Your self-directed employment assistant

There are two types of people in the world—those that like to talk about themselves, and those that don’t. Of course, it can depend on the situation—or who it’s concerning—but generally it can be difficult for someone to make a concrete list of attributes, qualities, etc. that describes who they are in a positive light. When you’re applying for a job and meeting with potential employers, the act itself beckons you to create clarity in regards to who you are as a person and how much of an asset your presence would be to any given team or workplace.

To create clarity for yourself on why you’re the best person for the job, you have to do some self-evaluation. Start by listing what types of hard and soft skills you’d be bringing to the metaphorical desk. Hard skills include things like mastering a foreign language, computer literacy, or any other type skill that you’ve learned through either school or training. These are usually tied to your current career and essential to your job. Soft skills are a little harder to define because they aren’t necessarily something you’ve mastered in school nor are they always able to be measured. This could include your ability to effectively communicate, your level of analytical thinking, or your leadership skills, to name a few. Another way to gain clarity on what you have to offer as an employee is by asking your current manager (or previous ones) to look at your performance review with you and dissect your strengths in a critical way. Theoretically they should know your assets in the workplace better than anyone else. It’s also not a bad idea to take an online behavior test, such as the Myers-Briggs. These are great indicators of your emotional intelligence, values, personality traits, etc. and how to understand them.

There isn’t a single right way to investigate who you are as a person to bring clarity when you’re within the job search. As mentioned above, there is a plethora of combinations that can bring clarity and self-reflection. If you’d like to learn more about effective ways to assess your career skills, check out this interesting article I came across. As always, be sure to check out our informative Digital Tip on this topic, too. Until next month, enjoy the turning of the clock into the holiday season. See you in December!

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Comment by Katie Burger on November 26, 2018 at 11:31am

Thanks for sharing, Adrienne! This really spoke to me. I can see how useful and important this could be to do every year or so, regardless of if you are job searching or not. It can be easy for me to become stagnant at a job I've had for a while, and that can impact my personal wellbeing and also my productivity at work. I think it would be super useful to assess these strengths, assets, and skills, and then reflect on where/how/if they are being used in my current work environment. If there are skills we have that aren't currently being utilized, we can find a way to incorporate them in our daily work! Thanks again :)

Comment by Erika J. Kluge on November 21, 2018 at 10:40am

I am always disheartened when I ask students to give me three strengths they have and they can't. If a student has a disability, more often than not, he or she is able to identify quickly the skills he or she struggles with. I wish more was done within homes and within school to help all individuals identify strengths. This goes beyond the IEP where teachers are required to identify some. Everyone should be taught how to self-reflect and be reminded by others about traits and skills that can be become great "words" to use on applications and in interviews. Being able to indicate you are creative, a good listener, good at finding solutions and solving problems are equally important as being good with math, or with Microsoft Office, etc. Personally, I like to reflect upon each project I do and ask myself to identify at least three "things" I think were done well and warrant replication, and then to look at the "things" that can be modified and improved upon.... and how to potentially do that for next time.

Comment by Sammy Abeje on November 11, 2018 at 6:24pm

Thanks for sharing these super helpful tips.  I am always asking my parents about what they think I am good at and what I should improve on!

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