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:
- Career self-assessment tools
- Talking to people
- Getting experience
Our interests, values, strengths and skills are developed through our experiences. 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 join our self-exploration programs. Dream Job Academy and workshops like Know Your Skills and Exploring Meaningful Work or a Career Chat on Exploring Career Options can help.
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 informative tools 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 Explore and Build Your Strengths using Clifton Strengths for Students™ program through Clubs & Leadership Development.
- 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 us 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). You can find it 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.
- There is 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 alongside 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, and to 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 Ten Thousand Coffees. To learn more about strategies for effectively connecting with people, attend our Talking to Professionals workshop or Career Chat on Networking.
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.
Identities @ Work
Discuss, unpack, challenge and reflect on questions about work and identities.Learn more about Identities @ Work
Dream Job Academy
Dream Job Academy is an arts-based career exploration program designed to help you explore your passions, interests, and values to identify potential careers.Learn more about Dream Job Academy
In The Field
Learn about different careers in an industry by visiting an organization’s workplace.Learn more about In The Field
Career advising appointmentsBook a one-on-one career advising appointment with a career educator or peer advisor if you are exploring your options, looking for work or considering graduate school. Learn more about Career advising appointments
Career StartCareer Start is an online tool that helps you to consider career possibilities as you try to answer tough questions about your future. Learn more about Career Start