Have you ever thought about creating your personal Education-Career Portfolio?
It is okay if you don’t have a portfolio yet. However, you really need to have one. And it is never too late to design and create your first portfolio.
Why Do You Need A Portfolio?
Here are the three reason to have an Education/Career Portfolio. A portfolio helps you:
ONE - Get to know what makes you happy – who doesn’t want to be happy? It is about developing confident knowledge of who you are.
- What truly makes you happy?
- Is it about finding a challenge?
- Does involve finding need a "purpose"?
- What are you passionate about?
- What does your next mission or whatever you would like to call it look like?
TWO - Create a career action plan - experiential learning or employment opportunities you want to explore. A portfolio also helps you design your next steps or goals that will lead to your success and overall happiness.
THREE - Have the knowledge and tools to regularly update your resume – an important skill these days. Using artifacts and memorabilia of your accomplishments will help you identify stories to market your skills – think interviews, LinkedIn profile, resumes and so on.
What To Include in a Portfolio?
Ok, not convinced? Humor me and ask yourself this question.
What will you include in YOUR portfolio? It is easy and can be fun!
You start building your portfolio by collecting mementos that you value. These mementos can remind you of good or bad moments in your life. The choice is yours!
Here are some ideas to get you started but remember that it is your portfolio and only you get to determine what to include in your education-career portfolio:
Value Your Voice
Your voice is central to the creation of the education-career portfolio. You get to decide what to include in it, how to create it, and how you will utilize it in the future.
Most importantly, beware that the eventual focus is on scaffolding you to use the portfolio as a tool to launch your experiential learning or to develop and maintain a successful career journey.
It's In YOUR Hands
The responsibility for the betterment of your future is in your hands. Zoom your focus on developing skills and pursuing intentional practices along with iterative lifelong learning, experience processing, and continuous reflection.
The more involved you remain in your career story creation, the happier you will be with your storyline.
Neet help getting started? Work with me!
"You can’t make your choices on the basis of a fifty-year projection. You have to be guided by your belief that this is the best course for you for NOW, and if in five or ten years your priorities change, well, if you’re a resourceful person, you can figure out how to adapt"
New Year New Goals...Please NO
As the New Year approaches, we start reflecting on new beginnings, considering new hopes for the future and most commonly thinking about new goals...
Many of us have written goals before and for some reason you may be thinking that for this year you don’t want to write goals.
I have worked with clients who do not see value in writing goals. You agree and that is why you are reading this.
I am certain that you have good reasons for not wanting to write goals. It could be that you tried it before and it did not work. Or you felt frustrated when you could not attain a particular goal. More possibly still, you wrote a goal and had to change it for what felt like a million times.
Do Not Write Goals
Here is an idea!
How would you feel if I told you to forget about writing goals? For now...anyway.
Instead, I invite you to think about your favorite memories.
The idea behind these questions at this point is to focus on positive experiences and how they made you feel. I ask myself these questions on a regular basis. The answers help me stay focused and of course, see value in creating and pursuing new goals.
What Makes You Happy
When I ask these and other questions that help clients reflect on what makes them happy, some clients are very clear on what they want, on the things that will make them happy and they can be very specific when thinking of achievements. Other clients find it hard to answer these questions. I explain my reasons behind this line of questioning. The most important reasons are:
Here are some suggestions to facilitate reflection on the three questions.
Life gets in the way and we tend to forget what is important to us. I started asking myself these questions many years ago. Looking back, it now seems that I have been building on them year after year. One of my dreams and accomplishments included receiving a doctorate degree.
Goals You Have Accomplished
I have completed my degree and oh what a feeling that was!
As I worked for that goal, the journey was tough and there were times when I was ready to quit. Having goals and keeping my eye on the dream kept me going.
The light at the end of the tunnel helped me persist in handling the constant revisions of my thesis and persevere in focusing on the smaller goals. In the process, I remembered that I really enjoyed going to school and university. The tests I passed and the positive reviews were the little lights that made the journey fulfilling. I discovered that I am a lifelong learner. I continue to cherish and honor this value by learning and researching.
Reflect - What Makes You Happy
I invite you today to take a break from writing your goals and focus on what specifically makes you happy.
Be as detailed as you can!
Let me know how that goes and we can work on the next set of questions.
Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn, a quote by P. Sweet
“So, how do I prepare for jobs of the future?”
This is a question that is understandably on the minds of many young people.
Researchers, educators, and politicians are trying to guess and prepare for what the future may bring. Their focus remains on the fourth industrial revolution and with it the technological innovations in fields such as artificial intelligence, 3D technology, nanotechnology, and innovation biology. And while they are mostly guessing what type of technological skills could possibly be needed, they are certain about the importance of what they like to call Soft Skills.
No Clear Definition
The problem with soft skills is that neither the definition nor the label is clearly stated.
Some define soft skills as people skills such as, communication and interpersonal skills. Others believe that they are professional skills such as, leadership or mentorship. And others call them transferable skills highlighting the importance of teamwork and adaptability. You may also find them defined as self-management skills, such as developing a growth mindset or building resilience.
Skills for Success
Government of Canada proposed the Skills for Success model which focuses on “skills needed for work, learning and life”.
According to the Government of Canada website, these Skills for Success are the nine skills employers are looking for:
Rather than calling them soft skills, another label is suggested for communication, collaboration, adaptability and creativity and innovation, namely, Social Emotional Skills.
The good news is that research is showing that with a little bit of focus and hard work, we all can develop these skills. So there is no need for you to worry if you feel that you may be underperforming in these skills
What's My Definition Of Soft Skills?
In case you are curious, my definition of soft skills incorporates all the stated views. I have yet to write a clear definition and a definite label.
Regardless of the label, everyone agrees that soft skills (I choose to use this label for now) are the skills that you need to succeed in any career, now and in the future. Whether you are a chef, a mechanical engineer, or a family physician, soft skills will help you navigate your day to day challenges.
Utilizing Soft Skills
A chef, for example, will need communication skills to be able to communicate his recipes to others. He will need leadership skills to lead his partners or employees in the kitchen. She will need to adapt to deal with any problems that may arise in her kitchen. And finally, he or she will need to keep revisiting the recipes in order to stay competitive and successful.
The Future Is Now
Looking into the future, you know you need to prepare yourself for a career that is unstable. A career that will require you to move from one position to the next as new skills are required. A career that you have to manage yourself, because no one has experienced it before. And most importantly, a career that reflects a challenge and purpose of your choice. Developing and strengthening your soft skills will get you ready.
Take Charge Or Go With The Flow
You may choose to ignore all of the above and go with the flow. I see nothing wrong with this choice, as long as you are content to wait and adapt to the new changes as they come along. All things considered, if you are happy, then you are probably doing what needs to be done. Another option would be for you to reflect, take charge of your future and create your own pathway.
To me, the choice is clear! Be your own agent for personal development by committing to lifelong learning as well as a lifetime of reflecting on your personal value and the particular challenges you choose. You will be glad you did!
Dr. Hoda Kilani is a Certified Professional Career Coach. Transforming the way you craft your career.
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