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Self-Awareness

At the end of this block of study, you should be able to:

6.31 identify the person who is in charge of your career.
6.32 State the factors that constitute a successful career.
6.33 Discuss the elements that should be evaluated when looking for a job.
6.34 Explain the relationship of a per son's self-esteem with his or her personal image.
6.35 Contrast the similarity between goal-setting and the visualization process.
6.36 Outline a list of factors that should be included in analyzing your chosen career.


Do all you can to understand yourself. The more you understand yourself, the more likely you will be able to make decisions about your career role and career path. One of the greatest gifts we can have is the ability to see ourselves as others see us. Reality is not what you or I think it is. It simply is what it is, and the more closely we can manage our careers in accordance with reality the greater the return for our efforts.

The business of getting inside yourself, of learning how to learn the real you is one of life's most perplexing puzzles. You must accept that you and you alone are in control of your career, not your parents, teachers, or peers. As a general rule, the earlier you set goals, make a commitment, and take action, the greater the long-term results. You must not view career planning in terms of today, next week, or next year, but as a long, unfolding journey. Students demonstrating work spirit have a sense that everything that they have ever done contributes to what they are working toward. Long-term planning goal-setting, sacrifice, and patience are some of the qualities you must have in obtaining a successful career.

Too many people overlook the fact that they must select companies, as well as have companies select them. Too many workers are frustrated because they did not take the time to determine what will make them happy at work. You have the right to select work environments that will make you happy. You select one company over another by looking for certain qualities In each. Other factors to consider about future work are the city where you want to work, the company's goals, people who you want to work with (research oriented, extroverted, or introverted), the salary, and position you want. Another factor you may want to consider is how working there will affect your personal life. Today, many companies are concerned with workers' productivity and have instituted flexible work programs for their employees.

Once you have selected the company, you must find out who can hire you: manager, supervisor, director, department chairperson, or agency head. To locate corporate presidents, directors, and vice presidents, use the Dun and Bradstreet's Book of Corporate Management. To find presidents or directors in other companies, look in annual reports, brochures, or catalogs, or call the companies and ask for their names.

One requirement for success is people proficiency, the ability and desire to understand other people and to communicate with them effectively. Developing positive habits and skills depends on your self esteem. Building your self-esteem Is the most important shortcut of all to success. It will change your entire approach to life When your self-esteem is high, you face problems by solving them instead of placing blame. A high self-esteem means putting yourself out there instead of hanging back and wondering. It means when you fall, you learn from it and try again and again until you succeed.

With a healthy self-esteem, you'll find more meaning in your life. You will face your day-to-day challenges with confidence. Also, the better you feel about yourself, the better other people feel about you. You will have more confidence to meet new people and deal more effectively with the negative-thinking people in your life.

You have influence over a low self-esteem. Listed below are some ways to build a positive self-esteem.

1. Talk Yourself Up. There's a voice inside your head that chatters constantly. That voice, your "self-talk," is integral to your self-esteem. Too often it's negative. However, you can reprogram your inner voice to build your self-esteem and create success patterns. The technique is to make positive statements. Make the statements in the present tense and with conviction. Anytime you hear your inner voice starting to put you down, stop it and substitute a positive statement on the same subject. Even though these statements may not be technically true at that instant, telling yourself they are is the first step toward making them so.

2. Visualize the "new you." You should imagine yourself as if the improvement has already happened. Here you are using pictures instead of words. Want to be an "A" student? Visualize yourself as an "A" student. Spend time with your image, going over the details and enjoying the new you. When you create and reinforce that image constantly, it will be easier to adopt the behaviors that support it.

3. Start small in most (but not all) cases. The natural inclination when making changes In your life is to get excited about it and go all out. You want to be a high achiever so you regiment your life so strictly there's no chance to goof off. While it's healthy to get excited about new commitments, it is usually impossible to keep them when they're so rigorous. The first time you fall, you lose your enthusiasm and revert to your old ways. it's generally best to make major, permanent changes one step at a time. That way it's not such a shock to your system, and each small victory reinforces your commitment to making the next step.

