Having a successful professional journey is an outcome of various ingredients carefully blended. At the foundation of various endeavours is knowing yourself; knowing your interests, values, personality, and other things about yourself. In other words, doing self-assessment.
Self-assessment is a way to understand yourself by looking at your interests, work-related values, personality type, skill set, aptitude, and ambitions. It is important to understand yourself to deliver a well-organized effort to complete a task or prepare yourself for future opportunities.
How Self-assessment Can Help You Build a Successful Career?
Your career decisions affect your lifestyle, health, and overall sense of satisfaction and happiness, and it is important to make informed choices based on who you are, what you value, and what you have to offer the world, says a report by Amherst College LEOB Centre.
Self-assessment is an important guiding tool for beginners as well as professionals. Reflection on one’s strengths and weaknesses gives insights for personal development. Some of the importance of self-assessment are:
- Self-assessment makes you aware of your strengths. Hence, you can provide specialized support to your team in your areas of your strength.
- It shows your domains of weakness, thus, you can work on improving those traits and come out as a strong contender in workplace
- You will learn deeply about your interests and values. You will gain satisfaction in professional life by choosing projects and career paths that match your interest and values.
- Self-assessment gets you nearer to your future goals. You will understand what skill-set to hone and acquire to land lucrative opportunities. It will guide you towards success.
- Self-assessment provides direction for the training that’s suitable for you. You can spend time on training and courses in the most fruitful way.
Making self-assessment habit can yield amazing results for your career. Anyone can acquire this skill over time.
It is imperative to include many dimensions of oneself while doing self-assessment. Primarily, the evaluation should cover work interest, personality, work-related values, and aptitude/talent assessment.
Work Interest Assessment
Your likes and dislikes make up your interests. Your interests determine the kind of work you enjoy doing and the ones that turn you off.
Strong Interest Inventory (SII) is one of the popular interest assessment tools. This tool was developed by psychologist Edward Kellog Strong Jr. to help people exiting the military find suitable jobs.
The inventory tests consist of 291 questions that measure individuals in six areas- occupations, subject areas, activities, leisure activities, people, and your characteristics.
|Area||Number of Questions in Each Area|
Strong Interest Inventory
The test suggests occupation based on six General Occupational Themes (GOT) which includes Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional (RIASEC).
This test helps you discover your ideal work environment, learning style, limitations, and preferences in the workplace.
Career development professionals believe that knowledge about your personality type can help you with career-related options and decisions.
One of the most popular and widely used personality frameworks is ‘Big Five Personality Traits’. The model uses five broad and universal dimensions of personality to describe human personality traits.
The big five factors, often termed as OCEAN, are:
1. Open to experience
People who are more open to new experiences are curious, creative, intellectual, and get excited about new things.
Job Fit: Entrepreneur, artist, musician, traveler, and graphic designer.
People who are self-disciplined and sincere vs those who are irresponsible and careless.
Job Fit: Doctor, lawyer, banker, professor, engineer, scientist, and accountant.
This dimension is a comparison of your personality in regards to being an extrovert and an introvert. Ranking high in extraversion indicated that you are outgoing and thrive in social situations.
Job Fit: Sales, trainer, entertainment, anchor, event planner, and public speaking.
It is the tendency to be cooperative and supportive in a team. Agreeableness is positively correlated with good teamwork skills, however, negatively correlated with leadership skills.
Job Fit: Nursing, development work, customer service, and human resource specialist.
Neuroticism describes your degree of emotional stability. Highly neurotic people are impulsive and act out of emotions while a person raking low in neuroticism is calm and emotionally stable.
Myers-Briggs Personality Types
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the widely used personality frameworks. The questionnaire was developed by Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs based on their work with Swiss Psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s theory of personality.
