Analyze

What do you love to do? The more you understand your interests, values, strengths and what you need to learn, the easier it will be to come up with a career roadmap to plan your career. As you learn more about yourself, the easier the decision making process will become.

Your Values & Interests

  1. Values - A value can be defined as a principle or quality a person holds in high regard. Values, often formed early in life, become incorporated into thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviors. They often provide motivation and guidance along pathways in life; they are the standards by which choices in work and life are made. In developing and managing your career it becomes important to explore your work and personal values and determine their importance to you. Take the Values Survey (Courtesy of UC Davis) to assess your values and how they can align with your career development.
  2. Interests - Interests are helpful to understand in relation to career planning. Career interests are different than abilities or skills. However, people tend to be attracted to activities that they enjoy and are interested in, which then affords the opportunity to develop skills and abilities.
     
    A theory devised by John Holland provides a framework of six general themes that describe broad areas or types of interest. These themes also can be used to describe work environments. People tend to seek environments that are consistent with their interests. Therefore, understanding your interests can help to highlight ways in which certain fields of study, work environments, and occupational pursuits may or may not be satisfying to you.
     
    The six themes are shown below. For most people, primary interests combine two or three of these general themes. That combination is often called a "RIASEC Code" or a "Holland Code". It is important to keep in mind that no RIASEC code is better than another, and there are places for all six codes in every organization.
     
    REALISTIC The "Doers"
    INVESTIGATIVE The "Thinkers"
    ARTISTIC The "Creators"
    SOCIAL The "Helpers"
    ENTERPRISING The "Persuaders"
    CONVENTIONAL The "Organizers"

     
    The following sample of potential interests is provided to help illustrate the six general themes that comprise the RIASEC model. Keep in mind that the table shows a sample only and that most people have a combination of two or three major interest themes.

    Sample of Interests and Working Environments by General Occupational Theme

    REALISTIC
    • Building things
    • Using tools and equipment
    • The outdoors
    • Product-driven environments with clear lines of authority
    INVESTIGATIVE
    • Research and problem-solving
    • Theoretical models
    • Independent, unstructured working environments
    ARTISTIC
    • Conceptualizing/Designing
    • Writing, composing, performing
    • Self-expressive, unstructured work environments
    SOCIAL
    • Helping/encouraging/teaching
    • Counseling/guiding
    • Supportive, collaborative work environments
    ENTERPRISING
    • Debating ideas
    • Managing people & projects
    • Selling
    • Fast-paced, entrepreneurial work environments
    CONVENTIONAL
    • Organizing information
    • Writing reports
    • Operating computers
    • Structured, organized, practical work environments

     
    The Strong Interest Inventory is a self-assessment tool that produces a RIASEC Code based on an individual's responses, as well as information about specific content or topic areas that may be interesting, and a sample of occupations in which satisfied workers tend to have similar interests. (Courtesy of UC Berkeley)

  3. Career Values - Values are qualities considered to be the most important guiding principles that help set priorities in your career and life. They are highly personal and define what is purposeful and meaningful to you. Though values may change in response to life circumstances, they are generally thought to be enduring and provide a compass for setting goals and making decisions.
     
    In a career context, where changes occur rapidly and decisions about opportunities in a current work role or new job possibilities can present themselves unexpectedly, it is critical to pause and reflect on the values that are most essential to you.
     
    "Why" Exercise
     
    This exercise can be a useful tool in clarifying values related to work satisfaction. Jotting down answers to these questions, or perhaps sharing them with a career mentor familiar with your current work situation, is a great way of reaffirming values that are priorities for you in work.
     
    1. What would you miss most if you left your current job? Why?
    2. What was your "best job ever?" Why?
    3. When was a time you felt really energized in your work at UC? Why?
    4. What value would you not compromise in a job? Why?

     
    Knowing how values are aligned with your job and the organization in which you work is often critical to understanding career-related satisfaction and motivation. A helpful framework for thinking about career values was developed by Nova. In their Values Driven Work assessment exercise, career values are clustered in four domains: Intrinsic Values, Work Environment Values, Work Content Values, and Work Relationship Values.
     
    Intrinsic Values: What motivates me to truly love my work day after day? Among a list of these values are Achievement, Giving to Community, Status, Independence, and Power.
     
    Work Environment Values: What working conditions provide an optimum environment in which I can do my best work? Work Environment Values include Learning, Benefits, Fast-Paced, Comfortable Income, Structure and many more.
     
    Work Content Values: What makes my work activities most satisfying and engaging to me? Among the 18 values in this area are values such as Problem Solving, Organizing, Public Contact, Detailed, and Creative.
     
    Work Relationship Values: What characteristics of interaction with others in my workplace are the most important to me? Work Relationship Values include Open Communication, Diversity, Leadership, Teamwork, Competition, and Trust. (Courtesy of UC Berkeley)

Your Personality Type

  1. Holland’s Occupational Themes - Interests are helpful to understand in relation to career planning. Career interests are different than abilities or skills. However, people tend to be attracted to activities that they enjoy and are interested in, which then affords the opportunity to develop skills and abilities.
     
    A theory devised by John Holland provides a framework of six general themes that describe broad areas or types of interest. These themes also can be used to describe work environments. People tend to seek environments that are consistent with their interests. Therefore, understanding your interests can help to highlight ways in which certain fields of study, work environments, and occupational pursuits may or may not be satisfying to you.
     
