8 Reasons Why Defining Your Strengths Can Land You A Satisfying Career
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What are your strengths? If it takes you longer than a second to answer this question, you may need to read this blog. Success is not a one-way street; there are numerous ways to get there, and among them, knowing your strengths can help you find the route best for you.
And when those strengths are practiced and honed at work, you are ensuring your professional growth in the career that you love. That fact alone makes it priceless and a worthwhile endeavor.
But identifying your strengths may not be the most natural thing to do for most people. You must first know what you are good at, what comes naturally to you before you can distinguish between a strength and a talent.
This guide will help you identify those strengths, uncover methods to strengthen them, and help make you more self-aware of the essential facets of your professional toolkit, all so you can pursue a satisfying career.
List Your Strengths
So, back to our original question: What are your strengths? Here's how to find out: Make a list of all the things that you think you are good at, the characteristics about your personality, abilities, and soft skills that come naturally to you.
When you list your strengths this way, you are in-part presenting to yourself your distinctions. Once known, you can consider the elements of your strengths, and leverage elsewhere.
Additional benefits of listing your strengths include:
Even if you don't know what your strengths are, this exercise will provide you with a flurry of ideas for you to consider. Start by taking notes and then finalizing those notes later.
Spot your improvement areas. A list can reveal many things, such as where you need to make changes. The key is, to be honest about what your difficulties are, and then link to what you can do to make improvements in that area. This trait will help you regroup later in your career when self-introspection and development are imperative for those that receive promotions.
Lists are excuse-proof
With your strengths listed, you now have physical evidence of the things that you should hone or practice. It’s an exercise that will make your good strengths great, later.
Now that we have the advantages of listing complete, let’s analyze the top strengths that can secure you a satisfying career:
Strong Sales Acumen
Sales are the cornerstone of business and the center of success. No matter what industry you work in, sales will be apart of it in some way, shape or form even if your job is not sales-related.
Share ideas during meetings and marketing conferences; transfer instructional advice through customer service, user experience or business development. Knowing how to sell is a huge point of advantage for any employee, which can empower you to train your immediate work team.
But what if you have no sales experience? That’s not a deal breaker. Again, sales happen within or outside of normal business contexts; if you’ve ever convinced someone to do something for you, then you’ve established a sales foundation.
Strengths that are transferable are the best kind since these can be applied anywhere. In a new role, you can tap into a previous experience to have a professional advantage. Whether you are volunteering, in hospitality, or a full-time position, you will acquire skills—some hard, some soft—that you can leverage for career success. Here's an idea of versatile strengths:
Also, note for success: Make sure to mention these versatile skills in your cover letter and resume.
An Inquisitive Nature or the Will to Ask Questions
This characteristic may seem like an odd skill, but it's a precious—and underutilized—strength that could drive your career forward. This strength is simple: If you do not understand something, or want a more significant opportunity, ask.
Whether you seek to implement an idea you have, desire a promotion or pay raise, or are looking for more professional responsibility in your current role, you should ask your subordinates for the challenge. The worst they can do is say no, but they can also set you up for success by preparing you for what you've asked.
Maybe asking questions is a weakness for you, or you’re shy. Take things slow and practical by recognizing how to step outside of your bubble. Make yourself uncomfortable. Try to practice non-role specific tasks on your job.
Negotiate the price of fruit the next time you are at a market. Speak to a stranger. The more “uncomfortable” you make yourself, the more you hone your ability to ask questions and earn results.
Ability To Understand Coding
We live in a technologically saturated society and all of us, even those that may not know it yet, have a small foundation in how the Internet works. Those with more average skill sets understand how app-related software is a winning advantage for personal and professional scenarios.
To qualify for a large number of careers that require technical expertise, you can exercise these coding skills to build your foundation into a strength. You can try a small programming task with your professional team, or create your blog. Also, if you'd like to improve, Khan Academy and Code Academy offer free training resources online.
Communication supports every industry. It's also the key to a successful career. You can challenge yourself to master communication every day, starting with the way you write emails to your conduct in meetings. It is a strength that also requires excellent listening skills and putting yourself into the perspective of others.
Most of us write emails every day. Here’s how you can strengthen your communication, role-reversal, and general perspective: Never send a first draft of an email out to a group of people before you proofread it.
Likewise, think before you speak. When you slow down, you can evaluate more than just grammar like context, relevant information, and clarity of ideas. This extra level of communication can sharpen your writing, delivery, and people skills.
Team players drive organizations. These individuals are versatile and know how to work within any group or setting. For a satisfying career, you will need to become one if you already are not. In truth, team players get along better with everyone else and already have some strengths mentioned throughout this list.
And employers usually hire these professionals because of their ability to blend with a work culture seamlessly. In short, hiring managers bring on individuals they can imagine liking and getting to know.
To become a team player, become likable. Here are a few tips:
If you regularly can see a big picture perspective on things or are very organized, then you could have latent project management skills. Employers value these strengths among all employees and, as work becomes more globalized because of the internet, is a definite skill to have when working with remote teams.
Project managers help execute ideas from the start to the beginning, coordinating the entire group, tasks, and resources under deadline.
Want to improve in this area? Try to work backward on tasks that are near completion. What did it take for this task to run successfully? How could things improve for next time? Identify these details and steps to see how everything connects. Then try your hand at managing a project with your tentative blueprint.
The initiative or Starting Tasks on Your Own
Leaders do not have to be told to do things. This behavior holds true for both life and the workplace. If you can be the one to spot a need and then fill it, your superior managers and directors will come to depend on your vision and initiative.
So start looking for creative opportunities to be a risk-taker, or to brainstorm new ways of approaching old problems. You can start by helping colleagues overcome roadblocks in their tasks, or ask your manager for a different project when you free yourself up on your daily duties.
Get to Know Your Strengths
It requires much introspection and honesty to determine what your strengths are, and even more so to acknowledge how you can improve any weaknesses. The truth is that many people do not transparently know themselves.
By understanding your proper description, you can cultivate the better parts of yourself and leverage them in your career. Take some time this week to ponder over what you do best, then improve your skills by seeking out opportunities to develop them at your professional job. This effort begins the hard work you'll have to do to have a fulfilling career.