Assess Your Strengths and Ambitions

Pursuing a career in criminal justice can be a rewarding and exciting opportunity for the right individual. One question that you should ask yourself is, “Is this the career choice for me?” The best way to answer that is with a personal evaluation of your own strengths and ambitions, which in a sense builds a “personal identity” in much the same way corporations build their own identity or brand.

To begin building your personal identity, start with an assessment of your strengths, where true honesty is the first order of business. Think about what really motivates you, or what would you like to do, or what are your driving passions. Too often our jobs don’t make a career; they just become a means for supporting our daily personal expenses, and we end up missing out in the true satisfaction of work and what a true career might bring.

Evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities by creating a written list for each one. Look at your current situation, your current education, your responsibilities, and your credentials. Ask yourself how these stack up in your own view, and then how do other people see your traits when viewing you. Others, especially your superiors, co-workers, and friends, will evaluate you on how you react to situations, how you interact with them, and how you make decisions. Remember it’s all about building that personal identity.

Employment within the criminal justice profession is very competitive. It is important to be aware of the fact that companies and organizations that are looking for future employees may also have received hundreds of resumes for a single position. This is especially true with the ease of sending a resume with e-mail. That’s when you need to address your strengths. How do you stand out among your peers? Can you think outside the box, and create your own opportunities? Each of these questions can help you assess what your personal strengths are and where your weaknesses may be. Then examine those strengths and opportunities by turning them into positives for a long-term career. For example if you are weak in technology, taking a course in computer literacy will go a long way in criminal justice. An understanding of the very basics of computer communications will be needed to build a skill’s foundation for law enforcement training in cyber warfare. Your focus of any strength assessment is to get a clear understanding of where you are currently in your present status, as well as to identify those areas needing improvement, thus helping you strategize a plan to move forward with your ambitions.

A planning strategy for your career growth is first and foremost essential to a successful career. Many times, an individual may get sidetracked in his current role, and then years later he wonders how he permitted his career to slip away. Planning out your career and assessing your progress is crucial to reaching your goal. To achieve any type of goal requires envisioning the end objective. You must assess where you are currently, determine what areas you need to focus on, and then formulate a career plan. Building a personal identity also take time, but remember the decisions that you make along the way will construct your identity piece by piece. A Criminal Justice degree that satisfies an education requirement can be one piece of building your personal identity.

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