Finding your center of gravity

Uncovering your values – what matters most to you – is how to start building your roadmap to a career change. And, that list is probably too vague to give you a practical sense of exactly where to go on that map!

The next level of self-reflection is developing more awareness about how you show up in the world and how you engage with others. This kind of information is an important foundation of how you will present yourself in applications – and especially in interviews.

There are a number personality assessments out there which can help you understand your center of gravity in terms of how you work, how you process information, how you work with others, how you stay motivated. They can provide a good place to start – and later, an effective way to know whether the opportunities in front of you will be a good fit. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Enneagram – a more holistic description of how you approach the world, which can provide some incredible self-understanding (if you’re ready for that kind of work!).
  • DISC – more commonly used in work settings, it helps you understand if you lean toward driving for results, enthusiastically building relationships, providing stability, or conscientiously following process.
  • Four Tendencies – this one zeroes in on how you respond to internal and external expectations, and how those help you get things done (or don’t!).

I like to think of these as helpful information, which might confirm some gut feelings you have – rather than something that scientifically labels who you are for all time. Each of us adapts and evolves with each new environment we work or live in, and we are all capable of broadening our way of being in the world.

Where these kinds of self-assessments come in handy is in reminding you how you tend to operate – and providing you with the opportunity to better explain yourself and what you bring to the table.

A few questions to reflect on:

  • How has it served you to work from this center of gravity? What accomplishments have come about as a result? What are you proud of?
  • How has your center of gravity limited what you could do or accomplish? What examples can you think of where you missed out on an opportunity?
  • How can you use the knowledge of your center of gravity to inform your career move? What past jobs or companies have been a good fit for you, and which ones haven’t been?
  • Knowing what you know now, how can you use your center of gravity in a positive way? What will you do differently in your next job?

What do you think?

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