Knowing Yourself Before Your Next Career Move

An old friend recently called to ask if I’d come to her Bunco group to fill in for some missing people.   I’m still patting my people-pleasing self on the back for having the courage to say, “No, thank you.” It’s taken me a long time to come to grips with who I am. As a young adult, I took the Meyers Briggs personality test and learned I was an introvert. Yet it’s only in the past few years that I’ve begun to use that knowledge to craft my lifestyle and make decisions that honor the introvert within me, instead of trying to be what everyone else needs and burn myself out in the process.

How well do you honor the way you were made? Understanding and truthfully assessing yourself is a lifelong journey rather than a one-time task. The sooner you start, the better off both you and your career will be. For one thing, knowing yourself before your next career move could prevent you from throwing the dice and applying for jobs you’re really not suited to take.


Our mind-reading recruiters are often asked for guidance by candidates who want to be told who they are and how they should proceed. (Okay, I’m being silly. Our recruiters are intuitive, but obviously, they’re not really mind-readers!) It’s kind of like asking a friend to help you get a better self-image. The word self means you have to do the work–no one else can do it for you. In the same way, a recruiter can ask probing questions and make observations, but you’ve got to do the work to understand yourself within the context of who you’ve been in the past, within the pool of your accumulated experiences and preferences.


What are some ways to proceed with this journey? One obvious and logical step is to take a personality test. There are some good ones out there–you pick! One benefit to taking a good personality test is that it identifies both your strengths and weaknesses, giving you a fuller picture of how you impact the world and how it impacts you.


Another is to make a timeline of your life, highlighting major events and then filling in the gaps with lessons you learned and reasons for why you chose what you did next. Identifying patterns in your life can help you understand what drives you and leads you to repeat the same choices. This can be a powerful tool for self-awareness and change. “You can be more confident when job searching if you understand what has gone wrong in the past,” says Miriam Salpeter of “If you keep missing out on positions that appear to be perfect matches, you’ll want to put your finger on what went wrong.”


Still another way is to read StrengthsFinder 2.0. This book shows you how to move forward more quickly by capitalizing on what you’re good at rather than spending an inordinate amount of energy building up your weaknesses. Knowing what you don’t like is just as important as knowing what you do like. Learning to accept yourself for who you are and aren’t is like deciding you’d like to swim with the current instead of shoveling sand against the tide.


Amtec’s CEO, Scott Kuethen, highly recommends creating a career scorecard. This helps you to think through your preferences and define what you need in your workplace for it to be a positive, meaningful experience. Clarifying your needs before you ever go out on an interview will guide you in what kinds of questions to ask and what characteristics to look for in a future employer.


Good hiring managers can tell whether you’re just throwing the dice and hoping to land any job, or if you’re truly interested in joining their organization. Knowing yourself before your next career move is crucial. If you haven’t yet figured out what you want to do, use these tools and techniques to become an expert on yourself. Only then should you start filling out job applications selectively. The better you understand who you are, the more prepared you are to be interviewed…and to interview your potential employer as well.

Amtec actively serves customers all over the United States who seek top professionals with well-rounded skills. If we don’t have the most current version of your resume, please click here to post it, and visit our job board while you’re at it! You or a friend might be a good fit for one of our open positions.

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