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Guide to Self-Assessment

Making plans for your future can be challenging. Starting with the self-assessment process can give you more choices and increase your confidence that you are on the right career path. 

A self-assessment process can reveal your personal attributes, values, skills, and interests, all of which help you make informed career choices that are appropriate. CES career development specialists can help you identify potential options using a combination of self-evaluation questions and career assessments.

Featured in this Guide:

  • Types of Assessment
  • Areas of Self-Assessment
  • Questions to Ask Yourself
  • In Summary

Types of Assessments: 

There are many assessment tools, each measuring a particular area, such as your interests, skills, personality, and values. Self-assessment tools are either self-directed or require interpretive assistance.

  • Self-directed means the assessment is designed so you can use it and review your results without a trained professional interpreting the data. Even though it does not require intervention to read the results, we strongly encourage you to schedule a career advising appointment with a Career Exploration and Success career development specialist to assist you. You can complete a free self-assessment online using the Traitify platform,  the Rutgers Online Career Planning Site, and the Find Your Career Cluster survey.
  • Tools requiring interpretive assistance are ones where your results are discussed with a person trained in this particular instrument, so you can understand the data. Assessments of this nature will be administered by a Career Exploration and Success career advisor who will discuss the results with you in a follow-up meeting. Schedule a career advising appointment to receive one of these types of assessments.

Areas of Self-Assessment include:

Determining your Interests

Job satisfaction is closely linked to having an interest in the tasks you perform. Involvement with activities in which you are interested can make it easier to become successful. To help you determine your interests and the tasks that will bring you satisfaction, think about your current successes. Start by making a list of your accomplishments, those projects in which you did well, and from which you derived a sense of pride, achievement, and satisfaction.

Considering your Values

What is most important to you? Pursuing work that is consistent with your values can also provide work satisfaction. Do you believe in the mission of the organization? Do you want to work with an organization that follows green policies? Lifestyle issues such as salary, geographic location, flexible work hours, and commuting time are also factors that should be considered.

Understanding your Personality

Research shows that personality traits have a major role in job satisfaction and success. Determining whether you are the right “fit” for a job often centers on an evaluation of a number of factors, including personality. Personality inventories can provide insight into how your personality compares to others and your work preferences.

Exploring your Skills

What are your key abilities, talents, and strengths? Common examples include interpersonal, communication, leadership, and organizational skills that you may have developed through employment, campus activities, or academic projects.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

Before your appointment with a career advisor, you can begin the process of self-reflection by asking yourself a few key questions:

  1. In what areas have I received praise or recognition?
  2. Do I enjoy activities that relate to people, things, or data?
  3. Do I prefer a regular routine or an ever-changing schedule?
  4. Do I prefer to work as part of a team or alone?
  5. Do I prefer to lead or follow?
  6. Do I prefer to communicate in writing or verbally?
  7. Do I enjoy analyzing complex issues, problems, or data?
  8. Do I enjoy creative activities and artistic endeavors?
  9. How important is work/life balance to me?

In Summary:

Self-assessment involves examining your interests, values, personality, and skills. When your career choices are aligned with your interests, values, personality, and skills, you may be happier and more productive at work!