Often individuals looking for a job dive right into their search without doing any assessment of their skills, interests, traits, and values or clearly defining their career goals. They look for a job like their last one because that seems like the fastest way of getting re-employed. Taking the time to complete a Career Assessment can be well worth the effort.
Career assessment helps you identify what careers match your interests, skills, traits, and values and provides you with information to build a solid foundation for your search. Taking the time to complete an assessment helps you:
Identify interests—what you like to do and what you don’t like to do
Determine the skills you can offer your next employer
Recognize which work values are important to you in terms of a work environment
Identify the personal traits you bring to your next job
CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, has resources to help you match careers with your interests, skills, and values and that can be found at the Self Assessments link.
Click on Interest Assessment in the CareerOneStop website to find a variety of interest instruments that match your interests with specific jobs. I recommend taking the instrument called O*NET Interest Profiler on My Next Move.
Another interest assessment is the Strong Interest Inventory. You can ask your Minnesota Job Partners Career Counselor to give you a link to take this instrument or you can register for the Minnesota Job Partners workshop on Career Assessment which features the Strong Interest Inventory.
Skills can be assessed by clicking on O*NET on the Skills Assessment page of CareerOneStop which gives you the option of viewing different types of skills (e.g., basic skills, technical skills). Click on the skills you possess to determine which occupations match them best.
You have identified what skills you have, but need to determine the skill requirements of employers. This can be done by analyzing job leads or ads and summarizing this information in a spread sheet so you can easily compare how your skills match employer requirements. Discuss any skill gaps you discover with your Career Counselor to determine how you might be able to enhance your skills through training.
Use the CareerOneStop to identify your work values. I recommend the Six Work Values link. You can choose your most important values and then click on careers that match them.
After identifying your work values, you can research companies online to determine what values they support. Ask people in your network if they have any information about the values of companies you are researching.
Traits are attributes you possess that are part of your style and personality, such as being dependable, confident, and organized. One way to identify these traits is by completing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument that provides you with a profile describing your personal preferences and style. Ask your Career Counselor to arrange for you to complete this instrument and receive feedback on it.
You could also create a list of your traits by thinking about significant accomplishments you achieved during your career. List the personal traits you needed to achieve these accomplishments.
Summarize your conclusions in terms of career assessment and what jobs are a good match for you. Another method for summarizing what job best fits you uses self-reflection as described in the article below: