Self-assessment and Career Management

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

May 13

A critical skill for successful career management is your self-assessment of your career strengths. But, if you’re like me, doing a self-assessment is tough. Perhaps it is a “guy thing,” but I’m just too close to what I do to assess the good, bad, and ugly.

In addition, what a person considers the simplest gift in the world – think of Barbra Streisand’s voice – is viewed by that person as a given and nothing special. Yet others see the power and strength of that quality for the person.

It’s clear we need a place to start our self-assessment. And a great place to start is Barbara Seifert’s list in “Self-Assessment is a Key Factor to Successful Career Management.” In it, she lists evaluating four areas:

  1. Values
  2. Interests
  3. Personality
  4. Talents

Of these, Values was most interesting list:

There are six values we have: theoretical, economic, aesthetic, religious, social, and political. It is important to assess what we value in each of these areas and how they impact us in our career choices. For example, if you have high social values, you would do better to work in an environment where you have people interaction, such as in customer service.

Still, I come back to “the guy thing.” It’s tough to evaluate ourselves because we are too close to what we do.

I’d take this list and work with another trusted person and together develop your self-assessment. Once completed, you’ll have a better way of evaluating choices in your career and your current work.

  • Scot Herrick says:

    Robyn — a very good point on defining the terms. Sometimes I think half of getting on the same page is defining the terms and some of the nuances that go along with the term. A very good insight.

    Interesting insight on making associations from memories. One would need to talk through experiences and make the “value” inferences from them rather than talking through the values outright.

    A really good comment — thanks for sharing it.

  • Robyn says:

    Interesting post and comments. As important as finding the right people to help one evaluate strengths (and/or weaknesses), is defining the terms. For example, when evaluating values (theoretical, social, etc.), it would be helpful to know how each person understands those terms by discussing them. For introverts like me, memories are triggered by associations. When asked which artists influence me, I could not tell you until I associated an artist with a memory. Not being on the same page could be frustrating when dealing with such important information.

  • Scot Herrick says:

    Rebecca: Good point. I just think we’re all to close to ourselves to get the right point of view. Or what one group thinks (e.g., family where we are still like the five-year old kid…) compared to another group (those that work with us).

    We are different than we think we are and finding the right people to evaluate strengths is not as simple as I once thought.

  • Rebecca says:

    I’m not sure it’s a guy thing. That’s why I like career coaches. Everyone likes affirmation of what their strengths are, especially us Gen Yers 😉

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