    The six themes are shown below. For most people, primary interests combine two or three of these general themes. That combination is often called a "RIASEC Code" or a "Holland Code". It is important to keep in mind that no RIASEC code is better than another, and there are places for all six codes in every organization.
     
    REALISTIC The "Doers"
    INVESTIGATIVE The "Thinkers"
    ARTISTIC The "Creators"
    SOCIAL The "Helpers"
    ENTERPRISING The "Persuaders"
    CONVENTIONAL The "Organizers"

     
    The following sample of potential interests is provided to help illustrate the six general themes that comprise the RIASEC model. Keep in mind that the table shows a sample only and that most people have a combination of two or three major interest themes.

    Sample of Interests and Working Environments by General Occupational Theme

    REALISTIC
    • Building things
    • Using tools and equipment
    • The outdoors
    • Product-driven environments with clear lines of authority
    INVESTIGATIVE
    • Research and problem-solving
    • Theoretical models
    • Independent, unstructured working environments
    ARTISTIC
    • Conceptualizing/Designing
    • Writing, composing, performing
    • Self-expressive, unstructured work environments
    SOCIAL
    • Helping/encouraging/teaching
    • Counseling/guiding
    • Supportive, collaborative work environments
    ENTERPRISING
    • Debating ideas
    • Managing people & projects
    • Selling
    • Fast-paced, entrepreneurial work environments
    CONVENTIONAL
    • Organizing information
    • Writing reports
    • Operating computers
    • Structured, organized, practical work environments

     
    The Strong Interest Inventory is a self-assessment tool that produces a RIASEC Code based on an individual's responses, as well as information about specific content or topic areas that may be interesting, and a sample of occupations in which satisfied workers tend to have similar interests. (Courtesy of UC Berkeley)

  2. Personality Type and Work Style - The term "personality" refers to a person's patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. Some aspects of personality are useful in thinking about career development.
     
    Four themes for describing personality have been developed from the work of psychologist Carl Jung in a model and tool called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The model describes four areas of personality, with two possible preferences in each area. People have a natural preference in each area. These preferences are NOT about knowledge, skills or abilities, and there is no right or wrong preference.
     

     
    Every person uses all of the preferences at times, but one preference or the other on each scale usually feels more natural. Try signing your name with the opposite hand from the one you usually use. What did it feel like? What differences do you notice about your signature itself?
     
    People often say that it felt unnatural, and that it required all their concentration. The result may appear awkward, even though their name is recognizable. The preferences described here are like that. For example, some people generally prefer to make decisions with an eye to harmony and what's best for themselves and others (Feeling preference). In some situations, they might make decisions based on an objective assessment of the logical consequences (Thinking preference), but they might not feel as comfortable in the process, or as confident in the decision.
     
    The combination of a person's preferences in these four areas comprises their personality type There are sixteen types, which are referred to by the initials of the four preferences (e.g. INTP, ESFJ).
     
    People tend to be attracted to and experience more satisfaction in careers in which they can express and use their preferences. For instance, work that requires the type of perception or decision-making that comes naturally to a person may lead to more effectiveness and confidence. (Courtesy of UC Berkeley)
  3. SWOT and Gap Analysis - A key tool in the strategic planning process can also be applied to career planning. This tool is a marketing analysis using the SWOT Technique. A SWOT analysis focuses on the internal and external environments, examining strengths and weaknesses in the internal environment and opportunities and threats in the external environment. Imagine your SWOT analysis to be structured like the table in the Sample SWOT and GAP Analyses and Worksheet (Courtesy of UC Davis).

Your Skills & Strengths

By expanding an employee's skills, knowledge and ability, Training and Development contributes directly to the well-being and success of both the individual and the institution. The unit's proactive attitude to the learning needs of staff promotes a nourishing environment for continuing education, career planning and personal growth.

  1. Job Specific Skills - Job-specific skills deal with mastering a particular vocabulary, procedure or subject matter. These are the skills you will most often think of when asked what type of skills you have. They are learned or acquired through specific work experiences and require the use of your memory. You may acquire them through education, reading, training, apprenticeships or through on-the-job experiences.
     
    Examples of job-specific skills:
     
    • A software package
    • A foreign language
    • Statistical methods
    • Forklift operation
    • Grade point average (GPA) calculation
    • Seed germination techniques
    • Payroll/personnel systems
    • Financial information systems (Courtesy of UC Davis)
  2. Transferable Skills - Transferable skills deal with performing basic functions in the everyday workplace. These functional skills are transferable from one situation, activity, job or field to another and across time frames. These skills make up the action verbs that are often used to write resumes and are the skills that enable you to change careers or advance without necessarily retraining.
     
    Examples of transferable skills are:
     
    • Communicating
    • Managing
    • Helping
    • Organizing
    • Analyzing
    • Writing (Courtesy of UC Davis)
  3. Self-Management Skills - Self-management skills come naturally to you and make you unique. People often fail to identify these as skills or give themselves credit for using them, yet they impact professional identity, the work that is done and the way that it is done.
     
    Examples of self-management skills are being:
     
    • Analytical
    • Calm
    • Imaginative
    • Resourceful
    • Well-organized (Courtesy of UC Davis)