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Identify Your Top Factors

The following information will help you identify your top factors:

  • values
  • interests
  • skills
  • traits
  • abilities
  • preferred working conditions
  • multiple intelligences


Values are what you believe in or stand for. If your work reflects your values, chances are it will be fulfilling. It's important to know your values and keep them in mind while making career plans. Examples of values include

  • security
  • being your own boss
  • belonging
  • creativity
  • helping society

For more information and a list of values, check out the Identify Your Work Values article.

To assess your values, take the Work Values Quiz. It will place your values in a comparison chart.

Type in your most important values into the Factors column.


Your interests are the things you like to do. If your career includes some of your interests, you will tend to be more satisfied. Examples of interests include

  • working with machinery
  • creating new ways of doing things
  • keeping records
  • selling ideas or things to people

For more information and a list of interests, check out the Get to Know Yourself article.

To assess your interests, take the Interests Exercise. It will place your interests in a comparison chart.

Type in your most important interests into the Factors column.


Your skills are the things you've learned to do well. When you need new skills for an occupation, you can learn them through education and training programs. Some skills, such as communication or teamwork skills, are transferable. This means you can use them in many different types of work. Examples of skills include

  • using a specific software program
  • repairing engines
  • designing educational materials
  • reading blueprints
  • organizing people and resources

For more information about transferable skills check out the Do You Have the Skills Employers Want? article.

For help finding out how your skills match up with occupations, check out the Recognize Your Accomplishments

To find out more about your skills, do the Significant Experiences Exercise. It will place them in a comparison chart.

Type in the skills you prefer to use in the Factors column.


Traits are what you personally bring to a workplace. Examples of traits include

  • dependability
  • flexibility
  • curiosity
  • respect for others
  • cheerfulness
  • self-reliance

For help identifying your work-related traits, go to the Use Action Words to Get the Job article and scroll down to task 2.

To find out more about your traits, do the Significant Experiences Exercise. It will place them in a comparison chart.

Type in the traits you prefer to use in the Factors column of the chart.


Your abilities are things you do well with little effort. Abilities come naturally to you. Examples may include

  • a capacity for working with numbers
  • a talent for working with machinery
  • a natural ease in working with people

For help recognizing your abilities, check out the Get to Know Yourself article.

Review the skills you've identified in the Significant Experiences Exercise. What abilities are required for the skills you have? For example, if you've identified writing as one of your skills, you probably have strong verbal ability.

Type in the abilities you prefer to use in the Factors column.

Working Conditions

Working conditions, from management style to hours of work, often affect how you feel about an occupation or a specific job. Other examples of working conditions include

  • location
  • indoor or outdoor work
  • expectations
  • reporting requirements
  • workplace culture

To find out more about working conditions in general, check out Understand your workplace preferences or Work Options

To find out more about your preferred working conditions, take the Preferred Working Conditions Quiz

Multiple Intelligences

Your multiple intelligences describe your unique style of thinking and understanding. Out of the 8 kinds of multiple intelligences listed here, you are probably strongest in 3 or 4.

  • Bodily and kinesthetic
  • Interpersonal
  • Intrapersonal
  • Logical and mathematical
  • Musical
  • Naturalistic
  • Verbal and linguistic
  • Visual and spatial

Understanding your strongest intelligences will help you figure out how you learn best. Then you can identify occupations that reflect your strengths.

For help recognizing your learning style, check out the What's Your Learning Style? article.

To make the most of your strengths in a learning environment, visit Learning Strategies for Multiple Intelligences.

Enter your strongest intelligences in the Factors column.

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