Getting to know yourself is the first step to figuring out what types of careers are the most suitable for you. It’s important to remember that there’s not just one perfect career for you, but rather any of a number that would be a great fit.
To identify careers that would be a strong fit for you, there are four aspects that are important to get to know about yourself: interests, strengths, values and personality. Traditionally in career counselling, different assessment tools are designed to help you gain understanding about these four facets. Two types of assessment tools are often used: standardized assessments and informal assessments.
AA&CC's Online Self-Assessment
The AA&CC developed this informal Online Self Assessment helps you examine these four aspects of yourself:
- Skills: the learned ability to do something well
- Personal qualities: characteristics and needs that drive your behaviour
- Interests: activities and things that you like to do, learn about and talk about
- Values: rewards, satisfaction and desirable qualities you seek in your occupation
It is free and generally takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. When you complete the assessment, a 2-page report will be generated for you.
The AA&CC also offers the following two standardized, formal assessment tools to help you with career planning. Connect with an AA&CC Career Counsellor to determine if either of these tools would be beneficial for you. They have a cost attached.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can:
- help you to understand how your personality type impacts career exploration
- assist you in understanding your communication style, preferred work tasks and work environments
- help you to identify occupations that are well suited for your reported type
Strong Interest Inventory
The Strong Interest Inventory measures your interest in a broad range of occupations, work activities, leisure activities and school subjects. The Strong can:
- help you to understand your work interests
- help you determine what kinds of work you would find most satisfying
The Strong Interest Inventory contains 291 questions and takes approximately 40 minutes to complete. The Basic Strong Profile Report costs you $10.
In addition, there are many free resources with informal assessment tools to help you understand yourself better:
If you are wondering about the skills you can gain from your program of study and the related career possibilities, you may want to check our Program Pathways, where you will learn about ways to maximize the value of your degree. However, keep in mind that the name of your program of study does not define your career direction; it is the skills developed from both curricular and co-curricular experiences that will shape your future career.
Furthermore, Career Cruising is a website that hosts an in-depth and comprehensive career information database as well as video clips of informational interview with various professionals sharing insights of their careers. Career Cruising also offers multiple non-standard assessments in various areas of self-discovery in regards to interests (Matchmaker) and skills (My Skills). It is subscribed by U of T library and many local libraries, as a U of T student, you can find it through CLNx resources.
Develop insights into yourself and the world around you through these scientifically tested questionnaires, surveys, and scales. Click on "Questionnaires" on the top tab to see a range of assessments. The VIA Survey of Character Strengths is particularly relevant to self-assessment for the purposes of career planning and/or the job search.
This interest inventory can help you find out what your interests are and how they relate to the world of work.
Self-assessment tools provided by the Government of Cananda.
A wide variety of suggested quick quizzes covering personality type, communication styles, and more.
Although assessment tools offer a good means to help you know yourself better, no assessment tool can tell you what career is right for you; people are complex! Hence, another common approach used in Career Counselling is the Narrative Approach. A Narrative Approach to career counselling is underpinned by the idea that people construct and live through a series of stories, planned or unplanned. Each of these stories reflects certain aspects of the individual, and as more stories are examined, themes become evident. Therefore, reflecting on past meaningful experiences and stories can help individuals construct their future stories and develop ideas for their future careers.
If you feel you have limited “stories”, you may want to gain new experiences and meet new people, through which you will confirm your self-knowledge and embark on new career stories. Check our Experiential Learning opportunities and Networking Events to learn how the AACC can support your journey of building your career stories. Book an appointment with our career counsellor to go through your assessment results and career stories to help you get to know yourself better.