Here’s the thing about self awareness. If you are pretty self aware, you likely are in good shape: if you’re not, you likely need to work on it but are not aware that you need to do so. Beginning to think empathetically about those around you (Something un self aware folks often lack) is an essential step in this direction. So, as a self test, you can spend some time reflecting on how you interact with folks and how they appear to perceive you. What do they care about? Have your framed your conversation in a way that communicates reasonable care? Do you know what your foibles are and have you figured out a way to manage them?
Personality assessments have been around a long time and are the provenance of fully discredited physiognomy, phrenology and eugenics. They became popular after making employees take polygraph (Lie detector) tests – another discredited technology and multiplied faster than the Covid virus in a crowded bar as modern management became a legitimate study focus. All have a number of challenges, the core being that both the completion of the assessment and its evaluation are subjective processes and should be viewed mostly as descriptive tools. They can be helpful in generating self awareness in an individual.
Even the crazy man is predictable in his craziness. When you are looking for your next gig, planning on make a career change, or thinking about the path you will take in your current career, stick to your persona. Who are you? Knowing this will help you plan and make steps that are consistent, healthy and organic. In a weird way, we live to fulfill our stereotype; humans think in clusters and in patterns – jobs are not different.
The term “Emotional Intelligence” (EQ) was coined in the early ’60s and does not refer to intelligence at all. Rather, characteristics it describes may be: a. learned skills; b. A behavior base; c. a form of knowledge; d. a measure of cultural conformity; or e. adherence to moral precepts. The idea that understanding others and being able to work with them, or perhaps manipulate them, is an essential trait for senior managers working with teams. Indeed, High EQ has mixed correlation with productivity. High EQ is correlated with better mental and physical health.
In America, work is pretty much a religion. Attention to five major components of your life: a. work; b. family; c. health; d. civic involvement; and e. spiritual is worth paying and will benefit you in the long run. This is easier said than done: work is extremely demanding and a priority in our culture and it can be extremely difficult to find time for other life components. And, different stages in life bring different demands so it is best to fit even a small piece of the five life components into your activities while being realistic about what is possible. No need to burden yourself with another set of unachievable goals.