Getting Started

Getting started on Career Exploration

In order to get started and determine a career to pursue, the first step would be to reflect on your own interests, values, and skills. Reflecting on this will allow you to better determine the career path that is best suited for you. Below are short descriptions of the three. You can complete a self-assessment on ImaginePhD.


Interests can be determined based on your preferences in terms of activities and work environments. They are the aspects of activities or environments that keep you engaged and motivate you to pursue other similar opportunities. For example, if you like engaging in activities that help other people, you can consider the social nature of work as an important criteria when searching for a job. For more information, read Surela Chakraborty’s article on Choosing Careers and Interests or the definition of Interests on O*NET online.


Work values are your beliefs about what you think your work or career should fulfill. These values are an important part of your identity and therefore it is important to consider the values that are important to you when choosing a career. For information, read Identifying your Work Values by Balance Careers or the definition of Values on O*NET online.


Skills are capacities that can be developed and they facilitate learning and quicker acquisition of knowledge. For more information see the definition of Skills on O*NET online.

Reflecting on your interests, values, and skills, are also beneficial as you prepare to apply for jobs and need to write résumés, C.V.s, or cover letters. It will be beneficial as you prepare for interviews as some types of interviews may ask you to speak about them.

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