As you sit down to write your elevator speech, or practice your potential interview questions, one thing you have to be clear on is: who are you? You need to know yourself, what you are good at, where you need to improve (you don’t need to tell others that), and what you want to do. One thing I highly recommend is that you learn, or confirm, these things by taking some tests. Here are a few of my favorites. There are many, many more on the web.
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. This is a great little book that explains what emotional intelligence is, provides an excellent online assessment of your emotional intelligence, and then provides exercises to improve.
Strength Finders 2.0 by Tom Rath. Strength Finders is an outstanding assessment that helps you find out what you are good at, so you can do more of that. This book by Tom Rath explains the assessment, has a link to an online test, and then helps you better understand your top five strengths and how to make the most of them.
DiSC – Since the ancient Greeks men have been creating personality assessments that evaluate your personality relative to four components. The Greeks used water, wind, earth and fire. My favorite simple assessment is the DiSC profile which stands for Dominance, influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. You can pay from $0 to $100 for a DiSC online. While you may take the same test, the more you pay, the more information you generally learn about yourself. I’ve included a link to one quality vendor – there are more.
Enneagram – the Enneagram is a very different form of personality assessment that may help in day-to-day living as much as in the workplace. Check out the Enneagram Institute for lots of information.
o*net Interest Profiler – this is an online career interest assessment offered by the US Department of Labor. While it will take more than just a few minutes to take the test, it may help you identify a career area you had not been considering.
Take some time, assess yourself, learn to talk about your strengths and passions. They will lead you past your next job and into a satisfying career. If you are struggling with your job search, this might help. https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/
When my parents went to work after college they could reasonable expect to work for one company for their entire careers, and they did for 42 and 54 years respectively. When I graduated college, it was assumed that my generation would work for 2-4 companies over our careers, predominately in the same field. But as my children entered the workforce, it was predicted that they would have 3-5 different careers over their lifetime.
Organizations are much better today at recognizing strengths and transferrable skills. The best organizations look past your specific experience and instead focus on talent, skills, and fit. Do you have the ability to do what they need? Do you have the skills required to be successful in that organization? Do you fit with their culture and their team? Those things, in that order, are way more important than where you worked or what you were responsible for.
On your resume, spend the most energy on your accomplishments. What did you get done and how did that impact the organization? If you did it for them, you can do it for the next company too. Update your Summary and Accomplishments sections for every job you apply for, and tailor them to that job at that company.
And don’t be afraid to look outside your field and/or industry. Sell your talent and skills, not your history. Work where you find passion. I know two people who had good, successful careers, and dropped them to attend coding bootcamps and both are now successful coders. I started out as an Industrial Engineer, and now I’m a human resources guy. Don’t plan for your career to move in only one direction.
The bottom line is that you should not define your job search looking backwards at what jobs you’ve done. Direct your search towards what you are good at, and what you are passionate about. Be prepared to talk about your strengths and skills, more than your former job titles and responsibilities. You’ll find a job that will be more satisfying and fulfilling. If you are struggling with your job search, this might help. https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/