Stand out - Get ahead
We are often faced with this question when making important decisions when we graduate from school or university or are looking to change jobs or career. It can be difficult to see our own skills as skills. Perhaps we don’t see them as skills but rather just things we do. Therefore, it is worth spending some time to make a self-assessment to find out what you are good at. Try one or several of the suggestions below to learn more about yourself and find out what you are good at.
Personality tests can be a great way of getting a deeper insight of yourself. There are many different types of personality test with Myers-Briggs being one of the most popular. When taking a personality test you will be asked questions about different areas of your life, and you should aim to answer honestly as possible; there are no right or wrong answers. Taking a personality test has a lot of different benefits. You will understand yourself better and perhaps even discover what you are good at. You will also be able to see what types of career or studies might suit you best.
Often the people who you work with or spend a lot of time with have a more balanced view of yourself than you do. When asking for feedback, you should be as specific as possible, don’t just ask: “Do you have any feedback for me”. Ask your manager or colleagues what they think your strengths and weaknesses are. Ask them to be honest, to get a clearer picture of what others think that you are good at and listen without judgment. Write down their thoughts so that you can compare feedback from others and explore it further in your own time.
Write a list of the things that you love, and analyze the list to see if you can identify any patterns. This may hint at what you are good at, or at least (and perhaps more importantly) what you enjoy doing.
An important part of discovering what you are good at is trying a lot of new things. By trying new things and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, you may uncover your hidden talents. Commit to trying something new on a regular basis. You could write a list of different things you would like to try and assign them to different dates in your calendar. This will give you a good plan going forward. Don’t forget to reflect on each new thing you tried and evaluate whether you were good at it. Remember: many things take practice before you are good at it, so don’t be disappointed if you're not a pro on your first try!
Finding someone who is older and wiser than you can really help you to discuss what you might be good at. They will be able to give you guidance and help you tackle some tough challenges you may face, as they might have been through similar challenges themselves. They will be able to use their experiences to guide you, plus, it’s always great to have someone to talk to about these things.
Take some time to reflect back on what you have already achieved; it is difficult to learn without reflection. Write down things that you consider to be great achievements. If you can see a pattern or repetition in your achievements, you might be able to identify what you are good at.
By understanding what you are good at you can understand yourself more. This can be incredibly beneficial for your personal and career development and help you to make better decisions.