My mantra is “Know Yourself. Love Yourself. Be Yourself.” These are three key themes of my presentations, designed to guide parents, educators, employers, self-advocates and others on the path to progress.
Having knowledge of not only your strengths, but also your challenges (or as they say in my Toastmasters club “opportunities for improvement”) can make a world of a difference in so many areas of daily life. For example, I am about to start a new job as a staff accountant at Calavo Growers in Santa Paula, CA. Some of my strengths that will serve me well are being organized, on time and up-to-date on current accounting principles.
On the other hand, I am also aware of things that have been difficult for me in past jobs. These challenges include how to adapt to a new work environment, how to figure out how formal or informal a workplace is, or how best to communicate with my co-workers on work-related issues and social topics.
As I get ready to start my new job, I remind myself of the many jobs I had in the past. When I was new to a position, I usually had a LOT of questions! For example, I didn’t know the first thing about property tax before I began my internship at The Walt Disney Company. I had never heard of Tetra Tech and did not even know what they did before I went to work for them.
Once I started at these companies, I gained a better understanding of how things worked and learned what I needed to succeed. After a while, my co-workers were asking me questions and I was providing the answers! Being aware of my strengths and needs helped me become a valuable asset to the departments that I worked in and to my colleagues. I intend to apply the same principles when I begin at Calavo.
Everyone has strengths and needs, but not everyone is comfortable admitting this. Everyone has strengths and needs, but not everyone knows what they are. I hope the mantra “know yourself” and this example will inspire you to make your own list of strengths and opportunities for improvement that you can use in all different areas of your life.