For many of us, it’s THAT time of year again. It is the annual performance review season! We relate the month of April to work appraisals and while it may seem tedious and boring, it is important to be able to rate yourself with honestly. You also need to then take the learnings and use them for your next year’s performances.
You can gain resourceful insight about your optimal career path and work environment by reflecting on your values, interests, personality traits and skills. Your goal should be to seek a position that uses your greatest strengths and provides you with professional growth and opportunity. The following assessment tools will help you uncover essential elements about yourself that can be used to make well informed decisions about your career.
In order to make these choices, it is important to know your Values, Interests, Personality, and Skills, also known as V-I-P-S. You won’t use all of them within your career, but your best career choice will allow you to incorporate most aspects of your V-I-P-S.
Values are deeply held beliefs that makes your life worth living. Some people want money, security and stability. Some seek creativity and independence. Others thrive for power and prestige. Values act as a filter for such priorities. It is important to identify and to consider your values as you make career decisions since your work will influence the way you live your life.
Work that aligns with your values drives satisfaction and happiness. There are no right or wrong answers here, so think of your ideal scenario and ask yourself how important is it for you to believe in the mission of an organisation? What qualities do you value in your work, and the overall lifestyle? What motivates you and why? How important is work-life balance?
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Interests are the things you like to do, and they motivate and energise you. If you really enjoy a certain task or activity, you are likely to stick with it long enough to master it. Zeroing in on your interests can help you figure out what you’re most passionate about before you make a career move.
Job satisfaction and success is closely linked to being interested in what you do. With an eye on future fulfilment, consider accomplishments, tasks and projects at which you excel and that create a sense of pride and satisfaction. What have you received praise or recognition for in the past? What do you find most fulfilling and enjoyable? Do you enjoy the activities that relate to people, culture and worktype of your job?
Personality is your way and style of doing things. It plays a major role in job satisfaction and success, and being the right “fit” involves considering numerous factors. Your unique patterns of mental, emotional, physical, and behavioural characteristics are reflected in your personality. Assessing these offers insight into how your personality compares to others and how you prefer to work.
How do you process information? Are you detail or big-picture oriented? Do you prefer to lead or follow? How do you make decisions? Do you prefer your time to be scheduled or spontaneous? Are you more energised being alone or around other people? Do you focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?
Skills are the things that you do well. These can be natural talents, strengths, or the abilities you have acquired through education or training. The abilities you do well and love to do are called motivated skills. You may have skills using data and information, working with equipment or things, or valuable people skills. Review your accomplishments to uncover skills critical to your success. Then think about how they connect to a potential career. This will help you understand what to market in your search.
If you struggle to identify your skills, ask yourself what are your key abilities, talents and strengths? Where you have been successful? How do you communicate with the people around you? Do you enjoy analysing complex issues, problems or data? Or Do you enjoy creative activities and artistic endeavours? If it’s hard to do a self-analysis, query friends and relatives.
Assessment is not just a one-time event but an ongoing process to revisit at turning points in your work and life. A thorough understanding of self is the necessary foundation for all efficient career decisions. The better you know yourself and your priorities in life the better you can determine the best career fit for you.