Step One: Assess Yourself

Step One: Assess Yourself

To fully understand any type of system, one must study it to discover the details. We are no different. We often must take an objective look at ourselves to fully define our strengths and weaknesses.

An objective analysis of your skills and interests can help you achieve and maintain productivity in your current position as well as prepare you for future opportunities.

There are a variety of assessments to help you explore your motivations, your needs and your desires. These assessments can help you gain a greater understanding of your skills, preferences and values, as well as your vision of life and work.

From this self-study you are better able to identify what you need and want in a position, and what you may want to avoid – leading to a more fulfilling career.

Try One Now: John Holland’s Theory of Career Choice & Work Personality


One example of a self-directed assessment is the Holland Occupational Themes assessment. Try this abbreviated version to reveal your Holland Code – a three-letter code that identifies your top three work themes or work environments that fit your personality. You can use your code to help you confirm career areas of fit, and provide more options for your consideration.

Ex. 1.1. Self-Assessment: Holland Occupational Themes (PDF)

Other Available Assessments

Several additional assessments are available through the University or online. These assessments, which can help you identify your career and professional interests, include:

  • Personality style assessment (MBTI)
  • Behavioral assessment (DISC)
  • Career suitability assessment (Harrison)
  • Online self-assessments

Personality Style Assessment

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an online personality assessment that helps you better understand yourself, your motivations, your natural strengths and your potential areas for growth. Often used as a team-building tool, the MBTI can help individuals appreciate the differences and unique contributions of others.

Interested in the MBTI assessment? Inquire with your supervisor, or contact askHR at 574-631-5900 or for more information.

Behavioral Assessment

DISC is an assessment that reports a person’s behavioral and communication style based on patterns of behavior that can be grouped into four major styles.

All individuals demonstrate characteristics common to all of the styles but typically demonstrate a preference for one style. This instrument can help you see yourself as others see you and provide an understanding of how you might adjust your behavioral approach to interact more effectively with those who are different than you.

Interested in the DISC assessment? Inquire with your supervisor, or contact askHR at 574-631-5900 or for more information.

Career Suitability Assessment

The Harrison Assessment is a talent solution tool that uses a work preference questionnaire to assess an individual’s suitability for a job type or career area.

It can be used to assess the likely success and satisfaction a person will achieve, provide developmental exercises to enhance potential success, and provide lists of potentially suitable career areas based on assessment of specific traits.

Interested in the Harrison assessment? This assessment is completed during the Managing My Career workshop, or available by request for special circumstances. Contact askHR at 574-631-5900 or for more information.

Online Self-Assessments

In addition to the assessments available through Career Services for Notre Dame Staff, a variety of self-assessments are available online.

  • The MAPP Career Assessment ( provides information for students, graduates, and working adults interested in finding career and educational areas that match their MAPP assessment profile.
  • The O*NET Interest Profiler ( assists with identifying interests and connecting them to the world of work as you research and set realistic career goals.
  • The Keirsey Temperament Sorter ( provides insights to individuals, teams, and entire organizations through a wide spectrum of analysis reports.

Please note: Career Services for Notre Dame Staff is not affiliated with these programs; please use your discretion when interpreting the results. Use caution when considering the purchase of any online career assessment.

Beyond the Job Duties

A career is more than just a job. What drives you? In the Discover stage, it is important to assess yourself on as many factors as possible. These two exercises will help you identify the career values that engage you and make you more productive, and any internal barriers you might need to overcome.

Exercise 1.2 – Career Values Assessment


Discovering what you want to do is only one consideration to securing a fulfilling career. There are a variety of other factors that contribute to career wellness. It is important to identify additional factors beyond actual job duties, such as values.

This assessment will help you identify the values that are important to you that will increase the likelihood you will be happy and productive in your chosen career areas.

Exercise 1.2 – Career Values Assessment (PDF)

Note: This exercise is an abridged version of an activity provided in the Managing My Career series.

Exercise 1.3 – Identifying and Addressing Internal Barriers


Any exploration of who you are should include an inventory of internal barriers – those blocks or stops that you use to keep yourself from being who you want to be, doing what you want to do, and having what you want to have.

The exercise below lists examples of some possible internal barriers. Review the list and check off any barriers that may currently be affecting your career wellness. Then, rank your top five barriers to identify areas to target for improvement.

Exercise 1.3 – Identifying and Addressing Internal Barriers (PDF)

Note: This exercise is an abridged version of a career checklist provided in the Managing My Career series.

Continue: Step Two: Research Careers