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The single biggest mistake people make when selecting a career is to try to make that decision without a comprehensive understanding of their own abilities.
Only when this self-knowledge is uncovered is the foundation set to make a quality career decision.
Without it, workers flounder. Many go through their entire life without a clear understanding of what their best gifts and abilities are. And they pay the price with unfulfilling work-life, year in year out.
The purpose of this assessment is to provide you with this self-knowledge in regards to the world of work. And to provide the foundation that will allow you to select jobs that match the activities you are most motivated in.
There is something wonderfully exciting about a life where you get to go to work each day in a job that you truly love.
The DCF incorporates the best system that I know of to truly find out what your greatest gifts and abilities are.
It is a system that has been used worldwide for many years and has proven to be very accurate at helping you understand yourself in regards to the world of work.
This career assessment exercise does take a lot longer than the quick online career tests, but it is usually time well spent.
Quality Takes a Little Longer
You are about to examine some of your past achievements – things that you have enjoyed doing and that in some way felt you were good at.
What we are going to finish up with is approximately eight short articles (perhaps 1 – 2 pages each) outlining your accomplishments in your life to date.
This step-by-step exercise involves looking back over your life for experiences which have brought tremendous satisfaction to you and then dissecting those achievements to discover which skills you used that were common among the various achievements.
There is nearly always a correlation between things we enjoy doing and things we are good at.
There are exceptions to this, but mostly this rule stands.
“I just got paid handsomely for an hour and a half of work. If you want to call it work. It was fun. And here I am holding a big pile of dollar bills going ‘Gee this isn’t so bad’. I mean, doing hair is about my second favourite thing in the world at this point and I’m getting paid for it.”A contented hairdresser who found her Dream Career, as stated to Henderson
It is important to distinguish between achievements where you felt you did well and enjoyed, as against those where other people thought you did well.
We are not interested, whether other people thought you did well at it.
The final litmus test is “Did I enjoy it”.
Of course, there may well be accomplishments that you enjoyed very much and other people thought you did well at.
But be careful to distinguish between these two aspects when working through this exercise.
What Sort of Achievements Are We Talking about?
These accomplishments may involve:
- any jobs or parts of jobs you enjoyed during your working career
- projects at school
- things that you did as a child
- work you did with volunteer groups during your spare time
- …and anything else that could in the broadest sense of the word, be regarded as an achievement
But they must be activities; things that you actually did rather than things you observed or were passive in.
For example, I had a fun holiday at Christmas time, would not qualify.
However, if you wanted to use an example like this to explain how you planned and prepared for the holiday and how it involved setting up a savings fund, coordinating other people and resources, and the logistics of taking some specialist equipment to the holiday location, then this type of example would be fine.
The key component is that the achievement must be something you actually did. Something that you were actively involved in.
[See example below.]
Everyone Has Something to Offer
Don’t be concerned if you feel you have never had opportunities like other people to achieve in life.
It is still usual for these innate skills and abilities to show themselves no matter what your background, education or upbringing.
The DCF should not disadvantage you if you feel you have not had many opportunities in life so far.
That is a very encouraging aspect of human design in relation to your inborn job skills.
It means that not only was everybody born with inborn abilities, but everyone can identify some of these in themselves, irrespective of their background.
It should become obvious, as you work through this career assessment when you have identified one of your natural motivations.
It will usually bring a degree of excitement or passion and cause your heart to skip a beat as you revisit yourself in a role using these skills.
If at first, you cannot easily think of any past achievements that fit these criteria, do not think you might be an exception and that there is nothing you are good at or really love to do.
Often, this may be simply because you have never taken the time to work through this type of exercise.
After completing it, I’m sure you will no longer feel this way.
I don’t believe there is a person on earth who does not have some wonderful and unique abilities to offer the world.
Everyone Has Something to Offer
A number of years ago while enrolled in a training program, I had the opportunity of being in contact with a Down’s Syndrome person. [I’ll call him: Rodney].
Rodney was in his early twenties but had a mental capability of someone many years younger.
