Thinking About Work
What if I don’t know much about myself as a worker?
We want to have some information about the kinds of work that exist as we move forward with a job. We also may want to take stock of how much we know about ourselves as workers.
Knowing yourself as a worker is also known as “worker identity.” Worker identity can be looked at as having several parts: vocational values, preferences, and strengths. (Restrepo-Toro, et.al. 2015; Career Planning Curriculum)
Values guide our everyday decisions. For example, if we value “family,” we may make decisions that keep our families at the center of our lives. Vocational values are important when we make decisions about work. For example, some people value variety while others value repetitiveness. Some may value creativity, while others may value correctness. Some may want autonomy, while others value teamwork.
Preferences are what we like, or prefer. Preferences will guide our decision-making about work during Choosing Work. Preferences will vary person to person, and say something about you as a person and a worker. For example, some people prefer working during daytime hours, others at night or odd hours that allow them to parent. You may prefer working in an office environment, whereas others may enjoy working outside.
Strengths refer to what you are good at. Vocational strengths are the work tasks or skills that you are good at. Everyone’s vocational strengths differ. Some people are good at physical tasks like lifting or standing. Others are good at understanding people and working as a team. Still others are good at intellectual tasks, such as making decisions or writing newsletters.
Consider the following if you are thinking about work.
- What do you know about your own vocational values? What do you know about your vocational preferences?
- What do you know about your vocational strengths? Do you feel you know enough about what is important to you, what you prefer, and what you can do to feel confident about moving forward with work?