Career success is influenced by many factors. Streaming from the competitiveness of a field, qualifications, and skill sets, to market opportunities, all these have a role to play in professional development.
However, when we look deeper, career advancement and success can be heavily impacted by personal traits. Individual attributes like creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, and above all self-awareness can determine how far one goes with a career.
For example, there are many high performers, especially in the leadership field who failed career-wise simply because of a lack of emotional intelligence. More so, the failure to tame one’s emotions and act out of feelings are other aspects that affect many areas of our lives.
At this juncture, we’ll explore a skill of self-awareness that can influence personal and professional development.
What is Self-awareness?
You may have come across this term before and perhaps you might have tried several ways of becoming more self-aware. However, you will surely understand the different dimensions of this skill here and how it can help you advance in your career.
First and foremost, self-awareness refers to the ability to understand your character. This comprises your feelings and how they impact your actions. It is also a heightened state of awareness about how others perceive you.
Highly self-aware people understand their emotions and can manage them effectively. They are also able to align them with their values and social standards.
Self-awareness is an important skill and although many people think that they are self-aware, they are not. One research confirms that up to 15% of people are self-aware.
To substantiate, findings also indicate that it is only when we look deeply at ourselves that we can understand our emotions, feelings, thoughts, values, strengths, and weaknesses.
This introspection helps us analyze our behaviors and understand how others see us. Self-awareness comprises two facets and these include internal and external awareness.
When you know your values, emotions, and feelings and how they impact others, this is internal self-awareness. Internal self-awareness is important because it leads to personal growth and development.
It is how others perceive you. People who are externally aware adhere to social norms and behave in a socially acceptable way. However, it is important to understand the effect of this type of awareness.
People who are highly externally self-aware are normally influenced by what others think or say about them. If not careful, they can easily become people-pleasers and fail to express their emotions objectively.
Self-awareness helps us see things from multiple dimensions rather than focusing on personal perspectives. It also offers one a greater ability to regulate emotions, remain empathetic, and recognize others regardless of their perspectives. The skill is associated with many benefits that can lead to career success. So, let’s dive into how!
5 Ways Self-Awareness Can Help You Advance in Your Career
There are many ways self-awareness helps professionals grow their careers and some of them are;
1. Boosts Work productivity
When people are self-aware, they know their most productive hours and the things they are good at. When it comes to giving their best at work, they can understand the periods when they are more effective.
They designate these hours to the most important tasks and schedule the less important tasks to periods when they feel lethargic.
For the case of those in leadership positions, they can delegate assignments and focus on the most important tasks. In this way, their productivity is enhanced and can advance in their careers.
Consider Kolb’s reflective cycle to reflect on your work experiences and ascertain what impacts your productivity. Then adopt mediums, for example, planning, a timetable, or leveraging productivity tools to enhance your productivity.
2. Improves Interpersonal Skills
Self-aware employees know how to relate to others. Precisely, they are good at relationship building and management. They are also more empathetic and considerate. They can manage themselves and others better.
Self-awareness paves the way for empathy which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Employees and leaders who are empathetic can put themselves in others’ positions before passing judgment.
Precisely, they can relate with others objectively without biases. Self-aware people are also able to adopt better communication skills that help them maintain relationships.
Try to evaluate whether you’re self-aware or not. This will not only help you build strong relationships but will also help you remain happy at your job.
3. Improves Decision-Making
Whether it’s personal or professional, decision-making capabilities are at times influenced by the skill of self-awareness. Good decision-makers avoid being led by their emotions or feelings. They understand the effect of their emotions and feelings on their decision-making capabilities.
People who usually act out of emotions and feelings normally make regrettable decisions. That’s because they let ill feelings cloud their sense of judgment which impacts their leadership competencies.
With that, try to understand your emotions and how they can affect your decision-making skills.
4. Fosters Emotional Intelligence
Do you know that self-awareness impacts emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your emotions and those of others. It is a key leadership skill and has proven to influence leadership competencies.
Highly self-aware leaders are emotionally intelligent, smart decision-makers, and good at team building. They know how to control themselves and when to tap into the power of empathy.
Emotional intelligence is important for career success because as people attain bigger positions in the leadership sphere, their ability to sympathize with others diminishes. Findings also indicate that it’s the skill of emotional intelligence that sets higher performers from their counterparts.
Therefore, regardless of what you do or your weak areas, consider assessing yourself to understand whether you’re self-aware or not.
5. Helps in Stress Management
Self-awareness helps people to know their emotional triggers and how to tame them. For example, self-aware people identify their stressors and adopt techniques to protect their peace of mind. However, people who are self-unaware end up acting out of emotions.
Practicing self-awareness can help employees deal with corporate stress. For example, they can build meaningful relationships that can support them in adverse situations. There are many workplace stress solutions, but these at times fail to offer positive results because individuals aren’t self-aware.
Try to understand your stressors and learn how to manage your emotions. These will help you advance career-wise.
Self-awareness is very important and strengthening it can help you succeed in your career. It can help you understand yourself better and even lead to self-improvement. Besides that, it can help you develop better self-control, and good decision-making skills and also lead to job satisfaction.
Additionally, it can cultivate more job opportunities and lead to career fulfillment. With that, consider improving your self-awareness levels each passing day.
Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at the ‘Speaking Polymath’. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.