Dec 8, 2023

Assess Your Career: The Ultimate Toolkit

Written by Clodagh O’Brien

A digital marketing career is a hot commodity as there’s a huge demand for skilled professionals across industries. In addition, it’s a lucrative career that offers opportunities to work in exciting areas such as social media marketing, PPC, content marketing, and SEO. 

But how do you become a digital marketer or advance your career to secure a management position in the sector?   

Whether you’re looking to kickstart a new career, progress in an existing one, or take the leap to become a freelancer or digital nomad, this toolkit will help you plan a successful career.

The toolkit will help you to:

  1. Consider Your Personality - Why Do You Work?
  2. Assess Your Career
  3. Create Your Career Wish List
  4. Research Your Options
  5. Make a Career Action Plan

Download Your Career Assessment Template

To get the most out of this assessment - download our custom template to map out your own career and plan for the future!

Career Assessment Toolkit Template (PDF)

Step 1 - Your Personality: Why Do You Work?

Given that our work culture, environment and role take up a third of our life, it’s important that we spend time figuring out the personality traits and insights that are our primary career drivers.

Therefore, to get where you want to be in your career, it’s important to assess where you are now. Here are a few questions to ask to help you get a sense of that:

Why do you work? In other words, what motivates you to work? Is it well-being, self-development, financial security, or collaboration? 

This ‘Wheel of Work’ from ‘The Essential Career Organisation Toolkit’ will help you discover the factors that are important to you.

  • Select the segments of the wheel containing factors that are meaningful to you. Use the scores of 1-5 to rate how important each one is to you (where 1 is not very important and 5 is extremely important). For example, if feeling good is extremely important, circle or shade all sections numbered 1-5 of that segment.

Once you have filled it out, analyze the results; does your current career match your priorities?


Step 2 - Assess Your Career

Now that you understand why you work, let’s look at your career so far. How do you feel about the choices you’ve made in your career so far? Does your career to date fit with your aspirations or your path for the future?

  • What inspires or motivates you? For example, do you love working with technology or are you excited by social media?
  • What values are important to you e.g. sustainability, transparency, etc.
  • What type of environment do you want to work in e.g. office, home, hybrid, outdoors, etc.?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What skills do you have and enjoy using (include hard and soft skills)?
  • What do you like or dislike about your current job?
  • What obstacles do you see in your career so far?
  • What could help you to overcome those obstacles?

Filling this out should help you figure out what you do and don’t like about your current career path. Feel free to add more questions and answers that will help your assessment. 

Step 3 - Create Your Career Wish List

A wish list can help you to see the bigger picture for your career and keep you focused. You can include short-term and long-term goals so it can be a working list that can change and evolve as your career does. Let’s see what that might look like?

  • Company/brand - Is there a company or brand you aspire to work for? Your dream company that you admire such as Nike, Etsy or Airbnb. Or do you want to work for a tech start-up that disrupts a sector such as Revolut in the fintech sector?
  • Role/position - What type of role do you want? Are you keen to become a top SEO specialist or awesome content marketer or would you like to move to the ranks of CMO?  
  • Mentor/network - Is there anyone you admire in the digital marketing or business world you would like to connect with or get mentorship from? What about Neil Patel for tips on search or content marketing or Randy Fishkin for SEO advice?
  • Skills or Knowledge - Think about the skills and knowledge you would like to gain over your career. Is there an area in digital marketing you want to become a specialist in or would you like to gain a leadership mindset?
  • Non-negotiables - This comes down to deal-breakers, as in what you are not willing to do. It could be something like a long commute or no access to hybrid working. These requirements can change over time but it’s good to note them down.
  • Aspirations - In an ideal world, where do you see yourself in 20, 30 or even 40 years? Is it retiring to the beach, do you want to become a digital marketing consultant or author? Think about your long-term goal and have it in mind for your career path.

