A- A A+

Assessing Interests and Abilities

Career Development - Finding a CareerTaking a closer look at your interests and abilities can help you make better choices whenever you're faced with big decisions regarding the future. Before setting your goals, it's a good idea to think about what you enjoy doing most, what you're good at, and how challenges that lie ahead might impact your future. At some point you'll want to ask yourself some of the following questions:
  • Where am I in my career development process?
  • What are my interests, strengths and abilities in relation to my future goals?
  • What are some programs and experiences that will help me achieve my goals?
  • How well-developed are my self-determination skills?


You may already have some answers. Together with your IEP (Individualized Education Program) team, use this information to help you prepare for the future:
    • School records:

      Grades, performance on standardized school system tests, and special education assessments can provide information about your strengths and needs.

    • Portfolios:

      A portfolio is a collection of work samples that provides a clear picture of your skills and the progress you're making.

    • Interviews/Surveys:

      You and your guidance counselor can request feedback from teachers, tutors, and employers about your areas of strength and need.

  • Tests and Screenings:

    Different types of assessment and screening measures can help to shed light on areas of career or vocational aptitude and interest. Be sure to have a qualified person interpret the results of these measures for you.


As you look forward to life after high school, keep the four stages of career development in mind.

    • Career Awareness:

      Learn how to get jobs, understand the kinds of aptitudes that different jobs require, and note the kinds of jobs held by family and friends.

    • Career Exploration:

      Learn about the kinds of education or training needed for specific jobs, take courses, volunteer your time, and visit training and potential job sites to see what they are like first-hand.

    • Career Preparation:

      Identify one or more careers you think you might be interested in entering, then get the information you need to make some choices.

  • Career Assimilation:

    Determine if the job or career path you've chosen fits your profile of strengths and needs. Your ability to find the right fit will help build confidence and reduce anxiety as you change jobs or receive promotions.

Tags: college-adult