Some may wonder what possible gifts or abilities would a person like Rodney have to offer.
It soon became apparent that not only did he possess a valuable talent, but it was one which I have not seen so strongly exhibited before in another person.
When he used this gift, he dramatically benefited the recipients and others around him.
It was something he did naturally without even knowing, but I’m sure others could see what I saw in him.
What was this ability?
Rodney had an unusual knack of diminishing tension among people.
When conversations got a bit heated, he would often just happen to arrive on the scene when some dispute or disagreement was brewing. With only one or two comments, he was able to demolish the tense atmosphere and reduce tension among those present.
I noticed that it immediately caused the people involved to take a step back and begin to see things from a more balanced perspective.
Attitudes changed and a sense of relative peace usually took over.
Rodney carried a joy for living which often put me to shame.
He loved his simple life and his gifting allowed others to reassess the often wasted energy involving trivial conflicts with other people.
DCF Exercise: Step 1
In this first step, you are simply going to try and remember some activities or achievements you have done in your life that you have really enjoyed. Accomplishments that you have received a sense of fulfillment from.
Many people find it helpful when looking back over their lives for these activities, to break down their past into blocks. This just makes it easier to remember what was going on during that period in their life.
In the table below we have used five-year blocks to help you think back to this time in your life.
[If you under 25 years old you may find it easier to use 2 to 3 year periods, for example, fit it to your own circumstances].
The sole purpose of this table is to help you remember your enjoyable activities.
Once you have remembered them, then we will begin to investigate them more fully.
WE ARE ALL BLESSED WITH GOD GIVEN TALENTS.SUGAR RAY LEONARD US OLYMPIC CHAMPION AND PROFESSIONAL BOXER
MINE JUST HAPPENS TO BE BEATING PEOPLE UP
If you have a fantastic memory and don’t feel you need this table to jog your memory, then don’t bother with it however do try to select achievements from different periods in your life.
Ideally, you would need 4 to 5 different activities for each time frame.
These activities can be from any area of your life, education, work or leisure so long as they were enjoyable to you.
|Period||Age||Where I Lived||Where I Worked, Who My Friends Were||Achievements [what specific activities did I do and enjoy during this time]|
|2000 to 2006||29-33||Kennys Rd|
– Video business
– Mark J.
– Business broker
– Youth group
– Student [formal]
– Greg F
– Purchased new home
– Went camping in the mountains with baby and friends
– Organized and ran weekend youth camp
– Wallpapered new sleep out
– Evaluation and research on business purchase
|1997 to 2000|
DCF: Step 2: Before You Discover You Have To Explore
Once you are confident you have a good number of achievements to work with ( about 15-20 in total), go back through your achievements column and choose one achievement you felt you enjoyed the most.
Write out your answers to the following five questions about that one achievement.
When answering these questions, err on the side of giving lots of details in your answers, rather than not enough.
You will see later that the more detail you can provide, the more beneficial it will be to identifying your inborn job skills in the next step.
These questions are really just an easy step-by-step way of you writing a small article about your achievement. So when you have answered the questions, go back and add to your answers by providing any other information you can that would turn this into a great little article about what you did. [See example below]
DCF Example: Here is an example of the Sort of Thing You Could Write When I was 23 years old, I owned a two store video business that had become quite successful. Once I was asked by the father of a local students club if I would be willing to come and speak at one of their breakfast meetings to explain how my business had become successful and some general keys to success that I think would benefit young people. This was a group of highly motivated young students who had decided that life was to be fully lived. They were bright, goal setting, achievement-oriented leaders of the future in our city. When I was asked to speak at this breakfast meeting, I became very excited. I have always had a passion to impart to people and in particular young people a positive, success-oriented outlook on life. I was, at that time also leading a church youth group and was equally passionate about how I could make a difference in these young people's lives. I immediately began to draft out some notes on the speech that I would give. I spent quite some time determining what were the most important things this young group of people needed to know. I drew information from a current goal-setting program that I was working on as well as information from a number of books I had read on success, goal setting, leadership and the Bible. Once I had the key elements of my speech prepared, I began to add to my talk by including examples and analogies that fitted the points I wanted to make. When I was comfortable that the speech notes were complete, I began practicing the delivery of the speech by writing out and memorizing the key points from 4x4 cards. I repeated this exercise, a number of times in the days leading up to the meeting and I repeatedly timed my talk to ensure I would fit inside the allotted breakfast session. Like anybody giving a talk in front of people, I was nervous when it came to the day. However, once I began, my nerves disappeared and in place, my emotions transformed into high energy and passion. I remember in the midst of my talk how much I was enjoying it and how much the students were receiving and responding to areas I was strongly encouraging them in. I particularly remember the sense of elation at the end of the talk. It is hard to comprehend that this much excitement and sense of fulfillment could be accomplished by simply delivering a speech to a group of students. But as I began to understand my motivations I could see that the fulfillment and satisfaction came from the opportunity to positively influence people to their maximum potential. And because this particular group of students was hungry for life's success strategies, it was a win-win situation for both parties. They enjoyed receiving and I enjoyed giving. The whole exercise was an absolute delight for me, and of course, this was not something I was being paid for.
