Step 1 - Self-Assessment
know what you want and what you have to offer.
Self-assessment is not about some touchy-feely exercise you did at summer camp a zillion years ago. It's about taking a good, hard look at your skills, interests and values and then drawing some conclusions about how and where you'd like to spend 40+ hours of your time each week.
It's also not about taking a quick test and letting the computer spit out a decision on your
future. If you don't put a little time into this process, somebody is going to sell you a job that you will eventually find dissatisfying.
In its broadest sense, self-assessment is about developing "an exploratory attitude towards life" (to borrow a phrase from BC professor David Blustein). If you develop the right attitude, your own process of self-assessment will continue throughout your lifetime, allowing you to change or develop careers as your needs evolve.
Self-assessment can be broken down into
four categories of exploration:
|Students are often surprised to learn that they have developed a number of valuable skills beyond analytical thinking and writing. Alumni are often surprised to learn that the skills they have developed in one career field are valuable in other unrelated fields.|
|When you're browsing in a bookstore, what sections grab your attention? The arts? Finance? The mass media? Social or political issues? Psychology? Don't ignore your choices -- they are the ones that are likely to keep you interested in your job.|
|We all need to make money, but what keeps you motivated to work hard? Making a contribution to your community? Providing leadership? Learning new skills and constantly adding to your knowledge base? There are no "right" answers here, just preferences.|
4. PEOPLE and ENVIRONMENT
|Do you prefer to work alone or to collaborate with others? Would you like to work for a small organization or a larger one? In the country, the suburbs or the city? Do you thrive when you receive regular feedback from your boss, or are you self-motivated? Again, there are no right or wrong answers -- just your own personal preferences and inclinations.|
Career Self-Assessment Inventories
The BC Career Center offers the following self-assessment inventories.
If you are not sure which of these tests would be of greatest benefit to you, see a Career Advisor (call 617-552-3430 to set up an appointment or come by during our Drop-In hours).
SkillScan - Key Points
- SkillScan will help you identify your natural strengths and key transferable skills for use in your career development.
- A few important guidelines:
- Mindset: Intuitive assessment—be generous, work quickly and trust your reactions.
- Be generous: give the benefit of the doubt (most people discount their strengths).
- If change your mind about a skill: Do so before finishing a section.
- Drag and Drop: To change a skill selection.
- NOTE: while you do get a set of results online after taking the SkillScan career assessment, we strongly recommend you make an appointment with a BC Career Advisor to discuss your results. Call 617-552-3430.
- Take the SkillScan assessment online (you will need a BC email address to register)
Strong Interest Inventory - Key Points
- Provides a detailed, comprehensive summary of your unique interests and provides you with information to help you choose a major or explore new career fields.
- Though the SII will generate a list of career titles that match your interests, it will NOT tell you one specific career field to pursue. It will point out some patterns of interests that you have and recommend some areas to explore.
- You get reams of good feedback and a counseling appointment to go over your results.
- Free and available only to BC students, alumni who have graduated in the past five years, and staff.
- Learn more about the Strong Interest Inventory, and link to the online assessment.
You may also want to look at:
What can I do with this major?