Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 27th 2014 Contents B7
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Many of my clients who are con-
sidering a career transition or rein-
vention have never taken the time
to evaluate their skills, values,
interests, and other parameters that
are important to them in their life
They often have gone directly from
college into the working world, taking
on role after role, and never really
assessing what makes them happy. It
is only when they find themselves mis-
erable, frustrated, and unhappy that
they begin to question everything.
It is at this moment that career self-
exploration is so important.
Before you can change careers or
transition to a new field, you must go
back to the basics - knowing who you
are, and mapping out a strategy for a
transition that fits who you are.
This is where self-assessment fits
in. I like to refer to it as "self-explo-
ration" and not "self-assessment,"
which frankly sounds too clinical.
What Is Career Self-Assess-
Self-exploration is a period in your
life when you step back from your busy,
day-to-day activities and look inside
to take stock of knowing who you are
(a sense of identity) and what is impor-
tant to you.
It is usually one of the first steps
(and in my mind, the MOST important
one) in career reinvention. It is a process
by which you gather information about
yourself (skills, strengths, interests,
personal brand, and communication
style) in order to make better career
decisions, and help you decide how to
transition into a new field.
During this phase, it is important to
work with a professional who is trained
in administering and interpreting career
assessments. While working with a
career counselor or career coach, you'll
go through a variety of formal (objec-
tive) and informal (subjective) assess-
ments to gather information that will
be helpful in the career reinvention
Objective assessments are typically
developed by assessment experts and
provide a third-party viewpoint. Usu-
ally, a career coach or assessment expert
reviews and interprets the results with
Subjective assessments tend to be
more informal, such as a homework
assignment or an exercise that you
would do by yourself (questions, jour-
naling, visualization exercises, medi-
tation, and obtaining feedback from
others). This will help you get a clear
understanding of what is important to
you and to help you envision the future.
Why Is Any of This Important?
When you step out of the day-to-
day grind and slow down and look
inside, you begin to get in touch with
a part of yourself which can't be tapped
during the busy lives we lead.
A period of self-reflection can help
• Learn more about yourself - explore
your interests, skills and strengths,
career and life values, career moti-
vators, behavioral and communica-
tion style - so that you can manage
your career for maximum fulfillment
• Learn about yourself to help you pin-
point and brainstorm options for a
new career and/or field when you
are considering a career transition.
• Become a foundation for making
decisions about which fields and
work situations are best for you (job
function, industry, types of compa-
• Understand how you react and
behave in certain situations, and how
your behavior can enhance or help
derail your success.
• Enhance your self-esteem as you
begin to explore and see your unique
skills and contributions.
• See patterns and themes, and provide
a focus for prioritizing options for
• Understand what differentiates your-
self from others in the marketplace
so that you can more effectively mar-
ket "your career brand."
What Are the Different Parameters
to Look at During Career Self-
During the self-exploration phase,
you might want to consider evaluating
all or some of the following:
• Skills Inventory
• Behavioral and Communication Style
Personal brand - what differenti-
ates you from the competition?
• Entrepreneurial Propensity
• Leadership Profile
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