// The Importance of Knowing Your Personality Traits

Personality traits are something that we all have and we’re often aware of other peoples, but have you ever thought about what they might mean?

Our personalities were always once thought to be fairly stable across time and context, and difficult to change, but it has since been found that our personalities can alter throughout the years. Although we essentially remain the same person, our attitudes and approaches to life can evolve over time.

You might often consider what type of personality you might have and finding out your personality type can really help give you some insight into yourself and discover more about your strengths and weaknesses. There are various personality tests online but you can take the best Enneagram test for free, which will define your personality from nine different types.

Advantages to understanding personality traits 

It can be all too easy to get wrapped up in your own ‘ideals’ in the world and not always consider how someone else may see things. By getting a better understanding of all the different reactions and perceptions that other people might have to the same situations, can highlight your own personal preferences. This will give you a glimpse at some of the traits that other people possess, which can really prove to be eye opening. It’s always useful to gain a wider perspective on others attitudes and appreciate that we all have a different way of seeing and interacting with the world.
Have a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses 
It might not always be easy to pick out parts of you that perform well, but it’s a fact that everyone has their strengths as well as their weaknesses, so it’s important that you dig deep and really start to understand these traits. It could be anything from having great organizational skills, to be being an empathetic person.
You may have many great qualities but it’s crucial to see that some particular strengths and positive attributes can sometimes go against you in situations. By having an awareness of this, means that you can ask other people to deal with scenarios that perhaps you’re not best placed to deal with - especially so in work situations.
Don’t fixate on your type 
Your personality type may suggest that you should aim for a certain career but it doesn’t always indicate that it will be the right path for you personally. It’s most certainly more of a guide to what your traits would suggest would be suitable, but no two people are the same, nor do they have the same mix of traits that make the ‘perfect’ ideal. 
We all develop and learn over time, so it’s important to realize your potential to change your perceptions over time. If you’re rigid in your beliefs of who you are as a person, it might impede you making authentic relationships with people.
Although we all tend to have people that we warm to and get on with better than others, don’t exclude the ones who don’t fit the mold for your likes and dislikes. Over the course of your life you will have many different types of people and many fall into different categories. How many of them have surprised you by actually being someone that you can find some common ground with, or least learn from your differences? 
Keep an open mind and remember to take pointers from what you learn about yourself, but recognize that it’s not always clear cut.

// this contributed post was written for this charming life.

// Tips For Returning To Work After A Career Break

It’s not uncommon to need to take a career break at some point in your working life.  There are a number of reasons you might need to take a time out including traveling, illness, redundancy, or children. 

If you find yourself getting reading to re-enter the world of work after an extended period of time off, you’re probably feeling a range of emotions.  Getting a new job can be daunting, and your confidence might be low but there are some things you can do to increase your chances of getting a job and thriving in it. 

Get Into The Right Frame Of Mind
Some of the biggest battles you will fight will be in your own head.  Getting into the right headspace is vital. If you’ve been off through illness or injury, you may have fought a physical and legal battle, in which case you will need a personal injury law firm that can help you. The journey to getting your confidence back can take you a long time.   

Evaluate Your Situation
Before you start your job hunt, take the time to write down your qualifications, experience, and skills.  Don’t assume that you haven’t picked up any new skills since you last worked. If you took time out to raise children, you’d be amazed at the practical and soft skills you will have acquired such as organization, multitasking, and empathy. 

Take a look at the job descriptions of the kinds of jobs you want to apply for and list the skills and experience they are looking for.  Compare your two lists and you should be able to identify any major gaps. There’s no rule that says you have to go back into the same sector.  Time away may have given you the clarity you needed to choose a career that better fits your personality and needs. 

This will give you a true picture of your situation and if you need to take any extra courses or voluntary work to plug the gaps. 

Update Your Resume
A gap in your resume isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker. Try and put a positive spin on it and why it actually sets you apart from other candidates.
Start Reconnecting With Your Network

Friends, family, and old colleagues are a great way to find a job.  Update your LinkedIn profile and start reaching out to people and let them know that you’re looking for a new job.  Even if they don’t know of any immediate vacancies, they might be able to introduce you to someone who does. 

Be Ready To Discuss Your Career Break During Your Interview

You don’t have to go into too much detail, but be prepared to talk about your career break, what you did during it and why you took it (if it was your choice). 

Make it clear that you’re well-rested and raring to go.

Look For Targeted Returner Schemes
Career breaks are becoming more and more common, and companies have realized that people returning to the workplace are a huge, untapped resource. In response, there are a number of returner schemes being run by some of the bigger companies.  They are a great opportunity to get back to work with a reputable company, good benefits, and a good chance of a job at the end.  

Go For ItWhatever the reason for your career break, don’t be tempted to believe that it has completely derailed your career and simply apply for any job you can find.  Your skills are just as valuable and you deserve to get your career back on track.  

// this is a contributed post for this charming life.