Get To Know Yourself Better To Achieve Job Satisfaction

Get to know yourself better to achieve job satisfaction

What Exactly is There to Know?

How well do you know yourself? Few people take the time or inclination to truly get to know what drives you to succeed in your chosen career.

There are many ways to get to know yourself better. One way is to ask yourself tough questions and honestly answer them. However, it can be challenging to be objective about ourselves, but it's essential to try. 

Another way is to keep a journal and track your thoughts. In particular, your:

  • Knowledge and skills
  • Behaviours
  • Personal values
  • Personality traits
  • Preferences and motivators

We're going to go through each of the above topics in this book and give you some suggested exercises to help you better understand yourself.

Self-Assessment: The Key to Effective Feedback

When it comes to analysing how you relate to others and how you fit into teams, you must have a strong understanding of yourself. This includes your knowledge, skills, behaviours, personal values, personality traits, preferences and motivators.

Self-assessment: The key to effective feedback

One way to get to know yourself better is to ask others for feedback. You could talk to your friends, family, colleagues or even your boss and ask them what they think your strengths are. Another way to get to know yourself better is to keep a journal and track your thoughts and behaviours. This will help you recognise patterns and areas you might need to work on.

Additionally, you may have had a psychometric evaluation, 360-degree feedback, or team profiling in the past at work. These may be pretty useful in attempting to better understand oneself. If you haven't had one of these profiles completed, it is well worth the investment, especially if you want to take significant steps in your career. 

The Power of Change

The Power of Change

Personality or qualities are somewhat permanent and may only slightly alter over time, whereas knowledge and skills are aspects that you can develop relatively quickly through training. 

The primary distinction between these two types of mastery is that one entails a focus on developing oneself while the other focuses on assisting others. The difference between them is how you regard yourself as responsible for your own development and success.

First, consider those aspects of yourself that are relatively constant and long-lasting to help you decide your priorities and future goals. These are likely to influence the choices you make. Second, when considering any facet of your professional development for a future position, consider how simple it will be to make essential adjustments.

For example, assume you are employed as an accountant. After a few years on the job, you realise that you would like to move into auditing. The first step is to consider what knowledge and skills you currently possess to help you succeed in your new position.

You might need to take additional quality-related courses to update your knowledge and become familiar with the new position. Additionally, you might need to develop some new skills, such as using different auditing software. However, because the accounting profession requires excellent analytical and mathematical skills, you will likely have an advantage over other candidates who do not have a similar educational background.

The key is to remember that no matter your goals, you can always find ways to improve upon your current skills and knowledge. Additionally, by keeping your options open and being willing to try new things, you will be more likely to find success in your career.

The Various Facets of your Personality

As we go through the material in this eBook, we'll explain several terms shown in the following diagram, which demonstrates how 'you' are defined by your strengths and limitations and how each is categorised. Understanding the more long-term aspects of yourself, such as your values, talents, and drivers, might assist you in determining the greatest job path to achieve the most enjoyment.

How to Determine What You're Good At

Your top row consists of your knowledge, skills, talents, expertise, behaviour, and abilities in the table below. These are the most superficial aspects of your profile to change and develop. While you may believe that a particular topic is challenging to understand and retain, you may still increase your level of knowledge by reading and listening, mainly because the material is so readily available on the internet. It's more difficult to develop skills than acquire knowledge since you must practice for the information to become a talent.

More Trainable
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Behaviour
More Conscious
Less Trainable
  • Intellect
  • Values
  • Motivators
  • Traits
Less Conscious

Most individuals can easily describe or recall their expertise on a specific topic because they apply these regularly in their profession or social life. However, when it comes to applying for a new job, it is essential to understand your transferable skills.

Transferable skills are sets of abilities and behaviours that can be taken from one job or activity and applied to another. They are the skills we rely on regardless of our profession. Examples of common transferable skills include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity

If, as a result of your research, you discover that you don't have all of the required talents for a particular position, you may have enough time to develop some of these skills to an acceptable level.

Let's look at an example! The tale of 2 accountants with 2 different personalities & 2 distinct outcomes

Image, two qualified accountants, Peter and Joan. Peter and Joan are both 38 years old, have worked in the same consultancy practice in Sydney full time and support similar clients. Both accountants have completed a bachelor's degree and are totally accurate in their work. They take pride in offering sound advice to their clients. Their weekly wage before tax is $1,660 per week. 

Let's explore an accountant's role.

Accountants provide financial reporting, taxation, auditing, insolvency, accounting information systems, budgeting, cost management, planning and decision-making by organisations and individuals. They also advise associated compliance and performance requirements to ensure statutory and strategic governance.

