#strengths #learning

Finish line in sight

Another uni break means another opportunity to collect my thoughts, review progress and think about the future. The first year and a half of Masters has been a bit of a blur, but incredibly fun and challenging. There’s still so much to do, so I’m finding it hard to believe that this amazing journey will be over in 5 months.

An interesting aspect of studying a Masters in Psychology, is the sheer number of self-assessments you end up doing and how much you learn about yourself as a result. Along with logbooks and intense self-reflection, it means that I feel like I’ve grown and developed so much over the past year and a half. The main thing I’ve learnt about myself throughout the course is my immense love of learning. It seems obvious now in hindsight, after all, this quality is probably what’s contributed to me being where I am now. But combined with grit (yes, I’ve just started reading Grit by Angela Duckworth), I think these two qualities have enabled me to get where I am today and to also thrive in the coursework and placement.

If you’re interested in identifying some of your strengths, you can try the VIA Strengths Survey for free. It’s well validated and researched, and the theory behind it is that when we’re using these strengths in our lives, ideally in our jobs, we’re more likely to be intrinsically motivated. This was definitely the case for me on placement, I’ve experienced greater job satisfaction when I’m doing work in line with my strengths, and when I haven’t been using them enough, job satisfaction has decreased. Alongside this knowledge, one of the main things I’ve been trying to develop is authenticity. So when I’ve had lower job satisfaction, found I haven’t really been using my strengths at work, I’ve been having open and honest conversations with supervisors to find a way to rectify this.

With so many opportunities to learn about myself and develop, I’ve started to think about what I’m going to do next. What sort of work is going to truly satisfy me? I don’t know the answer to that yet, but to challenge myself and take a (small) risk in the short-term, I’ll be starting a psychology based blog with a friend and peer from the course. This friend is like a mirror image of me, and brings out the best in me, so I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes.

In the meantime, I still have 5 more months of hard work to go and I’m going to do my best to enjoy every single moment.