Career Center

Know Yourself

Uncover What Drives You

Through ongoing self-awareness, you will gain insight into your values, interests, skills, personality, and what you have learned from unique experiences. These are the critical data that will drive you to manage your Duke experience and those that will follow.

Self-awareness is not a one-time event. It is the best way to start thinking about your career and a place to return when contemplating transitions and significant decisions about your career. As you grow and change with new experiences and exposure to new ideas, you will return to a process of reflection to identify new aspects of yourself. It will help you navigate opportunities and constraints while clarifying purpose and motivation. The more aligned your career decisions are with who you know yourself to be, the more likely you will feel fulfilled and successful.

Benefits of Self-Awareness

You will make well-informed decisions to set yourself up for the outcomes that matter to you throughout Duke and your career. Self-awareness is important in professional goal setting.

Developing Self-Awareness Course

Take this short course to learn what you need to know about yourself to better communicate your strengths and interests to others who can offer valuable guidance, connections, and opportunities.

Developing Self-Awareness. Link to online course.


Assess your Values, Skills, Interests, and Personality


Values, skills, interests, and personality are lenses through which you can look at your life experience. Each is a different view into you. Use these viewpoints to identify patterns that naturally emerge through the choices you make. The exercises on the following pages can help you get started and implement an action plan. A career adviser can help you reflect and learn from your responses.
Remember!  This is only a starting point. Embrace the new things you find out about yourself and evaluate how this insight might change your outlook. Look beyond this guide to other Career Center resources for more.


Next Steps and Selected Resources:
 Know Yourself—Uncover what drives you

▢ Start a journal or file where you keep all of your thoughts about classes and experiences in one place. Use it as a reflection tool to analyze your likes, dislikes, interests, and more.
▢ Read about the Opportunity Buffet and don't overload up front.
▢ Attempt the values, interests, personality, and skills exercises below. Fifteen minutes apiece is a great start.
▢ Draw a timeline of your life. Mark all of the memorable experiences. Look for patterns in the things that have been compelling and exciting for you.
▢ Assess your current network by listing five people in each of the following categories: Friends, Family, Faculty, Peers and Alumni, Foundations and Associations.
▢ Create a list of people you would ask to be on a personal Board of Directors. Ask someone on your list to have a conversation and provide advice based on his or her life experiences. Reflect on what you learn. 
▢ Use a career advising appointment to begin the self-awareness process by exposing patterns in your values, skills, interests, and personality. Schedule online through CareerConnections.
▢ Log in to CareerConnections to explore through information sessions, Career Center Events, and visiting professionals. 
▢ Consider the questions identified in The Nine Domains to Find Your Fit to reflect on your career goals.