Have you completed a self-assessment inventory but don't know what to do now? How do you begin to sort through all the material? The information can provide vital clues to your ideal career, as long as you take the time to evaluate and interpret the data. Here's how.
Review the Results
It's a good idea to print your results, and then jot down your ideas and responses. Read the report carefully and underline the information you absolutely agree with. These may be things you already know about yourself; if so, it's great to reinforce that perception. But what about feedback that doesn't make sense? Since you completed the inventory based on your experience, try to remember when you expressed that personality trait or value.
Write About Enjoyable Activities or Accomplishments
Do this separately from reviewing your results but with an open mind to discover more pieces to the puzzle. Describe your role in the accomplishment, going into detail about what you did and the people with whom you interacted. How would you describe them? What did you like about the project? What challenges did you have to overcome? Talk about the results in terms of benefits to you, your colleagues or friends and the people served. Was this experience a success because you were acting on your values, or did the culture and setting support your role? With the additional information you've gleaned from writing, go back and look at your assessment results and see if you can interpret more information than you did on your first review.
Create a Miniprofile
This should summarize relevant self-assessment information on one page: The personality traits that best describe you and your most important work values. Summarize the information from the section on culture that seems to ring most true. Make a list separate from the assessment results of your best skills and prioritize them. You can complete a functional transferable skills inventory on Lifeworktransitions.com. In addition, list the fields, interests and concerns that fascinate you (i.e., healthcare, creating great systems, international trends, etc.). With all this information on one page, it will be easier for you to research careers using prioritized and relevant criteria.
Finally, Research Career Fields
As a result of sorting, verifying and recording information, you are now ready to take a look at the career results. Remember: You are looking for clues about whether the recommended fields will be a good fit for you. As a result of the previous self-awareness activities, you'll be able to research and review the information about what's out there as you compare it against you personal profile.
Now it's time to take action:
- Read and research specific job titles. Start looking at the job postings and job profiles on Monster to learn more about positions available within the recommended field. Now that you're more comfortable with the information about yourself, be open to learning more about these positions.
- Use the Internet Public Library to check out professional associations and learn how professionals in the field stay up-to-date.
- Start to identify people in your network who might know somebody in the field. Or find the local chapter of a previously identified association and connect with someone there.
- See what the colleges in your area offer in terms of advancing your education in this field. A certificate program is an excellent way to enter a new field. As you read the course descriptions, do you find the topics appealing?
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