Our new book Look Out Above! examines the critical soft skills required for professional success: Contribute, Write, Present, Pitch, Lead, and Advocate. We also explore the transformation process as you develop confidence and learn to trust your own judgment.
Thanks for taking the assessment. Here’s how you scored on each skill:
Please see below tailored material in the area where the assessment shows you could use the most improvement.
It looks like you could use some help learning how to use your work experience to become your best personal self. Let’s start by thinking about your big picture. What do you want out of your work? What does worklife success look like for you? To stimulate your thinking, we offer this definition of worklife success:
I’m achieving worklife success when I am becoming good at something I enjoy doing, in an environment I enjoy, for the benefit of myself and others.
Success means feeling good about where you are. Even if you see your current job as part of a grander plan, you’re where you want to be, at least for now. You’re excited about what you’re doing, where you’re doing it, and with whom. Success means developing expertise at something. Which, of course, takes time. Success is about yourself and about others. Early in your career you’re not as likely to be concerned about others as you are about becoming self-supporting and finding work you enjoy. Ultimately, however, as you progress you may be unsatisfied if you don’t create some benefit beyond yourself.
So, what is your definition of success, at least for now? Your vision could be as simple as making a certain amount of money every year. Or using specific skills that you enjoy using and want to develop further. It could be creating your own business, or working a job that allows you to develop the skills and knowledge to later become your own boss. Your vision could be to work a set number of hours, or to work outdoors, or from home. Maybe you want to live near family and friends, or in a certain city with a stimulating culture and nightlife. Your vision of a successful worklife will involve multiple items, and their combination will be uniquely yours.
Now, get specific. However you define success, and whatever it is you decide to seek, describe it to yourself as clearly as possible and probe why it’s what you want to pursue. Write down your thoughts. Considering specifics will help you sharpen your vision as you gravitate to the opportunities, people, and resources you seek. It will also help you prioritize what is and isn’t important and spur you on when motivation flags. Discontent with where you are may be a signal that you’re off course in realizing your vision and need to reset.
An intense desire to achieve something for a purpose you value deeply, and can articulate, trumps a wouldn’t-it-be-nice-if dream. In times of discontent and discouragement, which you can count on, knowing and reaffirming your “why” may provide the motivation to keep going. If you can’t find a “why” that resonates, question whether this vision or goal has sufficient meaning for you to be achieved. A “why” that has meaning should strongly propel you.
Take some time to complete this exercise – it’s incredibly valuable! When you’re satisfied with your vision, pick up your copy of Look Out Above! and skip straight to Chapter Seven for the next steps. And while you have the book, check out the other chapters, too! We promise they’re worth your while.