Assessing yourself is a key step to understanding options that suit you in your academics, career, and personal life. With key insights about yourself, you are empowered to consider options that match your needs, goals, and priorities, as you move toward an informed decision for your future.
Your career development is a lifelong process, and engaging in regular reflection will prove to be valuable as you evolve and grow through its many phases. Use this page to get familiar with the free assessments that we offer, learn how to take an assessment, and adopt a reflective mindset to tune in to the one, true, you.
Begin With Reflection
What Decision Needs to Be Made?
Life presents you with many decisions. Some decisions are relatively minor, such as what to eat for breakfast or how to spend a free afternoon. Other choices may have a more significant commitment or longer-lasting impact, such as who to choose as a life partner or which university to attend for a degree.
As a student at UCSB, you may be looking to make a decision related to your major, career direction, or other future life plans. While all of these scenarios share some commonalities and are often associated, it is essential to make sure that you identify the specific decision you are looking to make now.
What Question Needs to Be Asked?
If you are hoping to learn about your future, consider framing a concrete question to help you make your upcoming decision. A concrete question typically focuses on a specific and measurable outcome rather than a broad or abstract concept.
Here are some examples of concrete questions about the future:
- "Which major at UCSB presents me with subject matter that matches my strengths?"
- "What type of job do I want to pursue next to help me learn the most about my long-term career options?"
- "Where do I want to live for the first few years after completing my degree?"
While most people consider the question, "What should I do with my life?" it is often too broad and vague to make a concrete decision or have an actionable outcome. Instead, consider breaking this concept into specific and measurable pieces, just like a question you would ask if you were conducting a research study.
When Do You Need to Make the Decision?
Once you have clarified the decision you need to make, it is also essential to consider the time that you have available to make this decision. Decisions that need to be made today will take a different course of action than decisions that need to be made in six months or two years, for example, but in all instances, you can plan accordingly.
Understanding the time frame for your decision is a fundamental starting point because it allows you to make plans to gather meaningful information within the available time.
Read this article from The Atlantic to see a research-backed study demonstrating why 'Find Your Passion' Is Awful Advice.