This is the first stage in a cyclical process. By re-adjusting and re-evaluating your direction and priorities, the Career Evolution model is a dynamic way of finding the most effective strategies in managing your life and career path.
In the Self Discovery stage, there are a number of strategies to become more self-aware; to be able to articulate what your competencies, interests, values and personal characteristics are. We don’t often give ourselves the opportunity to think about what we enjoy doing and why that is, and what we have learned from our experiences. Doing this will enable you to better manage your career direction and make informed decisions. After all, your career will be where you spend most of your time – you want to be doing what is right for you.
- Think about the schooling, jobs and volunteer experiences you’ve had, starting from when you were younger, and moving towards today. Make a list of what you enjoyed (and why) and what you didn’t like – be as specific as possible. You will likely find a pattern of experiences that are specific to you. For example, you may find you like working with children, one on one, between the ages of 4 and 6. You don’t like being in a structured classroom setting, and are most happy when you are being creative. So now what? Brainstorm what jobs or experiences you can find that fit the job you have described.
- Similar to the activity listed above, complete a Your Lifeline form, where you can write down your past experiences and find similarities in what you liked and what you didn't. This is a valuable opportunity to look at what you've done in the past, and apply to your future job opportunities. If you didn't enjoy working in an office in the past, consider avoiding a position like that in future.
- An activity to help identify your values at work is a Card Sort. This is a simple opportunity to review what you most value in a work environment, and to consider this when looking for future jobs.
- Complete a SWOT analysis - identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This is a business approach to consider your next career move. It is very effective in identifying where you are at, and where you need to be.
- Review the learning objectives in your course syllabus. These are provided at the start of each course, and are a fantastic resource for you to clarify what it is, exactly, you are learning. You can use this information in future, when speaking to an employer how what you learned is relevant to the job you want.