A different take on the About page

Think of the About page as something you can give to your manager, the folks you work the closest with, or—if you are a manager—every new report who joins your team. I’m sure they will enjoy knowing that you like dogs and cappuccinos. But what if, on top of that, you can use it as a space to challenge yourself and start a journey of introspection to discover an internal compass that will help you:

  • Tap into your inner strengths and;
  • Find joy when things get hard.

In a world where a portfolio becomes your business card on the internet, the About section is a place where people come to understand where you’re coming from and where you’re heading in your career and as a person. But most importantly, it’s a place for you to reflect on the things that make your life meaningful.

Instead of lamenting what you don’t have, put your efforts into making your positive strengths even stronger.

Think of all the things that brought you here. The good, the bad. Because your story is what makes you unique. Start seeing opportunity when you revisit your past and think that if you’re here breathing and being relatively happy, probably you didn’t do that bad.

Investigate what are your character strengths and virtues. Signature strengths are often strengths we just can't help exercising. Sometimes when we look at our list of signature strengths, one or more of them can seem surprising.

We may not realize that we have a particular strength until it comes up in our results. As we reflect on it or as we talk about it with our family and friends, we may realize that it's a strength we just didn't know we had. Sometimes, this is because we assume everyone acts the way we do. And we're surprised that they don't and that our perspective is at all unusual.

These strengths or personality types aren’t black-and-white labels. Think of them more as signposts pointing you toward your full creative potential. While there’s probably one core strength that best describes you, it may change at different points in your life and career, or even at different stages of the creative process.

Self-assessments can help you understand your positive personality traits, and how to leverage them.

The American Psychiatric Association created the Values in Action Classification of character Strengths and Virtues, known for short as the VIA. You can take this test for free, and optionally you can pay for a version with all. the explanation and science behind.

The Enneagram of Personality is a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types.

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is an introspective self-report questionnaire indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.

Learn what really drives, inspires, and worries different personality types, helping you build more meaningful relationships.

Adobe’s Creative Types test is an exploration of the many facets of the creative personality. Based on psychology research, the test assesses your basic habits and tendencies—how you think, how you act, how you see the world—to help you better understand who you are as a creative. Answer these 15 questions and you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your motivations, plus insight into how to maximize your natural gifts and face your challenges.

Julie Zhuo came up with the idea of using the About page as some sort of user manual where people can learn what to expect and how to interact with you.

When you buy a new camera, it comes with a little booklet that teaches you about the specifics of the gadget—what each button means, how to select the appropriate lighting, how to review the images.

A User Guide for a Person works in a similar way. It creates clarity on how you work—what you value, how you look at problems, what your blind spots or areas of growth are, and how to build trust with you.

Defining who you are is not a set destination.

We live in a world of change. Deep changes inside of us. Continually growing, developing. We are continually becoming something we never were before.

We want to be able to influence the change in our lives so we can be happy. Reaching our potential, doing something good and meaningful in the world. But don’t forget to take a breathe, relax, have downtime. Probably you won’t finish your About page in one day. And that’s okay.