Know yourself and your strengths

The key to career planning is recognising your competences and strengths. Competence consist of your knowledge, skills and personal attributes. In order to be successful in job seeking, you must know how to market your areas of competence to an employer.

In order for you to be able to tell others about your areas of competence, you must first know what you can do. If you can also give grounds and examples of what your areas of competence comprises (for example, education + work experience), it is easier for the employer to assess the added value you would bring with you and why they should hire you out of all applicants.

Factors affecting your areas of competence include:

• education
• work experience
• language skills
• hobbies
• organisational activities
• positions of trust
• other special skills
• work or study experiences abroad

What things matter to you?
When planning your career, it is important to think of your values, interests and dreams. They will provide you with a meaningful direction for your career and you will be able to justify your motivation in the job-seeking process.

• Which things truly interest and motivate you?
• How are values evident in your choices or actions?
• Do your values perhaps rule out some career alternatives?

When you can work according to your own values, you will feel increasingly comfortable in the work environment and will be able to express yourself better. Therefore, it is worthwhile being aware not only of your own values but also the values of companies and organisations that interest you.

Put yourself on the line
Your personality plays a part in career planning, job-seeking and work. While searching for a job, you will encounter questions related to your personality, such as "describe yourself" and "what are your most important characteristics".

You may like think about your own personality through next questions:

• What are you key personality traits?
• How do these traits make you different from the others?
• How are these traits expressed in various situations? Give examples.
• What are your key roles/operating models?
• How would your fellow students/workers, employer or friends describe you?
• What changes have noticed in yourself over time or when moving from one situation to the next?
• What aspects of yourself would you like to develop further? How could you develop these aspects?
• How does your personality affect your career planning, job-seeking and work?
• In your opinion, what kinds of duties/field are you best suited to? Why?