DCF: Step 3
The Five Key Questions to Answer About Your Achievements
1. What introduced you to this activity? What thoughts or ideas motivated you towards doing it?
2. List everything you did to make this accomplishment come to pass.
What was the course of action you had to take to accomplish this achievement?
What were the various stages or steps you had to plan or execute to achieve this?
List everything you had to do (mentally, physically etc.) from start to finish. (see example above)
3. Include references to any other people who may have helped you. And why and how you enlisted their help.
Did you enjoy working with them? Why, why not?
What sort of people were they?
Include any particular information you had to obtain, research etc. either from books, online, people or any other source.
4. What was the final result? How did you feel when you finished and what did you learn about yourself from the activity.
5. What was it that you found particularly enjoyable or satisfying? Were there some particular parts of the accomplishment process that you enjoyed more than others?
When you have finished, mark the page as achievement/article No.1.
Repeat the Exercise
Now go back and repeat the exercise with another achievement. The one that you feel would rate as the second most enjoyable. (i.e) write another article by answering the above questions.
After you have repeated your second article, then complete another six articles in the same way, (that’s 8 in total) starting with your next most enjoyable achievement, then your third and so on until you have completed eight.
Number each article for easy reference.
You could do more or less than eight achievements if you wanted to.
However, eight seems to be a minimum number to uncover a good cross-section of skills, (which is the next step).
But if you are happy to, add another couple of achievements.
Once you get started, you’ll probably find you enjoy reliving these precious moments.
For most people, this is a very rewarding and enjoyable exercise.
The hardest part is usually getting started.
The figure is already there, I simply cast away the stone that covers itMichelangelo about creating magnificent monuments
Many years ago when I first completed the DCF, it dramatically increased my self-worth and my understanding of who I am in regards to the world of work.
Finding out your inborn job skills is the foundation for a successful job search and a successful career.
A builder will tell you that laying the foundation of a house that he is about to build is the most difficult and time-consuming stage of the project.
Even when he is finished the foundations, there is not much to see despite much hard work being put in.
But if the builder tries to shortcut the foundations and minimize this critical component of the building, this is the day he will go out of business.
DCF: Step 4: Uncovering Your Inborn Job Skills
Now we need to analyze each of your achievements to discover which of your inborn job skills you are most motivated in.
[Any skill that you have identified in any one of your achievements will be regarded from here on as a “job skill”]
To complete this next step, you will need to download and print off the career assessment job skills sheets.
They need to be printed off because you will use the check-boxes to work out your top job skills.
You’ll notice that the three job skills lists are marked “things”, “people” and “information”.
All job skills relate to one of these three areas.
Once you have printed these off, take the first activity you wrote about (your top rating achievement).
Using the career assessment job skills sheets (going down the page) place a check-in all the Achievement 1 Boxes that describe a skill you used in your number one achievement. If you used that skill put a check in the box next to it.
Check the box even if it was only a small part of your activity.
