SCAN Stage 1: Career self-assessment

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Sound career planning is underpinned by honest and accurate self-assessment.

Clearly understanding your values, skills, stressors, interests and personality type means you can:

  • make career choices that are both attainable and sustainable

  • produce more credible, coherent applications and answers to interview question

​Written below are activities to help you reflect on these aspects, extended versions of these tasks are also available in this workbook

What work values are important to you?

Work values are the core aspects of work that are most important, the more these are present in your role, the more likely you will to experience job satisfaction. 

Exercise One: Click on this table, and reflect on times in your career and personal life that made you happy and fulfilled or angry and frustrated.

Exercise Two: Now click on this Values Task, it includes a list of 120 values.Try to identify on any values that were being met or not met, at the times you have written about in exercise one. Can you write down your top 8 values? Keep a note of these. 

After you have written these down, it can be useful to reflect on which specilaties may fulfill these values.  

What are your work preferences? 

These are factors which represent what is important for you in the workplace.  Like values the degree to which your preferences are present in your current job will influence your level of job satisfaction.

Exercise: Click on this table to identify your work preferences. 

It could be helpful to write these down and reflect on what roles might fufil these. It may be that a portfolio career made up of different options could allow you to create a career that will fulfil your work preferences. Click here to find out further about portfolio careers. 

What are your key strengths, skills and abilities?

Considering your skills, and then finding a career that utilises these, will ensure your career is sustainable in the long term. But identifying and articulating these is also a key part of being successful in the application process. 

Exercise One: Click on this Skills Task, what are your top 5 skills? Keep a note of these. Is there are certain category which your skills fall into? 

Exercise Two: Click on this Preferred Skills Task. Choose your preferred activities and see how these link to your skills. The chart at the end shows which of these skills are assesed in speciality applications. 

There can be certain aspects of work that we may have not mastered yet, but that we really enjoy and would like to work to develop. It is worth identifying these and looking for opportunties to carry out this developement. 

Exercise Three: Click on this Good at vs Enjoy Skills Task. This can give a clear indication of your preferences and those tasks that you may like to avoid in your future career path. 

Reflecting on your skills and how you have developed these is an essential part of strong applications. Could you now create a list of your main skills? Under each one you could write bullet points of the experiences that have helped you to develop these. 

Another key aspect of strong applications is identifying in advance the key skills that you need to develop. Could you now write down these skills?  And  then brainstorm possible ways you could develop them.

What are your interests?

There is often a strong relationship between what you enjoy doing and what you are good at doing. 

Reflecting on your interests and passions, and articulating these in meaningful way, will significantly strengthen your applications. Assessors will be looking to see that you have a strong enough interest in an area, to sustain the stressors and strains that may be encountered.

Exercise: Can you choose two achievements and consider the interests these are connected to? These do not need to be of huge or rare, but something that you have done that you felt proud of and you may have achieved positive feedback from colleagues or patients (although this is not essential).  Perhaps you could think of ways to further explore and demonstrate this interest.

What are your stressors?

Being aware of those aspects of working life which can lead to stress if not managed properly.

Exercise: Take time to reflect on the questions written below:

  • How have family events impacted on your working life? (e.g. health of family members, bereavement)
  • How has your ability to manage both family demands and work impacted on your wellbeing in the past and how might this be affected by your choice of specialty?
  • How easy do you find it to manage deadlines, respond to changing workloads – either too much or too little work, increases in responsibility and possible conflict in the workplace?
  • How have you dealt with work tasks that you find mundane and demotivating or dealt with tasks that you find difficult to achieve?

When making these reflections, you could rank the stressors that you would most like to minismise in your future role. The answers to these questions may have brought up issues you would like to think about further. If so, it could be worth booking a Careers Appointment using this link.

What is your personality type? 

We recommend a personality test based on theories proposed by Carl Jung. It measures your preferences for dealing with and relating to people, processing information, making decisions and organising your life. 

The results of this test can help you to understand:

  • how your personality relates to the requirements of a particular specialty
  • your potential strengths within the team

However,  it should be noted that all specialties tend to have a mix of personalities within them. Therefore, your test results should always be viewed in conjunction with the results of your other self-awareness exercises.

Exercise: Follow this link to the personality test, but please do book in for a careers guidance appointment if you would like to discuss the results of this.

What are my next steps?

  • The next stage of the SCAN Model is Career Exploration, click on this link, to find out how you can research your career options in more detail. 

  • It can be useful to discuss your thoughts and ideas with a Careers Consultant to gain further clarity. Please follow this link to apply for an appointment, Foundation Stage Doctors can book in for a Careers MOT.