Who are you?
Identify your talents, understand your strengths and discover new abilities. You can begin this process with a thorough self-assessment, the first step in any good career plan. The information you gain is crucial to:
- Discovering the real you, identifying the work environment that suits you best and finding out what motivates you
- Preparing effective cover letters, resumes, and for interviews
- Communicating your personal brand in person and online.
You can learn about yourself in all kinds of ways, from answering questions like the ones below to formal psychometric assessments. Whichever path you choose, the more you know about who you are, the more likely you are to get the career you really want.
Below are some sample self-assessment questions to get you started:
- What am I good at?
- What was my favourite job? Why?
- What was my least favourite job? Why?
- What hobbies do I enjoy most? Why?
- What were my biggest accomplishments during high school, university and previous jobs?
Career assessment tools
There are lots of self-assessment tools around these days. Here are some that are available through UBC Sauder:
- Sauder Career Success Cycle in Assessing Yourself (available on the COOL homepage under 'Online Career Resources')
- Career Cruising is available on the COOL homepage under online career resources
- StrengthsFinder is offered in COMM 202 Career Fundamentals
- CareerLeader was developed by the Harvard School of Business. You can get the assessment for free by booking a coaching appointment on COOL (select Career Leader as your appointment type).
And here are some others to check out:
- Talentoday assesses your core soft skills and motivations
- Sokanu is a Vancouver-based company that offers a free assessment platform
- TFSA is a finance-focused assessment based in Toronto to explore career matches with the financial services sector
- VIA Survey, created by the nonprofit VIA Institute on Character, produces a report on 24 aspects of your character and aspirations.
Start your self-assessment today
Don't know where to start exploring? COOL gives you access to the Career Cruising resource and directs you to other popular self-assessment tools.
Skills you'll need
It’s also important to get an idea of what key skills you’ll need to get ahead in today’s work environment. The Conference Board of Canada knows a thing or two about this and has lots of information on their website.
They break it down into fundamental skills, personal management skills and teamwork skills. Fundamental skills include things like communicating effectively, managing information, using numbers and problem solving. Personal management skills include demonstrating a positive attitude, being responsible and adaptable, learning continuously and working safely. And teamwork skills include working well with others, being open to new ideas, and participating constructively in projects.
The Canadian Council of Chief Executives also lists the top attributes employers look for in entry-level hires. They are, in order of importance:
- People skills/relationship-building
- Communication skills
- Problem solving skills
- Analytical abilities
- Leadership skills
- Industry-specific knowledge & experience
- Functional knowledge
- Technological literacy
- Project management skills
- Creative thinking
There’s plenty of debate to be had about the order above, but your UBC Sauder BCom degree will most certainly give you a head-start in developing these skills.
Need to talk? We can help.
Deciding on a career direction can be a daunting process. The Business Career Centre is here for you. Meet with our career coaches to discuss your progress and options.
How the BCC can help
Determining what you want from your career and making it happen will take a lot of hard work on your part and the Business Career Centre is here to help. You can meet with one of our Career Coaches to discuss your progress. Personal coaching sessions take approximately 30 minutes and are designed to help you develop effective, life-long career management skills.
Appointment topics are based on the Sauder Career Success Cycle and include:
- Discussing self-assessment tools
- Choosing options
- Researching careers
- Developing networking skills
- Creating your online presence
- Creating outstanding resumes and cover letters
- Improving and developing interview skills
- Developing personalized job search strategies
- Transitioning from student to professional
To get the most out of the appointment, do some preparation in advance. Review the Sauder Career Success Cycle tool to pinpoint the areas you would like to focus on during the meeting. Prioritize the topics you want to discuss, think about the courses you've enjoyed and the type of work you see yourself doing in the future.
Book an appointment on COOL