When most people think about self-awareness they imagine better personal skills as they relate to happiness and relationships. And it’s true that when you are more self-aware, you are in a better position to make decisions and take actions that improve your happiness and relationships. However, it doesn’t end there. A good sense of self-awareness can help in every aspect of your life, including your career and professional path.

1. Making the Right Career Choices

Self-awareness can help you choose the right career path for yourself. Whether you’re just getting started in the professional world or you’re looking for a change, knowing yourself can help you identify a career that you find both satisfying and rewarding. That may be a traditional job or it may be a path into entrepreneurship. When you know yourself you know:

* What you want from life
* Your strengths and weaknesses
* The things you find motivating
* How you relate to others
* How you see yourself fitting in
* Your work style
* How you learn

And much more. There are many different ways to determine your best career path. You can take a personality test or career aptitude test. You can also conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats assessment, aka a SWOT assessment. You can talk to people that you trust and get their insight about your strengths, weaknesses and personality style as well.

2. Working Well on the Job

When you’re self-aware you are able to listen to feedback with an open mind. You’re able to receive feedback without getting defensive, shifting blame, or feeling like you’re being attacked. If you’re still living with TAR, it’s likely the feedback is critical and you are being attacked, but self awareness can help you identify what is true and relevant and what are just control tactics.

This is also an important skill to develop whether you are an employee or an employer. You can take responsibility for your work and take steps to both enjoy the praise and positively respond to the criticism. You’re also able to focus on your strengths and seek ways to minimize or eliminate your weaknesses. You can ask for help when you need it and work well on a team with others because you know who you are and what you’re good at.

3. Listening to Your Inner Voice

Finally, when you are self-aware you’re able to listen to your inner voice. You know when something is right for you and when it isn’t. You’re able to make decisions that support you, and to avoid career or business choices that don’t fit your strengths and interests. And many people who are self-aware are able to push their limits and test their boundaries. They are able to achieve more because they’re willing to take risks and they’re not afraid of failure.

If you are in a career rut or you are looking for a career path that fits your goals, needs, strengths and personality then it’s time to look inside. Take steps to learn more about who you are and become more self-aware. You can perform self-awareness exercises, work with a coach, and tap into your inner knowledge about who you are and what you want.