New Directions

By Jim Ward

New Directions
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Career Launch / Phase 1

“Know Thyself” (Socrates)

Socrates was famous for arguing that we must know thyself to be wise. He was really onto something here! He went on to say “An unexamined life in not worth living.”  This concept has important implications for us as we think about developing an effective job search strategy. You, and you alone, are responsible for guiding your career, it’s direction and progress.

As mentioned in my last posting, the U.S. Army’s Leadership training model begins with “Be”, which requires one to take a complete inventory of self. Similarly, Phase 1 of my career launch formula begins with knowing who you are, your strengths, weaknesses, skills and attributes. Begin by doing an inventory of your work experiences to date. List your significant achievements. Make an inventory of those specific accomplishments for each job you have held. Also, identify your strengths and weaknesses. A strength is something at which you excel. For example, the ability to troubleshoot and solve problems quickly is a strength. The achievements you listed should contain one or more of your strengths. A weakness is a development area and we all have them. They should be listed and a plan put in place to improve. This self-assessment will lead to a better understanding of who you are, but more importantly what you want from your next position. This preparation phase can not be underestimated. Devote time to this phase. In the end, it will pay off.

According to Richard Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute, individuals “who fail to find their dream job fail not because they lack information about the job market, but because they lack information about themselves”. 

Until next time…



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