Inward – skills, interests and values
This step is often overlooked, but is probably the most fundamental key to successful career development.
What are my skills and competences?
Besides the specialized knowledge and methodological skills you possess within your field, you have also developed a broad range of more generic skills such as project management, problem solving, scientific communication, teaching/supervising etc. These are often referred to as transferable skills since they can be applied to many different jobs and situations.
Do I enjoy doing all the things I am skilled at, or do I prefer some things over others?
To make the most of yourself and your capacity, it is a good idea to look for occupations that are compelling to you both in regard to your talents and to your inner driving forces. Take a few minutes to think about what makes you really motivated and inspired. When was the last time you experienced “flow” at work, i.e. when time flew, not in a stressful way, but because you were really involved in and enthusiastic about what you were doing? What were you doing at the time?
What is important to me when it comes to work environment, flexibility, job security and other factors?
Values are beliefs and ideas that are important to you and that guide your actions. These values are an essential part of who we are, and thus of fundamental importance when planning your career. If you do not find an occupation or work environment that fulfills your most prominent work values, you are not very likely to find your job particularly satisfying.