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What Use are Self-Assessments?

Today I'm writing about self-assessments. OMG, have you seen how many there are online? If you're wondering about the usefulness of self-assessments when it comes to a career transition, let's start with this truth -- the first steps to any successful career transition must start with “Who am I?” You can touch the surface of this question, of course, and repeat what other people have told you about yourself, or make a list of all the things you like and don't like, but if you’ve been reading my newsletters or blog you know I will recommend doing the deeper and broader dive. When you step out of the day-to-day demands or the tedium of Covid19 life to look inside, you begin to get in touch with a part of yourself which can't be tapped without intention. I’m absolutely positive that the deeper the dive, the more valuable the treasure.

By going back to the basics from the vantage point of now, with curiosity and openness, you will strengthen the roots of your evolving career so you can imagine the next branch. (Or, if you’re just starting out, the first one.)

Who are you? These are some basics:

  • Your values (personal & work-related)

  • Your gifts and talents

  • What you love to do, your interests

  • Your skills

  • Your ‘Why’

  • Your relationships

  • Your strengths

  • Your behavioral and communication style

  • When you experience flow, environments you thrive within

  • Your financial & location needs/wants

  • Anything else that’s specific to you and your unique circumstances

What you eventually bring to light rests on your capacity for independent, courageous, self-reflection and your level of self - awareness. Since we don’t know what we don’t know, working with an expert coach can significantly enhance this process. Many coaches use tools like masterful listening, powerful questions, questionnaires, and formal assessments to help you in your self-exploration. I've seen just about everyone benefit from using some type of formal assessment tool to support self-understanding. It can be illuminating, validating, fun, and challenging to use assessments like Myers Briggs, DISC, Holland Codes, Enneagram, Harrison Assessments, to name just a few. Formal assessments have played a significant role at multiple junctures on my own career path, especially when I was able to process the results with an expert. Assessments can help to:

  • Discover and clarify interests, skills and strengths, career and life values, career motivators, behavioral and communication style - so that you navigate toward fulfillment and balance.

  • Create the conditions to pinpoint and brainstorm options for a new career.

  • Inform decisions about which fields and work situations are best for you.

  • Help you understand how you react and behave in certain situations, and how your behavior serves your success – or doesn’t.

  • Increase your confidence as you begin to explore and value your unique skills and contributions.

  • Uncover patterns and themes that provide focus for prioritizing options for moving forward.

  • Articulate what differentiates you from others so that you can more effectively identify your superpower and share it with the world.

Finally, what you get from your experience using any assessment, formal or otherwise, depends on the quality of the assessment itself, knowing which one is the right one for your purposes and context within you interpret the results.

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