When it comes to navigating your career journey, one of the most important exercises you can do is identify your career themes. This can help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your strengths, and your unique value proposition to potential employers or colleagues.
In this post, we'll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to identify your career themes, including tips on approaching the process with the right mindset and tools to help you along the way.
Step 1: Create your Content
Start with a Change in Mindset
To identify your career themes, it's important to approach the process with the right mindset. Consider adopting a curious and open mindset that allows you to reflect on your personal experiences without judgment. Your personal experiences can include a wide range of factors, such as your location, hobbies, cultural background, upbringing, and more. By examining these experiences with an open mind, you can eventually develop themes that are unique to your career.
Articulate Your Self-Awareness - Who You Are
To identify your career themes, it's essential to articulate your self-awareness. Look at your personality, values, working styles, leadership skills, and strengths to help identify themes that have consistently shown up in your previous work. We have exercises for all four of these in Discovery. By understanding your themes, you can gain a better understanding of what motivates and drives you in your career. You can also reflect on how you make decisions and how you approach problem-solving to help identify your themes. Remember that your themes are unique to you.
Define Your Ideal Position - Where You Want to Go
Defining your ideal position is an important step in identifying your career themes. Look at categories such as company type, industry, location, function, seniority, title, culture, compensation, and benefits to define your ideal role. Discovery has 18 categories to choose from. The categories you choose will also help you identify the recurring themes in your career experiences.
Rewrite Your Professional Experience - What You Offer
When looking at your experience, you want to find a connection between all the work you have done to make it easier to describe what you have to offer. Look beyond the job description and think about the experiences that fully engaged you and gave you the most fulfillment and success. As you write these experiences, showcase what you have to offer in your ideal position and highlight the aspects that demonstrate why you would be successful in that role. This will help you connect your experiences to your self-awareness and ideal position, and showcase your unique strengths and value proposition to potential employers or colleagues.
Step 2: Generate Your Themes
Once you've created your content, it's time to generate your themes. Themes can come in many different forms, such as functional, industry-focused, leadership skills, values, personality, and business drivers. To generate your themes, look over all the content you've created and see if there were themes that consistently showed up in the work you did that provided success, and engagement, and focused on your strengths and fulfillment.
The goal in identifying your themes is to anchor your story and your conversations on the things that matter the most to you and then see if those match with a company. Rather than matching yourself to a company and moving further away from the real you.
Examples of themes used by Discovery Participants:
Function: Social Media Marketer, Executive Recruiter, Software Engineer, Chief of Staff, UX Designer
Industry and Function: Healthcare Technologist, Financial Services Marketer, HR Leader in Hospitality
Industry: Semiconductor Executive, Media Buyer, F&B Expert
Through Discovery, we provide a step-by-step process, tools, and examples to help you identify your career themes in a structured and professional manner. Our tools include exercises to articulate your self-awareness, define your ideal position, and rewrite your professional experience to highlight your unique strengths and value proposition.
Identifying your career themes is a critical exercise that can provide you with invaluable insights into yourself, your strengths, and your value proposition to potential employers or colleagues. As we've outlined in this step-by-step guide, identifying your themes involves four key steps: starting with a change in mindset, articulating your self-awareness, defining your ideal position, and rewriting your professional experience.
While this process may seem daunting, Discovery is here to provide you with the tools and guidance you need to identify your career themes in a structured and professional manner. Our exercises, tools, and examples will help you discover your unique strengths and value proposition and align them with the right career path.
So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step towards a more fulfilling career by signing up for Discovery today. We're excited to help you navigate your career journey and discover your true potential.