Jun 21

YOU are the EXPERT of YOU

Today’s blog post was written by Erik Simon, Graduate Career Consultant for the College of Arts and Letters.


YOU are the most important part of YOUR life, so why is it that we often aren’t given the time, or don’t take the time, to reflect on ourselves. Understanding WHY you do what you do could be the best investment and use of your time. Answering basic questions such as WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW and  WHY from a variety of angles can bring CLARITY, COMFORT, and ultimately, CONFIDENCE in both your personal and professional life.

From a very young age, we are taught the importance of education and learning how to read, write, and do well in subjects such as math, social studies, and science. These are the skills and information that we are often evaluated upon when it comes to assessments and grades. This “technical/content” knowledge tends to be at the forefront throughout our schooling. After hours of researching, studying, memorization, test taking, writing, and completing assignments, how much time is left to better understand yourself? Have you taken the time to reflect on what encompasses your “foundational” skills such as passion, purpose, leadership, character, integrity, and resilience; or your “transferable skills” such as communication, organization, problem solving, and teamwork?

These “foundational” and “transferable” skills are formally taught through subjects such as “Character Education” and “Senior Survival Skills” within the K-12 system and through courses and services such as the “First Year Experience,” “Health & Wellness,” or “Career Services” within higher education. Often, these are not required and tend to be taken less seriously than academic and discipline-specific courses. The focus is drawn to “real” subjects that can be assessed through more tangible methods such as publications, coursework, and standardized testing. Assessing and improving character is certainly more subjective than objective, so is this why we tend to avoid it? Is it that statistical numbers are difficult to derive and we don’t have the time to take a deep dive into our own mental and emotional capabilities?

This article is not meant to answer these questions but to encourage you to ask more questions around the importance of self-reflection in a world that tends to focus more on what takes place around us than what takes place WITHIN us. Does content knowledge carry as much importance if an individual’s emotional intelligence, mental health, and personality are not understood? What is the priority between research and reflection, content and confidence?

If YOU want to be the EXPERT of YOU, take the time to consciously and consistently research YOU. Below are some resources and services that can get you started in better understanding the most important research topic in your life, YOU:

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  1. Personal & Professional Development – IRISH Ready Blog

    […] life is not worth living. Carve out time to engage in self-reflection. In June, Erik Simon wrote a blog post stressing the importance of reflecting on and understanding ourselves. Reflections on our values, […]

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