Planning you career, knowing your strengths

Pebble Row graphic

Career Goals and Self-Assessment

Exercise 1: Determine your Strengths, Abilities and Interests

First establish your career goal. In other words, match your interests to your skills and let that guide you. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What motivates me?
  • What do I enjoy doing and how does that match what I am capable of doing?

To develop your career goal, start by determining your strengths, abilities and interests. The key is to uncover where your strengths, abilities and interests are aligned. Then you will find the most job satisfaction. 

If you are uncomfortable listing your strengths, abilities and interests at this point, proceed to the exercise on developing accomplishment statements. When you've completed that exercise come back here and try this one; you may be more confident about your strengths and abilities after reading your accomplishments.

Use the following form as a guideline:

Strengths are things you do well.  Examples include being organized, working well with people, solving problems.  Abilities are things you are capable of doing.  Examples include technical writing, keyboarding, landscaping, drafting. Interests are where you like to spend your time.  Examples include independent research, working in a hospital, creating art, sports, customer service.
My key strengths include: My significant abilities include: My main interests include:
1. 1. 1.
2. 2. 2.
3. 3. 3.
4. 4. 4.
5. 5. 5.

What do your strengths, abilities and interests have in common?  Are there any patterns?  You will use this information again during the company/industry research phase of your job search, so keep it handy.

Still having trouble deciding on a career field?  Search the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) for career information.  OOH details what workers do on the job, training and education needed and expected job prospects.

Continue to next exercise: Developing Accomplishment Statements