Assess Your Skills and Interests

Educational Assessment

Every career starts in a classroom. Just to be sure you did not pass over a key moment in your formal education, consider these questions as you proceed:

  • What teachers did I like best and why? How did they help me learn about myself?
  • What teachers did I like least and why?
  • Which subjects did I like best and why? Do I see any connection to my current career goals?
  • Which subjects did I like least and why?
  • Which subjects did I get the best grades in and why?
  • Which subjects did I get the worst grades in and why?

Based on what you have written, identify five key skills or knowledge areas that you might like to use in your next position. Do not limit yourself to the job you now have; try to list skills that could be applicable to many different jobs.

Work Experience Assessment

Now it’s time to think about all the work experiences you have had. No matter how short or long in duration, think about the jobs you have held and ask:

  • What was my favorite job and why? What did I achieve in this job?
  • What was my least favorite job and why?
  • Which of the jobs would I do even if I didn’t get paid? Why?
  • Which jobs really challenged me and helped me to develop personally and professionally? Why?

Again, based on what you have written, identify five key skills or knowledge areas that you might like to use in your next position. For now, do not compare this list to the one you just made. Keep moving on your thinking and writing.

Leisure Activity Assessment

You know what they say about all work and no play… In the times you are not working (whether evenings and weekends, or longer periods of time when you have been between jobs), what do you really enjoy doing with your leisure time? Here are some work/life balance questions to consider:

  • What skills have I developed from a hobby that might be marketable?
  • What skills have I developed from travels?
  • What skills have I developed from other leisure activities?
  • Is there something I have done for fun that I always dreamed of getting paid for? What is it about that activity that pleases me so greatly?

Again, identify the five most marketable skills you have from your leisure activity assessment.

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