The better you know yourself, the better it is for your career. Once we get to know ourselves, we get to know our strengths and how to use them. Being able to better use our strengths in the workplace is a confidence-booster in itself but even just the knowledge that you know yourself really well gives you the assurance to be the confident, professional woman you were always meant to be. Follow these tips to start the journey of self-knowledge.
1. Use Professional Development Tools
There are many resources out there for helping people to identify their strengths. For example, taking an online career personality test can help you find the ideal role or working style for your particular character traits. There are also books, videos, CDs and other tools that we can use to work out what makes us tick and where we should be spending our energies.
2. Ask Others About Yourself
As women it can be hard for us to turn off the inner critic long enough to see our qualities and talents. It’s much easier for an outsider observing us to point out what we’re good at. In times of low confidence, instead of believing and accepting the distorted, negative view of ourselves that we have, we should seek to reach out to people who will give us objective and constructive feedback on who they see us as. Listening to someone say positive things about you and realising, perhaps for the first time ever, that these things are true improves your confidence levels.
3. Hire a Career Coach
Enlisting the services of a career coach allows us to explore our professional identities under the watchful eye of a career expert. If you do decide to hire a coach, be clear from the outset about what you want out of the set-up, both in terms of your career development and of your pursuit of self-knowledge.
4. Reflect on Your Assets
Look back on your achievements throughout your life. Reflect on your credentials, your accomplishments and the situations in which you’ve made a real impact. You can dig deep into both your personal and professional life for this exercise; at the end of the day you’re seeking a complete view of yourself. What does what you’ve achieved tell you about who you are? How have your achievements shaped who you are, and how did who you are help you to achieve what you have?
5. Check-in Regularly with Yourself
Check in regularly with yourself throughout your career and life to take stock of who you are and where you’re at. We all change and grow as humans throughout our lives, so it’s important to regularly take the time and to stop and think about how well we know our current selves.
6. Learn from Your Experiences
The process of self-knowledge doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There will always be something going on in our life but that’s no excuse to put off getting to know yourself. If we’re willing to learn from the good and bad times alike, we will find out a lot about ourselves. For example, mindfully noticing how you respond to certain situations and contexts will tell you something about who you are as a person.
7. Examine Your Relationships
Observing how you interact with others and thinking about the nature of your personal and professional relationships can result in you finding out a lot yourself. Our behaviours in social contexts are often a reflection of how we feel about ourselves and how we see the world. If we’re better at certain forms of communication or get on better with certain types of people, this can also tell us something about where our strengths lie and where we feel most confident.