Career planning tools

Just as you learned to use resources to enhance your academic performance, these resources can assist you on your journey toward identifying and achieving your career goals. Many of these can be used on your own time and at your discretion or as a complement to working one-on-one with a career advisor. While it’s true that most careers do not follow a linear or predictable path, to actively manage your career success, it is vital that you consistently reflect on your career goals and plan the steps you will take to achieve them.

Planning tools and resources 

Academic vs industry careers 

You have pursued graduate or professional education and now you have a choice – would you like to focus your career on continued research and teaching, or are you more interested in applying what you have learned outside of the academy? You may have only experienced the academic setting thus far, and if that’s the case, it’s important to investigate what other settings are like and whether they are a good fit for you. Explore resources for careers in academia and in industry.

Based on what you learn, identify what skills and experiences are needed in the sector in which you want to work, and proceed to implement your career plan accordingly. 

Skills, interests and value assessments 

The more you know about yourself, the more confident you'll feel in taking next steps.  Connecting your values to your studies and career adds clarification.  Knowing what you don't want is just as important as knowing what you want.  Discovering your interests and uncovering your skills further enables you to take that next step.

Life Values Inventory

 The Life Values Inventory helps you know what your work values are. Prioritizing them is one of the best ways to build a foundation for further career exploration.  Whether you're just starting out or you're in the midst of a career change, identifying values and accounting for them in your career plan is essentia

Take the Life Values Inventory (Free)

Myers Briggs Type Indicator

 The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is rooted in the idea that there are 16 different personality types. This instrument will give you an understanding of personality factors which aid in determining whether certain career environments would be a good fit for you. It will also provides insight into your interactions with others, both in the workplace and in your personal life.

 Contact a career advisor to take the Myers Briggs Type Indicator


StrengthsFinder asks, "What's right with you?" and provides you with your top five strengths.  Knowing your top five strengths can be helpful by enabling you to focus in on areas in which you may be interested in working to articulating your skills in an interview.  

Contact a career advisor to take StrengthsFinder

Strong Interest Inventory

This Strong Interest inventory is designed to assess your interests. It compares your preferences to those of people in various careers, so that you can see what types of work you might enjoy most. It also matches your preferences to six broad areas of work and provides you with a 3-letter code that you can use to further research careers of interest.

Contact a career advisor to take the Strong Interest Inventory


Virginia Commonwealth University
Division of Student Success
907 Floyd Avenue, Room 143
Box 842007
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2007

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