Succeeding in our career paths is a dream many of us have and the journey towards that success is different for everyone. Self-awareness, however, is a common factor that plays into this success. What is self -awareness?
“Self Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude, and your responses to them at the moment.” (Pathway To Happiness)
Our career development journeys are fueled by how best we understand ourselves; what we’re good at, what we aren’t, how we react to different situations, how we form relationships and engage with others along the way, etc. We outline below three ways you can further, develop your self-awareness and how it plays into career success.
1. Personality tests as a foundation – Personality tests help you get a head start to learn more about yourself and how your preferences and talents might influence work results. They help you further understand your personality, your interests, strengths, what excites you, what gives, and what drains your energy. All this information is valuable in deciding what career paths to choose and what jobs offers to take or reject. The more we experience life, the more we evolve, thus we encourage you to take these tests at different levels in your career as with each new experience you become an even better version of yourself. Some of the most popular personality tests you can try are 16 personalities and the MBTI test.
2. Regularly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses – Self-assessment and reflection is a key element of developing self-awareness. This is why it’s important to keep track of your progress; the skills you have learned, your achievements, impact created as a result. This also includes being bluntly honest about your areas of weaknesses and making deliberate steps to improve on them, or, pursuing jobs or careers that align mostly to your strengths.
3. Ask for feedback – A part of understanding your strengths and weaknesses is also asking for feedback. Sometimes, we can be blind to our own weaknesses, therefore, asking people we trust who are interested in our own growth and success (colleagues, bosses, mentors, friends, family) can provide us with additional insights to learn more about ourselves. This is especially useful in uncovering our blind spots where more of our talents and strengths may be hidden.
How else do you improve your self-awareness? Learn more here and share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find similar content on our Career Happiness Center.
The world has dramatically changed in the last few months. Many of us have experienced a significant shift in our worlds of work; an increase in remote working, flexibility of working hours, and a focus on the outcomes rather than time spent working, virtual meetings have become the norm, a thin line between work and life has been created and so on. On the negative side, we have also seen many job losses and massive income slashes which have undoubtedly caused many of us emotional and mental distress. And yet, we know little about the future. It is thus crucial that now more than ever, we enhance our emotional fitness as this will be a key asset in overcoming many of the current and unforeseen future challenges in our careers and lives in general.
What is emotional resilience? Simply, “it refers to one’s ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises ”(verywell mind).” Closely related to emotional intelligence; (we highlight in this video several ways you can bring Emotional Intelligence into your everyday work interactions into your everyday work), emotional resilience helps you control how your thoughts, actions, and behaviors adapt to difficult situations, and this can help prevent you from losing your ability to be productive, collaborative, intentionally going after your career goals and so much more.
We outline below, 3 ways developing emotional resilience can boost your career development:
1. Adaptability – Emotional resilience allows us to cope with changes such as organizational restructuring, a redefinition of our jobs, different organizational cultures when we switch jobs, our approaches to how we do our work based on the changing needs of the organization, and so forth. Every moment of change is an opportunity for growth and learning. Emotional resilience allows us to be clear-headed which helps us generate solutions and move gracefully with the flow of the changes taking place. Thus, we are able to make better decisions that solve our most immediate challenges and prepare us to succeed in the future
2. Developing your confidence – The more you’re able to overcome difficult situations, the more confidence you develop in yourself and the ability to thrive under difficult circumstances. Confidence is a muscle. The more you practice and experience it, the stronger it grows. In difficult fast-changing situations, one needs to be confident to trust themselves, their decisions, and the solutions they come up with. Whether you’re transitioning to a new field, succeeding in your new restructured role, or finally becoming an entrepreneur after a job loss, confidence will get you halfway there!
3. Developing empathy – Emotional resilience not only allows you to develop empathy for others, but also self-compassion for yourself. And right now, we need to be more gentle and kind to ourselves. Empathy will help us take the blows without blaming ourselves. Empathy will remind us that we did the best we could under the given circumstances. Empathy will help us communicate our needs more effectively to our colleagues, bosses, and other stakeholders while keeping in mind that everyone is going through different challenges right now thus creating space for understanding and supporting each other in our unfolding career journeys.
How can some of the ideas shared today support you in becoming a more resilient individual?
