My preferences, what I like and do not like doing, are both innate and conditioned by my experiences. I was born with the desire to have a positive impact on society. I prefer improving the lives of others than increasing my own personal wealth. However, I also want to be intellectually stimulated and I know that greater knowledge will allow me to be more successful.
Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory frames these preferences to be either motivated by my own satisfaction, or by external factors (Buss2000). At first glance, my preference for intellectual stimulation and success can be categorised as a result of extrinsic motivation, and my desire to help, a product of extrinsic autonomous motivation. However, a weakness of this framework is that it can encourage a constrained view, which can lead to the links between motivations being neglected. Hence, a more refined perspective is that my preference to make a difference is intrinsically motivated as it is a need; “we consider needs to be innate rather than learned and therefore to give motivational content to life” (Deci, 2000). Looking through this frame, my drive to be successful and intellectually stimulated, while being extrinsically motivated, are not governed by wealth but an innate need to help.
While preferences are based on mindset, my strengths must be defined by merit. Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory suggests that my strengths are influenced by my self-efficacy, my “belief about (my) capabilities to successfully complete… tasks” (Bandura, 1997). I have a strong self-efficacy, which is a highly useful strength as Bandura’s confirms it improve performances (Bandura, 1997. However, for the analysis of my other strengths, this framework might be limiting; my analysis of my own strengths could be misinterpreted by vicarious experiences, social persuasion, and one’s phycology (Buss2000). Due to my strong self-efficacy, I am taking an evidence-based approach to analyse further strengths to mitigate the impact of my self-efficacy.
My academic transcript shows my high General Metal Ability. Further, my numerical reasoning skills are supported by my academic success in Electrical Engineering and the numerical Assessment conducted in this course. I also have strong communication skills and am a confident individual, which is evidenced by positive feedback I received from my workshop facilitator. Further strengths include my ability to lead a team, my diligence, and my generosity.
The HEXACO analysis was very useful to highlight areas for development as it allowed me to subconsciously reflect. The HEXACO analysis revealed that I can be insincere, and lack gentleness (appendix); likely attributed to by my lack of emotional intelligence. This will become a focus as understanding myself and others is pivotal to lead and influence. My analysis also revealed a weakness of the framework.
Last year, I founded a start-up that gives Epilepsy sufferers the ability to drive a car. I wanted to use my teamwork skills to develop an actionable business that solves a personal problem my grandfather faces. To achieve this, I looked at the project as my group’s, not my own, and ensured that everyone’s personal goals aligned. Further, I encouraged the sharing of diverse perspectives by facilitating a positive atmosphere and building strong relationships with my colleagues. My efforts resulted in the development of a product offering that was praised at pitches for investors. I would not have achieved this alone.
I have demonstrated my diligence as a Bar Supervisor at the South Sydney Graphic Arts Club. One night, as I was closing the venue, I noticed that my manager had forgotten to inform me that there was an extensive furniture set up required for a christening that was booked for the following day. Despite it already being very late in the night, I decided to stay back for an extra two hours to complete the set up. I completed the set-up perfectly, as if I had known from the start of my shift. The restaurant was set up to a high level of detail and the event was able to go forward.
While this above situation may seem like a simple task it is important to mention because in “unstructured” (weaker) situations one’s personality becomes more evident (Founder, 2012). In the above STAR statement, I could have gone home with no consequences, as it was not my responsibility. However, my personality strength of being detailed and aiming for perfection shined through in this weaker situation.
I have been a member of the University of Sydney Lions water polo club since I was 13. My generosity was evident last summer as I volunteered to help the club in retaining junior members when they leave school and the structure it provides. To accomplish this, I participated in coaching to communicate the transition, and organised social events to introduce junior members to senior members. I supported the club by improving their retention rate and helped juniors my providing sense of belonging.
An understanding of my preferences, strengths and weaknesses allows me to produce SMART career goals.
The congruence between values & ethics, and work is becoming increasingly important in achieving career success (Berson, 2008). My values are enduring beliefs that dictate where I place importance. Schwartz Value Theory explains how values impact my career as he defines values as motivational. The value sorting exercise conducted in the workshop reinforced that I value, hard work, responsibility to the community, status, and leaving a legacy (appendix). My ethics are a common set of guiding principles I adhere to, and impact the choices I will make in my career. My ethical beliefs are concerned with loyalty, fairness, and transparency.
My core career goal is to be a partner at a big four consulting firm. To achieve this, I plan on having a “Boundaryless career” ¬¬¬and adopting the concept of a spiral career path. Hence, I need to achieve specific mid-term goals; Firstly, I am striving to gain a graduate role at a power generation company, such as AGL, when I graduate in 2022. Secondly, in 2026 after 3 years of hands on electrical engineering experience I want to utilise the skills learnt to secure an associate role at a large and respected consulting firm, working for clients in the electricity market sector (e.g. Deloitte). Thirdly, I plan on achieving a manager role before I am 30. I believe this is achievable because of the technical expertise I would have gained working directly with companies in the sector. My core goal (partnership) is timebound as I want to be a consulting partner before I am 40.
I am ensuring my career goals are measurable¬ by implementing relevant and specific short-term goals; achievement will indicate successful progression of my mid-term goals, and eventually my core goal. I am aiming to secure two summer internships; one internship with a power generation company in the summer 2020-2021, utilising my electrical engineering degree, a second internship with a consulting company in the asset management division in the summer 2021-2022. Firstly, the power internship will provide me with exposure to the complex sector of the economy I am focusing on in my Protean Career; “self-directed approach to career management” (Hall, 1996). It will also improve my ability to obtain a graduate position with a power generation firm (mid-term goal 1). Secondly, an internship in the asset management division of a consulting firm would improve my connections within this industry and increase my employability within consulting (essential for my mid-term goal 2). These short-term goals (indicators) are achievable as I have maintained high grades in a highly respected degree, and have educated and trained myself to have strong graduate qualities. This is evidenced in how last week I progressed to the final stage of recruitment for an internship at Ernst & Young (appendix).
My career goals are relevant to my desire to pursue consulting, and my drive to improve the productivity of the national electricity market. Further, my goals are relevant to my core values and ethics. Consulting and Engineering require hard work to be successful in the industry. Further, firms in these fields respect diligence and loyalty. Consultants have a significant responsibility to the Australian and global community as they improve the product offering and efficiencies of a business to drive growth. Further, electricity is an essential commodity for households, I would be increasing the fairness in this market to drive down prices for others. Moreover, I would be able to contribute to the auditing and assurance process within these consulting firms; providing transparency to customers and investors. Lastly, partnership would provide status, and allow me to leave a legacy.