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#Employability101: Look for yourself before looking for a job

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Many people wake up each day lurking around their world hoping to discover a treasure box that will lead to ultimate prosperity. Unfortunately, they do not know that our world is looking for those who have discovered themselves.

The first thing job seekers do is to look for jobs. They are convinced that their problem is their inability to find jobs or in some cases the unavailability on jobs.

This may prove to be untrue, basically because, the first step to job search is personal search. Jobs exist for people. People don’t exist for jobs. The first person the job seeker should have an appointment with is not the interviewer or the Curriculum Vitae coach. The first of such persons is with self.

Nigeria’s ace writer Chinua Achebe was admitted into the university to study medicine. He crossed to English and Religion one year after although he was the best student in the country at the time. He understood that although he had a great aptitude in the sciences, his personality, interests, passion and motivation lies in the arts.

Job search without personal discovery is like looking for treasure in the jungle without a map. Material, physical and intellectual resources will be wasted yet success will still be in hindsight.

Employees in an organization are like farm implements. The cutlass is best suited for cutting, the sickle for harvesting grains, the hand trowel for transplanting and so on. What colossal failure awaits the farmer who uses the rake for digging. Before presenting yourself to the farmland of work, understand what implement you are and what you’re best suited for.

Self discovery involves understanding who you are, your personality, values, skills and interest.

While personality is an explanation of who you really are with respect to motivation, drive, attitude et al, values represent what you stand for, the things that are important to you. Interests represent the myriad of things that catch your amusement, those you enjoy doing while skills describe your aptitude, the things you’re good at doing.

As a job seeker, you have to answer the immortal question ‘who am I?’ It is the same answer that interviewers seek when the ask ‘Can we meet you?’ It is the same answer they seek when they ask of your strengths and weaknesses. It is the same thing they need for the job.

World leading companies don’t just hire for technical excellence, the hire the person not the role. Ask Pwc (Price water Copper), P&G, Google, Apple and microsoft. They are all looking for people who have a self definition and not just those who need a job, any kind of job.

Self discovery helps you answer the questions concerning your strength and weaknesses, your interests and passion, your values and beliefs, who you are and what you want out of life.

Until these questions are correctly answered and the answers are personally satisfying enough, every other search is an exercise in futility.

As a matter of practicality, do provide the answers to the following questions:

What matters most to me and why?
What are my strengths?
What are my weaknesses?
What three things do I usually find faults in whenever I see other people do?
Which things inspire me?
Which things challenge my persons?
In what areas can I not tolerate mediocrity?

The answers to these questions may be tough. Yet, in them lie your life long key to career success.

Below are a list of tools to help you navigate your way better towards self discovery.

Myer-Briggs Type Indicator
Holland’s Theory of Vocational Personalities and Work Environments


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