“To thine own self be true.” No truer words could be said on the journey to successful career management. As we are ready to go into a new year, what better time to do a review of your career.
It all starts with self-assessment – truly knowing who you are and what you are capable of doing. Without this insight and knowledge, you will spend your life ‘flying the by the seat of your pants’ and getting by. I have seen people go from job to job and through different careers because they can’t find the meaning and happiness they are seeking, and they aren’t sure why. I have talked with many people who have been in a career and not feel fulfilled, and they are not sure why.
I believe it is because they have not done a self-assessment to truly understand themselves and then see how the results relates to their career. Assessment involves knowing your strengths, weaknesses, skills abilities, interests, talents, and values. It takes looking ‘hard’ at oneself in order to uncover the truths. Doing so will help you identify career paths and goals. It will also help you identify and understand what you want from both work, and non-work roles, and then get clearer on what skills and abilities you will bring to those roles.
Self-Assessment should consist of:
1, Values – these are abstract outcomes of what you want to attain or individual differences of what we want from work. There are 6 values we all possess – theoretical, economic, aesthetic, religious, social, nd political. If you value economics highly, you will not be happy in a job that does not pay well.
2. Interests – these are the likes and dislikes we attach to specific activities or objects and are expressions of what we like to do. These can come from a variety of factors, such as family life, social class, culture, or the physical environment. Choosing a career that is compatible with your interests will lead to higher levels of involvement and satisfaction.
3. Personality – these are the characteristics that distinguish you from others. There are 5 personality factors: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to new experiences.
4. Talents – these refer to aptitudes or capacities or developed skills and proficiencies you possess; also are reflective of what one can do if they received the proper training and development. These are vital to our career planning process as they can set constraints on our potential accomplishments and are necessary when making career decisions.
There are a variety of ways for self-assessment. Sit down with paper and pen and list them. If you are stuck, you can ask others – family or friends- what they see in you as it relates to the four assessment areas. You can also take some tests, such s the MMPI, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, the DISC, the Vocational Preference Inventory, or The Bliss Inventory. These tests are designed to help you understand your personality style and how it would best fit in with a career path and how you will fit in with that culture.
Here are a 10 questions to include in your assessment; if you answer with ‘no,’ then this is an area to focus on in the coming year:
1. I know and follow ALL the rules established my organization.
2. When given a task or assignment, I regularly try to do MORE than is expected of me.
3. I a make a habit of volunteering for work. When I see things that need to be done, I do them without waiting for others to take the lead.
4. I’m a considerate coworker. I regularly clean up after myself and avoid behaviors that may disturb others or cause them additional work.
5. I remember my promises and commitments, and I KEEP them.
6. I treat everyone with the same level of dignity and respect that I want for myself and the people I care about
7. I value and appreciate people with ideas, backgrounds, and demographic characteristics that are different than mine.
8. I continually look for and create opportunities to learn new things and I avoid “I know all I need to know” thinking.
9. I keep my boss informed of things I’ve done, what I’m working on, and any problems I’m experiencing that negatively impact my work.
10. I look for and seize opportunities to help my coworkers be successful rather than just being in it for myself.
This assessment should be done throughout your lifetime. Often, our interests and talents will change and we may become disillusioned by our current job. In order to successfully manage a change, it is vital to know ourselves and why those changes occurred. We may have grown in our thoughts and beliefs; understanding this growth will help n our preparation in the event that a career change is made, whether planned or unplanned.
A self-assessment will keep you focused on your career and staying the course to being in the right career and organization. Overall, you will have more job satisfaction and higher results for a lifetime of success.