Make sure you claim all the skills you legitimately can.
May I warn you that many people fall down in this area.
They shy away from claiming job skills that they have in fact used. But because they feel they didn’t really use it that much, or that others demonstrate a higher level of use when they use the skill, they don’t mark it down.
Another person may have used a different degree of skill from yours, but this is not about comparing one person to the other.
It is simply about you and the skills you have used.
Please do not fall into this trap of not claiming a skill you have in fact used.
Claim it if you can.
Now Do Achievements 2-8
After you have finished checking the boxes in column number one (achievement No.1), go through the other seven achievements and repeat the exercise by putting checks in the boxes where you have used that skill.
When you have finished this, you will have checks all over the sheets. Now add across all the job skills rows and write the total number of checks in the ‘Totals’ column on the right of the page.
When you’re finished, you may notice that you have used the same skills in many of your achievements.
This is the root purpose of this exercise. To find out what skills have shown to be reoccurring in your life to date.
Have a look at what your top rated skills are based on the total number of checks.
After close reflection, you may decide that the skill with the highest number of checks may not be the skill you enjoy using the most.
Re-prioritize the skills on a 1-10 scale until you feel comfortable with the result. The skill you enjoy using the most, we will call skill No.1 and so on.
It is also interesting to note what proportions are associated with things or people or information.
You will also notice that there is a provision in the skill sheets to add some of your own detailed job skills descriptions.
You may well identify very specific skills that are not listed on the sheets.
Please add these in.
These sometimes can be the most used and enjoyed skills you have.
DCF: Step 5: Adding Depth to Your Skills Description
You now have a list of ten job skills in a brief format, but to add depth to your skills toolbox, you need to expand out these skills a little further to make them a bit more uniquely you.
Take each job skill and in your own words add a sentence or two so the skill is made more personal for you. Add in words that would describe the way you have used it and /or the way you feel you like to use it most.
You may even like to rework the original skill so you feel more comfortable with the language being used and how it relates to you.
Example- Expanded Job Skill Description
For example, if one of your top ten job skills was:
“producing, creating, formulating or devising original ideas or concepts”,
then your amended job skills description might read something like:
“being innovative, discovering new ideas particularly where an opportunity exists for making money or encouraging young people to greater heights, being able to see how a concept or idea could be transferred successfully to another application”
You will see that the more details you have, the more defined and clarified your job skills becomes both on paper and in your mind.
It’s in your mind that we ultimately want them, so when it comes to job interview day they will be easily remembered and articulated to an employer.
You may find a thesaurus or other language tool useful at this point to create the most accurate description of what your job skills are.
The Road Ahead
You should now have a reasonable understanding of what the skills are that motivate you the most in the world of work.
Your top three or four job skills will be the ones that you need to focus on from here on.
To achieve a real sense of significance and satisfaction in your work, it is imperative that you only consider long term career opportunities that primarily use your top 3-4 skills identified in this assessment.
Remember that if you are in a job where your strongest passions, motivations and job skills are being utilized, you will be more fulfilled and more likely to experience a greater sense of purpose.
Now that you know what the core job skills are that you need in your job, the next step is to find out what jobs utilize those job skills.
One way of doing this that I have found works quite well is to set up an informal brainstorming session with hand-picked friends, family and work colleagues etc…
Invite them to a shared meal, supper etc at your house, explaining that you would like to get their input on a career assessment program that you have just completed.
Then you simply write your top 3-4 skills up on a whiteboard and ask the question, ‘What job types come to mind when you think of these skills?’
The benefits of brainstorming an idea with many minds in the same room are well documented.
Nominate someone to take over the whiteboard and write down EVERYTHING that gets mentioned.
The key to a successful brainstorm to keep the creative juices flowing.
No one is allowed to criticize another’s contribution.
If you would like help with any aspect of completing this career assessment, please contact me.
For full details on my services, please see my services page.
Simon Davies Career Consultant
194 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes, Queensland Australia 4227
Phone Mobile (outside of Australia) +6148 1333 415
Phone Mobile (in Australia) 0481 333415