Creating your own Profile

Start reflecting!

So it comes down to (self)reflection. And that is also why you see a big difference between for example students, and people with some job experience. Because each yearly review you will probably be asked to reflect on yourself. Or people asked you these questions during the interviews you had when looking for a job: what do you like and what are you good at? And we probably all found out the hard way that “I don’t know” or falling into answers like “I’m a hard worker” are not that satisfying during these interviews.

Creating your profile

To immediately give you an example of a possible end result, see below my profile I created a few years ago. It’s as simple as a visualization of my skills and interests. I made a drawing of it, but you can be as (un)creative as you want. Bullet points? Sure go ahead. GIFs or Memes for each passion or talent? Sounds like fun. You can find another example of a student I coached at the end of the article.

Interests

Again, the main questions are: what are the things you like, what are you passionate about and what gives you energy? Just ask yourself these questions and write down what pops up. Don’t limit yourself (yet), don’t be afraid that it’s not business worthy enough. So if “Unicorns” pops up, write it down. But if you get stuck, maybe the following tips can help.

  • For all the pessimists out there. Sometimes it’s easier to write down what you don’t like. This can be a good start as well. So why don’t you like certain things? And what if this is the opposite, does that put a smile on your face?
  • How do you differ from your friends or colleagues? What are the things they don’t get from you? Where do they think you are wasting your time? This really speaks to the personal part. Example: my girlfriend doesn’t get why I get so happy from using a new gadget like the Google Home. Or why I am always philosophizing about how certain systems behind a website or app would work. Why would you care?
  • Did you ever do a personality test? Your personality can say a lot about certain interests (and skills for that matter). Just try to reflect on the results of such a test. Can you relate to it? An example of such a test can be found at assessment companies.
  • There is a simple little test about what you find important in a job. Its called Moving Motivators. You can find it here. This helps to reflect on what drives you in a job.
  • Read “Start with Why” from Simon Sinek? Let’s get deep: what is your why? What gets you up in the morning? What do you want to achieve in your career or life even (yes, very deep)?

Skills

This is not the time to be modest. We all have talents and skills. So what are yours? Some are very straight forward. If you did a course in Java programming you will probably write this down as a (technical) skill. But most talents are more abstract than that. They are closer to your personality. Which again is why also talents are personal. Again write everything down you can think of! You can trim and tweak later on. As it can feel very uncomfortable to talk about your skills (at least we Dutchies have a little bit of an allergy of doing that, or at least of others doing this), again some tips to get you started.

  • Do tests like a Talent Motivation Analysis (TMA), or a Competency test. Your company can probably provide some of these tests, but there are also some for free on the awesome internet. Or… just go and apply somewhere, most recruiters will provide you with such a test anyway (don’t forget to ask the results!!).
    Example: almost all tests point out that I am goal oriented and structured. I can definitely relate this to my personality.
  • Asking for feedback can also help a lot. Where things that are “normal” for you, these things can be very noticeable for others. Ask for the skills and talents others admire in you and you will get a free self esteem boost.
  • Currently working at a company? And are you doing a good job? Take a look at the Job Profile some smart HR person drafted, and look at what skills are necessary for your job. Apparently it suits you.

How it could help

In my case this helped a lot in working on my Personal Development. It makes clear in what you can develop more, what you want to add to your skills and strengths. Because if they complement your interests more and more, you will put yourself in a unique position.

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Product Manager at Polarsteps | Always up for using creativity and making complex problems simple(r) and fun!

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Jim van der Waal

Jim van der Waal

Product Manager at Polarsteps | Always up for using creativity and making complex problems simple(r) and fun!

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