Self Assessment

Knowing Ourselves - interests, personality, values, and skills

Self knowledge can assist you to:

  • make appropriate academic and career choices
  • increase your knowledge of careers
  • understand your decision making process
  • write an effective résumé
  • market your skills to an employer in an interview

Self Reflection

Focus on personal reflection and feedback from family and friends who know you well.  The goal is to create a personal profile that is honest and comprehensive -- one that will help you generate career options.


  • Interests  - What are your likes/dislikes?  What can you see yourself doing? 
  • Personality - What are your personality traits?
  • Personal and Work Values - What will contribute to your personal job satisfaction? 
  • Preferred Skills - What skills have you developed? Of those, which ones would you like to use in a job?

Career Assessment

Career assessments and quizzes interpret your responses to questions in order to generate career options and suggestions. Caution should be exercised in interpreting results. More important than specific career suggestions, look for recurring themes and patterns in the types of occupations identified. Using a number of assessments will provide you with a variety of suggestions.

Guidelines for Using Self-Assessment Tests and Tools

Both self-reflection and career assessments can help you to learn more about yourself.  Remember to use both methods to gain a greater understanding of yourself.

In career planning, you may consider your interests, personality, values and skills.

To access Career Cruising and TypeFocus assessments, log into your myTrent account, go to the Tools tab and find the icons/links for them under "Career Development".


Your interests refer to activities and situations you enjoy. They could be as specific as "studying 17th century Russian literature" to something as general as "hanging out with friends". General and specific interests should be considered when planning for a career that is right for you. Tools such as Career Cruising can help in self-assessing your interests to match with a career. To access Career Cruising, log into your myTrent account, go to the Tools tab and find the icon/link for it under "Career Development".

Self-reflection activity about interests.


There have been many studies over the years that have concluded that people with similar personality types are drawn to, and tend to be more successful in, specific careers than those of other temperaments. While each person is unique, it's more likely that two accountants will be more similar in personality than an accountant and a firefighter. The fit between the nature of their work and their personalities is both what attracted them to the field in the first place, and what causes them to be good at what they do. For this reason, clarifying your personality type is often a key to identifying appropriate career choices. Tools such as TypeFocus can help in identifying your personality type

To access TypeFocus, log into your myTrent account, go to the Tools tab and find the icon/link for it under "Career Development".  Complete the 20-25 minute quiz which will lead you to occupational and education information.

Self-reflection activity about personality.


Identifying your values is an exercise in finding out life priorities. Obviously we could all say we like money, but our purposes for having it could vary widely. To some, it represents a symbol of success and accomplishment, to others -- the ability to have fun, while for someone else it means security, or providing the means to contribute to an important cause. Knowing what you want out of life will help you choose a career path that is compatible with your personal values.

The area of "values" can also be subdivided to include specific "work values". Beyond the pay cheque, what do you hope to get out of your work? Will it meet your need for achievement, socialization, or the feeling that you are making a difference? What motivates you to do your best work? Is it the opportunity to earn more, a prestigious title, or just knowing you are doing your duty? Finding a career that provides the right motivation for you will go a long way to ensuring your success. You can also use TypeFocus to assess your values and what occupations share them.

To access TypeFocus, log into your myTrent account, go to the Tools tab and find the icon/link for it under "Career Development".  Complete the 20-25 minute quiz which will lead you to occupational and education information.

Self-reflection activity on life & work values


Skills develop from employment, education, hobbies, community activities, and life experiences.

Identifying and developing your skills is an important element in choosing a career. No matter how much a career as a professional athlete may match your interests, values, and personality, if you are lacking exceptional hand-eye coordination (for example) you probably would not succeed in this highly competitive field.

Skills are also the foundation of an effective work search.  Employers don't just want to know what you've studied and what jobs you've had.  They want to know what you can do for them -- they want to hear about your skills.

Consideration of your skills can focus on existing skills or skills that you have the potential to learn. If you have had limited work experience, then there are many talents you simply have not had the opportunity to demonstrate yet. During your years at Trent, you will have ample opportunity, both in and out of the classroom, to experiment and grow in the level and diversity of your skills.

Activities for identifying your skills.

Putting It All Together

What have you learned about yourself through self assessment? Discuss this information with people you know.  Ask them:

"Here is what I found were my main interests (values, personality traits). From what you know of me, do you think they are accurate?"

Or if you already have a career that interests you, find someone in the field to talk to about what you are learning about yourself and whether it fits with working in the field. You may want to get the discussion started with a question like:

"Here is what I found were my main interests (values, personality traits). Are they compatible with working in this field?"

Or meet with a Career Counsellor at the Careerspace.

Guided Imagery – Interested in trying something different.  This guided imagery activity may help you to visualize your future and give your insight into your career goals.