Self-Awareness is Power

To know oneself is, above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against Truth, and not the other way around. The first product of self-knowledge is humility.
— Flannery O’Connor

One of the reasons I believe so much in the resume is not because it's necessary for 99% of jobs out there. It's because the process of writing a resume requires you to be self-aware. In order to craft a (great) resume, you must know what value you bring to a company, what differentiates you from others, but most importantly, you must know what makes you tick. 

In order to be able to articulate why you're the most qualified or the best suited for a role, you must know what makes you uniquely you. That, my friends, is what moves hiring managers and what propels careers.

Those who lack self-awareness are like people walking down a dark hallways, feeling their way as they go. Those who possess self-awareness are like people who flip on a light switch and walk straight for their destination. The analogy may be weak, but the truth is not.

Self-awareness is powerful. 

So how does one go about obtaining self-awareness? Well...it's not for the faint of heart. Most people don't like introspection, which self-awareness requires. Most people don't require the level of humility self-awareness requires. Most people don't have the courage to solicit feedback and keep their finger on the pulse of their perception, which self-awareness requires. This is why those with self-awareness win. Every time. 

Here are a few quick tips which we'll unpack down the road. Also subscribe to the Career Rocket newsletter for free tips and tricks to take your career to new heights! 

  • Ask for feedback - from superiors, subordinates, peers, family, and friends.  
    • Have a trusted group that you can go to for feedback on an ongoing basis and who have permission to call you out if they see you acting in a way that doesn't support your goals. Trust, boundaries, and communication are key.  
    • Listen! don't react to justify or clarify. just listen and thank them for their feedback. Be honest if there is a topic that strikes a nerve, but rather than reacting negatively, commit to working on it. Invite them into the process if you're comfortable with it. Listen not to reply, but to learn. hearing isn't listening. Listen! 
    • Prepare yourself - you must make sure you establish a safe space for people to provide feedback. This in and of itself requires self-awareness. Know your triggers and get yourself in the right mindset to take the feedback. If you aren't feeling like you'll be able to handle it, push it back until you're in, and create, a safe place. 
  • Learn about your personality, leadership, and communication styles
    • There is an endless array of personality typologies; don't over-analyze, just pick one and go. The more you know about how you're wired the better. 
    • Leadership styles are often taught in large corporations. If you have the ability to take one through your employer, do it. If not, find one and take it. This is critical for aspiring and growing leaders, but title doesn't make you a leader - this is important for any level of employee to understand. 
    • Your ability to clearly communicate can take you to new heights or keep you operating below your potential. Learning how you naturally communicate and being sensitive to to the communication style of those you're communicating with can unlock all sorts of upside.