Most of us are all too aware of our weaknesses but less clear on our strengths. Knowing your strengths is important, not just for life, but for planning your career advancement. When you know your strengths, you can leverage them and identify transferable skills which lead to your next career goal.
If we’re so conditioned to focus on our weaknesses, how can we identify our strengths? Here’s how to do it.
Understand what strength is and how it will benefit you.
It doesn’t have to equate to skills and experience. Usually, it’s more character related. In fact, your key strengths are part of your personality and make you the person you are. Strengths which leap to mind are patience, persuasiveness, energy, resilience, and team orientation. As I’ve said before, “Those tasks bring you contentment or joy, and those you can do with your eyes closed and without fear or stress will tell you, quite clearly, what your strengths are.”
Know when you are at your best.
This is always a good indicator that you’re working to your strengths. Pay attention to how you feel during the day.
- When is your energy at its highest?
- When do you produce your best work?
- When do you feel most contented?
- When you’re ‘in the flow’, what circumstances have allowed that to be?
Reflect on your roles.
- What is the work you most enjoyed?
- When were you able to perform at your best? For example, were you part of a team or working alone? Did you have direction or were you able to drive the project yourself?
- What are you passionate about – at work or in life? How does that passion show itself in your performance?
- What were you good at in school or in your private life? Those strengths aren’t restricted to non-work roles but will transfer to any role you hold.
What do people say about you?
- What does your performance review say?
- What feedback have you been given?
- What help or guidance do people come to you for? If you can’t answer this question, find out. Approach your leader, team members and your peers for feedback. Ask “What do I do well?” or “What would you say my strengths are as a person and a team member?”
Take a strengths test.
In the early 2000s, psychologists Seligman and Mayerson, developed a way to classify character strengths, so we have a common language around them. They developed the VIA Inventory of Strengths which is a tool to help us discover our character traits. I encourage you to complete this simple, 15-minute character test to discover your greatest strengths.
Why does knowing your strengths give you a career advantage?
When you know and work to your strengths, you perform at your best. Your work is of high quality and leads you to your goals. Best of all, working to your strengths makes you feel more confident, capable, and happier. You have aligned your passion with your why and your path. This makes you almost unstoppable as you build your brilliant career.
Would you like to be working to your strengths and following your passions?
Imagine waking up every morning, keen to get out into your life. If this all sounds like a dream, believe me, it isn’t. This is how your life and career could really look.
I’d love to help you find your strengths and build a career you love. The Career Clarity Online Program will help you learn more about yourself and where you want to go. Register and access your spot today.