Interests Skills and Values

In order to decide which career field is most suitable for you, we must first determine your preferences. Self-assessment is a very important step in helping you identify majors and careers that might be a good fit. Knowing what you're looking for is extremely helpful in actually finding it. The Career Center can assist you with identifying your interests, skills, and values through a number of different activities. If interested, you can schedule an appointment with a career counselor.


An interest is something on which you like to expend energy. Determining your interest is as simple as thinking about what you like to do in your spare time. What kinds of activities are you drawn to? What were you doing the last time you lost track of time? List them here.

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A skill is a personal attribute, talent, or ability that you bring to an experience or that you acquired through a job or some form of learning. Determining your skills can be done by asking friends, family members, co-workers, and supervisors what they think your strengths are. Consider previous evaluations from past positions you held in the past. List them here.

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A work value is a standard of work that is important to a person's job satisfaction. The following is a list of work values that many people have identified as being important to them in their careers. These values describe a wide variety of attributes associated with various work settings but is not all inclusive. Rate the degree of importance in choosing a career for yourself using the scale below.

1 - Not important at all; 2 - Somewhat important; 3 - Reasonably important; 4 - Very important

___ Help society: Do something to contribute to a better world
___ Help others: Be involved in helping others in a direct way
___ Work with others: Close working relationships with a group
___ Competition: Pit my abilities against others with win/lose outcomes
___ Work under pressure: Face situations with time constraints or where quality of my work is judged critically
___ Power and authority: Control work activities of others
___ Influence people: Be in a position to change attitudes or opinions of others
___ Work alone: Conduct work by myself, without contact with others
___ Knowledge: Pursue knowledge, trust, and understanding
___ Personal growth: Engage in work that offers me the opportunity to grow as a person
___ Creativity: Engage in creative work; art, design, event planning, interior design, writing, performing, etc.
___ Variety: Have responsibilities that offer variety in content or setting
___ Stability and security: Have a work situation that is predictable, with probability that I can keep my job
___ Recognition: Be recognized for the quality of my work
___ Excitement: Experience a high degree of excitement at work
___ Profit gain: Have a strong possibility of earning large amounts of money
___ Location: Work in a place near my home, with a short drive or bus ride
___ Fun: Work in a setting where I am free to be playful, humorous, and exuberant
___ Autonomy: Have responsibilities that allow me freedom to determine how and when work is accomplished
___ Status: Have a position that carries respect within the community
___ Advancement: Have the opportunity to work hard and see rapid career advancement
___ Productive: Produce tangibles, things I can see and touch
___ Aesthetic: Create things that are beautiful and contribute to making the world more attractive
___ Achievement: Experience a feeling of accomplishment for a job well done
___Environment: Work in a pleasant, clean, comfortable setting
___Supervision: Work as part of a team that is managed with fairness and appreciation

Identify what most satisfies you about work by selecting work values that are the most important to you and list them here.

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Now that you have developed a list of your interests, skills, and work values, it's time to bring them together and think about how you could apply these in different occupations.

Start by generating a list of key criteria that came out of your self-assessment exercises. These should be occupational aspects that you deem to be imperative. List them here:

- Working with people
- Working in an urban setting
- Solving complex problems; analyzing



Once you have completed this list, start thinking of careers that incorporate these themes. Next steps may include scheduling an appointment with a career counselor to discuss your findings further; sharing this list with a friend or family member to get additional ideas about careers; researching various career fields and occupations; and/or evaluating your occupations of interest.


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