Learn About Yourself
You want to choose an occupation that fits your unique qualities -- your abilities, talents, needs, values, and interests -- and the life-style you want to live.
Knowing your "unique qualities" is not easy. Learning about yourself is a challenge for everyone. But, the clearer picture you have, the more likely you are to choose a satisfying career.
It is important to write your ideas down. You may find this difficult to do, many do. But, it will make a big difference in your self-understanding. Write down your thoughts and feelings as you do the exercises below. Make a folder to keep your notes and writings.
Here are eight strategies you will find helpful:
- Take tests or inventories that measure your abilities, interests, values, and personality. Write out your reactions to the results. The Career Key's career test is a good place to start, but you should try other valid tests.
- Look carefully at your achievements in school or at work to identify your abilities. If you are a student, for example, which subjects have you done well in, or not so well in? If you work, do the same analysis. What does this tell you about your abilities -- mechanical, verbal, numerical, artistic, and people skills? Be careful not to overlook, or leave out, your abilities. Looking over the 17 Foundation Skills will help you avoid doing this.
- Examine how you use your leisure time -- your hobbies, community projects, activities with social, political, or religious organizations. For each one, write down three headings: Abilities, Interests, and Values. And, under each heading write down your thoughts.
- Talk with a friend or family member who is a good listener.
- Talk with a professional counselor; learn about career counseling.
- Go to Identify Your Skills. There you will learn what the different types of skills are and how to identify those you have. The activities that are described are powerful; they are used by the top consulting firms in the country. You will find them well worth the effort.
- Write an autobiography and identify the themes that represent who you are.
- Write a personal mission statement. In it write: what you want to be, what you want to accomplish in life, and what values or principles you want to guide you.
For a printed copy, see "Advice and Actions For Making Smart Decisions" at the eBookstore.