A Weekend Guide to Self-Assessment and Career Development

15 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by James G. Clawson

James G. Clawson

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business


This note represents a short, two-day version of the self-assessment process used in one of Darden's second-year electives,career management. The process is similar to, but less involved than, the process presented in the text for the course, the third edition of Self-Assessment and Career Development. Students are guided through a 14-step process that they can complete on their own in two to four days. The note was designed for students who, unable to take the full-semester course, want a shorter, less-involved process.





Although the Darden School and other business schools offer a semester-long Career Manage­ment course that includes an extensive self-assessment process, many people for a variety of reasons are unable to allocate the three months needed to complete these courses. This note is intended to be an alternative, a week-end “short course” if you will, that will guide you through a mini-version of the self-assessment process used in many of these longer careers courses. The goal here is to help you develop some modestly rigorous insights into yourself that may help you make career-related decisions. Please note that this short version is not nearly so involved as the regular course work. Nevertheless, if you're willing to devote a weekend to the process, you can assemble some insights and ideas that may save you a lot of time and uncertainty in the future. This process will yield a set of life themes that describe you, a set of implications that describe the kind of work you should be seeking, and a set of questions that you can use to guide your efforts in resume writing, interviewing and in making company visits for recruiting.

We encourage you to prepare to work through this self-assessment process by elimi­nating the possibilities of distraction. A good way to do this is to go away from your usual surroundings. Rent a hotel or resort room out of town for the weekend; do not take phone calls or worry about things like mowing the grass or doing homework. Concentrating your efforts in part by removing the routine clutter from your life will clear your thoughts and feelings and will improve the quality of your data.

You will need some writing equipment and a good supply of paper. Purchase some “8½ x 11” lined, punched paper and a three-ring binder in which you can keep your self-assessment and career development materials, notes, and ideas—not only for now, but also for the future. It is difficult to learn from yourself about your­self over time if your notes are disorganized. You will need ten or more index tabs to organize your material. Also, bring your daily appointment book, if you keep one regularly, and, if you have a resume, bring it along, too.

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Keywords: career management, self-assessment

Suggested Citation

Clawson, James G., A Weekend Guide to Self-Assessment and Career Development. Darden Case No. UVA-PACS-0086, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=911502

James G. Clawson (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/clawson.htm

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