Assess Yourself

This step helps you discover and organize all of the skills, interests, and values you will need to explore the world of work and present yourself to a potential employer. It is a good idea to do this step every year, even if you have a job, since you may have gained new skills, or your interests and values may have changed.

Know Your Skills

A skill is the ability to do a certain task well. Skills can be a natural ability or they can be learned over time. You can gain or expand your skills with practice or training. It is important to assess your skills at all phases of your career since you develop new skills at work, school, and through extracurricular activities.

Examples of Skills

Professional Adaptive Critical Transferable
You will want to specify or quantify these skills by prefacing them with a transferable skill. For example: Diagnosing a car engine malfunction. These are so essential to achieving success on the job that employers value your adaptive skills above all other types of skills. These are essential to maintaining your job. You develop these naturally from all aspects of life.
Foreign languages Deliberate Arrive to work on time Teaching
Cares Analytical Follow instructions Public speaking
Organs of the body Energetic Punch in on timecard Assembling
Food operating machinery Strong Submit timecard Supervising
Parts of a refrigerator Expressive Complete assigned tasks Computing
Minerals (specify) Tactful   Researching
Buildings (specify) Reasonable   Organizing
Floral arrangements Precise   Analyzing
Hydraulics Helpful   Deciding
Jewelry Productive   Operating
Journalism Dependable   Designing
Motors Truthful   Repairing
Hair Capable   Advising
Finance Diplomatic   Appraising
Drills Creative   Bargaining
Clothes Enthusiastic   Budgeting
Income taxes Industrious   Communicating
Musical instruments Loyal   Developing
Inventory, stock Patient   Interviewing


Common Work Skills
Skill Set Description Examples
Basic Skills These are skills needed by almost all workers. These skills are very important to have. Writing, for example, is a basic skill that gets you into a good job. Not having it can keep you out of a good job.
  • Able to follow directions
  • Academic
  • Able to listen
  • Read for Information
  • Synthesize
  • Punctual
  • Honest
  • Count, Numerical
  • Organized
  • Able to remember
  • Analyze
  • Spatial Reasoning
  • Visualize
  • Generate Ideas
  • Physical Activity
People Skills These are some of the most needed and wanted skills. They're sometimes called "soft skills." These skills help people to work well with others.
  • Deal with Feelings
  • Coordinate with others
  • Help others
  • Initiate Change
  • Persuade
  • Teach others
  • Teach, Train
  • Mediate
  • Cheerful
  • Interview for Information
  • Cooperative
  • Patience
  • Diplomatic
  • Tolerant
  • Generous
Management Skills All workers need these skills, not just managers. Employers hire people who can keep track of projects, money, and their time.
  • Budget
  • Observing
  • Supervise
  • Estimate
  • Evaluate
  • Act as liaison
  • Expedite
  • Take directions
  • Plan, Organize
  • Listening skills
  • Make Decisions
  • Motivate
  • Researching
  • Negotiate
Technical Skills Technology includes computers and equipment. Computers are common in most workplaces. People in all occupations should know how to work with technology.
  • Counsel
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Plant, Cultivate
  • Host/Hostess
  • Make Arrangements
  • Mechanical
  • Use Carpentry Abilities
  • Portray Images
  • Produce Skilled Crafts
  • Stage Shows
  • Transport
  • Treat, Nurse
  • Observe
  • Compose Music
  • Entertain, Perform
  • Classify
  • Maintain Records
  • Prepare Food
  • Design
  • Write, Proofread, Edit
  • Sell
  • Tend Animals

Do a skills assessment and then write down Your Top 10 Skills and Occupations that Match Your Skills (pdf).

Online Skills Assessments

Match Your Interests to Occupations

The Match Your Interests to Occupations (pdf) exercise is a short interest assessment.

Each letter matches an interest group.

Online Interest Assessment

Your Work Values

Job satisfaction comes from having a job that meets your needs and fits your goals.  Match Your Work Values to Occupations (pdf) includes things people often value in their job.  Not all these values will be met each day. However, choose an occupation that meets most of your work values and you are more likely to enjoy your job. You will be more motivated to succeed.

Online Work Value Assessment

Put Your Assessments Together

Look at the occupations you listed on the worksheets for each assessment. These include:

These occupations match your skills, interests and work values.

List the occupations that show up on two or three of your assessment lists in Occupations that Best Match All of Your Assessments (pdf). These occupations are a good place to start as you think about your next career goal.

Now that you have a list of occupations that fit your skills, interests, and values you are ready to begin Step 2: Explore Careers

Online Assessment Resources