professional self (11)

More questions

Working out your professional self

Here are a few more questions about your professional self for you to consider:

What five adjectives would you choose and like others to choose to describe you, as a professional?


What will you do more of to become or improve the above qualities in your life?

What will you do less of to become or improve the above qualities in your life?

With respect to your professional self, what is the relationship, if any, between doing...(continued)

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Reflect on tests you've taken

Reflecting on the outcomes of personality and aptitude tests you have taken:

  1. What do they tell you that you already knew?
  2. What do they tell you that you didn't already know?
  3. What do they tell you that you don't think is true?
  4. What do you think about yourself as a professional person that the tests did not reveal?
  5. What evidence in your own behaviour and thinking patterns can you point to that supports your beliefs about yourself?

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Richard Bolles's Flower Diagram

What color is your parachute?

The most well-known and regarded job-hunting guide for the past twenty years or more remains Richard Nelson Bolles's book, What Color is Your Parachute? (Ten Speed Press, New York). Along with its accompanying websites, including, the book is updated at least every year and offers comprehensive but accessible approaches to job hunting and career strategy.

WCIYP is written in a chatty, casual tone, so you don't always get quickly...(continued)

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Dweck's mindset challenge

Take a mindset challenge

Researcher, author and professor of psychology at Stanford University, Carol Dweck offers the following exercise to her students (paraphrased from her TED Talk):

  1. Project yourself 20 to 30 years into the future, to a time and place in which you've achieved your life's major goals, contributions and achievements.
  2. Write a letter to an old friend you may not have seen for a long time, and in it, outline all the difficulties, challenges, obstacles and setbacks you...(continued)

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What about personality testing?

History of tests

The modern history of personal intelligence tests dates back to statistician Francis Galton's now often ridiculed efforts in the 1880s. In the late 1880s and early 1900s, psychologists, Alfred Binet and Thodore Simon developed more convincing IQ testing methods . During World War One, the United States Army became the first large scale user of workplace testing.

While questions remain about the effectiveness and applicability of all such tests, test types have proliferated,...(continued)

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Keeping yourself up-to-date

Keeping yourself agile and up to date

Managing your career well begins long before you want to change your job or career. Derek Rowntree presents some 20 checklists grouped under six areas of career management: planning your career, your job, your manager, your competencies, staying current and your ethics.

Given you are pursuing higher education, you are already doing something useful to ensure your skills are relevant to ongoing changes in your industry and field, but this is likely...(continued)

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On changing careers

Managing your pace of change

If you are changing career, as opposed to merely progressing in a continuing career, Bolles offers sound advice (2013: 176-8). We have shortened and adapted some of it below:

  1. Research a career before choosing it. Meet and talk with people already working in the field you're considering.
  2. Take more time, rather than less, to consider and make better decisions about your options and potential new directions.
  3. As much as you can, enjoy the searching process, using...(continued)

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Do you feel intimidated?

Some potentially intimidating facts

First, a couple of potentially intimidating facts. For some jobs, employers receive hundreds, even thousands of applications (including annual graduate intakes of sought-after corporations, government agencies and other popular organisations). The number of followers of some job search Twitter handles, runs into the tens and even hundreds of thousands. While it would seem a fair hope to work in a job related to your research discipline and qualification,...(continued)

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