Feel free to share with us at email@example.com. Looking for more similar content? Visit our Career Happiness Center and learn more about how to succeed in your career!
Technology has made our ability to connect to people much easier. Gone are the days where the main method of applying for jobs was sending hardcopy job applications through the post office and not know whether they were received or not. Today, within a significantly short amount of time, you can gain adequate information about an organization’s work, its whole management team and if lucky, who is leading the hiring process by simply conducting a few customized google searches.
Access to recruiters and company official emails and social media pages makes it pretty easy to reach out, inquire, and share our thoughts about open roles. When sending out these emails/messages, the question is;
How can we professionally and clearly articulate our thoughts in a way that builds a strong virtual rapport with the person who eventually receives our message?
We outline three mistakes we have seen many professionals/job-seekers make when reaching out to us, to help you avoid falling into these traps;
1. No subject line – Because of the influx of emails we receive daily, subject lines are useful because they have the capability to draw in one’s attention and increase the opening rate, especially if the request is already indicated. When your email lacks a subject line, it makes it very easy for the receiver not to notice it, and/or, it may fall through the cracks. Think of an email subject line like you would when making a presentation, you have to highlight what you’ll be talking about first, right?
2. Grammar and spelling mistakes – Recruiters and hiring managers are looking to hire or recommend candidates who show effort. Proofreading your email not only shows you put in the effort to be intentional but also reveals the level of your attention to detail, a skill that is a prerequisite for many organizations. Needless to say, written communication is just as important when job hunting. If you’re able to, we encourage you to download Grammarly, an app that proofreads your emails before you click send.
3. Lack of a clear call for action – So you have a great subject line and an error-free email, and maybe attachments, but what happens if your call to action is vague or absent? For instance, just attaching your CV with a blank email (another common mistake) may suggest that you’re job hunting, but it may also mean that you’d like the organization to update you with new opportunities in the future. It’s very important to not leave room for assumptions as this may limit your chances of getting a response. Before sending out that email, ask yourself; what do I want the receiver to do for me after they read my email? Based on my message, what immediate action can they take, that will help me get a little closer to what I want to achieve?
Find email templates here that you can use, depending on need. Have you been a culprit of any of the above? Wondering what other mistakes you could be making? Check out our Career Happiness Center for similar content and career resources.
As recruiters, we’re always rooting for candidates we get to interview for our client’s roles. However, as the interviewee, you have a critical role to play in showcasing why you should be considered for the position you’re being assessed for. To help you avoid making mistakes that may make recruiters/hiring managers not consider you, we’re sharing with you three ways we have seen candidates fail when answering interview questions in hopes that you’ll avoid making similar mistakes.
1. Not being direct – Simply put, this refers to the inability to be concise. Sometimes, candidates use a long-winded approach when answering questions in interviews. While providing context is important, it’s always good to ask yourself if the context being provided is relevant to that particular question(s). And if it is, how can you pick the most important parts of it to make sure you’re tying it to the position you’re being interviewed for? For example, when asked; tell us about a time you solved a conflict at work, the context relevant would be about what caused the conflict to begin with, why you had to step in to solve it, and what the outcomes were. As always, we encourage you to adhere to the STAR technique when answering questions. It’ll save you from making this blunder.
2. Rushing to answer before thinking it through – Admittedly, you won’t always be prepared to answer ALL interview questions. However, this does not mean that you cannot think through your responses during the interview. In certain instances, you can even ask to be given more time to think about a question if you’re unsure or feel like you need more time to have a concrete answer. How candidates answer questions, and how well thought their answers are, bear a lot of weight in the recruiter’s the decision-making process about whether or not they will be shortlisted, so always make sure you’re taking time to think through your responses before giving them to make your train of thought clear to the interviewer.
3. Providing vague responses – Unless you’re being interviewed for an internship position or a role that requires no past experience, interviews are meant to provide recruiters and hiring managers with information about how your past experiences have shaped you to succeed in the position you’re being interviewed for. Therefore, as a candidate, you should try and tie these experiences to said position as much as you can. For instance, saying you’re able to successfully achieve work results with minimal supervision without providing a concrete example of a similar situation in the past where this has been the case is very generic. Which is why we insist that you always prepare for interviews. It’ll help you anticipate questions and therefore, prepare accordingly.
