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The Role of Self-Assessment

The Role of Self-Assessment

Self-assessment can be extremely helpful for answering several different career questions, including:

  • How do I find the most rewarding career field for me?
  • How do I use this information to get a job immediately?
  • How can this information help me perform better where I am now?

Self-assessment provides information about three important areas for career satisfaction: personality, work values and culture.


This entails assessing the Big Five dimensions of personality: emotional stability, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

Your personality style reflects your behavior style. People who work at careers they love often tell me, "I can't imagine doing anything else. I get to express so much of my personality at work." Understanding your personality traits and how they can translate into work you love requires digging deeper than the printed results. Your dream job will most likely require a wonderful opportunity to showcase your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Because you are basically being paid to be yourself, choosing a career where your personality can soar will reward your efforts.

Work Values

This is about knowing and owning your values, such as achievement, independence, recognition and support.

Your work values tell you what is important to you and are good motivators. Values are those key triggers you look for when searching for your dream job, so be sure to prioritize them in the order of their importance to you. The relationship between motivating values and what you hold dear must be explored at a deeper level. Prioritizing values is a good way to do so.


Do your values provide a good fit within a culture?

The characteristics of culture that appeal to you are values that need to be considered. Does the culture fit your personality style? Examples of values are individual expressiveness, the ability to exchange information, a high salary or a casual atmosphere.

The beauty of assessment really shines when you start recognizing patterns in your results. If you're extroverted and individual expressiveness is important to you, you'd better escape that bean counter position. Consider this permission to express yourself to the fullest in your dream job. Be outrageous and ask, "Where could I be most wildly myself and get paid to talk about something I value?"

Looking for a Career

When seeking a job, those careers highlighted by your assessment provide a quick place to start looking for new possibilities. Use the results to explore positions in these fields. Get past the knee-jerk reaction that none of those fields interest you. Be open to researching the different career venues, even if it's only to figure out what you and that job have in common. There is a relatively high likelihood that there will be a connection between personality style, work values and culture. Read about these fields and their outlook in the economy, and discover a lateral move you might make. This can result in greater career satisfaction, while building toward what might become your dream career.

Grow and Develop in Your Current Position

One of the most immediate applications of your self-assessment results is to measure your current situation and look for areas you know need reinforcing. Learn to manage your career by making the most of your current situation. If you realize you are tense on the job rather than calm, what can you do to build more relaxation into your work schedule? If recognition is an important value to you, ask yourself, "Where does that recognition need to come from?" Recognition can come from your boss, a customer who is pleased with your extra effort or a colleague you helped out of a jam. You can also achieve self-recognition by setting and meeting attainable, measurable goals.

Remember: This is your career, and finding happiness in it begins with knowing yourself.

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