Self-assessment-The First Step in Changing Careers


One of the most important factors in making a successful career change is your initial self-exploration or assessment stage. During this phase, you should attempt to find the right direction for you with self-exploration exercises, through networking with friends, co-workers, and professional associates, a career coach, or a combination of all of these options.

Properly assessing your skills, abilities, interests, values and motivators is an integral part in formulating a plan to make the career change that is right for you. The most important quality you must possess during this phase is honesty. Being honest about yourself, your feelings, your desires, and your ambitions is essential.

One place you could start is with an online assessment. There are many free career assessments online, and although many experts won’t vouch entirely for their accuracy, they will give you a good starting point. If you are interested in taking an online assessment, compare the various options to determine which ones might best suit your career search. These online examinations aren’t fool-proof. They will point you in a direction or two, but they alone won’t lead you to the promised land of the perfect career for you.

The next best step is to use these self-assessments as a tool in your self-discovery and in your career quest. Bringing the results of these assessments to a meeting with a career mentor, professional associate, or career coach will give you a great starting point on the road to a satisfactory career change.

A career professional can help you better translate these results, and then add and improve upon them. They can administer additional assessments and other self-discovery exercises that will guide you along the right path to a happy and successful career.