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Self-assessment: the foundation

Self-assessment: the foundation

Whether you are trying to determine a career direction or are starting a job search, having clarity about who you are and what you have to offer is critical to your success in reaching your goals. A self-assessment can reveal your interests, values, skills, and personality preferences, all of which are critical in helping you make informed career choices that are appropriate for you. Looking for a relationship between your self-assessment results and the nature of the work you are considering is the most important step you can take before you write a résumé, begin the search for a job, or define a direction as an independent entrepreneur. In fact, when the time comes to write your résumé or prepare for a job interview, you will find – as many have found – that the task is significantly easier if you have completed the self-assessment process first. In addition, a close examination of the life experiences and influencers that have helped shape who you are can also increase your ability to solve any career challenges you encounter.

In the past, it was typical to complete a prescribed set of studies, find a job in a related field, and stay in that field until retirement. One decision and that was it! Today it is far more common for students to change majors and for workers to make several career changes in a lifetime. People change their careers for a variety of reasons. They might not have made appropriate choices initially, their interests or skills might have changed, or the careers they selected may no longer exist.

Planning for your career can be challenging in today's fast-paced, ever-changing, and complex world. Although it is not possible to predict the future with any certainty, you can successfully position yourself to capitalize on change and chance events by first understanding who you are and the key competencies you can use to navigate the future of work and learning. UWaterloo’s Future Ready Talent Framework is a research–backed tool developed to help you identify ways to prepare for success in the future, while you continue to identify and develop your own interests, values and skills during your time on campus and beyond.

Starting with the self-assessment process can give you more choices and increase your confidence that you are heading in a positive direction.

University of Waterloo

Centre for Career Development