If I asked you to describe yourself in one sentence or a quote, how long would it take you to write it down? As a career facilitator my experience indicates that people get mental blocks and get flustered with such questioning. Some fire back, “What does this have to do with helping me get a job?” The truth is, if you can’t explain who you are, how can you really plan your future? Have you taken the time to understand what makes you tick? So many individuals today are at jobs they are not happy with which may affect their health. Granted, in life certain circumstances dictate what we have to do and when we have to do them, but things don’t have to stay the same permanently. As mentioned in previous blog “E=MC², but I need a job!” we can prepare ourselves to make future changes.
Change has to start though with knowing who you are and knowing your interests or preferences. Too many times people convince themselves that they like something because everyone else is talking about it. Others think that more money will solve life’s problems. Even still, we might be miserable at our job. What’s worse is that you may hear others complain about their jobs as well. Writing things down is a powerful tool when planning your future. How did you end up at your current job? How long do you plan on being at that job? Are you planning to make changes to improve your standing there? Is this where you belong at this time in your life?
Unfortunately, many of us don’t want to face what we think are inadequacies in ourselves. However, this is the best way to face what we need to foresee future obstacles, learning how to work around them. In a separate blog entitled “Millennial Renaissance Man,” stated that we can learn what our passions are and develop further skills by, first taking a personality assessment. Taking three of these assessments (MBTI, Strong’s Interest Inventory, and The Big Five) can really help create a base on what our preferences are and how we approach things in general. These assessments can help expedite our thinking and explain what activities we really like. Why all three assessments? I believe that each complements the other, providing a more rounded picture which can help an individual see common patterns in how they think and act on their personal preferences.
One definition of habit is “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.“ These assessments help individuals see their own distinct habits. They can thus analyze if they want to continue to pursue these habits. Once we read, analyze, and contemplate the results of these assessments we should start writing what we need to change and how to go about it. After analyzing and sorting the information written, make sure to include the type of work you do and how it affects your life and your goals.
Are you ready? Have you figured out how to describe yourself in one sentence or a quote? You’d be surprised how this approach can help you craft a mission statement or 30 second elevator pitch. Put down your crossword puzzle and stop surfing the Internet at work if you hate your job. Use that time to write down who you are in one sentence. Share it with friends and see if they agree. Who knows, they may share another good quality you have that you can include in your one-liner. To help you, I will give you my sentence based on a poem;
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world…To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”
In my next blog I will provide more perspective regarding the assessments mentioned here as well as how you can take them.