Scattered through both their resumes, Peter and Joan have listed the same tasks:

  • assisting in formulating budgetary and accounting policies
  • preparing financial statements for presentation to boards of directors, management, shareholders, and governing and statutory bodies
  • conducting financial investigations, preparing reports, undertaking audits and advising on matters such as the purchase and sale of businesses, mergers, capital financing, suspected fraud, insolvency and taxation
  • examining operating costs and organisations' income and expenditure
  • providing assurance about the accuracy of the information contained in financial reports and their compliance with statutory requirements
  • providing financial and taxation advice on business structures, plans and operations
  • preparing taxation returns for individuals and organisations
  • liaising with financial institutions and brokers to establish funds management arrangements
  • introducing and maintaining accounting systems, and advising on the selection and application of computer-based accounting systems
  • maintaining internal control systems
  • appraising cash flow and financial risk of capital investment projects

They have also listed similar skills: 

  • Economics and Accounting: Knowledge of financial markets, banking and checking and reporting financial data.
  • Clerical: Skilled in word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
  • Mathematics: Adept at using maths to solve problems and analyse trends, using arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistical modelling.
  • Customer service: Active listening skills to understand customers' needs, provide good quality service, and measure customer satisfaction.
  • Critical thinking: Well-developed problem-solving skills to think about the pros and cons of different ways to solve an issue.

Throughout both their resumes, they have said they are very good at being exact or accurate in their work, which appeals to hiring managers. 

Despite having similar resumes, both accountants have demonstrated the skills and knowledge above in unique ways.

They have backed up their experience with evidence and metrics, dollar values of their portfolio, the number of clients they have worked with etc. Overall, they have a solid resume that says they have contributed to the organisation's strategic goals.

We congratulated both for getting through to the interview stage as a team. After the interview, they reflected that they both spoke confidently because they received interview preparation training and were armed with 5-6 solid case studies to show their skills and ability to overcome challenges. 

Who got the job?

Who got the job?

In a reference check, the hiring manager found out that Peter is exceptionally well regarded, popular and inundated with work, whilst Joan struggles to get new clients. They decided to go with Peter because his references agreed that he was driven by a sense of achievement, worked well alone and were able to make sound decisions. He also worked well with others and always offered to help his colleagues who were under pressure. Peter also was a massive support to management and always put his hand up for additional training. His manager said he would be an asset to the company and would be sad to see him go; however, he understood that Peter desired to advance his leadership skills, which is an area he couldn't support him with. 

The difference is that they use different methods to apply their expertise.

Here are some of the behaviours Peter uses that make the difference compared to Joan.

  • Peter invests more time seeking to understand a customer's core problems from the client's perspective.
  • He looks beyond the client's financial data and attempts to bring together a variety of appealing alternatives.
  • Peter's coworkers describe him as tenacious, especially when looking for tax rebates.

Behaviours or competencies are a more permanent aspect of you and are essential since they may either encourage (or discourage) the way you apply your expertise and abilities. In another eBook series, we'll look at some of the behaviours or skills organisations seek when hiring candidates.

Positive behaviours can help you perform better and improve your knowledge and abilities. The difference between a good and excellent performer may be determined by how you act. We'll show you how to identify these and bring them to the attention of employers when applying for jobs.

Employer's Most Desired Transferrable Skills

Employer's Most Desired Transferrable Skills

Transferable skills are skills that you can demonstrate and use in areas other than the one they were initially employed. For example, problem-solving, management, communication and teamwork are the most common desires managers want to see when shortlisting staff. 

✔️ Problem-Solving

Problem-solving

Problem-solving may not only assist you in determining that there is an issue, but they also aid in the development of a solution. Employers value it when a team member recognises bottlenecks or inefficiencies within a process or procedure. They are, however, even more appreciative when that team member not only identifies the problem but also takes it upon themselves to develop a solution.

Types of problem-solving skills include:

  • Analytical reasoning, breaking a complex issue into smaller parts to search for a solution. To put it another way, employers want employees who can solve problems according to logic. For example, if a website crashes, an analytical problem-solver will identify the source of the issue by breaking down the system.
  • Creativity, thinking outside the box to develop new ideas or solutions. In the workplace, this type of problem-solving is often used in brainstorming sessions where a group of employees are encouraged to come up with as many ideas as possible, no matter how 'out there' they may be.
  • Research and locate relevant information to solve a problem. This type of problem-solving is often used in customer service or marketing roles where employees need to understand the products, audience, or services they are offering.
  • Critical thinking, analysing and evaluating information to reach a conclusion, or selecting a course of action. Critical thinking is a form of problem-solving; however, it differs from traditional forms of problem-solving in that it is not limited to a single answer or solution. Instead, critical thinking requires the ability to think flexibly and creatively to identify multiple solutions to a problem.
  • Technical skills are the ability to find answers to questions using various electronic devices, such as computers.

✔️ Management

Management

Management skills are often used in supervisory or leadership roles where employees are responsible for managing a team in the workplace.

