Last week I posted step 1 of the 3 Steps to Discovering Your Ideal Career. Here is step 2!
Step 2 – Know Your Strengths
Chances are, you already know what you are good at. The problem is you might not be recognizing them as strengths. Or even worse, you are thinking that you should be better at something else.
I abide by the philosophy that to be happy and fulfilled, you have to play off your strengths. Your strengths are your keys to success but unfortunately most people focus on what they are not good at. Frankly, I think it’s a big waste of time to work on those things because the list is endless. Besides, other people are great at those things and that’s where collaboration comes into play.
You will always be good at your strengths but the real growth comes from building off of that. For example, one of my top strengths is Communication. I like to communicate. Most people who know me would agree. Does it mean I am awesome at communicating… well no. Just ask my boyfriend.
But it means that I have a natural strength for it. Our strengths are also indicators of what brings us joy, not really surprising right? I get so much joy from communicating with others. So if I want to go from being a decent communicator to a great one than I’ve got to challenge myself. Take courses, practice often, read up on the topic… ect. The point is that if I want to feel purposeful and joyful (same thing?) then I’ve got to build off my strength of communication.
When clients complete a strengths finder test they are rarely totally shocked by the results. If anything, they feel a sense of validation and relief. This is usually because they have spent years trying to be something they were not and had spent a lot of time working on the areas they hated.
Imagine what it would feel like to use the skills you were born with or to just relax into yourself and do what brings you joy!
How do you discover your top strengths? Well, I love, love, love the Strengths Finder 2.0 test. The test will tell you what your top 5 strengths are and can be completed online. You have to buy the book which has an access code for the test in it but it will be the best $25 you spend all year! Seriously.
If you want to discover your strengths without spending a dime, here’s another option.
The Strengths Finder Exercise:
Write out a list of 5 – 10 previous jobs you have had. Under each job write out the 3 to 5 things that you enjoyed best about it (even if you hated your job, I’m sure there was one or two things you loved/liked about it). Once you have finished writing out 3-5 things you enjoyed about each job, review them and see if there are any common denominators. You may have chosen, ‘enjoyed helping customers’ a lot or ‘loved planning and organizing ______’. Those consistent answers will give you clues to what your strengths are. Why? Because your strengths are also what give you joy. Now go out and discover your strengths!
Tip: If you are having a hard time finding the common denominators from the above exercise, pass it on to someone and see if they can notice any patterns.
Now that you know your strengths you are so close to discovering your ideal career, just one more step to go! Step 3 – Know What You Want. Stay tuned.
Vancouver Life Coach