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Step 1: Understanding Your Interests, Skills & Values

Career Toolbox

Understanding your unique interests, skills and values is the first step in the TSA Career Planning Process. Before you research career options, you should take the time to understand how your personal values, preferences for certain work activities and current competencies can influence your satisfaction and success in various occupations. You need to understand your current interests and strengths before you can realistically assess the gap between where your career is today and where you would like to be in the future. You will be happier and more motivated to excel in a job that makes good use of your strengths. In addition to asking for feedback from family, friends, work colleagues and your supervisor, TSA provides several ways for you to do a career self-assessment.

  • If you would like to jump start your thinking about personal preferences, complete Getting Started: A Quick Self Assessment (doc, 41Kb).


  • If you want to do a more thorough self-assessment, take advantage of the Career Coaching Service available to TSA employees at no cost. Request a telephone appointment with a Professional Career Coach. Call toll free 866-619-3697 (TTY 1-800-8339 and request 1-866-542-9092).


  • Visit the TSA Career Coaching Website and learn about the many career assessment tools that are available for TSA employees. A telephone conversation with a career coach can help you decide which career assessments are most appropriate for your needs. The TSA Career Coaching Website also has links to other career planning materials on the World Wide Web and an annotated list of career planning books.

When you have a good sense of your interests, skills and values, proceed to Step 2: Researching Career Options or return to the TSA Career Planning Guide Table of Contents.

Latest revision: 29 November 2012