This exercise aims to support self-reflection on your past and acquired competencies, especially those gained outside of formal education, or talents or interests you may not be aware of at first sight, but which may have a huge importance for your further professional development.
In this way, this resource helps you to look back on your prior life and reflect about what you experienced, what skills you acquired, what interests you observed; in short, everything which might be helpful and precious to develop a strategy for your future professional development.
The advantage of such an approach is that the picture of your real intention is clearer. This perspective opens up more options, not just the ones you might be aware at first sight.
Apart from the template “My life story”, you will need a pen to either write down your ideas, or, as with other activities, it might help you to draw pictures or icons, which symbolise your thoughts. It is also possible to choose small symbols to visualize your thoughts. The important thing is, that whatever you put there or write gives you a clear idea about your situation at the current moment.
You can carry out this activity on your own, but it might be even more helpful if you do it with a good friend who listens to your presentation and provides you feedback afterwards, as this might help you to become aware of additional information, which you might not notice yourself by only remembering.
The fields of numbers symbolize the years of your life. Try to remember significant events, experiences, all things which you consider important, and add them at the respective age range. As explained above, you may write keywords down or use drawing or symbols to memorize. Take your time for this review and try to go through all ages; up to the age you are now. This part is an individual step without interaction with anybody else. Pay attention that there are no interruptions and you enough time for the activity.
Having finalized Step 1, continue to the first yellow field – which stands for your characteristics. Try to find symbols or keywords which express who you are.
Continue with the second yellow field on the bottom. Look at the visualization of your life and put symbols or keywords to express your competencies or acquired skills in this field.
After having carried out Step 1-3 on your own, here you can invite a friend to support you. You can present to him/her what you put in the specific fields and provide information on them. The task for the person supporting you is just to listen to you and not to interrupt you. When you are finished with everything, this person may ask questions if something was not understood, or she/he might provide you feedback on what they observed in regards to what you presented. Whilst the person is talking, you should carefully listen, if there is information you did not yet think about. If there is no such supporting person, you might also do the activity alone by going through your life again, repeating the memories of all stages which seemed important to you in the first round.
After this self-reflection and feedback of others, continue on to the orange field on the bottom. This one stands for “What I want to continue with in the future”. Pick all competences, interests, skills from the prior representation and put all things you would like to use in your professional life in the future in this field.
Discuss with your “support” person or research in the internet how you might be able to use these skills or how you can combine these results with your prior profession in order to find a more suitable profession or have more success with your job search.