Step 1: Know Yourself


Take A Career Interest Assessment

Before looking ahead to your future and deciding upon next steps, it is valuable to take some time to look within:

  • What motivates & interests you?
  • What skills do you enjoy?
  • What activities are meaningful and fulfilling for you?

Career assessments are a great way to learn more about your interests, skills, preferences, and strengths. Once you complete an assessment, you will have an opportunity to explore careers that align with your results. 

It is important to remember that career assessments are simply tools and they do not know you better than you. They are NOT telling what you should or should not do in the world of work.  You can decide if you agree with the results or not.  The goal of career assessments is to open up the world of possibility and explore careers you may not have considered before. So, approach your results  with curiosity as well as your critical thinking skills. 

Understanding Career Assessments:

Using Holland Types

Holland Personality Types were created by Dr. John Holland to help people think about their interests and how they align with occupations that may be a good fit for them. Dr. Holland's theory identifies six broad areas to describe people, their personalities and interests. Additionally, he proposes that people are usually happier and more satisfied if there is a  “fit” between their personality type and their chosen work environment. Since we are complex beings, people tend to gravitate towards a combination of two or three personality types to best describe their interests.

Before taking one of the career assessments below, let's learn about the 6 Holland Personality Types:

Holland Types

Which Two To Three Types Best Fit You?

  • Realistic: The Doers or Builders
    People with realistic interests like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They enjoy dealing with plants, animals, and real-world materials, like wood, tools, and machinery. They enjoy outside work. Often people with realistic interests do not like occupations that mainly involve doing paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative: The Thinkers
    People with investigative interests like work activities that have to do with ideas and thinking more than with physical activity. They like to search for facts and figure out problems mentally rather than persuade or lead people.
  • Artistic: The Creators
    People with artistic interests like work activities that deal with the artistic side of things, such as forms, designs, and patterns. They like self-expression in their work. They prefer settings where work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Social: The Helpers
    People with social interests like work activities that assist others and promote learning and personal development. They prefer to communicate more than working with objects, machines, or data. They like to teach, to give advice, to help, or otherwise be of service to people.
  • Enterprising: The Persuaders
    People with enterprising interests like work activities that have to do with starting up and carrying out projects, especially business ventures. They like persuading and leading people and making decisions. They like taking risks for profit. These people prefer action and progress.
  • Conventional: The Organizers
    People with conventional interests like work activities that follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details. They prefer work in which there are precise standards rather than work in which you have to judge things by yourself. These people like working where the lines of authority are clear.

Definitions from Oregon Career Information Systems

Take Some Career Assessments

Use career assessments to learn more about your interests, skills & strengths. Remember career assessments are NOT telling you what careers you should or should not do.  They are just tools to help you explore the world of possibility and explore careers you may not have considered before.  They do not know you better than you know you so you get to decide which results you find helpful.

Please don't be overwhelmed by the number of websites below. I encourage you to try out a few to see what works best for you.  Different websites focus on different careers so play around with a few to get a broader perspective.

Students are encouraged to start with the Oregon Career Information System (OCIS) because it contains three career assessments that are widely used by students. The other sites offer briefer assessments for students who want to jump in quicker. See what works best for you. Have fun exploring your interests and the careers that might align with those interests.