Categories for Self-Exploration

Making a good career decision requires being familiar with who you are. This means exploring your personal qualities, traits, interests and competencies and using this information to research careers that call for similar skills and attributes. Taking self-assessment inventories through this website and/or through the Career Development office is a valuable way to pull together personal information that will help lead you to finding a satisfying and good match or "best fit" career. The following are some essential categories for self-exploration.

Self Assessment
electronics, jogging, music…Look at interests and hobbies more closely to identify skills which may be transferable to the work world. Information about your interests and related skills will help you determine potential career paths.
recognition, opportunities for advancement, help others, time freedom, job security... Values express what's important to you, personal standards of what must be in place for you to find your work satisfying.
Satisfying Accomplishments
fixed you own car; established an exercise schedule and kept to it; learned how to read music…Accomplishments and achievements provide clues to valuable competencies and personal qualities that you have. Use this information to further investigate career options.
Skills and Abilities
communicate effectively, collect and analyze data, work well with hands… Do your skills cluster in a particular category such as working with people, data, ideas or things? If you are interested in a particular career, you can find out what skills are required and see if you have those skills or need to learn them.
Occupations/Jobs of Interest
If you think of just one occupation you may be limiting yourself, considering today's employment market. Think of all the professions or occupations that you might be interested in and plan on doing research to find out more about them.
Things You Want To Do
What do you want out of college? What do you want to learn in and out of school? What skills do you want to improve? What occupation would you like to be prepared for upon graduation? If you identify what you want to gain from your college education, you can set some goals for yourself and develop a plan to get the most out of the next few years.

When you have completed several or all career inventories, be prepared to use the test results to bridge your interests and skills to one or more possible careers. Make an appointment with Career Development to review your results and discuss your plans. Additional assessments are available through our office.

This page developed and maintained by Career Planning. Send comments and suggestions to

Last Updated: 5/14/18