Self evaluation is the first step in career planning. A step by step approach to career planning is given in our article “Fundamentals of Career Planning“. It is a process or technique by which one understands their own interest, aptitude and ability. A complete understanding of self is not possible but doing this exercise will give you information that you required to do the career planning.
The Johari Window for Self Evaluation
You can understand more about yourself by following “The Johari Window”. The Johari Window is explained in the article “Personality Development and The Johari Window”. The Johari Window Model consists of four regions (or areas) on the basis of known and unknown areas of ‘self’ and ‘others’. Four areas of The Johari Window are: 1) Open or Free area, 2) Blind area, 3) Hidden area, 4) Unknown area.
Open or free area is an area represents what is known by the person about him/herself and also by others. Blind area represents what is unknown by the person about him/herself but others know. Hidden area represents what the person knows about him/herself that others do not know. Unknown area represents what is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others.
Our aim here is to know ourselves better (self-evaluation) so that we can plan our career accordingly. We will see here how we could understand ourselves by different techniques and methods.
Summary of Yourself
Take a paper and write whole things you know about yourself. It is one of the easy and practical technique to know more about you. Don’t put all the things that you want to achieve in life, it must be what you actually are. Make a summary of the list and categorize it into your interest, aptitude and ability.
The summary may looks like this:
I am a male / female of 18 years of age. Very confident, having a sweet sound, not a good listener, good communicator, having good presentation skills, love to solve mathematical problems, love to solve crossword puzzles, not interested to travel, love to play chess, love my parents very much, having homesickness, scores high marks in physics and math, scores less in history and language, etc.
This will give much knowledge about yourself and you covered the open area in ‘The Johari Window’.
Extended Summary of Yourself
Extend your summary by adding more things that (only) you know about yourself. This will be that how you behave when you are alone. Everybody have a personal opinion about their own life. This is what only you know about yourself.
Some examples of this are like, you may be a person with high anger but always shows to others that you have good patience, you have some family problems that you don’t want to share with others, etc.
This will open up your hidden area in ‘The Johari Window’.
Opinion from Your Close Circle
An opinion can be taken from your parents, teachers, friends and other social groups about you. Choose correct persons to get correct feedback without any bias. Parents, teachers and good friends are more likely good persons to get the feedback. To get positive and negative feedback you may ask them to give five positives and five negatives of you.
Remember that you must not be over excited by getting positive feedback and in the same way don’t get discouraged by getting negative feedback. We are doing this to improve yourself and plan for your career and future.
You may sometimes become surprised to see what opinion others have about you. This will give you information about your blind area along with some additions of your open area.
Some examples of the information you may get are like:
Your dress code doesn’t match your personality (you are thinking that you have dressed up beautifully), you are observed to be good at something, etc.
Uncovering this area is not easy and you need to take more and continuous efforts to get some knowledge about this area. You could have consult with some experts to uncover unknown area of yourself. Continuous talk with your parents, teachers and good friends is an effective method to look more into this area.
Arrive at Some Conclusions
Summarize and classify all the documents you prepared in categories of your interest, aptitude and ability. Make a physical document of this so that you could analyze and continually use it further.
Prepare and Analyze Your SWOT for Self Evaluation
Make another report and document of your SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) analysis from the data collected during the process. Whether your strength leads to a good career but your weakness not allowing you to reach there? For example your finance resource availability restrict you to join a course which is required to get that job.
What is your passion? Whether your passion (music, drawing, etc.) can be your profession? Whether you have enough time and energy?
Now you have got all the details about yourself and can be utilized for your career planning. If you complete this step it will be a great achievement as many doesn’t able to do that.