Who am I?
Self-ExplorationDo some self-assessment and create a profile of your interests, skills, competencies, values, learning styles, personality traits, and goals that will inform your choices about work and career. Compare and align these with the Competencies for Success at Washington University.

While the self-assessments, and much of this entire website, enable you to work independently on career development, we recommend you work with a career development specialist in Human Resources. They will conduct a more comprehensive interpretation and application of these assessment instruments, as well as provide additional resources and strategies for your overall job and career search.


Quick Online Assessments

Additional self-assessment and other career planning information


Competencies for Success at Washington University

Exploring your fit with the world of work includes a clear understanding of the organization you work for—Washington University—and the skills and competencies required for success in your current and future roles. Skills are specific, learned, and measurable activities that enable successful task completion, usually within a single job function. Competencies blend skills, knowledge, and behavior to produce superior performance that may be applied across job functions and in different contexts. While both are important, a successful career trajectory at Washington University, including advancement and promotion, places emphasis on developing and improving competencies.

While there are many types and levels of role-specific skills that vary by job function, there is an overarching set of Core Competencies for Success at Washington University that define our standards of professional excellence, and that align with the organization’s mission and goals. Additionally, we endorse a more focused set of Leadership Competencies for Success for management and leadership roles at the university.

View the Competencies for Success.


Strategies for Improving Skills

As you think about your career development, remember the 70-20-10 model: 70% of learning and development comes from on-the-job experience; 20% from observing others and receiving feedback; and only 10% from formal course work and training. Keeping this in mind, in addition to enrolling in courses and workshops, consider these more informal but equally effective strategies for improving your skills and expanding your responsibilities, and make this part of a conversation with your manager:

  • Take on a new task that stretches your skills
  • Design a special project outside of your current responsibilities
  • Teach others how to improve their work
  • Seek out a mentor
  • Shadow someone with skills and experience that are models for your own career
  • Pursue volunteer work outside of your job for skill improvement and networking
  • Develop an informal group of like-minded individuals to pursue an interest

Conversations With Your Manager

As part of your self-assessment initiate conversations with your manager early in the planning process to know clearly where you stand in your current position. Make sure you’re meeting current job expectations, mastering required skills, and developing new skills and responsibilities.

Here’s what you can expect from your direct manager:

  • Assistance with an Individual Development Plan (PDF).
  • Regular performance evaluation and management.
  • Constructive and timely feedback on current job expectations and skills.
  • Opportunities for skill development and professional growth within your unit.
  • Information about in-house and external training and continuing education.
  • Referral information about career development and all other benefits offered at Washington University.

When appropriate, your manager may also help you explore internal transfer opportunities or alternative career paths. We encourage conversations with your manager about your professional growth at least twice annually.


Workshop:  Lead Your Career Success

Register for a workshop through Human Resources to help guide your self-assessment and career exploration. Learn More


Mission Statement

What is your purpose, and how are your most important values expressed in your work and career? Construct your own mission statement.


Recommended Reading

We suggest this list of books for more insight on self-assessment, as well as general information about job search and career planning.