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Step 1: Know Thy Self

12 Feb 2014

The 'Your Career Strategy' blog has been developed for highschool students, MTEC students, and those young professionals starting out. The aim is to provide you with a structured approach to developing a career strategy and meeting your career goals.

Know thyself

The Ancient Greek aphorism "know thyself" is essential in developing your career strategy. Your career may take up a third of your life. It will impact your current life in areas such as sporting commitments, your social life, even your wellbeing. Writing down what you value is valuable when planning your career direction and strategy.

So what is a Career Strategy?

A career strategy is a structured approach to reach a defined career goal. It will help you develop capabilities, tools and resources.  It will enable you to navigate your career ‘journey’.

TASK 1 Questions to ask yourself:

  1. “What do I do well and enjoy?” What do you do when you have nothing urgent to do? How you spend your time may indicate your true interests.

  2. “What’s important to me?” In other words, what are your values?

  3. “What is my personality and temperament?” Be honest. Or ask others to be honest!

  4. “What are my key accomplishments? What am I most proud of?”

  5. “What environments bring out the best in me?”

  6. “How do I approach problems?” Think back to your past problem-solving tactics — what are the trends or themes you can identify in your work history? What's worked for you, and what hasn't?

  7. “What do people depend on me for at work? What do I achieve?” Think about your results at work or school. If you stopped helping, what wouldn't get done?

Skills, knowledge and personal qualities

Once you have a better idea of what is important to you, and your values, it is time to identify your skills, knowledge and personal qualities, and then compare them to a job you think you would like. There are several other benefits to this:

  • It will help you to identify any additional areas, i.e. skills, subjects, knowledge, you will need.

  • It will help you assess how well your personal qualities fit a given career. For example, if you love making money, then would becoming a doctor be a good personality fit?

  • It will help you identify what skills and knowledge you currently possess, and how they might be transferable, or not, to those specialised areas needed in any given career.

TASK 2 Assessing Yourself:

To assess your skills, knowledge and personal qualities, use these exercises:

  1. what are my skills?

  2. what are my job requirements?

  3. what are my short- and long-term goals?

Once you have completed these tasks, it is time to consider your career options. In the next part of this five blog series we will be providing you with some tools to identify and better understand your options.

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