Whether you are thinking of changing jobs or careers or if you are currently unemployed and looking for a job, the first step in finding a job you love – is to get to know yourself.
Knowing your strengths, what you want and what you can offer an employer is powerful information when job searching. Responding to endless job advertisements may get you a job but it will likely not move you toward your dream job.
When you are job searching and even when you aren’t, you are always making an impression on others, so why not take time to do the work to ensure the impression you make is aligned with who you are and what you want!
Develop Self-Awareness! In order to complete the following exercises, search the internet for lists of personal qualities and transferable skills.
Evaluate your personal qualities. List your top 5 and then prove it by identifying an experience from your past where you demonstrated these qualities, writing this out in sentence format.
Evaluate your approach to life. Are you patient, loyal, hard working, adaptable, open minded? If this is a challenge for you think about ask yourself, how your manager or co-worker would describe you? And then narrow it down to your top 5 coming up with examples to support each quality.
Identify your transferable skills. Transferable skills are those skills that can be used or transferred to different jobs. For all of your transferable skills, categorize the ones you like, the ones you are good at and the skills you would like to use in your next job, write out examples of when you demonstrated these skills and then narrow it down to your top 5. Are you surprised at all that you have done?
Identify your achievements/accomplishments/special awards/recognition/talents. Create this list and provide examples to describe the benefit to the employer and how you achieved what you did, add measurable data if possible
By narrowing down your strengths, skills and qualities you will have material to develop your job searching tools including your resume and cover letter. You will have clear information to refer to when connecting with potential employers, networking contacts and in preparation for interviews. This information will help you clarify the direction you want your career to move and also provide a key word list to sort through job descriptions and work environments, which will help establish the company and job that is right for you.
The most important aspect of completing self- awareness exercises is that you will uncover your unique talents and skill set, strengthening your confidence and hope for the future.
Best wishes to you!
Kelly McIntyre M.Sc.