Top tip: If you’re unsure of the level of your digital marketing skills, take our Digital Skills Diagnostic test for an assessment.

Step 4 - Research Your Options

In the area of digital marketing, there are a lot of career options. You may want to become a generalist digital marketer that has a wide range of skills or maybe you love social media and want to master Facebook and TikTok.

Whatever you decide, it’s good to explore what’s out there. There are a few places you can go to get more information:

  • Job Sites like Glassdoor or Payscale are global and offer salary scales, job listings and career advice.  
  • Job listings on local or national sites can let you see what’s available and the salaries that position can demand. Our jobs board (available to power members) showcases a variety of positions that may suit your personality and requirements.
  • LinkedIn is a great platform for not only finding relevant and expert content but also connecting with peers. You will also get information on jobs to get an idea of the skills required for a position and responsibilities.
  • Watch webinars or listen to podcasts. A lot of experts are active on webinars and podcasts either as guests or running their own. These forums are a great place to learn from experts and ask questions.
  • Blogs are a great place to get information that can provide you with new information on a wide range of topics, not least the DMI library!
  • Join groups on social media as they offer a place to connect with peers and find out more about roles or companies.
  • Consider a career coach to help find out what jobs may match your skills and explore career options.
  • Attend events or conferences to find out more about digital marketing and make connections with people in the industry. This also allows you to learn from experts or industry leaders.
  • Voluntary work or shadowing may offer you the opportunity to work in a new sector or area of marketing. This will give you unique insights into an industry or role while making new connections.
  • Use courses to learn new skills or refresh existing knowledge so you can learn more about the industry and technologies, as well as take ideas on new career areas or opportunities.

Map Your Career Path

This stage will help you figure out where you want your career to go, based on your aspirations and options.

What can be helpful here is a simple list of ideas followed by pros and cons which are then ordered by importance with 1 being to most and 10 the least. The first two rows in this table below are an example - download the full template above to create your own customized version..

Assess Your Career: The Ultimate Toolkit

Another option is to create a mind map where you can brainstorm ideas and make connections. A mind map is a great way to visualize ideas or concepts by using visual elements to help you see the bigger picture. You can start with a simple square or bubble with ‘career’ as your central idea and then let ideas branch off it.

The example below gives an idea of how you can map it out. Tools like Canva and Mural can be useful to create a map or you can just grab a piece of paper and start creating.

Choose an option that works for you to help get the most out of brainstorming and ideation. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just gives you an overview of your goals and thoughts so you can map them out and set a plan to achieve them.

Step 5 - Make a Career Action Plan

As a follow on from brainstorming, you need to create a list of actions you want to take. At this stage, you should have a clearer picture of what you want and how to get there. This will help cement those career aspirations so you can work towards your ultimate goal.

See the examples in the table below: update CV, create a LinkedIn profile, scope out jobs at target companies, research relevant conferences.

Assess Your Career: The Ultimate Toolkit

The most important thing to remember is that this action plan can change or have iterations as you and your career develop. To advance your career you need to be proactive and stay focused so keep note of your performance as you progress.

Use a networking tool like LinkedIn to grow your contacts and post achievements and relevant news that may be of interest to your peers. Keep an eye on job and skill trends so you’re aware of new developments and can upskill or build on your knowledge to be ahead of the competition when it comes to moving to a new job or securing a promotional opportunity.

Above all, keep reviewing your career so you have a clear vision of where you want to go and how to get there. Good luck!

Useful career resources from the DMI Library

Updated 2023

Clodagh O’Brien
Clodagh O’Brien

Clodagh O'Brien is a content creator and strategist. Over the last 12 years, she has created and managed content for many SMEs and global brands. She's passionate about digital marketing and the impact of technology on culture and society. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.  

Upgrade to Power Membership to continue your access to thousands of articles, toolkits, podcasts, lessons and much much more.
Become a Power Member

CPD points available

This content is eligible for CPD points. Please sign in if you wish to track this in your account.