Who am I and what am I good at?

To start to plan your career you need to know your interests, abilities, commitments and career goals.

To plan or change your career you need to know yourself. You need to know your interests, skills, abilities and values, as well as your commitments.

What are my interests?

What you like to do in your spare time can suggest some career ideas for you. For example, if you like gaming a career as a software architect might suit you.

Take our CareerQuest quiz to find career ideas based on your interests.

What am I good at?

Working out what skills you have then matching them to different job ideas can open up career options you may never have thought of.

Think about the skills you have picked up from learning, work, hobbies or community work. What are you good at? 

Take our Skill Matcher quiz to find job ideas based on what you're good at:

If you're a student, take our Subject Matcher quiz to find ideas based on the subjects you're good at:

What are my values?

Your values are what you believe in and what you think is important in life.

You can use your values as a guide to make career choices that are best for you. For example, if your main value is family life you might avoid jobs that have long hours.

Use our worksheet to discover what you value in a career.

What are my commitments?

Your commitments can affect your career choices.

You might need to consider how your career:

  • fits with your family/whānau
  • fits around your commitments such as music, sport, community work and hobbies.

Career advisers can help you with information on how to balance a career with other commitments.

My career inspiration – exercise

Think about someone whose career and life you admire. What can you learn about yourself and the career you want from them?

Try this exercise: 

Keven Mealamu's career story - video


All Blacks legend and owner of FIT 60 gym Keven Mealamu talks about his values and career – 2.25 mins.

Keven: When I was a Year 10 student back at Orere College I had a little idea of what I wanted to do - I always wanted to be an All Black and that was probably before I was even in Year 10 when I was about this big. I've had a lot of guidance especially from my family - my parents have always been there from day one and instilled some things in me that really helped me in my career. They always would make sure when I was a youngster that I was really well-prepared the night before the game, making sure my boots were ready and clean in my bag and everything was ready to go for the next day, so I think those little habits really helped me especially when I became a professional.

One of the values that really stands out for me that I hear my dad talking about all the time was good things come to those that work hard. And when I think about some of the values my mom always talked about was making sure I respected the people around me, just things like making sure you keep your feet on the ground really helps especially when you move further in your career and just realise that the people that are there from day one should still be there.

We're going to go through our mobility together, team.

I think some of the obstacles I've faced are when I was thinking about the career that I wanted to move into where you see a lot of peaks and valleys so the peaks are the real good times, and the valleys where you have struggles and that can be anything.

Nice work, nice work, let's get moving, team, nice work.

It's not supposed to be easy and the things that you really work hard for they mean so much more to you look after it and you protect it so much more - so working hard towards achieving things is what it's supposed to be about.

Twenty seconds, team, keep jogging, keep moving, good work!

When rugby was the only thing I did sometimes the mind, your brain, gets a bit stale so to be able to look outside the box and to be able to keep looking to grow yourself and keep learning new things, that's something that keeps you excited. When I think about the journey to what I was able to achieve in my career I think it's definitely something I really wanted to do but making sure I had a real good balance of life. Sometimes when you just totally focus on the one thing there's a lot of other things that sort of slip off and that you forget about. So the sport of rugby that I was trying to achieve - the education side of it was really important, the family time for me, religion was in there as well, time out, fun, enjoyment - it's about putting all those things together so that's that you're not just becoming a part of a person but a whole person.


Next step

Your next step is to find out about the different types of skills.

Updated 11 Jun 2019