How To Self-Assess Your Career Potential

Your biggest challenge today is to broaden your skills, understand the opportunities available, and self-assess your career potential. You need to take specific steps now to take charge of your own career. Here are some tips on how to assess yourself. Ask yourself these questions:

. What are my key job skills, interests and values?

. What are my areas of special expertise?

. What new skills and knowledge would help me compete more effectively? How am I perceived by my managers, peers and direct reports?

. What culture do I best fit into?

. How effective am I as a team member?

. Am I overly specialized?

. Do I need to become more computer literate?

. Do I make a conscious effort to keep learning new things?

. What am I doing to gain more credibility and recognition for my contributions?

. Are my presentation, writing and communication skills the best they can be?

Think of yourself as running “You & Co.” as a business. Just like a business invests in research and development, make an investment in your own personal growth and development. The value of defining your personal vision is that it is an energizing force. It provides you with a rationale for your goals and objectives. Your personal vision is future-focused and helps you stay committed during discouraging times.

Give yourself at least an hour of uninterrupted time to reflect on your personal vision. Then answer the following questions:

. Self-Image

Imagine that you could be exactly the kind of person that you would like to be. What would be some of your most important personal qualities?

. Tangibles

What kinds of possessions and material things would you like to own?

. Home

What would your living environment look like? Where would you like to live and in what kind of setting?

. Work

What would your work life be like? What would you be doing and what would be the results of your efforts?

. Life Purpose

Now imagine that your life has a unique purpose, a purpose that you have been able to fulfill through your work, your relationships and the way you live. Describe, in a few words, what you see as the unique and special purpose of your life. What would you like to be remembered for? Your personal vision will describe your desired destination. It will be concrete and something that you desire for its intrinsic value. It will be multidimensional and will have material components, such as what you want to own and how you want to live; it will have personal components, such as your desired lifestyle and relationships; and it will have a service component, such as the contributions you want to make to your work and community. Each aspect of your personal vision will reflect what is most important to you, what you really want. The gap between your desired vision and your current situation will provide the energy, the creative tension that you will need to reach your destination. As writer Robert Fritz said, “It’s not what the vision is, it’s what the vision does.” You need to know what you want to do, and what you have to offer. Then, you need to convince your employer that you can make a significant contribution and you will both profit from the results.

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