August 5, 2011

Skills and Interests Inventory (for FREE!)

Have you ever taken one of those career inventories?  The ones that are supposed to tell you what exactly you are good at and what drives you.  Then it's supposed to highlight the path that would be best for you.  Well, I have taken many of them, and I have struggled to find the right path for me.  I have always been a fairly well-rounded guy, which means that I have no overwhelming group of skills that clearly shows what career path I should be taking.  Every time I take one of these inventories, I feel like our friend here - confused.

There are numerous sites that offer these inventories, and many of them can be very helpful.  I however, have taken a similar opinion to Ari Chatz - taking a much simpler (and free) approach to this inventory can save you time, money, and maybe even a headache.

In a blog on, Ari highlights the three main things to consider when looking for a career:
  1. The value one has for money
  2. Establishing one's skills
  3. Establishing one's interests
After some reflection on the three areas above, I have come up with a few thoughts.  As far as how I value money, I know that I want to one day have a family of my own.  I know that making a decent wage will be important to fulfill this dream.  However, I would hate to make this wage while working at a job that I hate.  Because of this, I put the passion for my job over the amount of money that I will make (but money shall ever be present in the back of my mind).

Secondly, I thought of the many organizations, groups, and jobs that I have been a part of.  As I remembered my time with each step of my journey so far, I wrote down the skills that I felt I used to be successful at that time.  After coming up with a fair list, I have highlighted the three "trends" that I noticed:

  1. Analyzing and problem solving
  2. Detail focused (without loosing sight of the big picture)
  3. Working with or leading a team
Finally, I thought about what I would want out of my next career moving forward.  I made note of the interests that I have had in past endeavors and how they have shaped what I look for in the future.  Again, I noticed three "trends":
  1. Making a difference by helping people
  2. Analyzing and planning (events, projects, etc.)
  3. Communicating with people (anywhere from coworkers to public speaking)
So, there you have it.  Summed up in a nutshell, I am analytic and like to work with people.  I know that this exercise hasn't yet laid out a clear path to what I should do in my career, but I feel more connected to what I've come up with than most (if not all) of the assessments I've done in the past.

Tune in for future blogs as I explore careers that I feel will combine my skills and my interests.  In addition, I encourage all of you to let me know if you have any ideas of where I might find a career that blends the above together.  So, comment away!

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