Module 01: Understanding Yourself In the World of Work

1.3 Your Personality, Interests, Values, Skills, and Strengths

A common piece of career advice we often hear is ‘follow your passion’. This isn’t very helpful advice if you’re not sure what your passion is or the passion you do have won’t pay the bills.

Rather than focusing on finding a ‘passion’, naming and understanding what you’re good at (strengths), and gaining a better understanding of your personality, characteristics, values, and interests, can help you make career decisions that lead  towards education and work that is a good fit for you.  Finding passion in your paid work, if it happens at all, may instead develop over time through a process of trying things out and reflecting on them. It isn’t something we can discover through one simple online test or quick self-reflection.

The process of building self-awareness for career development typically involves exploring five personal characteristics categories.

These five categories are:

  Now it’s your turn!

  • Throughout this section, you’ll be invited to complete a series of activities that will challenge you to identify some of your personality traits, interests, values, skills and strengths.
    • If you would like, you can record your answers on the Self-Reflection Career Summary Sheet available in .docx or  .pdf) formats
  • This way, you’ll end up with a summary page of what you notice and learn about yourself!

Enjoyable Accomplishments

Image of Jane as a student using building blocks and passing them up to multiple Janes as a professional.

One great way to reflect on your values, strengths, interests, and personality is to think of times you felt proud of yourself and were at your best. These are often times when you enjoyed a process and felt a sense of accomplishment, which is why we are calling these ‘enjoyable accomplishments’! These situations can be from any parts of your life (work, volunteer, school, hobbies, etc.) and from any time in your life. Take a minute to write down details of three specific experiences that you would define as ‘enjoyable accomplishments’ (you probably have many – it doesn’t matter which ones you choose).

Once you have written your experience “stories”, identify a few values, skills, strengths, interests, and personality traits you notice in each story. When you have written them all out, look through them and ask yourself, “What common themes keep reoccurring? Which ones feel most true in most situations?”

Here is an example:

Enjoyable Accomplishment Description/Story Values, Skills/Strengths, Interests, Personality demonstrated
Example 1:
Eco Club
Story 1: As part of her high school’s Eco Club, Jane Career was given leadership responsibilities for the end-of-year hike. She organized the schedule, booked transportation, delegated food preparation to other club members, and communicated the details. On the day of the end-of-year hike, everything went smoothly and her friends thanked her for organizing such a fun trip! Jane really enjoyed both the organizing process and being outdoors with her friends. Values: nature, environmentalism, professionalism, activity
Skills/Strengths: organizing, communication, delegating, leadership
Interests: hiking, organizing
Personality: take charge, fun, social, responsible
Example 2:
Assisting a senior
Story 2: While walking home one day, Jane noticed a man crossing the road very slowly at a traffic light. He was not going to make it across before the light turned red so she rushed over to hold traffic and allow him to finish crossing. Once on the other side, the man thanked her and expressed frustration at his own slow pace. Jane joked that maybe it wasn’t him that was too slow, but the light that was too fast! He thought that was pretty funny. Values: kindness and caring, safety, humour, respect for elders
Skills/Strengths: making quick decisions, valuing human connection, communicating one-on-one, reducing frustration and anxiety
Interests: people, helping others
Personality: live by my values, prefer human interaction but usually one-on-one, responsible

  Your Turn!

  1. Here is a downloadable Enjoyable Accomplishments Worksheet available as a (.docx) or  fillable (.pdf) that you can fill in and save for your own reference. You can choose and describe any number of enjoyable experiences.
  2. Writing down your enjoyable experiences and regularly reflecting on your experiences and accomplishments can help to build increased personal insight.  Consider experimenting a bit by telling your story to a close friend or family member to see what characteristics they notice!
  3. Finally, if you are completing the Self-Reflection Career Summary Sheet – (.docx)  or  (.pdf)-  go ahead and add the values, skills/strengths, interests, and personality traits you discover from your Enjoyable Accomplishments Worksheet.


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