Looking for the right career? Start with self-assessment

Career assessment is a way to learn more about how well a variety of careers might suit you. Each assessment focuses on a specific area, such as skills, interests, or values. Typically, an assessment asks you to answer questions about what you like, don’t like, what’s important to you, and what your strengths are.

woman taking a career assessmentSince assessment results may relate to as many as 900 different occupations, don’t panic if your results include careers that don’t interest you. Experts recommended that you take more than one assessment to broaden your ideas before you make a decision. It can also be helpful to talk with a career counselor, family and friends before making a career decision.

What can an assessment help you do?

  • Learn about occupations that are a good match for you
  • Decide where you need more training or experience
  • Identify the skills you bring to a job
  • Write more personal, detailed resumes and cover letters
  • Consider careers you may not have thought about before

What can’t an assessment do?

  • Guarantee that you will like a particular career
  • Ensure that careers you are suited for will be in high demand by employers
  • Account for differences within the same career. For example, a nurse may work in different conditions in an emergency room compared to a nursing home. Or different employers provide an environment that can make the same career more or less attractive.

How can you get started?

  • An interest assessment can help you find a career that you will enjoy.
  • A skills assessment can help you identify careers that use the skills you already have.
  • A values assessment can help you choose work that reflects your personal values–and that you may find most meaningful.
  • For more assessments and help with understanding and applying your results, talk with a career counselor at a community college, community agency or your nearest American Job Center.
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