No matter what your career stage is, it’s important to evaluate your personal goals, interpersonal skills, strengths, weaknesses and passions to keep your career development in line with your personality and interests.

Some workers, for example, primarily value their income potential, while others prioritize work-life balance. You must decide what is most important to you in your short- and long-term career development goals.

It’s important to understand yourself so you can find a career path that is rewarding and satisfying.

There are different ways to make sure you understand what motivates you. Personality tests, career centers, employers, teachers, friends and family can help you evaluate what jobs are well-suited to your personality, disposition, interests and long-term goals.

By focusing on what makes you feel happy and valued as a worker, you can find employment opportunities that are most satisfying. You can only develop a long, healthy and rewarding career if you understand what truly makes you tick.

Everyone has limitations, so understanding your specific qualifications, talents and academic background can help you find jobs that are within your level of expertise.

For example, some workers have the skills and knowledge to perform technical research, some have strong people skills and others have artistic talents.

Asking an artist to examine cells behind a microscope or expecting a people person to crunch numbers all day can result in unhappy, unsatisfying and unproductive workplace environments, even if salary levels and benefits packages look appealing.

Once you understand your qualifications and limitations, you’ll be able to pursue career options that fit with your skills and experiences.

Reality check: Self-awareness is an important part of career development because it forces you to look at yourself objectively and make changes or corrections.

Examining your strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments and failures can help you determine what works and what doesn’t in order for you to move forward with re-energized goals and fresh career objectives.

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