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Self-Assessment

A critical first step in the career planning process is self-assessmentwhich should include a thorough evaluation of your interests, skills, values, and personality. While there are standardized assessment instruments to indicate this type of information, you can begin the process simply by asking yourself a few questions. The answers to these questions will provide you with a better understanding of who you are and what you want. Once you have a clear understanding of yourself, you can use this self-knowledge to communicate your career goals clearly to others.

Here are a few questions to help you get started:

  • I find the following industry exciting/fascinating...
  • My geographical preferences are...
  • I prefer a salary range of...
  • I would prefer to work for a...large company, small company, medium sized company, family owned company, for myself...
  • I am most productive in a work environment that is...structured, non-structured, fast-paced, casual, competitive, noncompetitive...
  • I prefer my work environment to be located...in the city, the suburbs, close to home...
  • I am happiest when I am able to use these skills...
  • My weaknesses are...
  • I prefer to work...in a group, independently, both...
  • I prefer most of the people with whom I work to be...analytical, ambitious, creative, highly competitive, organized, laid back, loyal, meticulous, service minded, self-expressive...
  • I am most productive when...
  • My job/career expectations are...wealth, security, independence, self-fulfillment, power, challenge, recognition, growth...
  • I would like to work for a company that allows me to...
  • I am motivated to do my best work by...money, clearly defined goals, power...
  • I most enjoy working with people, data, things...
  • The company I work for must have...
  • I prefer to dress...casually, business attire, both...

After reflecting on your preferences and motivators, you can identify career paths which will allow you to use many of your strengths and skills while meeting your most important needs. The better you know yourself, the more likely you are to pursue a career that is both enjoyable and rewarding and that will provide you with the career challenges and satisfaction you seek.

Self-Assessment should be an on-going process. Recognize that your values, abilities, and goals throughout your life will change and that you should often re-evaluate them. Understand yourself before you attempt to present yourself to the job market. Employers expect to find candidates who are focused in their search and who are able to communicate their career goals.

To assist you further in your self-assessment process, please take advantage of the many resources that are currently available to you in both print and online form.

Last Updated 7/23/14