Finding your strengths and not your weaknesses

Share on LinkedIn0Share on Facebook10Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Email this to someone

I recently started looking for a job and having a diverse professional background left me with many possibilities. I could search for an engineering position, a management consultant, a partnership manager, a marketing manager, an operations manager, business development manager, etc. It was a bit overwhelming.

I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do – I thought I would be happy with any position, but I realized that I would be the happiest with a position where my strengths are utilized and can achieve results for a company.

If you’re like me, you assume you already know what your strengths are.  You know what you’ve accomplished, why you accomplished it, and what skills you used to accomplish it. However, I was a bit surprised about what I found out after I took an assessment on my strengths.

I had reached out to a friend’s career coach to help me narrow down what I wanted to pursue, and to start she recommended I take an assessment on my strengths using Strengths Finder 2.0.

Strengths Finder is a Wall Street Journal bestseller written by Tom Rath. The book comes with an access code for the strength assessment. This 30-minute assessment is used to find the unique talents a person possesses. Upon completion of the quiz, a report is generated with your top five strengths along with a description of each.

My first thought was … how is this going to help me find a job?

My second thought was, why can’t I find out what my weaknesses are and make them better (I had already started learning to code Python).

I quickly realized why strengths are important. I admit that I am not a developer and I don’t want to be writing code 100% of the time. I like coding but not for a full-time gig. It makes sense to find the strengths where a person excels and acquire a job that needs those strengths. It sounds stupid just writing it but it took an assessment test to realize it.

As I say during one of my talks, it’s important to know what your mission is in order to know how to get there. If you don’t have a clear mission/goal, then nothing you do will be beneficial.

Hence, I took the 35 minute test to get an idea on what I should focus on. My results were Communication, Woo, Learner, Activator, and Maximizer. I originally thought I would be Analytical, Achiever, Developer, Strategic, and Positivity. I was way off …

After reading the twenty page report, they’re spot on! I’ve included a small description of each strength below so you get an idea of what your personal report will be.

Moving forward, I’ll utilize the strengths and personal report to narrow down what type of roles to look for.

I highly recommend you start exploring what your strengths are instead of focusing on your weaknesses.

Not only if you’re looking for a job, but this is useful for anyone that wants an opportunity to do what they do best.


 Communication

People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their
thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.

Woo

People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and
winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with
another person.

Learner

People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to
continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

Activator

People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning
thoughts into action. They are often impatient.

Maximizer

People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate
personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.

2 comments

  1. Excellent! I’ll be taking this assessment very soon since I’m at a crossroad, too.
    The only thing that seems to be missing in this assessment is the use of intuition and passion that so rightfully said Steve Jobs for example. (Rather than just doing what we are good at).

    Would it be possible that a strength we don’t know of is yet to be discovered *after* we follow our passion and intuition for something entirely new to us?
    Will figure it out. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s tough, I’m torn between the thought of: “You can do anything you set your mind to” vs “You can’t be anything you want to be, but you can be a lot more of who you are already” .. this was in the book and got me thinking …

      Actually – thinking about it, your question about “finding a strength we didn’t know of yet” is totally in line to what happened to me. In my college days and high school days I was focused on math and physics. I was good at it, and excelled. However, senior year of college and beyond, I started following my passion of connecting people and creating partnerships in business —> a new strength that was hidden but was already there?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *