Thursday, March 31, 2011

4 Lame Excuses to Not Assess Yourself

There's something I tell all professionals looking to advance their careers. When it comes to marketing yourself to employers, remember this piece of advice:

You are not special, but you are unique.
Those who know how to leverage their uniqueness are the ones who create satisfying and successful careers. There is no point in looking for a good job if you aren't 100% sure what ‘good' is for you! Which means, you need to identify and embrace what you want to leverage about yourself so you can find success on your own terms.

So, how should you assess your unique combination of values, skills and interests?
Start by taking the time to write out on paper all the things that you excel at. Ask friends, family and even co-workers (they don't have to know you are looking for a job, you can just say you are doing some professional development work on yourself) to give their input as to what they see as your best assets. It's time to organize your thoughts as to who you are and what you can offer to potential employers. Think about it - how can you possibly convince employers to hire you if you can't articulate your values, strengths and interests in a compelling manner?

To give you an idea of what to consider, look at the list below.
Life Balance - How satisfied you are right now with the 8 key areas of your life. (They are Mental Self, Physical Self, Career, Finances, Significant Other, Friends & Family, Physical Surroundings, Hobbies & Recreations.)

Core Values - Your personal definitions of success for each key area and the priority they hold in your life. (Hint: No two people have the same definitions or priorities.)

Interaction Style - The way you communicate at work and how it is perceived by others. You can learn your interaction style by taking this FREE test. It's the same one we use in

Work Style - The manner and preference in which you like to accomplish tasks.

Learning Preferences - The ideal resources and methods for you to learn on-the-job

Unique Gifts - The things you excel at naturally. Many people struggle to determine this accurately because what makes us ‘unique' feels so normal, that we don't see it as special.

Passion & Interests - The opportunity to observe how your unique combination of values, strengths and preferences are used when you do things you love.
I have to say, in my experience, the self-assessment process (as outlined above) is the most valuable part of any job search because it's not only a validation process, but also gives us the confidence to stop trying to be all things to employers. FACT: It is much more satisfying (not to mention easier AND delivers better results) when we stop trying to be "the best" and just focus on being our best.

Now...let's overcome your objections (a.k.a. lame excuses) for not assessing yourself:

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