This personality test consists of 100 questions. Based on the answers to the question, people are identified as having one of 16 personality types. Individuals are classified as
Extroverted or Introverted (E or J)
Sensing or Intuitive (S or N)
Thinking or Feeling (T or F)
Perceiving or Judging (P or J)
Extrovert: Outgoing, sociable, and assertive
Introvert: Quiet and shy
Sensing: Practical and prefer routine and order
Intuitive: Unconscious processes and look at the big picture
Thinking: Thinking types use reason and logic to handle problems. Feeling types rely on their values and emotions
Judging: Want control and prefer their world to be ordered and structured
Perceiving: Flexible and spontaneous
Each of the 16 personalities is given distinct code and title:
- ISTJ – The Inspector
- ISTP – The Crafter
- ISFJ – The Protector
- ISFP – The Artist
- INFJ – The Advocate
- INFP – The Mediator
- INTJ – The Architect
- INTP – The Thinker
- ESTP – The Persuader
- ESTJ – The Director
- ESFP – The Performer
- ESFJ – The Caregiver
- ENFP – The Champion
- ENFJ – The Giver
- ENTP – The Debater
- ENTJ – The Commander
MBTI helps understand an individual’s likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, possible career preferences, and compatibility with other people. It can be a helpful tool for increasing self-awareness and getting career guidance.
Work-Related Values Assessment
Work-related values lay the foundation for the understanding of an individual’s attitudes and motivation. These are the core principles you live by. Therefore, it is important to be aware of your values to choose a career or decide what nature of work to be part of.
The Balance Career suggests asking yourself the following question to better understand your values and what motivates you:
- Is a high salary important to you?
- Is it important for your work to involve interacting with people?
- Is it important for your work to contribute to society?
- Is having a prestigious job important to you?
Another helpful tool developed by Nova divides values into four domains: Intrinsic Values, Work Environment Values, Work Environment Values, Work Content Values, and Work Relationship Values.
- Intrinsic Values: What motivates me to truly love my work day after day? Among a list of these values is Achievement, Giving to Community, Status, Independence, and Power.
- Work Environment Values: What working conditions provide an optimum environment in which I can do my best work? Work Environment Values include Learning, Benefits, Fast-Paced, Comfortable Income, Structure, and many more.
- Work Content Values: What makes my work activities most satisfying and engaging to me? Among the 18 values in this area are values such as Problem Solving, Organizing, Public Contact, Detailed, and Creative.
- Work Relationship Values: What characteristics of interaction with others in my workplace are the most important to me? Work Relationship Values include Open Communication, Diversity, Leadership, Teamwork, Competition, and Trust.
Source: UC Berkeley
Aptitude tests assess your capacity to perform the task of a certain nature. It shows a person’s degree of competency at a certain type of work.
For example, a test evaluating how a person handles emergency and disaster management.
Aptitude tests assess various factors such as logic, patterns, critical thinking, reasoning, knowledge on a variety of subjects, and so on.
The most common aptitude tests are:
- Abstract Reasoning Test
- Cognitive Ability Test
- Critical Thinking Test
- Inductive Reasoning Test
- Logical Reasoning Test
- Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning Test
- Numerical Reasoning Test
- Spatial Awareness Test
Aptitude test is important since it shows what and how much you are capable of and also your shortcomings. The test shows what you are good at doing suggesting the type of areas in work you need to stick to. While the test shows what you do well, it is important to consider if you enjoy doing the work. A person can have aptitude in multiple sectors.
Self-assessment makes you more aware of your likes, dislikes, strengths, weakness, core principles, and other driving forces of your work and life.
You will be able to make informed decisions about what you want in your career by understanding yourself better.
Considering multiple dimensions like personality, interests, values, and aptitude gives a wholesome picture of what your career preferences should be. Above all, your career choices should be something that you love doing, something that excites you and something meaningful to you.
“Do what you love and success will follow. Passion is the fuel behind a successful career. “-Meg Whiteman
Discover what you incline to by doing these self-assessments. You will find a way to carve success and gain work satisfaction by doing so.