Professional Life

How Self-Awareness Can Improve Your Career

When most people think about self-awareness they imagine better personal skills as they relate to happiness and relationships. And it’s true that when you are more self-aware, you are in a better position to make decisions and take actions that improve your happiness and relationships. However, it doesn’t end there. A good sense of self-awareness can help in every aspect of your life, including your career and professional path.

 

  1. Making the Right Career Choices

 

Self-awareness can help you choose the right career path for yourself. Whether you’re just getting started in the professional world or you’re looking for a change, knowing yourself can help you identify a career that you find both satisfying and rewarding. When you know yourself you know:

 

* What you want from life

* Your strengths and weaknesses

* The things you find motivating

* How you relate to others

* How you see yourself fitting in

* Your work style

* How you learn

 

And much more. There are many different ways to determine your best career path. You can take a personality test or career aptitude test. You can also conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats assessment, aka a SWOT assessment. You can talk to people that you trust and get their insight about your strengths, weaknesses and personality style as well.

 

  1. Working Well on the Job

 

When you’re self-aware you are able to listen to feedback with an open mind. You’re able to receive feedback without getting defensive, shifting blame, or feeling like you’re being attacked. You can take responsibility for your work and take steps to both enjoy the praise and positively respond to the criticism. You’re also able to focus on your strengths and seek ways to minimize or eliminate your weaknesses. You can ask for help when you need it and work well on a team with others because you know who you are and what you’re good at.

 

  1. Listening to Your Inner Voice

 

Finally, when you are self-aware you’re able to listen to your inner voice. You know when something is right for you and when it isn’t. You’re able to make decisions that support you, and to avoid career choices that don’t fit your strengths and interests. And many people who are self-aware are able to push their limits and test their boundaries. They are able to achieve more because they’re willing to take risks and they’re not afraid of failure.

 

If you are in a career rut or you are looking for a career path that fits your goals, needs, strengths and personality then it’s time to look inside. Take steps to learn more about who you are and become more self-aware. You can perform self-awareness exercises, work with a coach, and tap into your inner knowledge about who you are and what you want.

 

Do you have ideas or people who are good to work with? Let’s talk about it in the comments…

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How to Manage Deadlines Effectively

Deadlines are an inherent part of professional life. Most people will have anywhere between one and half a dozen active deadlines in their work at any given time. Deadlines can be a very useful tool for managing work and coordinating projects with other people, but when used poorly can be a huge source of stress.

 

Using deadlines well will allow you to work more efficiently with less stress. So what does good deadline management look like?  The same list can be used with some tweaks.)

 

==> Learn to Say No

 

The most important skill you could develop with deadline management is the skill of saying “no.” Or better yet, master the art of saying no while giving an alternative. This is one I’m having to work on daily…

 

For example, let’s say your boss asks you: “Can you get XYZ done by Friday?” A good answer might be, “No, because I have ABC on my plate. I can have it done Monday, or we can push ABC back and I can have XYZ done by Friday.”

 

A bad answer would be to take on the task anyway, even though you’d be overloaded.

 

Learn to say no to tasks that you can’t handle.

 

==> Schedule Your Work and Deadlines

 

What goes hand in hand with saying “no” is knowing your schedule. If you don’t know exactly how much work you have to do each day, there’s no way for you to know whether or not you can take on more work. In order to know whether to say yes or no to a task, you need to be able to accurately gauge your current workload.

 

Take all your current tasks and deadlines and predict how much work you’ll need to put into them. Then schedule this work out on a day to day basis. You now know how packed or open your schedule is.

 

Next time someone wants to give you a new deadline, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

 

==> Keep Tabs on Resources and Personnel

 

Often times your ability to fulfill on a deadline will depend on outside resources and other people.

 

If your deadline is to have a magazine cover design finished, you might need headlines from other people, you might need photo touch-ups from other people, and you might need printer resources to get proofs done.

 

Make sure you know the availability of the people your projects depend on. Make sure you know the availability of other resources that you’ll need to complete your project (equipment, money, software, etc.). Again, this will help you make informed decisions about whether or not to take on new projects and what deadlines you can agree to.

 

These deadline management techniques will help you avoid taking on more than you can handle. They’ll also help prevent late projects due to unrealistic deadlines. All around they’ll help you and your team get more done, communicate better and reduce workplace stress.

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