Leveraging Your Strengths On The Job

One of the best things professionals can do to advance their careers is become StrengthSmart. What this means, essentially, is to become aware and intentional about your strengths (and weaknesses) so that you can better yourself and career path.

In this post we’ll look at the process of becoming more StrengthSmart, and the things you can do to remain in the UpSpiral (which we talked about here).

Introducing Strengths

Everyone has them, and many people never look into learning more about them. Your strengths are the ways in which you provide value, define value, and ultimately determine success (especially in your career). Typically, strengths fall into four different categories, and each category can have an impact on your career. The categories are as follows:

  • Executing: Getting things done with accuracy, speed, and precision.
  • Influencing: Selling big ideas.
  • Relationship Building: Centering everything around people (emotions, positions, etc.)
  • Strategic Thinking: Solving problems is fun.

Why know your weaknesses?

But, when it comes to your career,  it’s not enough to just know your strengths. You must also understand your weaknesses, or the opposites of your strength; your limitations. Interestingly enough, when you understand your weaknesses, you’ll be better prepared to understand your strengths. Think about it as understanding “why” you’re strong at one thing, and why you’re not at another. A few examples of weaknesses you could try to address, and which strengths may actually be a direct result of that weakness would be as follows:

  • Being too critical: Your strength might be futuristic or strategic.
  • Attempting to please everyone: Your strength might be harmony or positivity.
  • Not being organized: Your strength might be ideation or futuristic

The point is, by understanding our weaknesses we actually become more dialed into our strengths. And when we’re dialed into our strengths, our careers are benefited.

Testing Your Strengths

At most, over the course of a lifetime, our weaknesses change no more that 3-7%. On the other hand, our strengths can be manipulated, improved, and expanded. So, make sure as a professional you are testing your strengths; challenging them. A few ways of doing this include:

  • Move out of the comfort zone: Some of our best mental and professional growth comes from being outside of our comfort zone. So, try new things, take on challenging projects, and don’t be afraid.
  • Use your mind: Use your mind to look through the lens of your strength. For example, ask yourself what would the {strategic, ideator, activator} in me do here; and why? When you let your mind take on the perspective of the strength, you’ll uncover a different ability of thought.
  • Ask for help: Some of the best insights surrounding your strengths will be from those around you and not yourself. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You could ask your boss, spouse, or friends, or you could hire a professional. Either way will give you a new way of looking at and utilizing your strengths.
  • Be intentional: Your strengths are only as strong as your ability to become intentional about them. For example, you might have strategy as a strength, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to solve every problem. You will have to put in the effort to harness and fine tune your strategy gift into a relevant, useful, and powerful career tool. So, be intentional about doing just that.

The Value Of It All

When you know your strengths you tend to feel happier and feel good. This is in part because you have a better understanding of yourself, but also because you have a better understanding of how you’re wired, and where you need to invest your effort. The better your alignment, consistency, and focus is on your strengths, the more in sync and in alignment you will feel. It’s remarkable, but you’ll find that your strengths are actually perfectly designed for you. Because of this, when harnessed and utilized, your strengths will actually be able to help you solve any challenges your career sends your way.

You can become StrengthSmart, and your career can benefit because of it. To learn more about your strengths, how you can utilize them to your advantage, and how you can continue to advance your career, let's setup a free consultation.

We would love to learn more about the perfectly designed you.