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Monday, October 22, 2012

Your Horizon Part 1: Know Yourself

We're looking forward to beginning a project with a high school and their local partner in education to provide career coaching for all of the seniors at the school.   In addition to that, I'll be speaking at a job club on the topic of "Should I consider a career change?" next week.  Even with two completely different audiences, high school students and adults in career transition, we use the same model to help people make wise career decisions.

Here's how the first step works.

Know Yourself

1. Talents- We examine what you're good at.  This is done in a variety of ways (there are many instruments out there), but here are some questions that you can reflect on quickly in this area:

  • What do other people frequently ask you for help with? 
  • What tasks to do you find that come easy to you that seem difficult for others? 
2. Passions- We examine what cranks your tractor.   Again, there are a variety of instruments out there to assess interests or passions, but here are some things to consider on your own: 
  • What do you loose track of time doing you enjoy it so much? 
  • Are you engrossed with people, things or ideas? 
  • If you were standing in front of a magazine rack, what magazine would you pick up first to read? 
3. Values- We examine your personal values in the context of work environment.  This doesn't deal with moral values, such as integrity, instead it focuses on what environment is best for you and what you value most from work.  We typically use a card sorter activity that forces you to priorities what you value in work.  Here are some things to consider in this category:
  • Where do you want to live? Big city, small town, close to the ocean, in the mountains, close to family or far far away from them? (Yes, I have actually had people tell me it doesn't matter where they work as long as family isn't close by.  They obviously don't have a toddler!) 
  • Do you prefer to work with others or independently?
  • What is important to you in terms of work?  Is it flexibility, variety, status, autonomy, stability, etc? 
These areas, as seen in the diagram above, should overlap.  Most people are good at what they love to do and vis versa and most people gravitate toward jobs that provide alignment with their work and personal values.   Knowing yourself before considering different career fields or considering a change in career fields is vital to success. 

Next week,  I'll discuss the next step- Match Yourself- which gives a clearer picture of your horizon in the context of the job market. 

Let us know your answers to some of the questions above for this week's feedback! 

I'll give you one of mine... Passions- I loose track of time writing about and putting together presentations/trainings and individual plans for career and leadership development!

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