Secret #1 to Get Your Career Unstuck: Understand Yourself

You are reading Secret #1 in my 7-Part Get Your Career Unstuck Series. You can read part 2 here. 

You may know someone (or you might be that someone!) who just applies online to any old job and not one that you specifically know that you want.  This is a great way to get stuck in another job that you hate.  You will just be unhappy if you just move into another job that is just like the one you hate now.
It’s a repetitive cycle and you will always hate your job unless you do something about it.  Instead, you need to have a plan and a goal.  You need to find what that perfect job is for you BEFORE you start looking at future career opportunities.  And that is what networking is all about.  You can ask all the questions you want and determine if something is right for you BEFORE you start!  You have to narrow it down from any old job and have a specific type of work that you would like to do.

Get Unstuck from Your Current Career Situation

Make a list of things in your current job that you love and hate and take your time to find what it is you truly want in your next job.  This is going to help you focus on your job search and keep you from just jumping into another job you absolutely hate!
Think about everything that is involved in that job including your work environment, your co-workers, your boss, your commute, how many hours you work, what time you get home, the type of work you do, how you communicate with your co-workers and clients. I mean everything. Really thinking about the aspects of your job you like and don’t like will really help you narrow down you next job options and zero in on what makes you happy.

Your Unique Personality

Does your current career fit your personality? Here are 3 different tests you can take to learn more about yourself.  If you are currently a student, your university probably offers these tests that you can take. Also, some companies offer these tests to employees.
Here are some assessment options:
  • DISC: This assessment will group you into four major “behavior styles” which will show what specific characteristics you have that are common to that particular style. All individuals possess all four, but what differs from is the extent of each.
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: This assessment is designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. I wrote about my MBTI results in this post.  The MBTI for me completely changed how I viewed myself and all of my relationships at work and school.
  • StrengthsFinder 2.0: Gallup created a language of the 34 most common talents and developed the StrengthsFinder assessment to help people discover and describe these talents.  The goal is to talk about what is right with people, instead of what our weaknesses are.
Not only can determining your personality help you find the right career fit, it can help improve your relationships at work.  Here is what one participant in a previous Get Your Career Unstuck Bootcamp said about her personality results:

“After I reviewed my DISC results in the course, it really helped me at work. I had a quarterly review with my boss and I went in focused on communicating with him in a more direct fashion and it really worked! It opened the meeting up to communicating in a better way on both our parts so a massive side benefit.”

This is what I wrote about my MBTI results a few years ago:

“What I realized through this test that you can’t confuse introversion with shyness. I have always been labeled as that shy person but this test helped me see what people I work with needed to know in order for me to get my ideas and thoughts heard. My co-workers and classmates who are extroverts now realize that I will go out to happy hour, just not every night. They also know to ask me questions during group meetings and give me time to think about questions. 

One of my favorite memories of MBA orientation is when all the introverts and extroverts were separated on each side of the room. The extroverts, who greatly outnumbered us introverts, and the introverts both wrote down what we both liked to do in our free time. The introverts said jogging, reading, cleaning and watching TV. What did the extroverts say? You guessed it! Hanging out with their friends, social activities, team sporting activities, having dinner and going to the movies. It is so amazing that if people aren’t aware of your type, they sometimes automatically make judgments, which are hard to get around.”

Have you taken a personality test? How did it help you understand yourself and what you want to do?

Hi, I'm Anna!

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