Learn More About Yourself

You want to choose a business that fits your unique qualities -- your abilities, talents, needs, values, and interests -- and the life-style you want to live.

Knowing your "unique qualities" is not easy. It is a challenge for everyone. But, the clearer picture you have, the more likely you are to choose a satisfying career.

It is important to write your ideas down.  You may find this difficult to do, many do.  But, it will make a big difference in your self-understanding.  Write down your thoughts and feelings as you do the exercises below.  Make a folder to keep your notes and writings.

Here are ten strategies you will find helpful:

  1. Take tests or inventories that measure your abilities, interests, values, and personality. Write out your reactions to the results.

  2. Look carefully at your achievements in school, training programs,
    college, or at work to identify your abilities.
    For example, which
    subjects have you done well in, or not so well in? If you work, do
    the same analysis. What does this tell you about your abilities --
    mechanical, verbal, numerical, artistic, and people skills? Be
    careful not to overlook, or leave out, your abilities.

  3. Go to "Identify Your Skills" at the Career Key website. It is an excellent resource for learning about and identifying your skills.

  4. Examine how you use your leisure time -- your hobbies, community projects, activities with social, political, or religious organizations.  For each one, write down three headings:  Abilities, Interests, and Values.  And, under each heading write down your thoughts.

  5. Talk with a friend or family member who is a good listener.

  6. Talk with a professional counselor; learn about career counseling.

  7. Write an autobiography and identify the themes that represent who you are.

  8. Write a personal mission statement. In it write: what you want to be, what you want to accomplish in life, and what values or principles you want to guide you.

  9. Read Should I be an Entrepreneur? and write down your reactions.

  10. Do the exercise in Find Self-Employment Work Life Balance and write down your reactions to the ideas in this article.