Four Reasons You Should Complete a Job Experience Reflection
Before you apply for any job it’s important to take the time to explore your options, gather information, ask questions, and get answers so you find a career that fits YOU. You will have a job or a career for a very long time. That’s why it’s critical to invest time now to find that career that fits your strengths, lifestyle, and goals.
Don’t Start Your Job Search By Writing a Resumé
Many of my clients think that writing a resumé is the first step in a job search. Friends, parents, and even career professionals have told them to work on their resumé first. But when they start writing, many soon realize they don’t have all the information they need to complete their resumé. They panic. They think “I don’t know where this information is”….or “my mom has all this”… or “I don’t know my old boss’s name.”
The best way to collect all the information for your job search isn’t by starting a resumé. It’s by completing a job experience reflection before you create a resumé, apply for a job, or go on an interview. Taking time to compile and reflect on your job experience allows you to gather all your job information in one place. Which makes creating an awesome resumé that catches someone’s attention much easier.
Start By Getting to Know Yourself Really Well
No matter what stage of life you are in, if you’re looking for a new job you need to first know yourself really well. All too often people go from one job to another looking for the perfect fit. Some continually find themselves in positions where they feel mismatched. They follow a pattern of mistakes as they rush to take a job similar to the one they had before, which they did not really like. Completing a job history forces you to keep track of the pluses and minuses of past jobs so you can make better decisions in the future.
I know you probably want a “fast” solution, but “slowing down” by taking a little extra time to reflect allows you to build a roadmap. This will enable you to find a dream career and truly enjoy your life. It’s going to take time, effort, and a lot of soul-searching! And, if you need it, I’m here to help you explore this part of your journey and really think about each and everything that you remember about those jobs!
Four Reasons You Should Complete a Job Experience Reflection
- Reflection Helps You Learn and Grow as a Person
Reflecting on your past experiences at work provides valuable insights. You develop an understanding of what is important to you, what you enjoy, and all the lessons you have learned. Personal reflections enable you to process and make meaning of all the great (and not so great) learning and working experiences you have had.
It becomes more difficult to develop your career in the way you want to if you don’t understand the experiences you have had. You become less able to evaluate or create new opportunities if you don’t understand how you reacted to past opportunities.
- You’ll Have All Your Job Information in One Place
Remembering all of your job experiences off the top of your head is not necessary. Plus, executive functioning deficits associated with ADHD can be challenging making remembering all of those details very difficult. You don’t have to memorize everything. Don’t use up space in your brain for this information. Get it down on paper in one spot so you will only have to look at it when you need it!
Taking the time to fully complete a job experience reflection will help you compile all of your work and volunteer history with thoughtfulness, reflection, and understanding. Plus, you will feel calmer knowing all your job experience information is in one place. This will also make it much easier to write a strong resumé and complete job applications.
- Reflection Helps You Better Understand Yourself
Thinking about your past experience can help you better understand what you want from your future. Reflection allows you to explore the things that went well and the things that did not go so well. Evaluating your past can be really hard to do when you have ADHD and executive functioning challenges because thinking about the past or negative experiences can cause unwanted anxiety and bad feelings.
Being honest with yourself by listing everything you can think of–even those experiences that feel yucky–can really help you better understand what you want and need from a job. This reflection is just for you. You do not need to share it with anyone. But I do recommend saving your reflection in a career binder or designated career file. I prefer housing all career development documents together in 3-ring binders because a living, breathing binder is easier to access every day.
- Reduce Stress and Anxiety and Build Confidence When Completing Employment Applications
Many of my clients tell me they are so nervous about completing job applications. I often get panicked text messages: What should I write? What if I don’t know the exact dates? I don’t remember the boss’s name at Old Navy…what do I do? Completing a job reflection allows you to quickly and easily find this information when you need it.
Additionally, many of my clients share that they are worried they are not experienced enough. Or that past supervisors will say negative things about them. Others express anxiety about their worth, experience, or ability. When worried, we tend NOT to do that thing that makes us feel bad. Taking time to compile and reflect on your past job experiences prepares you to field questions from potential employers, friends, and family about your work history. It also improves your accuracy by allowing you to easily access exact dates, names, spelling, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses.
How to Start a Job Experience Reflection
Start by compiling each job position you have had. Many people don’t realize how important ALL experiences are. Whether you volunteered, fostered a dog or cleaned out the dressing rooms at Marshall’s… everything you have done is important to remember and think about!
I don’t want you to only compile information, but also notice what you liked and did not like. Taking time to reflect on your likes and dislikes is the most important part of this activity. Many people skip this part because they don’t want to remember bad experiences or mean co-workers or supervisors.
I understand reflecting on past experiences is not easy and can bring up old memories and insecurities. But this reflection will help you remember “stories” of success or challenges that you can talk about in a future interview. Many, many interviewers will ask you, “tell us a time when you had to deal with a challenging boss.” Having this reflection to review before an interview will allow you to pull up answers to those types of questions more easily.
Not sure how to get started with your job experience reflection?
I’m here to help. Join me for my upcoming Reflect on Your Job Experience Workshop so you can dive into your past likes and dislikes to find your ideal career fit.
This workshop will help you:
- Record of all your past jobs and employers in one place for future applications or interviews
- Recall most of your work information for your resume
- Be in a safe place to reflect on your past experiences, good and bad that will help you to decide your future path
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