Let’s Talk About Me (Part 2)

Now that you’ve had a deep heart-to-heart about your interests, it’s time to dive deeper into your strengths, values, and skills.

  1. Understand your strengths. Go back through your list and pick out the categories that had the post positive experiences and memories. The ones where you had a lot to say. The categories that you just couldn’t stop writing about. Those are your strengths. You may have also noticed that there may have been categories that overlapped with each other as well, and that’s ok. To understand them a little more, here’s the breakdown:
    • R – The Doer – You enjoy working with your hands and away from people.
    • I – The Thinker – You enjoy solving problems and conducting research.
    • A – The Creator – You enjoy working with ideas and abstract concepts.
    • S – The Helper – You enjoy working with people.
    • E – The Persuader – You enjoy leading and speaking in front of others.
    • C -The Organizer – You enjoy practical and structured tasks and environments.
      (You can do some research on the internet to find out more on these categories, especially what types of degrees and jobs fall under each category (or multiple categories)
  2. Determine your values. The values that you hold is your GPS to life (or in this case, career)– Your foundation on what is most important to you. Begin by asking yourself the following questions:
    • What would you miss most if you left your current job? Why?
    • What was your “best job ever?” Why?
    • When was a time you felt really energized about your work? Why?
    • What value would you not compromise at a job? Why?Now pick out some points: What is it motivated you to truly love the work? What were some of the external work conditions that allowed you to have the optimum work experience? What were some of the tasks or responsibilities that you really enjoyed doing? Who were the people that I enjoyed interacting with most and what specific attributes made them enjoyable?
  3. Develop your skills. The last thing you need to come to terms with is understanding your skills. For every task or responsibility that you have done or currently do, you need to list out what sort of skills you use(d).

All of this will start to come together in part 3, I promise.

Where the skills you learned in college transferable to the skills you use(d) at work?

Let’s Talk About Me (Part 1)

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An important part of your career progression is constantly developing yourself. Sometimes, that means having the conversation with your boss about where you see yourself in a year, 5 years, and eventually where you want your career to go. This can be an intimidating process as you don’t want to come off like you are trying to jump ship, but your boss can be the key to new opportunities and doors being open. Before you go in and sit down with your boss, you need to actually figure out where you want your career to go.

  1. Begin with your interests. Follow the guideline below and fill in the blanks. Using the general “RIASEC Code” foundation, break down all your interests into the following categories. You may notice that some categories may have more items written in them than others. You may also find that some categories may have negative memories or feeling in them as well. We’ll break all of this down in step 2.
    • Realistic – Do you prefer things over ideas or people? What are those things? What things do you enjoy doing outside? What tools do you like to use? What sort of machines do you enjoy using and operations? Do you enjoy interacting with animals? What do you like to create with your hands?
    • Investigative – What sort of activities do you enjoy that involve thought, observation, investigation, exploration, and discovery? Do you like to solve problems, perform experiments, and conduct research? When were you most successful in this area?
    • Artistic – Do you prefer to work with ideas, abstractions, and concepts? What sort of projects and creations have you done that may have been literal, verbal, visual, and/or aesthetic? Do you get lost in time creating art, music, dance, drawing, painting, sculpting, drafting, writing, drama, communicating, design, or fashion? Think of all the times you may have found joy (or misery?) in those activities.
    • Social – What are some of your favorite volunteer activities? How large is your diverse, social network? What charities or organizations do you tend to support? Think about a time you had to do a group project. How did it go? What was the outcome?
    • Enterprising – Think about a time when you had to take on a leadership role. What was teh situation? What was the outcome? Did you have to get savvy and political to get to the end result? How do you feel when you have to speak in front of a large group? Have you ever been in a debate and won your position? What was it? How did you feel? What does competition mean to you?
    • Conventional – Have you ever had to create manuals, processes, or procedures and enjoyed it? Do you like writing rules and following regulations? Did you tend to take classes in accounting, statistics, or other math-related courses and enjoy it?

Go through each category and take some time answering the questions. As you begin putting down your thoughts, you will start to see patterns of thought. There will be categories where you feel more positive memories for and there will be other categories where you have less to say.

The next few steps will take you through how to determine your strengths based on your interest, align your values, and rate your skills. This is all a baseline for you to have and understand about yourself in order to have an open and honest conversation with your boss about career development.

Did you ever start college wholeheartedly thinking you were going to achieve a certain degree to follow a path, but then ended up going a totally different route? What happened?