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How to Identify Your Skills and Abilities: The Self-Assessment

Posted by: Gavin Au-Yeung Date: January 8, 2020 Category: Blog Employment Assistance

A new year often symbolizes new beginnings, therefore January is the perfect time to explore career opportunities. Career exploration is a process where individuals learn about various occupations and assess if they are a good match for their own career preferences. Throughout January, the Career Loans blog will be guiding you through the many steps involved in the career exploration process.

Before you begin submitting job applications, it is important to complete a thorough self-assessment about yourself. A self-assessment is the process of identifying what is important for your personal and professional development. Knowing yourself is a vital step towards career exploration and identifying which jobs will be a good match for you. In today’s blog, we are going to look at three important criteria which should be considered when performing a self-assessment. These criteria are: personality, work values, and realities.


Examine what type of personality you have, because this will largely influence your career exploration process. Knowing yourself can greatly help narrow down career options as you search for your ideal job. Moreover, think about your personality type, interests, and aptitude (strengths and weaknesses).

A self-assessment of your personality type can tell a lot about your preferred work. Do you prefer working alone or working collaboratively? Are you interested in problem solving or following a set of rules? Thinking about yourself is a great way of identifying how you want to be working.

Work Values

Consider what you want to gain from working. This may include a sense of accomplishment, growth, or increased earnings. Think about what your work-related values are, and how they can be tied into your future career.

You should think about your preferred work environment; will you be working in an office, moving around a lot, or maybe even being outdoors? Identifying your preferred working environment is helpful for narrowing down your career exploration search.

It is also important to consider your own developmental needs, such as career or personal development. Career development refers to things you can do to enhance your career – whether that be improving your professional credentials or taking on more responsibilities at work. Personal development refers to how you can assess your own skills and qualities. Understanding your developmental needs means that you realize why you are working and how your work can help you flourish.


Realities are the real-world situations we must account for when exploring career options. These are factors which make everyone’s career exploration journey unique. For instance, some people have family obligations while others may have prior financial responsibilities. Consider your own realities and how that may come in affect when you decide to apply for certain jobs or schools. While some of these realities may initially seem like obstacles, finding solutions may be as simple as reaching out to a friend or career counsellor for support.

Next Steps

In conclusion, completing a self-assessment will allow you to understand your personal needs and values. With this knowledge, you will be able to focus on identifying which jobs will be a perfect match. Self-assessment is part one of Career Loan’s four-step guide towards Career Exploration. The next blog post will focus on learning about jobs suitable for yourself.

Several online self-assessment resources are available. For example, Career Pro Canada and O*Net Online.

More career exploration help

Proving the credibility of foreign credentials is a major barrier for why many internationally trained individuals (ITI’s) cannot continue their desired career in Canada. ITI’s in Alberta and Saskatchewan may be eligible for free career and financial counselling services and a loan of up to $15,000 to help them get back on track. Apply through the Career Loans website today.

Career Loans is a career counselling program funded by the Employment Social Development Canada (ESDC) and is part of the Foreign Credential Recognitions (FCR) Program.

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