Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a career that fits us, where we always use our strengths? Gallup Organization affirms that if you are lucky enough to be able to do so, you will be six times as likely to feel engaged in your job. But sometimes we don’t know what our real strengths are or how to use them correctly in the workplace to our advantage. Here are three tips that can help you to properly channel your strengths in your career.
- Know your strengths. This is important whether you already have a job, for greater fulfillment, or if you are searching for a job, as a way to explain your strengths to employers. A strength is a combination of talent, knowledge, and skills. For example, learner, achiever, and responsibility are all examples of strengths. One easy way to identify your strengths is to use the SIGN model from the book Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham. The model is this: Success (having a natural talent for something, feeling effective when you use this strength), Instinct (you look forward to using this strength), Growth (when you use this strength you feel focused and want to learn more), and Needs (using your strength makes you feel fulfilled and authentic).
Action tip: Identify your top five strengths using the SIGN model. Write them down and describe them as best as you can. Ask a trusted friend or family member for feedback. They may see another strength you haven’t identified.
- Play to your strengths. The book Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham talks about four ways to do this. 1. Identify how a specific strength helps you in your current role, 2. Identify missed opportunities to use a strength, 3. Learn new skills or techniques to better your strength, 4. Build your current role around your strengths. This will help you focus on your strengths instead of being frustrated due to trying to eliminate your weaknesses.
Action tip: After you have identified your top strengths, ask yourself how often you use them. Write down what actions you can take this month to use your strengths more fully. Ask yourself what you can do weekly to keep your strengths in mind. This could be something as simple as writing them on a sticky note and keeping it on your desk.
- Find a mentor. Search for someone who uses their strengths successfully in the workplace. Perhaps someone in your social circle, in your job industry, or someone you can reach out to network with. According to the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, 1 in 33 million people share the same top five strengths in the same order, so don’t expect to find a perfect match. However, preferably this person will have at least one strength in common with you. Talk to them about how they channel their strength to get some ideas for your situation.
Action tip: Make a list of three people you would like to speak to as mentors. Have them read your notes about your top five strengths, and discuss with them how you are currently using your strengths and how you could use them more effectively.
HallieCrawford.com was founded by certified career coach, speaker and author Hallie Crawford. Since 2002, the company’s team of certified career coaches have helped thousands of job seekers worldwide identify their ideal career path, navigate their career transition and achieve their career goals. Schedule a free consult with http://createyourcareerpath.com today to learn more about our services.