“Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves — their strengths, their values, and how they best perform.”
~ Peter Drucker
Most people by their mid-20s, and perhaps well into their 30s, are deeply engaged in the process of career-building. This process is pretty much non-negotiable, and if one does not deliberately seek out a fitting and fulfilling career, one will simply be forced upon them in due time. It is therefore important to assess oneself to identify the career that maximizes one’s potential.
“You should not change yourself, but create yourself, that means building around your strengths and removing bad habits.”
~ Peter Drucker
The first step to the effective management of oneself is to understand how one works on a deeper level. Most people are unaware of their innate strengths and weaknesses, and therefore do not pursue endeavours that optimally align with their personality and disposition. To start, one must first answer several questions which help specify their areas of competency: how one performs, how one learns, what one’s core values are, and what one wishes to contribute through their work. How any given individual performs is as unique as one’s personality and is a component that is often neglected. Certain individuals thrive in hierarchical systems, perhaps with a boss or superior, whilst others are most productive during independent and free work. Some are smooth talkers, whilst others may excel through writing out solutions to problems. Knowing how you best perform will help identify the types of work that highlight one’s strengths, which should be doubled down on. How one learns is equally as important. Organized schooling, self-education and learning through teaching are among the many ways that we are able to develop skills and integrate new information. Choosing a career with a learning medium that resonates with you will help you advance quicker and will improve the quality of your work. Values, outside the question of ethics, are also vital in identifying the type of work that will bring you most satisfaction and is therefore sustainable in the long term — your core values should be compatible with the corporation or field in which you work. Lastly, what you aspire to contribute through your work should help you choose the type of work you pursue. Ideally, given your strengths, values and way of performing, you should aim to contribute in a way that is personally fulfilling and completes the objectives that push the overall vision of the project forward.
In conclusion, it is best to start identifying your strengths, weaknesses, values and method of performing now, and let it guide you towards the best fitting career. When all these components are optimized, the level of contribution and personal satisfaction with one’s work will be maximized.