As an Examiner, countless hours are spent contemplating relevant and much needed information to present as a Career Advice Examiner. In today’s economy and ever-changing employment market, it is imperative that experiences, knowledge and resources are shared that can assist others. So, this will be the first in a series of discussions that will explore the ability to investigate who you are and what you bring to the table in the wonderful world of careerville.
The ‘Getting to know you,’ series will focus on some basic concepts for being prepared for growth and change, which is critical in any and every career phase. The topics, resources and fluid conversations should be beneficial to all. In getting to know you as a professional, understanding and maintaining your own processes, resources and level of creativity can only add to your abilities and qualifications. This is applicable whether seeking, changing or already on an established career path.
Tips like knowing what’s in your arsenal or bag of tricks or how you use your resources can be very helpful. What other considerations should you be contemplating when mulling over the options for career or employment track? These questions and more can determine the depth of ability and preparedness needed to respond to interviews, offers, special projects and even entrepreneurial opportunities with a great sense of confidence and knowledge!
Neat little systems like the 5K’s are practical and can be very useful. Its five easy ways that can help you get to know you:
- Know your niche. What are your special skills? Do you use your talents and special skills in your current work place? Do you use them at all? Are they marketable? Have you researched their value, popularity or educational requirements? Do you even believe that you have a specialty or talent?
For instance, you can begin a job in an entry-level position, performing one set of tasks, i.e., receptionist. However, other talents, such as graphic design, writing, etc., may either emerge or become relevant which may open other doors. These become skills that can make you the ‘go-to’ person for special projects, initiatives, and the like. It is encouraged that time is allotted to hone your skills and always seek to understand how you could be of benefit to one or many an organization and therefore to self. These special skills can be your gateway to major opportunities that attract paid projects that boosted your experience, income and resume.
- Know your skill-set. These are proven and demonstrated accounts of what you have mastered. What projects, assignments, contributions, etc., have you made and are you listing those experiences on your resumes? A lot of people fail to include evaluations, awards, committees, tasks forces, etc, on their resumes and questionnaires.
Assess your skills as they relate to current aspirations and opportunities. Always observe and plan opportunities for growth by looking at and even matching your skills to projects, positions, programs, etc., that you may be interested in pursuing. This becomes a building block and/or plan by which you control.
- Know your resources. You should maintain a listing of professional, personal acquaintances, etc., that provide services that you and/or your colleagues may benefit from using. Keep your contacts updated and reach out to your resources every once in a while even when you don’t need anything. Just saying hello and providing encouragement will keep relationships strong and you’ll see how valuable they are when you’re in a crunch.
Measures such as these can result in all types of perks for business, i.e., free or very inexpensive facilitators, insight to upcoming promotional opportunities and the like. Training and certifications are expensive for corporate and/or district/federal government. These connections can help reduce costs, lead to in-kind benefits where services are exchanged instead of dollars and create other valuable relationships for the company, community and employees. This can be especially helpful for non-profits and smaller organizations.
- Know how to use your tools. Often, success and impact depends upon the level of preparation and outlook. Therefore, knowing what type of learner and thus worker is key. Do visual or verbal communications help you connect? Are you more productive in the daytime or evening? Do gadgets aid in your productivity?
It’s easy to neglect the importance or impact of having your own internal processes that contribute to efficient and effective time usage. Using task or to-do lists, regularly or at least until you program functions into your schedule is strongly recommended. Use computer or phone tools such as alarms, calendars, etc., for reminders. Research projects before embarking upon them for a fresh and possibly new perspective and also to prevent re-creating the wheel. It’s advisable to learn how to govern yourself so that others don’t feel as though they have to.
- Know your triggers. Professionally, personally and environmentally, everyone has their own set of idiosyncrasies that test their ability to move forward, stay on target and/or successfully complete the tasks required. Get to know your triggers and better yet, create a remedy for them if and when possible.
Work environments vary so much these days from cubicle, home, satellite, etc. Understand your needs with regard to your environment. You can’t always control them, for example, if you work in a cubicle environment, you can hear about everything from the weather, church picnic or the Billboard Awards. Wearing headsets (on-low) can eliminate or minimize the excessive chatter, disturbances and/or inappropriate conversations. It can increase concentration and curb constant interruptions for non-work related issues.
Hopefully, these and future tips and helpful hints will create, renew and propel you into bigger, brighter thoughts about your career track. You are encouraged to submit your questions, discussion topics, concerns, challenges, etc., in the comments section. Motivating you to increase your power of thinking, resolving and growing your career paths is what this is all about. Feel free to investigate the links for resources and tools that can further assist you with these processes. Sounds corny, but it’s not the destination, but the journey!