Self assessments and determining your career direction
Welcome back. I guess if you read my first post on establishing a career direction and have come back here, it suggests that you might want to take this further and start using the 4 steps that I suggested. You’ll recall that the 4 steps I recommended for anyone who is stuck, or confused about the best way forward in their career or for finding a suitable job were:
- Step 1 – self review and self analysis
- Step 2 – fully research options
- Step 3 – decision making
- Step 4 – action planning and taking action
In this post we will be looking at self review and self analysis in more detail. Clearly this type of review needs to be fairly comprehensive. As such the process will involve carrying out a number of self assessments. What I want to cover today are the types of assessments that ideally ought to be included in your career life review. In future posts I’ll explain further about each type of assessment, and why they are important.
Why is completing self assessments important to your career planning?
One of the most important advantages to you is the possibility of discovering opportunities you hadn’t previously considered. Another advantage is you, is that of the various possibilities that you identify, you can begin to isolate those opportunities which are a good match with your skills, abilities and interests. A hidden benefit that I have often seen when people have takes the time to assess and analyse their capabilities, skills and past achievements is a big increase in self confidence. When career planning, or seeking to identify possible job opportunities, many people tend to focus on the negatives in their life, and all the things they can’t do. Completing these self assessments compels people to look at the positive aspects of their lives……the things they can do. Here’s something else related to knowing what your talents and capabilities are…….most people really struggle to promote these things to to employers. One of the reasons for this is because they haven’t taken the time to do any form of self assessment.
Emotional intelligence and self assessment
Possibly you may have also heard, or know about something called “Emotional Intelligence”. Check it out if you don’t know about this. It is becoming a very big deal in employment today. But…….a key ingredient in people with high levels of emotional intelligence is high levels of self awareness. So what? …..you ask. Well, increasingly employers are looking at this aspect in their hiring processes. Therefore, become highly self aware So, there are plenty of great reasons to do this, and to make this your starting point in planning your future career direction, or deciding on jobs that might be suitable. What self assessments should you complete? The actual assessments you carry out will carry out will typically involve these two things:
- use special purpose assessment instruments, or…..
- doing some reflective thinking about certain questions and writing down your thoughts
Here are the areas for you to assess:
- What current, and past job related, occupation specific skills, and specialised training or education do you have?
- What are your transferable skills?
- What are your strongest skills?
- Which of your skills do you most enjoy using?
- What are your career or job interests?
- What are your career/life values
- What are your personality attributes?
- What is your ideal employer, or employer type
- What other factors exist in your life which impact on your employment – health, family, relationships etc?
- Where are you prepared to live, and work?
- What would you be doing when you are at your best?
This list is fairly comprehensive as you can see. What this means, is that the self assessments phase is time consuming. But please don’t rush this. Don’t attempt to do this all in one sitting. Choose times of the day when you have the right mindset to critically examine these various aspects of your life. The quality of information you generate will have a huge impact on the next stage – researching your options. And……people who can’t identify options for going forward in their lives aren’t going anywhere!
Self Assessments – use these free resources
Here is a website which contains many useful self assessment tools – MyFuture It is free to use, and I recommend that you sign up so that you can return at any time to continue with your self assessments, or review what you have previously done.
Self assessments – summary
This is the first step in a 4 step process which will enable you to clarify a future career direction, and jobs that match your interests and capabilities. The more you know about yourself, the better placed you are to identify real possibilities for you future. What has been your experience with self assessments? It is surprising to me how often that people avoid doing this type of thing. I’d love to know if you have done this type of thing before. And…. if so, what has been your experience? Please leave comments about:
- What type of assessments have you done?
- Which types of assessments were most helpful? Why?
- If you have avoided this type of thing, why?
Till next time – have a great day, regardless of how you have decided to use your time! Cheers Anthony