Home > Change, You in B&W > Start Your Career Transition, Step 1- First Know Thyself

Start Your Career Transition, Step 1- First Know Thyself


I was privileged again recently to speak with someone interested in making a career transition.  She wanted to make sure she didn’t just transition without being thoughtful in how she proceeded.  Frustration and longing for something different can actually get in the way of thinking about how to tactically move forward.  This series offers several steps to help you get moving forward in a purposeful way.

Step 1 – First Know Thyself

Use several different sources to get a crisp picture of who you are – to take a long, slow, inquisitive look into a looking-glass to discover and learn about how you are uniquely designed:

  • What you are great at doing
  • What you love to do
  • What you are passionate about / what gets you jazzed-up and excited
  • What you want in life
  • In what way / environment you do your best work
  • How you communicate and relate with others
  • What is most important to you

Do some assessments and use other resources to better understand yourself.  If you have access to these types of tools at work, say YES!  If not, there are some great reasonably priced resources (several provided below).  Consider investing in yourself – set aside ~$100 to do a couple of assessments and buy a couple of books that you can use, all together, to gain a comprehensive and clear picture of your tendencies/type/style/preferences:

  • True Colors – I recommend the book Showing our True Colors by Mary Miscisin (this ~$20 easy-to-read book offers great insight and uses a card sort activity to help identify your color blend – can re-use with others)
  • StrengthsFinder (the ~$13 book includes a link to do the one-time online assessment)
  • People Style at Work by Bolton and Bolton (this ~$12 book provides a great behavioral-based tool to understand your style and others’ style – it is based on sound research, is simple to use, and can be shared with others – no online assessment required – put this knowledge to work in your workplace right away to become more familiar with style types and how it translates into how people act, respond, and engage with others)
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator MBTI (this is a widely recognized standard based on sound science – check with your work to see if it is offered)
  • Keirsey Temperament Sorter (free online assessment based on the same sound research as MBTI – suggest buying the ~$15 report)
  • Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham (Buckingham helped develop StrengthsFinder – this ~$10 book does not require the StrengthsFinder assessment, but uses the same sound research to help you spend more of your time working from your strengths vs. weaknesses)
  • Enneagram (a more holistic and comprehensive assessment for as low as $10)
  • DISC profile (well-respected and widely used – check with your company and you can find several sources online for as little as $18)
  • Emergenetics (widely praised, not as widely used – check with your company – it’s the most comprehensive all-in-one assessment that I’ve had exposure to so far and also likely the most expensive as well)
  • What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles (get a newer version, at least 2010, this ~$10 book is an “oldy but a goody” with the newer version, walks you through a great process of creating your flower – a more holistic view of who you are and what you want – it’s worth the discipline).

Reflection Activity

Use a reflective writing technique to gain insight from all of these various sources you have used so far.  Following are some writing prompts/questions you can use:

  • Identify four insights gained from reviewing your assessments and findings so far that you can apply in specific relationships at home or work.
  • Identify three (or more) consistencies you found amongst the resources you used and how does it make you feel?
  • Identify two (or more) disparities/inconsistencies you found amongst the resources and what questions does this raise for you?
  • Respond to this writing prompt:  “Know I know why I ….  with [my spouse, my children, at work, my friends, etc.]” – think about both the positive behaviors and those that produce unsatisfactory outcomes.

Other Posts in This Series:

Start Your Career Transition: Step 2 – Engage Others

Start Your Career Transition: Step 3 – Word Research

  1. October 6, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Thanks for the career assessment resource list. I really like the Ennaegram. Another one I like is the Highlands Battery Assessment. You might want to check that one out.

  2. June 29, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Another great one is the Kolbe

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