For this month’s Career Focus, let’s concentrate on knowing yourself and knowing what you want.

Know Yourself

Whether you’re still in school or an experienced professional, now is a great time to get to know yourself — namely, your talents, interests, skills, values, and personality. The better you understand yourself, the easier it will be to make academic and career decisions that align with what you value and what will most likely provide fulfillment in your life and career. Having a clear understanding of who you are, what you’ve done, and what you hope to do will also help you answer one of the most common interview questions: “Tell me about yourself.”

Where to start? Chapman’s Office of Career and Professional Development (CPD) offers students and alumni free self-assessments. You can also take an assessment with a CPD Career Educator who can help you make sense of your results.

If you prefer, you can jot down your accomplishments on this handout to help you better identify what specific talents, interests, skills, and values are authentic to you.

Know What You Want

Once you have an idea of who you are, the next step is to know what you’re looking for. Here are some places to start:

  • Compile a list of negotiables and non-negotiables using this job search handout. You might consider things like industry, responsibilities, location (including remote work), and benefits. Notice where you’re willing to be more flexible and what your needs are.
  • You can also craft your tentative plans for the immediate, short-term, or long-term future. See this handout for a guide.
  • Most applicants tend to neglect other factors such as an organization’s values, work culture, and mission. To do your research, visit sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, Comparably, Vault, and The Muse, which provide former and current employees’ perspectives. However, given that these responses are user-generated, consider these comments carefully as experiences vary by role, location, and organization.

Additional Tips and Resources

Using their Chapman login credentials, Chapman students and alumni have free access to a number of resources via the CPD resources webpage, including Vault, where you can read career trajectory guides and advice for new/prospective professionals. Chapman students also have access to Standout, a mock interview video platform. (Alumni can contact to gain access.)

If your are looking for one-on-one assistance, Chapman’s Career and Professional Development Office is here to help students and alumni explore career paths in education, community organizations, and beyond.

We also encourage you to follow Attallah College on LinkedIn for regular career tips, job listings, and industry news.


For the most up-to-date campus information, see Chapman’s CU Safety Back webpage.