The key to choosing an appropriate major or career direction is to identify some critical information about yourself, understand how that information relates to careers, and understand how well those careers will meet your individual needs.
Questions you may be asking yourself include:
- What interests me?
- What do I value?
- What am I good at doing?
- How do my personal characteristics and interests relate to career choices?
Exploring these questions through assessment tools will help you discover more about yourself and guide you to academic majors and careers most appropriate for you. A little time spent now to increase your knowledge about yourself and the world of work can save you considerable time, money and effort in the long run.
So what does a self assessment examine? A self assessment examines your values, interests, personality, and skills. More specifically, self assessments examine:
Value inventories measure how important different values are to you. Examples of these values, which also play an important role in one's job satisfaction, include autonomy, prestige, security, interpersonal relations, helping others, flexible work schedule, outdoor work, leisure time, and a high salary. Work Importance Profiler (www.cacareerzone.org)
The questions in an interest inventory asks you about your likes and dislikes regarding various activities. The premise of this self assessment tool is that people who share similar interests will also enjoy the same type of work. Examples of interests are reading, music, running, playing golf, and knitting. Strong Interest Inventory (www.online.cpp.com)
A personality inventory looks at one's individual traits, motivational drives, needs, and attitudes. The most frequently used personality inventory is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI) and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter II. Also True Colors (www.eureka.org)
Skill or Aptitude Assessment
In addition to determining what and how well you perform, a skills assessment also helps you figure out what you enjoy doing. The skills you use in your career should combine both characteristics. You can use the results of the skills assessment to make some changes by acquiring the skills you need for a particular career. Microskills (www.eureka.org)
The following self assessment tools are offered at Career Services for your convenience:
- Eureka (www.eureka.org)
- California Career Zone (www.cacareerzone.org)
- Strong Interest Inventory (See a Career Counselor for more information)
We recommend you use more than one career assessment before making a decision and strongly encourage you to seek assistance in interpreting and discussing your individual results.