Written By: Robyn Shulman
Throughout the course of career advising, one of the most valuable tools I recommend for all job seekers is to take the time for self-reflection.
Many have come to a crossroad in their career due to various economic, personal, and uncontrollable reasons. For those who have spent a lifetime in one career, even peeking outside of that role can be frightening. However, skills are transferable, and it is very important that each person is aware of their certain ‘niche’, including experience, skills, and unique talents.
Therefore, taking some time to self-reflect can help one re-evaluate skills, find past accomplishments and raise self-esteem. Taking this time can also make the view outside of the usual career box a bit less intimidating. Lastly, self-reflection will also assist many to re-define who they are, where they are presently, and where they want to go in the future.
It is not possible to help others, land a great job, or find success if one does not know him/herself. Self-reflection is a process of looking in the mirror to discover strengths, talents, and even pitfalls. With this information at hand, one can only improve his/her life.
Here are some helpful tips to get started with the self-reflection process. Please note, this doesn’t have to be a major project, as it can be done in pieces, when it comes to one’s mind, etc.
1. Make a list of social, developmental and emotional skills. Ask a spouse (they will be biased though), a friend (ouch, biased too), and/or some trustworthy people who will tell the truth (try not to be too sensitive, as everyone will have a different perception, as they should). Asking others is completely optional.
2. Make a list of all academic strengths. For example, list things such as: good writer, great teacher, strong computer skills, self-starter, etc. Try and be detailed, not too generalized.
3. List accomplishments, and write down as many that come to mind. Do not list responsibilities, as these are 2 different entities.
4. Take this free strengthsfinder test if time allows: http://richardstep.com/self-tests-quizzes/strengths-finder-test-free-no-access-code/
5. Don’t ever focus or write down one negative thing! This is about all about positive skills and accomplishments. There is no room for the negative.
When finished with the self-reflection process, keep what was written and refer, make changes, and update. Also, keep in mind that self-reflection is an ongoing journey.
Many people will be very pleasantly surprised. Use these tools, spoof up that resume, and add those re-discovered and newly found skills and accomplishments.
Keep in mind; a professional resume writer or career coach can help many people, especially when these findings are shared. However, it is imperative to help oneself first (nobody can do this for another), as this is the first key to true success!
There is no final destination for self-reflection. As humans, we have been given a gift to grow, share and learn every day. As we go through different phases of our lives it is of utmost importance to evaluate ourselves personally and professionally.