To discover your career needs, you first need a career needs assessment. Assess where you are and where you want to be in this lesson.
As we have seen with Meral, taking the time to learn more about yourself and your needs can make a huge difference when choosing a career path. Understanding what you truly need and value will help you gain a clearer sense of purpose and direction as you pursue a career. Here are some of the most important things to consider:
- Values: Is it important that you work with with people who share similar values? Have you considered the workplace culture and environment of the careers you are interested in?
- Interests: Consider the things you are more interested in when pursuing a career. What are you most passionate about? What pursuits give you energy? What gives you genuine satisfaction?
- Personality: What kind of career will suit your personality? Are you introverted or extroverted? Would you prefer a low-key or fast-paced workplace? Do you prefer working alone or with others?
- Skills and abilities: What skills and abilities do you possess? Skills may be technical, like knowing a software program or how to cook, but they may also be interpersonal, like the ability to solve problems or motivate others.
- Education: What is your current level of education? Will you need additional training or degrees before pursuing a career?
- Financial needs: What kind of salary will you need to meet your current and future financial needs. What about retirement or health care? Are your expectations realistic?
Learning more about your skills and interests can help you find a career that fulfills your needs and feels right for you. Below are some free resources for assessing yourself and your possible career paths:
- The O*Net Interest Profiler is a great tool that can help you understand how your interests align with different career options. You can even explore different career paths based on your results.
- The Skills Profiler allows you to measure the strength of your current skills and determine possible career paths based on your skill set.
- MySkillsMyFuture suggests possible new career options based on your current job and displays a helpful summary of transferable skills you have gained by working in your field.
These tools are a great starting point, but they can only tell you so much about yourself. Be sure to spend some time reflecting on your own values and interests as you begin exploring different careers.
Use one of the self-assessment tools above to measure your aptitude for different career paths.
- Do you think the results accurately reflect your personality or skills?
- Can you imagine yourself pursuing any of the suggested careers?
- Are the suggestions realistic?
- Visit a career center. Many communities and colleges have career centers with resources that can help you determine your areas of interest and aptitude. Visit servicelocator.org to find local resources and career centers in your town.
- Download and install one of the many O*Net Career Application Tools on your computer. These simple programs allow you to explore different aspects of personal assessment, such as finding your ideal workplace environment.
- Review What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job Hunters and Career Changers by Richard Nelson Bolles. This guide is updated yearly and is an industry standard for career planning. You can also visit the corresponding website, JobHuntersBible.com.
- Review Self Matters by Dr. Phil McGraw or visit Dr. Phil's Advice - Self Matters. This may be a good resource if you are having difficulty assessing yourself and what you truly want.