The last few months seem to have flown by, and it’s hard to believe we are now in October.
I have to say this is one of my favourite times of the year. Not sure if it’s because it’s great to see the university campus alive after the summer lull, or because it brings back fond memories of my own student days or because it’s my birthday around this time, but I am definitely an ‘Autumn Term’ person.
Nevertheless, these are challenging times for the higher eduction sector, and the pressures and expectations facing both students and professionals remain real. A key concern will be finding “the dream career.”
So I thought I would share this very useful post on How To Be A Career Dream Catcher by David Shindler. David is the founder of The Employability Hub online learning centre, Director of Learning to Leap and widely respected in the industry as an employability expert. I had an interesting discussion with David this week about it, and even shared my own “dream” at the age of 16 of becoming a hot shot journalist and travelling across exotic locations. Ok, so I didn’t make it, but being a blogger will do for now.
On a serious note though, David raises some really valid points on how to increase your chances of obtaining the dream career, and for me, the most significant was the first one – question who you are, reflect on what makes you tick and what are your priorities.
I happened to attend a training session this week on self – reflection as part of my professional studies, but I think it’s interesting how many people still don’t take the time to look at who they are and what they want out of a career or life even! A multitude of factors, such as time constraints, lack of willingness and understanding, and even family and cultural barriers can prevent people from doing so.
My advice for anyone starting university and at the beginning of their career journey: now is the time to develop the habit of self – reflection. Even if it just means keeping a journal and reviewing experiences, skills and knowledge gained, how you responded to difficult situations and list of accomplishments, then at least this is a starting point. Gathering evidence of skills and achievements will also be very handy when it comes to developing your CV and answering competency based questions in applications and interviews, as I know many people struggle to find good solid examples they can showcase to employers.
There’s plenty out there if you want to learn more about developing your self – reflection skills, your university careers service can help, but you might want to check out The Reflected Best Self exercise on the MindTools website. Using feedback from others, it helps you create a strength profile, and identify things you’re really good at. You can even learn new things about yourself too!
Do you have any useful tools on self – reflection you want to share?