 

Types of management skills include:

  • Leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate others to achieve a common goal. Leaders can often see the big picture and have a clear vision for where they want their team or organisation to be. Leaders are not afraid to take risks and make decisions, even in adversity.
  • Time management skills are essential in every industry and sector. They refer to an ability to plan, organise and prioritise work to meet deadlines. This is an invaluable skill if you can complete tasks quickly and efficiently without compromising on quality.
  • Project management skills include planning, organising, and overseeing the execution of a project. Project managers ensure that a project is completed on time, within budget, and to the required standard. Employers value project management skills because they improve cost-efficiency, organisational flow and productivity.

✔️ Communication

Communication

Communication is one of the most important transferable skills. In any career, effectively building rapport with people is critical. You must be able to simplify complex ideas and present information simply, pay close attention during meetings, and foster good relations with coworkers.

Types of communication skills include:

  • Active listening is a type of listening where you not only hear the words being said but also try to understand the underlying message. This involves paying attention to verbal and nonverbal cues, such as body language and tone of voice. Active listening is a valuable skill in the workplace as it leads to improved communication and understanding.
  • Verbal communication means sharing information between people. It is the process of sending and receiving messages. Good verbal communication skills involve speaking clearly and concisely face-to-face, over the phone and in presentations, and the ability to listen attentively and respond appropriately to questions.
  • Written communication skills refer to expressing oneself articulately on paper, email etiquette, and reports.
  • Interpersonal skills include the ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with others. This involves effective communication, empathy, and trust. Relationship building is vital in the workplace as it leads to improved teamwork, communication, and collaboration.

✔️ Teamwork

Teamwork

Teamwork means working together towards a common goal. It is a critical skill in any workplace, as it allows organisations to function efficiently and effectively. Employers value teamwork because it improves communication, higher quality work, and increased productivity.

Types of teamwork skills include:

  • Adaptability is the flexibility to work with others and accept change. It is a key skill in today's ever-changing workplace. With the rapid pace of change, employers are looking for employees who can adapt quickly to new environments, systems, and processes.
  • Brainstorming (also a form of problem-solving) is a technique used to generate new ideas or solutions. It involves a group of people coming together to share their thoughts and develop creative solutions to problems. Brainstorming is an important skill in the workplace as it leads to improved creativity and innovation.
  • Collaboration is the ability to work together towards a common goal. It involves communication, problem-solving, and teambuilding. Collaboration is an essential skill in the workplace as it leads to improved communication, higher quality work, and increased productivity.

Employers seek individuals who possess the skills required to execute the task they are advertising. So forget saying, "I'm interested in this position because I want a challenge and the chance to develop." In most cases, businesses seek people who can do the job rather than someone who will use it as an opportunity to practice.

Let's pretend that a candidate has 80% of the required abilities but appears to be a good fit with an organisation's overall requirements. Assuming no better applicant is available, they may employ that individual. However, which one would you choose if you were confronted with two individuals: one who has exhibited experience in utilising the talents and another who is 'looking for a job that matches their abilities?

The answer is obvious. Your resume should demonstrate your skills rather than simply listing them because the employer would prefer to hire someone with a proven track record of utilising their abilities. 

Your Perspective

To get the most out of your job search, you must first have a clear idea of your abilities that may be utilised in the positions or jobs you are looking for. Some of your skills may be highly specific to your roles. For example, a mechanic needs to know how to change an engine. On the other hand, some abilities are more general and can be applied to any number of jobs. These might include communicating effectively, working well in a team, or staying calm under pressure.

How to Use Your Transferable Skills to Land a New Job

Aside from the transferrable skills mentioned above, you may be shocked to learn that many of the abilities you've gained throughout your career - whether in your current job, previous ones or elsewhere - would be useful in several other professions.

It's critical to assess your transferable talents so that you may create a realistic picture of your marketability to potential employers. Given your skillset, the exercise we're about will hopefully broaden your perspective on the many available options for you.

Career Advice: How to Create a Roadmap for Your Future

Career Advice: How to Create a Roadmap for Your Future

Unlike knowledge and skills, the behaviours you demonstrate are likely to have built up and been reinforced throughout your life, possible since childhood. As a result, any changes you may wish to make to your behaviours may take weeks, months or even years. They are certainly not things that can be changed overnight. 

Figure Out your Strengths & Weaknesses: SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It's a well-used business model and an excellent way of cataloguing aspects of 'you'. Below is an example SWOT grid showing the types of items you can enter, although your grid will undoubtedly have many more items listed than our example. It's very straightforward to draw your own blank grid for your own SWOT analysis - it may help create a much larger version on flip chart paper. 

Do I Know What I'm Good At?!

As with any good brainstorming, the more straightforward responses come out first, but some of the more exciting answers only come with careful thought. Try to wring out those last few good ideas before finishing. Keep the grid handy afterwards to add any additional items you think of at a later date. 

Rather than just relying on your judgement and memory, why not ask others what they see as your key strengths and weaknesses?

An example of SWOT analysis has been completed below. However, it's best to make sure your SWOT is more comprehensive than our example. The more thorough you are, the more value you will get from this exercise. 

