Most parts of the content published here has been elaborated by the Career Services team of University of Zurich. Thanks for your support and the permission for publication here! Are you interested in the Career Planning Guide of University of Zurich, you can find it here.
In order to get a better overview of one's own strengths and experiences of success, and at the same time to determine in which areas one still has development potential, one starts with a self-reflection. Questions like the following will introduce you:
- What can I do particularly well?
- When am I motivated to do a job?
- What awakens my interests?
An assessment of one's position helps to gain clarity about one's own abilities, interests and motivations as well as to identify possible fields of activity so that one can plan one's further professional career. The first step is to explore your own career resources. The aim is to find out what you like to do, what drives you and what you are good at. In a second step, interesting fields of activity and employers are researched in order to find the job in which one's own resources can be optimally brought into play and the motivation to work is very high.
Analysis of own career resources
On the basis of concrete experiences in your own biography you can find out what you are good at and what you like to do – be it on a professional (academic), interdisciplinary or personal level. The sum of all professionally relevant knowledge, skills, interests and experiences is called career resources. Awareness of one's own career resources enables one to shape one's career purposefully, reflectively and responsibly. In order to analyse your career resources, you should ask yourself what is really fun and when was the last time you were really proud of yourself. It is best to note the skills you have used or trained in both situations. It can also be helpful if you ask 3 - 4 people from your private or professional environment to name 5 particular strengths of one and to give an example of how this strength has been shown. Career resources include Professional Resources, Complementary Resources and Personal Resources.
Understand what you know and what you can do with it. Subject-specific resources enable you to analyse, assess, formulate and communicate solutions for a specific subject. They include the academic competences acquired during studies and research, which can be transferred into an application context. The subject-specific resources are based on the way in which the relevant discipline conducts science, such as the questions that are asked and answered, the methods used to answer them, and the tools used to communicate the results. These resources vary from subject to subject. A description of the qualifications acquired after a doctorate is listed on the CRUS website.
Complementary resources are interdisciplinary and are often acquired outside of studies and research. Complementary resources include language and communication skills, intellectual and mathematical skills, methodological and organisational skills, social skills, and physical and technical skills.
Personal resources are based on one's own identity, personality and personal environment and vary from person to person. It is now a matter of finding out what really interests you, what you tackle with enthusiasm and motivation. Many of the values and qualities that make up the core of a person's being can be found in the moments of life when you do something with enthusiasm. Personal resources include social capital (networks, role models,...), but also one's own values and identity.
Aims and preferences
In the context of your self assessment, also consider the following points in a short or long-term perspective: Income, employer (large/small company, self-employed, start-up), place of work, position (team leadership, expert function), incentive, work-life balance prospects.
If setting up your own company would be an option, the Technology Transfer Team would be happy to help. If working abroad or a career in Switzerland (for non-Swiss) is an option, you will find a lot of helpful information on the website of the State Secretariat for Migration. PSI internally, the HR Bereichspersonalleiterinnen are happy to help.