Updated: Jul 29, 2021
Self-awareness is the first step to career success. Knowing what you are good at but also what you are not good at would save you money, heartache and frustrations. How many of you felt mismatched in a job before? How many of you spent years in a dead-end job and finally how many of you have not found your true career calling yet?
As a trainer, I can say with conviction that almost any skill and strength can be taught if you are willing to put your mind to it. The question is why spend time trying to learn something you are neither good at naturally nor motivated to learn? I would prefer to have you focus on what makes you get up in the morning and become an expert using your natural talent. Why? Because I believe that we can achieve average success in a job that we learned, but we can reach ultimate performance in a job that is linked to our natural strengths.
How do I find what I am good at?
Take a few minutes to do a personality assessment and/or career orientation by browsing through the tests below. They are short and quite interesting if you are looking for a quick preliminary answer. I typically tell my clients that tests do not fully represent who they are but only give cues as to possible strengths that they need to investigate further. If you are a job seeker, personality testing can help you find out your skills and orientation or give you relevant insights to build up your resume. If you are a recruiter or a Human Resources Professional, these tests may be used inside your organization as well. Profiling is a good way to start conversations for recruitment, promotion or lateral moves within a company.
2. GET FEEDBACK
There are different types of feedback. In my opinion, you need to get as many views as possible to see the full picture. You can start with the easy feedback from friends and family. It will be helpful, but not sufficient if you are looking for growth and challenge.
Getting feedback from a career consultant will have value to you as you will get more than a few lines of possible orientation from a test and more than your closest network's gentle feedback. You also will want to reach out to get local market feedback. I include this part in my consulting practice because I want individuals to get local Swiss market confrontation sooner than later. You need to know whether your ideal job, occupation or career is in demand.
A professional network can help you further your analysis by giving you constructive and blunt feedback. Science shows that honest feedback is one of the best ways to learn and progress. 20% of learnings happen via the Feedback mechanism of the Learning Model 70-20-10 (McCall, Eichinger and Lombardo 1990).
3. TEST YOUR MARKET POTENTIAL
Once you are comfortable with your strength areas, personal preferences and multiple feedback, you are now ready to sell yourself. Branding yourself and communicating with your talent, gift or know how is not necessarily easy nor natural for most people. The best way to show what you can do is to demonstrate it. I typically advise my clients to use social media to showcase their skills as one example. Make sure you spend time building up your profile online with content, photos, presentations, videos or any other relevant pieces of information supporting your talent. The good news is we now have multiple ways of getting attention online. The difficult news is that it is painful and may raise our worst fears. This is a step-by-step process. You would not go for a marathon until you feel ready. It is the same thing I recommend to get exposed to your next opportunity. You will need to regain confidence, which may have been lost in your career along the way. Small wins will help you move one step closer to objective each day.
In a nutshell, the worst thing you could do today is to wait until you get a call for an interview. This is no longer the way it works. You need to be 100% self-aware of your talents and be self-convinced. The hardest person to convince is not HR, nor the CEO, it is yourself. Once you are self-convinced, trained and ready, you will be contacted. “The market is the market is the market” says Gary Vaynerchuk, Branding and Marketing guru.
I want to hear from you, what is your biggest hurdle to move your career project forward at this stage?