Self-awareness is integral to the development of the professional self within helping professions such as human services (Chinnery & Beddoe, 2011; Richards, Campenni, & Muse-Burke, 2010). It has been noted as an influencing factor for relationship building or engagement (Reupert, 2009); managing anxiety (Bogo, 2017); boundary setting (Urdang, 2010); ethical decision-making (Bartkeviciene, 2014) and even dealing with stress and preventing burnout (Urdang, 2010), a topic that we will cover at the end of this section.
While there is no universal definition of self-awareness, knowledge of your own values and how they manifest in your professional identity is one part of self-awareness. You may have spoken about your values with your agency supervisor in your placement interviews. Reflect on the answers you gave. Did you feel confident that you knew and understood your values? If not, this question may come up in supervision while you are on placement. Will you be confident answering these questions? Additionally, how often do you reflect on your values?
The following exercises will help you gain insight into why knowing your values is important for your personal development and professional identity as well as identify your values.
Activity 3.2.1 Exploring core values and a reflective exercise
Watch the following video where Jennifer Jones talks about how identifying our core values can be the key to a more fulfilling life and then undertake an exercise to help you explore your core values through the following link:
Activity 3.2.2 – Self-assessment of values
You are now encouraged to undertake a self-assessment of your values using either of the resources provided below. These resources are free of cost and provide you with useful insight into to our qualities and motivations.
You are also encouraged to review the Australian Community Workers Association’s Ethics and Good Practice Guide as part of exploring the value and professional standards that underpin the Human Services profession.
Source: Australian Community Workers Association (2017) Australian Community Workers Ethics and Good Practice Guide. Retrieved from https://www.acwa.org.au/workers/ethicsandstandards/ACWA-Ethics-and-good-practice-guide.pdf