If you are reading this section, you should have some perspective about what you like and do not like, what you do well and not so well, and characteristics that are important for you to understand about yourself in the workplace. You will now begin to assimilate everything that you have learned about yourself thus far. You are not expected to have the answer to your long-standing question, “What should I do with my career?” but you should have some idea about the types of occupations that you want to learn more about.
The Value of Reflection
You need time to put facts and ideas into a sequence so that you can better understand what you have learned about yourself. The purpose of this section is to provide practical suggestions for encouraging you to reflect on your experiences: to think about them, write about them, share them with others, and learn from them. Many people would rather skip over the reflection process because it can be timely, but we do not recommend it. Engaging in reflection will give you many benefits including:
♣ Critical thinking and problem solving. By reflecting on everything that you have learned you will be prepared to generate alternative career choices and anticipate consequences if any road blocks appear during your change process.
♣ Learning to learn from experience. Reflection allows you to observe, ask questions, and put facts, ideas, and experiences together to add new meaning to them all.
♣ Awareness of changes in oneself. Reflection provides you an opportunity to share successes and failures, to call on the help and advice, and to gain support, recognition, and a sense of being in control.
♣ Taking charge of your career. Learning from experience gives you the power to take charge of your life and direct your career in a meaningful way to you.
Gaining insight about your career quest may require intervention from a professional trained in career development who is prepared to pose questions and propose strange or even uncomfortable ideas for consideration by you. It is a good idea to carve out special time just for reflection.