4. Find people you can learn from. Obviously there are thousands of people who have faced the same problems and challenges you face. You can learn a lot by using them as examples. If so, you may be able to develop a mentor relationship with this person. A mentor is your own personal teacher, counselor, and guide. Usually it is someone who has been there, who recognizes your potential, and who is willing to make a commitment to helping you achieve your goal. You also can learn from role models. A role model is someone you have never met but who has characteristics you admire and emulate. Find out about the figures of history that have intrigued you the most. Read the biographies of these people. Make it a hobby to become an expert on them. Don't limit your role models to great people. There are many wonderful stories of ordinary people who have found a way to rise to the extraordinary challenges of life.

5. Set goals. People who set clear, vivid, measurable goals get what they want. Goal setting is a critical part of building positive habits and a high self-esteem. Reaching career goals requires focusing on them and taking appropriate action. The key to the whole concept of goal-setting is commitment, without which no doors will open for you and none of life's treasure chests will be unlocked. You must fully dedicate yourself to achieving your goals. Setting career goals will not guarantee success, but evidence strongly supports the theory that goal attainment is far more likely if those goals are clearly Identified.

6. Accept the bad times in life. We have more control of our lives than we often think. Yet there is a level at which we have no control, and this means there is still a lot of senseless, random pain and injustice flying around. It makes sense to accept that from time to time some of it is going to hit us. There is nothing we did to invite It, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. You can use moments of low self-esteem to your advantage. Depression, the blues, and anxiety alert you that something is wrong in your life. Once you have this signal, you should start correcting or recharting your course. With pain comes growth, and the growth not only makes the pain hurt less, it also makes it useful and meaningful.

7. Associate with positive-thinking. people. Low self-esteem makes people passive, then bitter, and ultimately they seem to take more pleasure in suffering over their problems than in solving them. Be careful when you're around people like this because their affliction is contagious. Make it your goal to surround yourself with positive-thinking people, people who are excited about life and its possibilities. They’ll support you in your growth and allow you to support them in theirs. That's a big part of what life and friendship are all about.

There are several planning strategies for making your goals into a reality. One of the simplest and most effective ways to achieve your goals is to channel the power of your imagination through the visualization process.

Sit back in your chair, take a deep breath relax, and allow your eyes to close. To help you relax, focus your attention on your breathing, noticing how you inhale and exhale. Just take note of it, without trying to change anything about the way you are breathing.

Mentally visualize your chosen career.

Imagine the career progressing exactly as you wish. Imagine people saying exactly what you would like to hear them say.

Imagine you have all the confidence, poise, wisdom, information, and persuasiveness you need.

Use as many of your senses—sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell—as you can to make the scene as real as possible.

Visualization often takes time to emerge and grow. Throughout the day, visualization is useful for short-term goals.

Successful people are constantly looking for new ways to impact their environment. When you take the initiative, you experience the good feelings of accomplishment and control over your life. If you want to do well in life, adopt the "do-something" philosophy. Winners are separated from losers simply by what they achieve.

Take charge of planning your career Every new action and every initiative involve a risk. earn to learn from your failures. Superachievers generally have a long list of failures behind them.

Facial expression, personal space, body language, and appearance affect your personal image.

A broad, friendly smile puts across an image of trust that will serve you wells in addition to smiling look the other person directly in the eyes.

Your demeanor tells others how you feel about yourself. An erect, relaxed demeanor promises confidence and competence. Watch out or nervous habits. Drumming your fingers or pushing back your fingernail cuticles are signs of nervousness or a lack of confidence.

The amount of space needed for a person to feel comfortable depends on the person and the situation in the professional world, standing too close to someone generally means that you feel you have more power than the other person. It usually makes people uncomfortable and should be used only when you need to assert yourself. On the other hand, a person who continually backs away may seem afraid or untrustworthy. Judge the space with which another person feels comfortable rather than your own distance.

Clothing, hairstyle, and accessories are important elements of how you appear to others. Dark colors are still preferred in professional clothing especially for men. Once you are employed, observe how the women in the organization dress. If the powerful women always wear suits, take your cue from them and avoid wearing dresses or slacks. Jewelry should be simple, preferably gold, and never loud. Women should wear their hair short to mid length and neat. Fingernails should look manicured for both men and women. Men also should pay close attention to such parts of the wardrobe as shoes and ties. Conservative clothes generally are safe in almost any office situation. Dress to blend in with the other professionals. Let your work stand out, not your fashion.

REVIEW EXERCISE

 


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Updated: March 12, 2004