Not sure how to get started with your career? You aren’t alone. Career Services is here to guide you at whatever stage you are at in the career planning process. One of the first steps is self-assessing your skills, interests, values, and personality traits, as each of these can play different roles in exploring career opportunities or helping you find roles that are a good fit for you. We encourage you to explore the resources relevant to you, and come in for an appointment to learn more. Remember, career inventories and tests are not magic. They can aid your self-assessment process by highlighting your personality style or interests related to work and help you think about how your values or interests might match some specific career fields. We encourage you talk with a career advisor at Career Services for a more personal and comprehensive evaluation of your career options and plans..
We recommend that everyone who is interested in self-assessment start with CareerExplorer – a free tool for Penn students, postdocs, and alumni. Take this interactive career test to better understand your core strengths and your compatibility with over 800 careers. Bring your results to your next meeting with a career advisor to discuss the findings.
For Master’s students
For information and guidance on identifying your values, motivators, and marketable skills, take advantage of the Beyond Graduate School module on developing your career opportunity Metric. This can be a helpful part of your master’s experience as you think about your career next steps – whether you know for sure what these are, or are still exploring.
Assess the skills, interests, and values that you have developed over the course of your PhD by using ImaginePhD (humanities & social sciences), myIDP (STEM), and the ChemIDP (chemical sciences). These tools can help you at any stage of your doctoral or postdoctoral experience, and work well with the resources provided on the PhD Career Training Platform.
Skills assessments with a fee
The CliftonStrengths for students report is designed to help you better understand your talents so you can thrive academically, socially and in your future career. Action items inform you how you can put your strengths to use every day. The report also highlights ways strengths may impede success. Together, these insights give you daily actionable advice to help you succeed in whatever you do. Once you take the CliftonStrengths assessment, you will be provided with a full report highlighting your top 5 strengths. You are welcome to bring your results with you to discuss with an advisor at Penn Career Services.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is designed to assess the preferences linked to your personality. This test requires interpretation by an MBTI-certified career advisor. If you want to explore whether it would be helpful to you to take this assessment, please set up an appointment with a career advisor at Penn Career Services who serves your school to discuss how you can use these assessments in your career development, and to find out what the next steps are to take the assessment.
Strong Interest Inventory
The Strong Interest Inventory offers insight into occupational themes and career fields that seem to align with your interests, and highlights occupations based on people with very similar interests to yours. This test requires interpretation by a Strong-certified career advisor. If you want to explore whether it would be helpful to you to take this assessment, please set up an appointment with a career advisor at Penn Career Services who serves your school to discuss how you can use these assessments in your career development, and to find out what the next steps are to take the assessment.
Skillscan is a card sort which allows you to organize your skills based on your level of proficiency and their level of importance given your career goals. This exercise can help you identify your top skills and explore careers that align with those skills. Skillscan can also guide you in planning to develop skills as needed to pursue your targeted careers. The DRIVE version of the assessment is recommended; a sample skills report can be found HERE. You are welcome to bring your results with you to discuss with an advisor at Penn Career Services.