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Self-Exploration

In this activity you will explore answers to the questions, “Who am I?”  “What do I like to do?”  “What am I good at?” and “What is important to me in a job?”  Answering these questions 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 keep on taking classes and graduate.

What things have I done?

One way to classify jobs is by dividing them into jobs that work with people, jobs that work with things, and jobs that work with data.  Different people have different skills, many of which are used every day at home, school, and in the community.  Even if you have never worked at a paid job, you still have many skills. 

To help you identify your many different skills, download the Things I Have Done Worksheet and follow the directions.

Make sure to transfer information from this worksheet to your Career and Educational Planning Worksheet.

What other skills do I have?

Understanding skill categories and being able to identify your own skills is essential for deciding on a career or finding a new career.  There are seven broad categories of skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Number skills
  • Technical skills
  • Business skills
  • Management and Self-Management skills
  • Creative/Artistic skills
  • People skills

To help you identify the skills you have in these areas, download the Skills Identification Worksheet and follow the directions.

Make sure to transfer information from this worksheet to your Career and Educational Planning Worksheet.

What are my job values?

Now you know more about your experience and skills. 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 this value system ought to contribute to your career selection.   The things that are important to you in a job will vary over time.  Sometimes flexible hours will be more important than location.  Other times, an opportunity to learn new skills will be most important.  The key is identifying which things are most important to you and then identifying occupations that will offer those things. 

Download the Job Values Inventory Worksheet and follow the directions.

Make sure you complete the Job Values section of your Career and Educational Planning Worksheet, based on the Job Values Inventory Worksheet.

What are my interests?

One way to assess your interests is to use online tools.  You can use the online O*Net® Interest Profiler™ to identify your interests and match them with a wide variety of careers. The Profiler doesn't tell you exactly what career you should pursue, but rather organizes your interests based on six broad categories of work.  Click here for the O*Net® Interest Profiler™.

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

List your top three interest areas and your three occupations on your Career and Educational Planning Worksheet.  You will explore these occupations in the next activity, Occupational Exploration.

What’s next?

In this activity, you have identified your experience, skills, job values, and interests.  Now it is time to begin exploring some occupations and careers that match those skills, values and interests.