You will see, below, an example SWOT grid showing the types of items you can enter although your grid will, no doubt, have many more items listed than our example. It's very straightforward to draw your own blank grid for your own SWOT analysis - it may help to create a much larger version on flip chart paper. 

Skill Inventory: Do I Know What I'm Good At?!

As with any good brainstorm, the more straightforward responses come out first but some of the more interesting responses only come with careful thought. Try to wring out those last few good ideas before finishing. Keep the grid handy afterwards so you can add any additional items you think of at a later date. 

Rather than just relying on your judgement and memory, why not ask others what they see as your key strengths and weaknesses?

An example of a SWOT analysis has been completed below, however, it's best to make sure your SWOT is a lot more comprehensive that our example. The more thorough you are, the more value you will get from this exercise. 

STRENGTHS

  • Experienced negotiator
  • Can talk jargon-free language
  • Work well under pressure
  • Manager for 10+ years
  • Completed multi-million-dollar projects on-time

WEAKNESSES

  • Limited experience in new field
  • I'm not good with people who talk too much
  • I don't have formal qualifications
  • I'm terrible at interviews

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Good network connections in the sector
  • Tender winning experience
  • Immediate job offer available with the 3rd party supplier
  • Lots of roles available on Seek

THREATS

  • Finances are tight
  • The EOFY is coming up
  • Legislative changes may affect the industry
  • COVID-19

First Impressions for the Future

A SWOT is best completed in a role you are considering or have applied for. You can then identify your strengths and weaknesses as they use in that particular role. 

You can also use it to test the feasibility of possible future career directions by determining the balance of your strengths concerning potential careers compared with your weaknesses. 

Getting to Know Your Strengths

This box is self-explanatory. You log all of your strengths in terms of your knowledge, skills, and behaviours in it. You will be able to use the output from this box to help you construct your resume and use elements to illustrate strengths in your interviews.  

Self-Evaluating Your Weaknesses

This box is best completed based on a particular job you are considering. It's easy to be hard on yourself and put many weaknesses but not many strengths. Try to make sure you have a balance of both when you complete these two boxes. 

Taking Advantage of Opportunities to Achieve Your Career Goals

These are the external factors or openings that you believe will provide the opportunities you're looking for to help you achieve your goal of finding your next role. 

Defending Yourself Against Threats

Threats are those factors that could hinder your attempts to achieve your goal. If you are aware of the potential threats, you can then put mechanisms to mitigate them. 

Developing Greater Awareness: 11 Ways To Start Right Now

Developing Greater Awareness: 11 Ways To Start Right Now

Firstly refresh yourself with the table between aspects of 'you' regarding more trainable areas and those that are less conscious. When it comes to changing your level of intellect, values, motivators and personality traits (the bottom row on the table above), this is a much harder challenge to accomplish because it is who you are as a person. However, it is still possible to make minor tweaks that can significantly impact your overall profile. If you're not sure where to start, here are 11 ways to help you develop greater self-awareness:

  1. Keep a journal
  2. Be honest with yourself
  3. Take time for yourself
  4. Pay attention to your emotions
  5. Identify your triggers
  6. Understand your values
  7. Develop a growth mindset
  8. Seek feedback
  9. Observe others
  10. Practice mindfulness
  11. Get to know what motivates you.

When you start developing greater self-awareness, being honest with yourself, and paying attention to emotions in various situations, you will uncover your personal values and motivations. Therefore, practising mindfulness and observing others is recommended to ensure you are being the best version of yourself!

Discover Your Personal Values

personal values will play a significant role in your decision making

Let's now turn our attention to your personal values, as these will play a significant role in your decision making and, therefore, your career choice and next position. 

Your personal values are your beliefs or internal 'rule' by which you make decisions in your life. 

By beliefs, we're not just referring to any religious beliefs you may have, but all your internal thinking guides your life. Remember, values are positioned further down the list because they are a far more enduring aspect of your personality than, for example, your skills and knowledge. 

Once you believe in a value, you will rarely question or change it. If you understand your values that act as your 'rule book' for decision making, it will make it easier to determine the best career direction for you. 

What are your Top-5 values?

Here is a list of values that are likely to bear on your career and work life. You will, no doubt, have others not listed here. If so, note them down separately. Look through our list and then turn complete the values exercise coming up. 

  • Achievement
  • Accountability
  • Adventure
  • Care for others
  • Change
  • Competition
  • Conformity
  • Contact with people
  • Cooperation
  • Creativity
  • Democracy
  • Empowerment
  • Equality
  • Ethical
  • Experience
  • Family
  • Flexibility
  • Freedom
  • Friendship
  • Green practices
  • Health
  • Honesty
  • Influence
  • Inclusion
  • Income
  • Independence
  • Individuality
  • Integrity
  • Inner peace
  • Involvement
  • Job satisfaction
  • Justice
  • Knowledge
  • Love
  • Loyalty
  • Merit
  • Mental challenge
  • Openness
  • Perfectionism
  • Personal growth
  • Physical challenge
  • Power
  • Pressure
  • Professionalism
  • Recognition
  • Religion
  • Reputation
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Risk
  • Routine
  • Rules
  • Security
  • Serenity
  • Social responsibility
  • Stability
  • Status
  • Tradition
  • Travel
  • Trust
  • Truth
  • Variety
  • Wealth
  • Wisdom
  • Working with others
  • Work/life balance
  • Discovering Your Values: A Personal Exercise

    Discovering your values: A personal exercise

    This exercise will assist you in determining which values are most important to you in your work life and, therefore, will be critical in your career and job decision-making.

