Assess Yourself

This step helps you discover, organize and articulate all of your skills, interests, and values so you can find meaningful work. 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.

What is an assessment? An assessment helps you learn about yourself, and find occupations that will suit you. There are several assessment tools provided in this step. These include:

Why should you assess yourself? It is important to know which direction fits you before you look for a job or go to school. After you've assessed yourself:

Know Your Work Skills

A skill is the ability to do a certain task well. Skills can be a natural ability and can also 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.

There are different ways to group your skills.

Common Transferable and Technical Skills
Read over these skills and think if you have or need to gain any of them. Start your skill assessment by looking at these groups. Ask people close to you for feedback. 


Common Transferable Skills
Skill Set Description Examples
Basic Skills These are skills needed by almost all workers. 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
  • Able to learn
  • Able to listen
  • Able to remember
  • Able to write
  • Punctual
  • Honest
  • Math skills
  • Organized
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Able to sort
  • Proactive
  • Able to work alone
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.
  • Empathic
  • Coordinate with others
  • Help others
  • Negotiate
  • Persuade
  • Teach others
  • Dependable
  • Cheerful
  • Conscientious
  • 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.
  • Manage money
  • Observing
  • Flexible
  • Courageous
  • Supervise people
  • Manage things
  • Manage time
  • Take directions
  • Give directions
  • Listening skills
  • Problem solving
  • Communicating
  • Researching
  • Planning
Technical Skills Technology includes computers and equipment. People in all occupations should know how to work with technology.
  • Choosing tools
  • Quality control
  • Install equipment
  • Install computer programs
  • Check equipment
  • Operate equipment
  • Repair equipment
  • Troubleshooting
  • Painting
  • Welding
  • Helping patients or clients
  • Caring for a child
  • Playing an instrument
  • Processing X-rays
  • Filing
  • Arranging flowers
  • Cooking
  • Software knowledge
  • Typing

You can  take a free skills assessment online at:

Match Your Skills to Occupations

You should know what work-related skills you have and how good you are at each. Find occupations that match the skills you want to use. Know what your skills are so that you can talk about them with co-workers and employers.

How do you know what your skills are?

Use the list of Transferrable and Technical Skills on the Know Your Work Skills page, or use one of the online resources listed below to identify your skills.

List Your Skills and Match them with Occupations.

Use Match Your Skills to Occupations (pdf) to write down your skills. Also, write down 5 - 10 occupations that are a good fit with your skills.  

Resources for Work Skills

Match Your Interests to Occupations

Before you choose an occupation or start a job search, you should know which occupations match your interests. Picking the right job increases your chances of future job satisfaction and career success.

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

Each letter matches an interest group.

Online Interests Resource

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 want or 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 also be more motivated to succeed.

You can also use the Work Values Assessment provided on the O*Net website. You can explore occupations that match your work values.

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 Put Your Assessments Together (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