Identifying Goals

Broadly speaking the question you are attempting to answer when seeking a career is “what would make me happy?”  Often the best place to start is by answering some fundamental questions about your happiness:

  • What has made you happy in the past?
  • What do you enjoy in your life right now?
  • What would you like to change?

The answers that you come up with will likely touch upon the 3 main elements of self assessment: 

  • values
  • interests
  • skills

Understanding what you are looking for in each of these areas will help you when you start researching career options to determine the best sector, field, and job for you. This diagram puts it all together: 

The ideal job is at the intersection of the elements. It is important to remember that it is very unlikely that one job will have everything you want. Additionally, you may not want to have all of your needs fulfilled by your career.

Resources: provides descriptions for hundreds of jobs at every level, and also has online assessment tests that will try to match you to career options. The values questionnaire is free and the others cost $10-20. You can create a free account that will allow you to save your searches and the results of your assessments.

See also Researching Careers -Getting Started for additional resources.