    Step 1) Choose 20 life values to shape your personal brand: Take a good look at the value list and select the most essential ones to your life as a whole. If any additional significant values are missing from our list, add them to your top 20.

    Step 2) Focus on 10 work values to consider when job hunting: From your list of 20 life values, choose the most important ones in your work life.

    Step 3) Let's get serious: Choose your Top-5 from your top work values. Narrowing down your list does not indicate that the eliminated values aren't important to you; it simply means these 5 are non-negotiable in your next role to ensure you find the role rewarding.

    Understanding Your Personal Values and How They Drive Your Behaviour

    Until now, we have been working with single words to represent values. While you may understand what these single words convey, adding context with the creation of complete value statements gives these values a deeper meaning. 

    For instance, you may have the word 'family' on your list.

    Family means a lot of different things to different people. My family is my daughter, mum, dad, brother, sisters, cousins, nephews, and nieces. Some believe that family is the people you are related to by blood, which would discount any intimate relationships or in-laws. Others may feel that family is anyone they are close to and care about, whether they are related to them by blood.

    What does the word 'family' mean to you?

    In this next exercise, you will be ready to transfer your Top-5 personal value statements relating to your work life into Unique Selling Proposition (USP). From the process you have been through, these should be your most important values and, as such, will have a significant bearing on your proposed career direction and next job role. 

    What is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and how do I create one?

    What is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and how do I create one?

    The key to career success is to have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). A USP is an affirmation of sorts that sets you apart from your competition and allows you to better serve your company, customers and colleagues. It's what makes you unique and differentiates you from every other candidate. In the example above, I chose the following Top-5 value statements that have influenced my career:

    1. Achievement
    2. Change
    3. Empowerment
    4. Job satisfaction
    5. Professionalism

    I could list these 5 values as they are; however, they would mean different things to different readers. Therefore, I should change these into impactful value statements to ensure that my uniqueness is conveyed. 

    1. Achievement: Setting and achieving goals is a motivator for success.
    2. Change: Embracing change and constantly looking for more effective methods accelerates personal and business growth.
    3. Empowerment: Helping others to feel confident in their abilities and know they have the power and opportunity to grow facilitates a positive work environment. 
    4. Job satisfaction: Job satisfaction is key to a happy life.
    5. Professionalism: Setting aside personal setbacks to serve the needs of others.

    Now, it's your turn! Take your Top-5 value words and turn them into meaningful statements that you can include in your email signature, cover letter header, resume footer, as a floating text box in your resume, at the top of your LinkedIn profile etc. These 5 statements will help you better relate to your next employer and help you to stand out from others. 

    Test Yourself: How well do you know yourself?

    Test yourself How well do you know yourself

    Take your Top-5 value statements and compare them with your current or last role: 

    • Does your current or latest position satisfy all of your top values?
    • If not, in what ways does it fall short of your personal values?
    • What would you need to happen to make your role meet your personal values?

    Decision-making is driven by your skills, behaviours, values, personality, preferences and motivators.

    Making decisions is never easy, but it's something we all have to do daily. The best way to approach decision-making is to consider all factors that might affect your choice. This includes your skills, behaviours, values, personality, preferences and motivators. By taking all of these factors into account, you can make sure that you're making the best decision possible. Of course, there will always be some uncertainty when making any decision, especially in your career. If you consider all of the relevant factors, you can increase your chances of making a successful choice.

    It's worth noting that your Top-5 values haven't created anything new. You have merely put down on paper what is guiding your decision-making process through your subconscious.

    Having a set of clear value statements, on the other hand, can assist you to make career and future job decisions more consciously and logically.

    Consider your personal values as you explore potential job prospects. For example, if one of your primary personal principles is a desire for change, and one of your possible career choices necessitates that you work in a highly controlled and routine manner, you may eliminate this job from your shortlist.

    The Power of Intrinsic Motivation

    The power of intrinsic motivation

    In your work life, it's clearly important to find roles that motivate you because you want that buzz of satisfaction. Not all jobs will be exciting, but you will want to find positions that, on balance, encourage you. There have been numerous studies on motivation and many theories and models developed to define and explain how we are motivated, but let's just start by stating the obvious; you strive to do things that inspire you the most. That might be because they give you a sense of achievement, make you feel valued, or perhaps they're just fun. Whatever that motivating factor is, when you find it in a role, you'll likely excel in that position.

