Have you ever wondered: “Who am I?” What interests me?” or “What’s important to me in a career?” Not only will this activity will help you answer these questions, it will help you make good decisions about what classes and education you will need to reach your career goals.

The better you target your educational needs to your experience, skills, values and interests, the more motivated you will be to graduate.

What things have I done?

One way to arrange careers is by dividing them into jobs that work with people, jobs that work with things, and jobs that work with information. Even if you have never worked at a paid job, you still have many skills.

To help you identify your many different skills, complete the Things I’ve Done worksheet.

What other skills do I have?

Understanding skill categories and being able to recognize your own skills is critical for deciding on a career or discovering a new career.  There are seven general skill categories:

  • Communication skills
  • Number skills
  • Technical skills
  • Business skills
  • Management skills
  • Creative (artistic) skills
  • People skills

To help you identify the skills you have in these areas, complete the Skills Identification worksheet.

What are my career values?

Another step in the career planning process is identifying what you value in a job.  Your personal value system is made up of the things in life you find most important, and should contribute to your career selection. The things that are important to you in a job will vary over time.  Maybe vacation time is more important than flexible hours. While for someone else, job advancement will be most important. The key is recognizing which things are most important to you and then identifying occupations that will offer those things.

To help you identify the skills you have in these areas, complete the Career Values worksheet.

What are my interests?

You can use the online O*Net® Interest Profiler™ to identify your interests and match them with a variety of careers. The Profiler doesn’t tell you exactly what career you should pursue, but it organizes your interests based on six general categories of work.  Click here to get started.

Once you have completed the Profiler, identify your top three interest areas and three occupations you would like to learn more about.

So, what’s next?

In this activity, you have identified your experience, skills, career values, and interests.  Now you can begin exploring occupations and careers that match those skills, values and interests.