Find much more similar content about succeeding in job hunting on our Career Happiness Center.
In our career coaching work, we are often asked by our clients how they can effectively position themselves to get the jobs they desire. This is especially an important skill one should have when they are looking to transition into a different career/industry. It’s a skill that one gets to refine over and over as they grow in their careers. So if you feel like you are not there yet, worry not, with practice comes clarity and confidence! In this blog post, we will be highlighting four ways you can “sell” yourself in an interview without coming off as conceited.
1. Provide real-life examples – We’ve often seen candidates get hung up on using buzzwords that they (assumably) feel employers want to hear; that they are a great team player, they are adaptive, work well under minimal supervision, and so forth. These are great and necessary skills to have today, however without concrete examples, one is unable to justify your ability to demonstrate them in your work. Tell short stories (using STAR method) about how you’ve shown great leadership skills, how you have adapted in the past, how you have taken initiative, how you’ve solved problems, and so on.
2. From shyness to shining! Let your successes speak your worth – There has never been a better situation to toot your own horn than in a job interview. Yes, we know humility is something we all struggle to let go of. Will I come off as a show-off? Our thoughts? It’s not bragging if you did it! And how often do we forget our great moments? Learn how to get comfortable talking about yourself and your accomplishments. Of course, without being egotistical. This is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition. Make sure this is part of your preparation and that you choose the most relevant accomplishments that align with the key requirements of the role.
3. Be authentic – Each and every candidate is unique in their own way. You are unique in your own way. Make sure you’re using the interview to talk about your individual strengths. The special ways you add value in workplaces. The unique feedback you have received in the past. Share what you struggle with, and how you overcame different challenges in the past. Employers understand no one is perfect, don’t try to be, it’s often evident.
4. Engage! – The world of work has quickly shifted to collaboration and relationship building as key ingredients for innovation. Employers are looking for individuals who are curious about their vision and goals, who ask interesting questions, seek clarification, who can confidently start a conversation about industry trends and world issues. Your body language and questions are a key indicator of your ability to engage others. Where a non-formal conversation comes up in the interview, don’t be afraid to participate in the conversation. Interviews are also a way of showcasing your personality and true self, outside of work. This gives interviewers a glimpse into how you fit in into the culture of the organization as well, so as mentioned in the previous point, be authentic 🙂
Wondering why you’re always shortlisted but don’t get hired? This may be why. Read our blog to learn about the four mistakes you may be making in job interviews.
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We’ve often talked about what job seekers should do to avoid being disqualified from the selection process by recruiters or hiring managers, which certainly hints at today’s topic; what pet peeves do recruiters and hiring managers to have? Read below to find out.
1. Bad communication – This could vary from badly formatted CVs and cover letters, application responses that are not systematic, emails that are not clear and concise, answers during the interview that are not direct to the questions asked, questions after/during interviews that are not related to the job or organization a candidate applied for, delayed communication that causes a delay in the selection process, etc. All these are habits that feed into your overall assessment, and if they remain consistent throughout the selection process, you risk being disqualified.
2. Not labeling your documents – Imagine a scenario where you have all the qualifications for a position and a brilliant CV and other documents, but chose to not label them with your name, and as a consequence, they fall through the cracks of the applicant tracking systems. The truth is, recruiters are often piling through a tonne of CVs, applications, and other documents, and giving them the extra work of renaming your CV/documents to your name can be tiresome. Always ensure your documents are renamed to your names and their identity when sending out applications, eg; Caroline Mwangi CV, Caroline Mwangi – Program Manager Case Study Responses, etc.
3. Unpreparedness – There’s a lot of effort that recruiters put in to arrive at a list of candidates that would be suitable for advertised positions, and that can proceed to the next steps in the selection process. Therefore, candidates not being prepared for interviews, or having insufficient answers to application form questions, especially when the JD was detailed and there are resources available to learn more about the organization such as a website and social media platforms, in addition to having ample time to do so, can seem ill-intended and may land you on the disqualified list.
Want to avoid falling into the above traps and missing out on your dream job? Our job hunt hustle section is full of resources that will prevent you from doing any of the above. We’re rooting for you!