Self-Assessment for Career Selection

A critical first step to discovering the right career for you is to spend some time in self-assessment. You need to get this down on paper and not just as a set of foggy ideas in your head. More specifically, we’ll look at your current set of: skills, interests, talents, values, work-life factors and personality.


Our skills, which we develop through learning and training, describe what we are good at. Increasing our skills improves our ability to do certain things.

There are two types of skills that you should consider before diving into a career. Firstly, your technical skills. These are your ability to accomplish specific tasks, which are learned from education, training or work experience. The second are our soft skills. Some of these we learn through education, some come more naturally and some are learnt from the things we do in everyday life.

Although we can develop and grow our skill set throughout our lives through training and studying, if you?re wanting to kickstart you career now, then it is important to find a career that is suited to your unique skill set. To identify your skills, the skills matcher can help you create a list of your skills. Or, mySkills and myFuture can help you identify the skills you have learnt in your previous roles and how they can be applied to other roles.


You may have all the skills to be very successful in a certain career – but does it interest you? Our interests are the things we want to learn about, that we want to give our attention to and that we find interesting. Some of us are interested in complexed mathematical problems and working with data, while others are interested in working closely with others or helping those with difficult life problems.

Here at The Career Project, we want to find you a career you’ll love, not just one you’ll be good at. And we believe that you can’t really love something if you find it boring. To help you determine what you find interesting, visit the O*NET Interest Profiler.


Our talents are our natural aptitude. It’s what we are just naturally good at, without even having to really try. Some of us a naturally very talented at leading groups, being compassionate to others or persuading people and may therefore succeed more in a position that requires social interaction and leadership. Whereas, if we are naturally gifted to be good with numbers and data, we may prefer a career in finance that uses these skills.

You’ll likely already have a good idea of your talents, but don’t just consider the specific thing but the more broad elements related to it. Also ask your friends and family for input on your talents and what they see you doing professionally. They have a different perspective and their input is usually quite insightful.

We all enjoy things more when we find it easy. Thats why it is important to find a career that matches our talents, so that you are more likely to feel satisfied, content and fulfilled.


Our values represent our beliefs about what we think is most important. For some of us, this might be service to others, compassion or even environmentalism. Whereas for others, this might be a sense of adventure, consistency or efficiency.

When we pick a career, we need to do work that aligns with these beliefs and values. You might have the skills and talents to be an excellent and successful buyer in the oil and gas industry, but if saving the environment and finding renewable energy sources is what you really value, then you will only feel dissatisfied, discouraged and unfulfilled.

To help you find what you find most valuable, try the Interest Assessment and Work Values Assessment and/or download and print O*NET’s work value cards, which you can sort into essential, important and not important to find what you value at work.

Work-Life Factors

Our work-life balance is so important to us, for our well-being, mental health and our performance at work. Before you set out to find your ideal career, it is important to consider how a career will impact your work-life balance.

Some of us are happy to dedicate hours and hours each week to a career. Especially those of us who are young, have less responsibility or want lots and lots of money. But you might have other commitments – a family, competitive sports, studying or voluntary work that means it’s just not reasonable to have a career that requires you to work over 40 hours a week and travel across the globe for meetings.

You’ll end up resenting your career and/or underperforming if it doesn’t fit into the bigger picture of your life overall. That’s why it’s important to find a career that works for you, your family and your financial plans.


Our personalities define us. They decide what way we like to work and what way we dislike to work. Our personality determines how we perceive certain environments, who we like to interact with, what we prefer to focus our attention on and how things make us feel.

The classic example of how our personality effects our carer is: who is more likely to progress and be more satisfied in a sales role, an introvert or an extrovert? Well, most likely an extrovert because they enjoy being around others.

However, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert or somewhere in the middle; it’s critical to understand who you are in the world, what you’d like to achieve and how you can add value to a work environment. If your personality matches your career and the work environment that comes with it, you’re more likely to be satisfied, fulfilled and rewarded. The best part is you can take a personality test or career-personality assessment in less than hour, and get wonderful insight that will guide your career search. Even better, you can sort our career guides by personality type to make your search easier!