Career Exploration / Career Assessments

Career Exploration is a process of learning more about yourself and the world of work.

Self-Assessment

Self-Assessment is a process that helps you clarify who you are and what you want so that you can determine the work and lifestyle that will best meet your needs.  At a very basic level, we will help you better understand your values, favorite skills, interests, needs and personality.

We will ask you about your work history, life goals, and important experiences that have shaped your life, including paid and unpaid work.  We will want to hear about your fears and other concerns you have about the career exploration and job search process.

We may suggest that you take a career assessment, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the Strong Interest Inventory. These have been proven to be extremely helpful to people as they explore options and make decisions.  They offer a new way to look at yourself and your career and also offer a distinctive vocabulary when describing yourself and your goals during research, networking, and job interviews.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The Myers-Briggs (often called the MBTI) is an excellent tool for gaining insight into your preferences. It’s a positive assessment that helps you understand your personality style more deeply and how it pertains to choosing careers. We use the most advanced version, Step II, so that you’ll walk away from a session with a much more comprehensive understanding of yourself and the career options you’ll want to consider. A password is given to take this assessment online prior to the session.

Strong Interest Inventory
The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) is the most respected and widely used career exploration and planning tool used today. Doing work in an interest area of your choice is critical to experiencing career satisfaction. The SII is a highly reliable and valid assessment that accesses this information and matches it to career options. We use the latest version of the SII along with a Skills Confidence Questionnaire, so that you’ll have a much more comprehensive understanding of yourself and the careers and fields you’ll want to consider. A password is given to take this assessment online prior to the session.

Exploring Careers:

  • With People – Research or Informational Interviews
  • On the Web
  • Through Books

In addition to exploring career options online, and through books and assessments, it is also important to conduct “Research or Informational Interviews.”  These are similar to networking meetings, but are ideal for exploring your options before you know exactly what you want to do.  They not only help you explore current careers, they also give you the opportunity to learn about job requirements and salaries, understand market conditions for the field, gather information about different companies and professional associations, and expand your network.

Research meetings are ideally done with people doing the kind of work you are considering doing.  For example, if you’re curious about editing work, you could schedule “research” meetings with editors and junior editors.  And if you then decide you really want to pursue that career, you would start scheduling “networking” meetings with hiring managers, such as the director of the editing department.

For assistance with other career needs:

For a list of our Favorite Books, click here.

One-to-one career coaching is offered in our Palo Alto, CA office or over the phone and via email and Skype if you live outside the area.  To discuss your specific situation, we invite you to schedule an initial, free 20-minute phone consultation.