Student wearing a green sweater.

My Self

The shape of each student’s career journey is unique, but the starting point is always the same: mySelf. Understanding who you are and how your unique values, skills, interests, and preferences can contribute to your professional life is invaluable. When you understand what motivates you, you can identify not only what excites you, but why it does.

Understanding your unique life and career preferences is a necessary part of career exploration. In Student Life, we believe career exploration is lifelong and ongoing. As we gather and learn from our experiences, we also grow and evolve. But, exploration is also internal and combines the following questions:

  • Who am I?
  • How do I want to feel at work?
  • How do I want to feel in my life?

These probably seem like big questions…because they are! And that’s okay.

We start at mySelf because self-knowledge brings deeper awareness and intentional goals. When we know what motivates and drives us, we can start to look at paths that line up with our values, skills, and interests (myOptions) and gain experiences that help us work towards our goals (myExperiences). That alignment between our internal selves and our external actions is vital to figuring out what fulfilling work looks like for you.

Tools

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    Career Cruising

    Career Cruising is a self-exploration and planning program that supports people of all ages achieve their potential in their journey school, career and life.

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    Learn more

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    The VIA Inventory of Strengths 

    Take the  VIA Inventory of Strengths quiz for free to determine your character strengths! This simple character test in 15 minutes or less.

    Learn more

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    The Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire

    This short assessment helps you identify areas that might be holding you back in your career decision-making and suggests ways to overcome them. It highlights some of the common areas of difficulty people face when trying to make career decisions.

    Learn more

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    SkillScan  

    SkillScan tools provide an interactive and intuitive-based process for identifying transferable skills which is critical knowledge for identifying appropriate career options, university majors and training programs. 

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    Strong Interest Inventory

    The Strong Interest Inventory test is an assessment that helps people match their interests with potential educational, career, and leisure activities, using an individual’s preferences in a variety of areas.

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    Digital Challenge Cards

    Reframe how you plan for the future by starting with the challenges that interest you the most. Take the online assessment to identify your top three.

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    Career Values Card Sort

    Career Values Card Sort is a highly relevant two-part activity that allows you to identify not just what you view as your most significant career values, but also prioritize the values on a scale of always valued to never valued. From there, your top eight career values and your career options under consideration are matched up. Is there alignment? Do your career values fit with your career options?

    This activity is a fantastic way to spark conversation about what motivates us and the ways in which these motivations (aka our values) correspond with potential job titles/career fields. It can be interesting to discover how our values and goals interact! If, for example, you find that your values don’t entirely match up with career options/fields under consideration, what needs to shift? Regardless of what you discover about yourself, Student Life is here to provide support and resource throughout this conversation.

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    Motivated Skills Card Sort

    Motivated Skills is a card sorting activity that provides you with an overview of skill sets based on enjoyment and proficiency. Why is this helpful? A huge part of career exploration and development involves strategically thinking about experiences that are interesting and relevant. In other words, if you have a skill that you identify as one you ‘enjoy using very much’ but for which you lack desired skill level…well, that’s an opportunity for growth! The conversation then extends beyond what skills you require to a more focused how can you develop this particular skill? What opportunities exist on campus? What opportunities exist in the broader community?

Additional Resources

Self-Exploration
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Connecting your career planning and academic planning.

16 Personalities: Uses the 16 Meyer-Briggs types and breaks down each type into an archetype, all of which are categorized into four main themes in relation to your relationships and professional life.

Career Insite: A Government of Alberta website, this is a great tool for career planning where you can begin your own personalized career plan, take quizzes, and access notes and resources. Self-assessments include:

  • Interests: Create your career doing things you enjoy
  • Abilities: Identify the skills and talents that come naturally to you
  • Work Values: Base your career plan on what's important to you
  • Significant Experiences: Use good things from your past to shape your future
  • Preferred Working Conditions: Consider the impact of where you work and who you work with
  • Multiple Intelligences: Discover the ways you are smart--your many intelligences
  • Vision: Identify your best possible future so you can help it come true.

The MAPP Career Assessment: The Motivational Appraisal Personal Potential (MAPP) is an interest survey to help individuals identify their preferences for working with people or things, and other job characteristics. A free sample MAPP Career Analysis is provided, outlining your “natural motivations and talent for work”. It also suggests some occupations that match these preferences.

Princeton Career Quiz: A quick and accessible quiz that provides participants with a number of career options, as well as details about various professions in terms of education, progression, skills, day-to-day, and salary. (An American resource!)

Big Five Personality Tests: A compilation of assessments based on the Big Five (a.k.a. Five Factor) model of personality. Tests measure traits like Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. NOTE: Only tests 2 to 5 are free.

Personal Globe Inventory: The Personal Globe Inventory (PGI) was created by Arizona State University to measure your interests in activities and help you relate these interests to life decisions such as what to choose for a career and/or a major focus of study, as well as what hobbies and out-of-work interests you may find rewarding.

Career Personality Snapshot: A quick test based on imagery that provides a broad overview of your work self. The results break down your career type and a breakdown of your interest areas.

GPS LifePlan: Goals + Plan = Success (GPS)! This American resource offers career, education, finance, leadership, and personal plans for success for students. Start with the assessments and learn how to create smart goals and action plans.

Career Values Assessment: This free tool will help you learn more about your underlying work needs and motivations and will rank your work values according to how well they match a list of over 700 occupations. (An American resource!)

Work Importance Profiler: What's important to you in a job? Discover how much you value achievement, independence, recognition, relationships, support, and working conditions in a job. This resource from the California CareerZone, will give a list of jobs that reflect your values.

Other self-assessments that connect your life and work.

Start With Your Why
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