    To find out what motivates you, consider the following steps: 

    1. Consider who you are at your core: Knowing yourself can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. It can also help you identify which activities you are more likely to be good at. If you are motivated to do something, you are more likely to have found opportunities to do it throughout your life. As a result, you will have had more practice which may lead you to be good at it.

    Knowing yourself can also help you to better manage your time and resources. If you know what you are good at, you can focus your energies on pursuing those activities. You can also avoid wasting time on activities that you are not good at.

    Finally, knowing yourself can help you to set realistic goals. If you know your strengths and weaknesses, you will be more likely to set achievable goals. You will also be less likely to become discouraged if you do not achieve your dreams. Pursuing realistic goals can help you maintain your motivation and improve your chances of success.

    2. Understand your motivators and what drives you to succeed: Your motivators are an enduring aspect of your personality, similar to your values. You may not be that conscious of your motivators, but they will subconsciously drive you to find ways to do the things that satisfy you the most. It is essential to understand your motivators to align your career goals with them. If your goal is to simply make as much money as possible, you may not be motivated enough to stick with it if you hit a rough patch. However, if your goal is to make a difference in the world, you will be much more likely to stick with it even when times are tough. Knowing what motivates you will help you set reasonable goals.

    Common motivators include:

    • Achievement: You are driven to succeed and desire to accomplish tasks, master skills, and achieve targets or goals. People with a high need for achievement like to be recognised for their success and will strive to have goals they can then accomplish.
    • Power: You want to feel in control and have influence over others. People with a high need for energy will likely put themselves in positions of authority or social impact. They like to get things done through others.
    • Connection: You feel a need to belong and be connected to others, possessing a desire to be accepted as part of a social group. It can also be a need to be liked or loved by others. People with a high demand for affiliation won't want to do things that may result in them not being accepted or appreciated.
    • Recognition: You crave acknowledgement and validation from others.
    • Freedom: You value autonomy and independence.
    • Creativity: You have a desire to express yourself and create something new.
    • Learning: You are motivated by intellectual stimulation and growth.

    Once you know what motivates you, you can set goals that align with those motivators.

    3. Expand your consciousness and awaken your inner power: People are less aware of their reasons for doing things than you may think. It's beneficial to bring them to a conscious level to apply them to help your professional decisions, just as you would with your values.

    4. Childhood personality traits and the observed later behaviour: Without getting too bogged down in psychology, you should be aware that your motives are generally formed during your childhood. If you recall, as a child, you loved doing jigsaws or building toys. This indicates a preference for structure and order (which can be good qualities in an accountant, for example). Later on, you might have liked joining in outdoor games – this suggests you're competitive and enjoy working in a team. If you didn't like either of these things, you likely prefer to work independently.

    Profile Your Motivation Style

    Profile your motivation style

    We've created a simple grid to help you build your own motivation profile based on the definitions above, but consider each of the motives carefully and figure out which are the most relevant to you.

    For simplicity, we have chosen three of the most common motivators related to work. For each one, decide to what degree you believe you are motivated by it against the others. For instance, are you more or less motivated by achievement than the need for power? On each scale, mark a cross to indicate your relative level of motivation.

    Motivation Profile

    Get a clear understanding of what makes you tick.

    Once you've chosen your motivation profile, you may use it to assist with job selections. For example, if you are driven by achievement, you may enjoy working in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment where you can be constantly challenged and rewarded for your successes. Alternatively, if you are more people-oriented, you may prefer a job that involves lots of interaction and offers opportunities to help and support others. Understanding your motivation profile can give you a clear idea of what type of job will make you the happiest and most fulfilled. It's not to say you wouldn't be able to do the job that doesn't align with your motivators. You would just need to be mindful of this potential issue and find different ways to remain motivated.

    Another example of a potential mismatch would be if you scored yourself low under the need for affiliation and yet you were considering a career in sales. Your requirement for achievement may be satisfied by bringing in the business and achieving your sales target, but you may appear cold to clients if you are not motivated to build rapport with clients. 

    Get clear with actionable answers.

    Here are some questions to consider relating to your profile:

    • What roles do I believe will best satisfy my strongest motivations?
    • How well does my current role or proposed career fulfil my motivation profile?
    • If my role requires me to work in ways that won't motivate me, what can I do to make the position more interesting?

    Personality Traits That Will Get You Hired

    The last aspect of your personality we will consider is your personality traits, the most stable and enduring part of your personality. Throughout your career, characteristics remain relatively stable, meaning that they are not likely to change much as you move through life. This is in contrast to attitudes and behaviours, which can be adaptable.

    There are many different models of personality traits, but the most commonly used model is the Big Five. The Big Five personality traits are extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. 

