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Lesson Two: Self-Assessment
Lesson 2: Self-Assessment
Know that you have very basic understanding of yourself, it’s time to go deeper. While this course can’t get you there for fully, it is meant to be that small step-up for your personal discovery.
In the world of work, it’s never easy to get into a successful career without getting a real sense of who you are and what you’re great at. It’s even harder to market yourself (course coming soon). After all, you can’t write your own story without a proper understanding of your beginning.
So how do you assess yourself? Where do you start?
- Value, Interest, Temperaments and Skills
In a nut shell, who you are as an individual is composed of your values, interests, your personality and your skills. If you don’t know where to start, identifying what these core elements will start to shape your voice, your story and everything else in between.
Simply put, your values are the things that matter most to you. They are part of your reason for existence. They drive most of your decisions and help you center yourself. Values are things you think in your daily life. This includes your work.
When the things you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually great! You’re pretty much content. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.
And that’s why it’s important to define them. They make life easier and in this case, your job search and forming your identity an easier battle.
Defining your values
Although there are no foolproof ways of defining your values, as it is a process, there are ways you can make things simpler. Asking yourself even more questions.
- Remember a time where you were happiest
Here it’s important not just to pick something you did or experienced with family, friends or alone. To balance things out try to pick things you did in school. Courses you liked, projects you’ve worked on, things you’ve done for charity, activities you’ve done at the church or at the mosque.
- What were you doing? (specifically)
- Were you alone or with others?
- What are some major factors contributed to your happiness?
- How about moments of pride?
When did you do something and you felts immense pride in accomplishing that task? Again it’s important to balance things out here too. Did you ever work hard on a paper by yourself and got a good grade? How about when you finished organizing you closet?
- Why were you proud?
- Did other people share your pride? Who?
- What other factors contributed to your feelings of pride?
- What fulfills you? What truly satisfies you?
Again, use both non-personal and personal examples.
- What need or desire was fulfilled?
- How and why did the experience give your life meaning?
- What other factors contributed to your feelings of fulfillment?
- Time to name the top values
If you’ve gotten this far, then you’re ready to pick from the list below and prioritize what matters most to you. Start with top 20 values, reduce them to 10, then five, then 3. It’s a hard process but a lengthy one. Remember there are no bad answers and no one is judging you. As you pick your values, you might find that some values combine. If you value good work performance, results and dedication then that can be combined into one mega value, Hard-work. So on and so forth.
- Reaffirm them
Now you know what your top values are. Check them and see if how well they match with your envisioned plans and if they don’t consider the changes.
- Do these values make you feel good about yourself?
- Are you proud of your top three values?
- Would you be comfortable and proud to tell your values to people you respect and admire?
- Do these values represent things you would support, even if your choice isn’t popular, and it puts you in the minority?
When you consider your values in discovering yourself, you can be sure to keep your sense of integrity and what you know is right, and approach your career decisions with confidence and clarity. You’ll also know that what you’re doing is best for your current and future happiness and satisfaction.
This may not always be easy. However, making a choice that you know is right and true to yourself is a lot less difficult in the long run.
Interests, include anything that grabs your attention for a substantial period of time. It’s those things that make you stop everything that you’re doing and focus on that one thing. Not to be confused with your temporary interests. These interests usually match with your values.
To figure out your interests, ask yourself these questions:
- What do you pay attention to?
- What are you curious about?
- What concerns you?
Having interests help you shape your passions into something that could potentially be your dream career. A career where you are most happy, always learning and progressing. It infuses your professional life with passion. This is how most people identify and build their careers.
These are simple preferences you are naturally inclined to. For instance, do you restore your energy from being alone (introvert) or from being with people (extrovert)? Are you a planner do you go with the flow? Do you make decisions more on the basis of feelings or thoughts and facts? Do you prefer details or big Ideas? Knowing the answers to temperament questions like these could help you gravitate toward situations in which you could flourish and avoid situations in which you could go limp.
Some workplaces and careers, require you to be detail oriented and focused people others might require you to be creative and only focus on the big picture. This why it’s important to know your temperament and understand it in context of your values and interests.
Now it wouldn’t be fair if you liked a career, you agree with the values and you are a perfect match for it. But it would be pointless if you don’t have the skill for it. Or it’s just not your strengths. Sure you could survive in the medium but can you thrive in it? Your strengths are more than skills your great at it’s also the softer qualities like loyalty, dependability and other qualities. Identifying and understanding your strengths and what you could do with those strengths is a major pillar in your self-discovery.
These are lists of strengths identified and categorized by experts::
- Wisdom and Knowledge: creativity, curiosity, judgment, love of learning, perspective
- Courage: bravery, perseverance, honesty, zest
- Humanity: love, kindness, social intelligence
- Justice: teamwork, fairness, leadership
- Temperance: forgiveness, humility, prudence, self-regulation
- Transcendence: appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor, spirituality.
Again these should be in line with your values, if they’re not then maybe it’s time to develop these strengths. You’re lucky if your values and strengths align but if they don’t. Don’t lose heat instead, take time to tackle those strengths and develop them.