Learn About Yourself
Step Two: Learn About Yourself
There are four dimensions of self that should guide your career decisions: your values, interests, personality, and skills.
By exploring the four dimensions of self, you will be empowered to decide which career path is right for you. This a crucial step in the career exploration process and your career advisor will help you every step of the way.
Choosing a career path that aligns with your skills will help you be successful in your professional life.
Your job satisfaction depends on how well your career choice aligns with your values.
Personality preferences determine how you respond to the outside world, take in information, make decisions, and structure your environments.
Your interests determine whether you’re bored or engaged by your surroundings.
Your values are an important part of who you are. They shape your thoughts, influence your worldview, and help you decide what actions to take. You may not always be aware of your values, yet conscious or not they steer your every action. Your career coach will guide you through the Life Values Inventory and other activities, so you can identify your values.
- What's important to you?Maybe you prize spending time with family above all else. Or maybe financial success is a priority for you. Figuring out what’s most important to you can help you define your values.
- What issues and causes do you care about?Do you volunteer at a homeless shelter? Donate money for cancer research? Raise awareness about domestic violence? The causes you support with your time, money, and voice say a lot about your values.
- How do you spend extra time and/or money?Your grandma sends you a big check for your birthday. Do you deposit the money in your savings account, or do you spend it all right away? The decisions you make about your money and your time are good indicators of your values.
Life Values Inventory
The Life Values Inventory Online was developed to help individuals clarify their values and serve as a blueprint for effective decision-making and optimal functioning. Your values are the lenses through which you view yourself and your world. As values develop, they are crystalized and prioritized to form a values system. In essence, they form your own personal truth from which self-esteem, fulfillment, and resilience develop. While there are other uses of the word values, this program is not focused on values as they relate to ethics, morality or political/religious views.
The secret to finding a fulfilling career lies in identifying the things you already like to do—in other words, your interests. What do you like to do? What are you interested in? Your answer might lie in your leisure life and what you like to do with spare time. But you can carry your interests into the world of work! Your career coach will help you understand your interests by guiding you through the Strong Interest Inventory.
- What topics could you talk endlessly about?Maybe you love dishing about the latest fashion trends with your friends. Or maybe you never pass up the chance to talk politics. Whatever the subject, if you can talk all day about it and never get bored, it’s a good place to start thinking about your career options.
- What do you do when you have free time?Imagine you have a day all to yourself—no school, work, or family obligations. What would you choose to do? The things you like to do when you don’t have to do anything are good indicators of your interests.
- What do you want to learn more about?What subjects do you wish you knew more about? Which ones make you curious and motivated to learn more? From criminology to web design, identifying the topics that pique your interest can give you insight into what career might be a good fit for you.
Strong Interest Inventory
The Strong Interest Inventory® assessment is one of the world’s most widely respected and frequently used career planning tools. It has helped both academic and business organizations develop the brightest talent and has guided thousands of individuals—from high school and college students to midcareer workers seeking a change—in their search for a rich and fulfilling career.
Your personality influences every part of your life, including the careers that are right for you. By exploring your personality, you will learn more about how you prefer to derive your energy, process new information, make decisions, and the environments best suited for you. To help you gain a better understanding of your personality preferences, your career coach will guide you through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
- At the end of a long day, would you rather go out with a big group of friends or stay home and watch Netflix?Extroverts are energized by being around other people, while introverts get their energy from spending time alone. Knowing whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert can help you find the type of work environment that’s right for you.
- Do you make decisions with your head or your heart?When you have to make an important decision, do you analyze the pros and cons of each option, or do you go with your gut? Understanding your decision-making style can help you choose a career that matches your personality.
- Do you like classes that provide lots of structure, or do you prefer to have freedom to do your own thing?Maybe you’re highly organized and crave structure, or maybe you’d rather just go with the flow. Figuring out the way in which you like to organize your outer world can go a long way toward helping you find the right career path.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator
Knowing your personality type, as measured through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument, can help you with career planning at every stage: from your choices of subjects and majors in school to choosing your first career, to advancing in your organization or changing careers later in life. People often find difficulty defining what kind of work they want to do or why a given field makes them comfortable or uncomfortable. Personality type is a practical tool for investigating what works for you, then looking for and recognizing work that satisfies your preferences.
You already have many of the skills you need to have a rewarding career. Do you know what they are? There are three main types of skills: transferable skills, specialized skills and aspirational skills. Identifying what you are already good at, and what you want to improve on is an important part of choosing a career. Your career coach will guide you through Skillscan and other activities, so you can identify what skills you have and what skills you want to gain while in college.
- What do you do well?Think about the things you’re really good at, both in and out of the classroom. Maybe you’re great at giving speeches, or writing essays. Or maybe you excel at cooking, playing basketball, or singing. Figuring out what you do well—in other words, what your skills are—can give you a good starting point for career exploration.
- What do people ask you for help with?Are your friends always asking you to proofread their papers? Do you help your classmates with their calculus homework? Maybe you’re always being asked to babysit the neighborhood kids, or help fix your friends’ cars. The things that others think you do well are good indicators of your skills.
- What skills do you want to build?You weren’t born knowing how to read, or how to solve a math problem. Skills are learned, and you’ll have many opportunities to build new skills throughout your college experience. It’s important to think about not only the skills you already have but also those you want to develop.
There are many reasons why test takers and counselors like the SkillScan approach to career skills assessment for career planning. Test takers love how hands-on the SkillScan sort process is. SkillScan provides a simple 3-step process to help you learn about your strengths and weaknesses, the skills you enjoy and want to use in a career and those skills needing development. It offers practical and direct application to your career goals - the results can be used to assist in career planning or marketing your skills in resumes and interviews.
Explore Our Career Resources
Indiana Career Explorer
Indiana Career Explorer will help you explore a world of possibilities, make decisions about your future, and prepare for the next step in your education and career planning journey. Depending on your grade level, you will use Kuder Navigator or Kuder Journey to achieve these goals. With a flexible step-by-step process, Kuder Journey is your solution for selecting the right major and preparing for your first career. Additionally, you can learn about how to access training opportunities and approach employers successfully. To access Indiana Career Explorer click on the link provided and follow the instructions to create your own unique account. Note: Do not use your IU username and password for this account.23
Life Values Inventory
The Life Values Inventory is a FREE online values clarification and personal development tool for individuals and organizations; this assessment tool is comprised of 5 steps: 3 assessment stages and 2 results sections with strategies for future development.2
O*Net Online; Social Interest
Job summaries for individuals interested in helping others grow and develop2
How to Schedule Your Career Coaching Appointment
Meet one-on-one with your career coach to develop a plan for your life after college. Watch the video to learn how to schedule an appointment!