Assessing Yourself

Making good career decisions requires you to reflect upon key qualities of your personality, interests, values and skills. Once you have an understanding of who you are, you can better figure out where you might want to work.

Self-assessment is a key step in any career planning process because it:

  • Improves self-understanding and awareness
  • Clarifies what you want to do and what is important to you
  • Increases your chances of finding a fit between your personality and work
  • Helps you better market your strengths in cover letters and interviews

puzzle piecesClick below for ways to evaluate 4 core components of your personality:  interests, values, skills, and preferences.

Assessing Your Interests

Knowing your interests is being able to answer questions like:

  • What do I love to do in my spare time? 
  • What activities make me lose track of time?
  • What are the most interesting jobs I can think of? 
  • What kinds of things would I do if money were no object?

What UCS can help you with:

The Strong Interest Inventory (SII):  This assessment measures your level of interest among a broad range of career-related areas and compares them to those employed in over 100 occupations. The SII helps expand your potential career options.  To take an assessment, call UCS to make an appointment with a Career Counselor.

What you can doon your own:

O*Net Interests Search:  This database allows you to browse a number of careers based on identified interest categories.

Assessing your Values 

Values answer the question:

  • What is important to you?
  • Do you value stability, freedom, recognition, service, variety, independence?
  • What are your deal breakers and deal makers when it comes to your career?

What UCS can help you with:

The Values Card Sorts:  The Knowdell™ Career Values Card Sort is a simple tool that allows you to prioritize you values. Fifty-four variables of work satisfaction—such as status, precision work, power, technical competenceand public service— are listed and described. To use the Values Card Sort, call UCS to make an appointment with a Career Counselor.

What you can do on your own:

O*Net Values Search: This database allows you to browse a number of careers based on identified interest categories. 

Assessing your Values Handout

Assessing your Skills

There are 2 main categories of skills:  transferrable and content.  Transferrable skills are adaptable to many jobs and settings.  Content skills are job specific and rarely transfer into different industries.

What UCS can help you with:

The Motivated Skills Card Sort: The Motivated Skills Card Sort helps you organize and rank transferrable skills on two dimensions:  skills you possess, and skills you enjoy using. This activity is a quick and easy way to identify the skills that are central to your career satisfaction and success.  To use the Skills Card Sort, call UCS to make an appointment with a Career Counselor.

What you can do on your own:

O*Net Skills Search:  This database allows you to browse a number of careers based on identified skill areas. http://www.onetonline.org/find/descriptor/browse/Skills

Assessing Your Skills Handout

Assessing your Preferences

Not sure what we mean by 'preferences?'  Try writing you name with each hand.  Which one felt more comfortable?  You have a preference for writing with that hand.  Careers are impacted by personal preferences.  Some will feel comfortable and natural.  Other careers will feel like you're writing with your other hand.

What UCS can help you with:

Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI):  This instrument is designed to help you identify your natural personality preferences.  The MBTI helps you better understand yourself:  your motivations, strengths, suitable work settings, and potential areas of growth.  To take the MBTI, call UCS to make an appointment with a Career Counselor.

What you can do on your own:

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter®-II (KTS®-II): Take this quick 70 question personality instrument to help you discover your personality type. Upon completion, choose the 'Temperament Mini Report' for free results.