Personal Introspection and Career Planning
I have previously written in this column about the importance and value of performing self-assessments of your interpersonal behaviors and characteristics, management and leadership style as well as identifying your professional operational and technical skills. Without question a realistic and self-aware approach to these is of tremendous value in everything from resume and personal brand development to interviews and successful onboarding in a new role.
There are two aspects related to these areas that are often overlooked but should be included in the development of your career strategy: professional objectives and personal values.
- What kind of role would be the ideal job at this point in your career? Job titles can be helpful; however, due to the wide range used in the security profession, it is better to focus on describing and rank-ordering the work and any related activities that really interest you.
- What are five specific objectives you want to see in a possible job?
- What are your long-term career objectives? This will depend on what point you are currently at in your career and should target clearly listed goals for five, 10 and 15 years out.
- What adverse factors or possible barriers are there to attaining these objectives? Be honest and list anything you feel would get in the way of your career. Is there anything you can do to correct or overcome these issues?
Consider and rank or prioritize those areas that are important in your career choices:
- Life Style – Unifying areas such as career, family, hobbies and personal interests.
- Power – Controlling things around you; impacting the organization.
- Independence and Autonomy – Being able to operate independently with few rules or restrictions.
- Leadership and Management – Leading and managing others and owning the responsibility for the results.
- Technical Expertise – Developing a strong set of skills within a specific area or function.
- Service – Contributing to the beneficial welfare of others through worthwhile causes.
- Friendship – Maintaining important relationship and being liked by others.
- Security – Having stability and predictability; not having worries regarding your future financially.
- Challenge – Desire to take on tough problems within your chosen field of endeavor.
- Wealth – Accumulating larger the average amounts of money beyond what is needed.
Consider these questions and work through the exercise on personal values. Together they will provide you a strong foundation for next steps. You will feel more confident as you consider career objectives and will be better prepared for future job interviews if you decide it is time to conduct a search for a new position.