taking career assessments
- Talking to People
- Getting experience
Our interests, values, strengths and skills are developed through our experiences. That is why reflecting on our personal, academic and work experiences is an important way to help us learn about ourselves; what did I enjoy in the experience? What made the experience meaningful? What skills did I develop or enhance through the experience?
To gain more insight on how this self-reflection can help you explore your future career directions, you can participate in our self-exploration programs and workshops like Dream Job Academy, contact Career Exploration & Education to book an appointment with a Career Educator.
Self assessment tools
Career assessment tools
There is no magic assessment that can tell you which career is best for you. However, career assessments can be an informative tool to learn more about how your personality, strengths, interests and values connect with potential careers and meaningful work. Here is a list of resources for career assessment.
The Clifton StrengthsFinder is a Web-based assessment of personality from the perspective of Positive Psychology. It helps you discover your top strengths and offers advice on how to focus and develop in those areas professionally. If you are interested taking this assessment, join the Building Your Strengths program through Clubs & Leadership Development in Student Life.
The Myers & Briggs Type Indicator applies psychology theory to help you understand your natural preferences on four dimensions: how you gain energy, take in information, make a decision and deal with the outside world. The assessment will help you understand your personality type with a four-letter code and how you can best apply your type in your career. If you are interested in taking this assessment, contact Career Exploration & Education to book an appointment with a Career Educator. There is a cost involved to complete this assessment.
Career Cruising is a website that hosts an in-depth career information database; it also offers multiple non-standard assessments in various areas of self-discovery in regards to interests (Matchmaker) and skills (My Skills). It can be accessed through CLNx resources.
For additional online resources, please check CLNx Resources for our e-book collections on “Understanding Self and Career Options”.
Free online resources
MyNextMove is an interactive tool for job seekers and students to learn more about their career options. The career options are from the O*NET database, which are categorized based on the Holland Code. The ‘Interest Profiler” survey can help determine what your interests are and how they can be applied in a career.
16 Personalities is a free online personality assessment that combines the concepts of MBTI with Big 5 personality traits: Mind, energy, nature, tactics and identity.
An online Value exercise to help you reflect on “what matters to you” in career and life to help set priorities. Your values can change depending on your life circumstances.
You can also connect your values to potential career options through work values in O*NET database.
While you explore these informal assessments, which also provide meaningful insight along side formal assessments, we encourage you to speak with a Career Educator to help make sense of the assessment results.
Talking to people
Talking to people is a great way to learn about diverse career paths, clarify what activities you are interested in, what matters to you and what skills you want to develop for future work. To start connecting with alumni and professionals, check out our Career Exploration Programs and Ten Thousand Coffees.
Gaining experience is a valuable way to clarify your interests, values, strengths and skills or to learn something new about yourself. You can gain experience in a variety of different ways, so consider experimenting in activities you would not usually do. To enrich your learning, it is always important to conduct intentional Self-reflection.