    While there is no perfect personality type for any job, certain personality traits may advantage you in specific roles. For example:

    • Extroversion 
      Extroversion
      helps people do well in customer-facing roles or roles that require lots of social interaction, while introverts may do better in more independent functions or allow them to work from home.
    • Agreeableness 
      Agreeableness
      is often a desirable trait in jobs that require lots of teamwork, such as nursing or teaching. At the same time, conscientiousness is important in roles that require attention to detail, such as accounting or design.
    • Conscientiousness 
      Conscientiousness
      is also associated with higher job satisfaction and lower absenteeism rates, meaning that if you are conscientious, you are more likely to be a reliable and engaged team member. Roles that value conscientiousness includes engineering, project management, and IT.
    • Openness 
      Openness
      is associated with creativity, imagination, and a willingness to try new things. Jobs that value these qualities include roles in the arts, research, marketing and advertising.
    • Neuroticism 
      Neuroticism
      is the only personality trait generally seen as unfavourable in the workplace. Neurotic individuals tend to be more anxious, stressed, and prone to depression, leading to problems such as absenteeism, lower job satisfaction, and poorer work performance. However, there are some jobs, such as acting or theatre, as it provides an outlet for energy.

    While there is no perfect personality type for any job, be aware of your personality traits and how they may affect your ability to do a particular position or how your personality impacts those around you.

    Changing your traits won't help - understanding them will

    Personality is a funny thing. It's something that we all have, but it's also something that we can't really see. It's the combination of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that make us who we are, and it's something that we develop over time. Personality is also relatively stable - while our thoughts and behaviours might change daily, our overall personality traits tend to stay the same. So, if you're looking for a career that suits your personality, it's essential to understand what your personality is and what it isn't. Trying to change your personality to fit a role is likely to be unsuccessful, and it's much better to find a career that plays to your strengths. After all, you're the only one who knows yourself best.

    How To Know If You're an Introvert or Extrovert

    How To Know If You're an Introvert or Extrovert

    There are two types of people in the world: extroverts and introverts. One is more outgoing than the other. It's not just a personality thing; your brain wiring makes you either an introvert or an extrovert. People are rarely one extreme or the other in reality; they will be somewhere between the two on a spectrum.

    To explain the difference between the two, here is a story:

    To explain the difference between the two, here is a story

    Two new employees started a new job. One was an introvert, and the other was an extrovert. On their first day, they were given a tour of the office. The socialite was very outgoing, asking the supervisor many questions and making small talk with the other employees. The introvert was more reserved, hanging back and taking everything in. After the tour, they were both given a desk in the open-plan office. The extrovert quickly made friends with the people around him, while the introvert kept to himself.

    The extrovert had made several friends and felt pretty good about the office at the end of the day. On the other hand, the introvert was tired from all of the socialising and just wanted to go home.

    The difference between these two types of people is that extroverts are more outgoing and social than introverts. They tend to enjoy parties and being around others. On the other hand, introverts are more reserved and prefer to spend time alone or in small groups. The main difference between an introvert and an extrovert is how they get their energy. Can you tell if you're an introvert or an extrovert?

    Here are some signs that you're an introvert:

    introvert
    • You prefer to spend time alone or in small groups
    • You're more reserved and quiet
    • You like to think before you speak
    • You're not a fan of small talk
    • You prefer to text or email rather than talk on the phone

     

    On the other hand, here are some signs you are an extrovert:

    extrovert

    • You enjoy being around others
    • You're the life of the party
    • You're outgoing and talkative
    • You tend to make impulsive decisions
    • You prefer to talk on the phone rather than text or email.

    Personality profiles – finding your perfect match

    As we have previously stated, most people have a good appreciation of their knowledge and skills. On the other hand, Traits are something most people have little awareness or consciousness of as they undertake their day-to-day activities. In fact, to get to know more about your traits, you probably need to use some form of a personality profile.

    Introversion/Extroversion is just one example of a personality trait we've provided. There are, without a doubt, additional characteristics that makeup "you," as well as other models that seek to define personalities. 

    There are several types of personality evaluation available, all claiming to help people better understand their personalities and, in particular, their characteristics. 

    Examples of personality profile tools include:

    • Psychometric tests (most commonly used for new staff)
    • The Big Five Personality Test
    • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
    • 16 Personalities
    • Eysenck Personality Questionnaire
    • Temperament and Character Inventory

    Data from these tools can give employers a better understanding of an individual's strengths, weaknesses, work style, and potential for career growth.

    Let's be honest

    Unlike psychometric tests conducted by companies as part of their recruitment process, you will be completing one of the above for your benefit only. You should therefore feel relaxed about responding to the questionnaires with complete honesty. There is no point in trying to respond in a way that defines you as someone you're not.

    Make the most of your life - with the help of your past.

    This lesson is divided into 2 sections. The first portion teaches you how to make your past lifeline, and the second part guides you in projecting your lifeline into the future.

    We will first ask you to look back at the key events and experiences in your life so far. Just from completing this part of the exercise, you can learn a lot about yourself - particularly how you have reacted to different situations and how you have ultimately come through them. On a blank piece of paper

    1. Draw a template like the one shown below.
    2. Plot your life events with your earliest childhood memories on the left-hand side and the present day on the right-hand side.
    3. Keep it simple; just plot the events and experiences you believe have helped shape your life.

