These self-assessment exercises are tools designed for you. You can use them to learn about yourself privately and on your own time. They are created to assist you in clarifying and determining the elements you need or want for a good fit in a career.

It is important to write your answers down as you complete these exercises. Remember career development is an ongoing process. A hard copy of your answers will assist you in preparation for your job interviews, develop documents such as your resume, and support your decisions when you are reviewing your career goals and direction now and again at a future time.

Please answer the questions as honestly as you can with little regard to what others think or may expect of you. This is the time to determine what YOU really want.

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When we determine our interests we can either choose to incorporate them in our hobbies, our career or save them for a later stage in life.

Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability:

  1. What do you love to do in your spare time or at work? Don't forget to list your hobbies, community projects, social group involvement, or memberships in organizations.
  2. If you go to a bookstore what subject areas do you spend time browsing? If you open the newspaper what section calls your attention first?
  3. List some of your "dream" jobs no matter how outlandish they may sound. Describe a typical day (environment, schedule, tasks, co-workers, etc.).
  4. If you were to look back on your life what would you like to be remembered for? If you have only a year of your life left and you absolutely had to work- what would you be doing in the position?

Incorporated ideas from The Ivory Tower by Margaret Newhouse, PhD


These questions will help you identify the skills you would like to incorporate in your career.

Answer on your own:

  1. What were you doing when someone has complimented you or told you that you are really good at...? Write down at least five compliments here.
  2. What do you naturally do well?
  3. List the skills you have obtained in school, community service, past/present employment, hobbies, internet, computer, sports/recreation, studying/learning, peers/colleagues, religion, community, leaders/role models, watching/observing others, religion, community, culture, teachers, family, friends, day-to-day experiences, books, trial and error and failure.
  4. What are your ten greatest successes to date (in your eyes)?

Answer with family members, friends and/or co-workers:

  1. Ask family members, friends, mentors what are you good at or sets you apart from others.
  2. Ask close friends/family what career they think you would enjoy or be good at and why. (Many times our close friends, family, co-workers know us better than we know ourselves).
  Transferable Skills
  Career Preferences

Make a two-column list of characteristics your job must have and characteristics it must not have. Creating this list will visually assist you to see the characteristics that are most important to you in your career.

Career Preferences Self Assessment (PDF)