      Your Past Lifeline

      Take your life back!

      The following suggestions may help you to get the most from creating your lifeline:

      • You may find it helps to write out your key events first to get them in the correct order.
      • Make sure you note experiences from all points in your life and don't focus too heavily on one particular time in your life.
      • Try not to focus on just the negative or just the positive experiences - most people's lifelines will include points that are both above and below the centerline.
      • Be honest with yourself - remember that no one else needs to see your lifeline or your subsequent conclusions and thoughts.

      Reflecting On The Year Gone By

      Before moving on to the second part of the exercise, study your lifeline and learn from your past experiences. In particular, think about how you have reacted and dealt with these more significant moments in your life.

      Questions To Know If You're On The Right Path

      • What patterns do I notice from my lifeline?
      • When I have been at a low point, how long have I stayed there? - If you can, try to recall how you pulled yourself back up
      • What does my lifeline tell me about where I am now, my current feelings and how I should best approach my current situation?
      • What have been the key learning points from my past experiences?
      • How have these events influenced my life?

      What will your world be like in 2040?

      What will your world be like in 2040?

      In this second part of the exercise, we want to encourage you to predict your lifeline as far into the future. You may already be very clear about what you want and can expect for the future — maybe 15-20 years.

      On the other hand, you may have difficulty thinking more than a year or two from now; your interpretation of the future is entirely up to you. We just ask that you stretch it out as far into the future.

      A Roadmap To Your Success

      A roadmap to your success

      Draw out a blank chart as before. This time plot from the present day on the left-hand side to your farthermost point in your future on the right-hand side.

      Mark the key events you expect to happen along the time scale on your lifeline. As with the first part of the exercise, position your events based on whether you expect them to be high or low points in your life. No crystal balls are required.

      While some events on your future line may be speculation at this stage, you may be surprised at how many key events are relatively predictable — even without a crystal ball!

       Some of the more fixed future events on your lifeline may include:

      • Buying your own house
      • Moving area or moving house
      • Travelling around the world
      • Anticipated promotion
      • Children's key school stages
      • Passing exams
      • Retirement plans
      • Paying off the mortgage
      • Setting up a new business.
      • Children leaving home

      Dreams do come true.

      Now, having mapped the more predictable future events, try to add in other circumstances that you see as your dreams, aspirations, or long-term goals for the future. These can be life aspirations and any career aspirations you may have. Again, be spontaneous and don't worry about testing their feasibility at this stage. Finally, join your events to create your lifeline, as you did in part one of this exercise.

      The Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself

      As in part one, take some time to study your future lifeline and your plotted events. Here are some questions to ask yourself which may help to give clarity to your thinking:

      • From where I am now, how does the future look?
      • What patterns do I notice regarding the plotted negative or positive events?
      • What might prevent me from achieving some of the aspirations I have plotted?
      • If there are any constraints, which of them do I have any control over?
      • What support do I need to help make some of the events on my future lifeline happen?

      What if you could see what others see?

      This eBook has been about you trying to get to know yourself better so that when you have to make decisions about your career direction and your next logical role, you can do so from a position of strength rather than just a gut reaction.

      You can only understand certain aspects of you, for example, your motivators and perhaps your values. But for other elements of your profile, it can be advantageous to get the views of others to compare with your own perceptions of yourself. This is especially the case when considering your strengths and weaknesses.

      How do you see the world?

      When you ask others for their views on you and aspects of your personality, you may find that your opinions are similar. If this is the case, you should congratulate yourself on having good self-awareness, and you should be reassured that your profile can be relied upon when you come to make decisions.

      On the other hand, if there are aspects of your personality where your views differ from others, don't just dismiss these different views.

      Think about why there are these differences and ask yourself.

      • Is my own opinion of myself somehow 'incorrect?
      • Is the way I come across being misinterpreted by others? If so, what impact might this have when I attend interviews?
      • What steps do I need to take to ensure that others don't misjudge me?

      If you're having trouble dealing with a shift in your personal, professional, or other life circumstances, your organisation may have employee assistance programs you can utilise. Alternatively, The Perfect Resume team has inspired over 3,500+ people to succeed in their career aspirations each year, including helping redundant employees gather the strength they need to move forward after such an emotional period. We can listen to your issues, help you reframe your ideas, create practical solutions and ensure that you have the resources and tools required to move forward, accept change, and reach for your goals. We want to help you succeed, and we're here for you every step of the way.

      In difficult times it's especially important to remember that you are not alone. Turn to other departing employees to see how they are handling the situation, your friends, family, and The Perfect Resume community for support. We'll be here when you're ready to take the next step.

      The Perfect Resume Career Counseling Session

      If you would like to chat with a career coach in a 60-minute 1:1 consultation, please click on the link below to book a career counselling session. We are here for you.