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10 Ways to Maximize Your Career Potential By Identifying Your Strengths

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Dream jobs are special in the way they make us feel.

At its most basic, your dream job is something that allows you to capitalise on your strengths.

It’s a job that makes you happy, boosts your self-esteem, and gives you the sense that you’re doing the right thing with your life.

Ideally, your dream job should perfectly line up with your natural and learned skill set, but it should also challenge you to grow, evolve and succeed so that you are always improving, refining and learning — and loving it every step of the way.

It should highlight your best qualities and abilities, pay you well for your time and energy, and turn you into the person you were meant to be.

If you can’t think about something that fits all of these requirements, there’s no need to worry.

It will take time and patience to form a picture of what your dream job could be.

Before you apply for a specific position, you’ll want to clarify that you are applying for a job that is a perfect match for your skills, strengths, and values.

You’ll only be happy and flourish in a role if you’re doing something that comes naturally to you, and is in perfect alignment with your natural strengths and attributes.

Understanding Your Strengths

If you want to thrive in the right role, it’s important for you to know where your strengths lie so that you can demonstrate your value or true worth to employers.

Your strengths are the most valuable traits and attributes that sets you apart from other candidates and make you an asset to a specific employer.

What is a Strength?

A strength is defined as the ability to provide consistent performance in a given activity.

Everyone is blessed with their own unique set of interpersonal skills and attributes that come naturally to them and make certain tasks a lot easier to perform.

Your workplace or professional strengths are a blend of your natural talents, skills, competencies and personality.

They are those work-related traits and qualities that you have cultivated over the course of several years of work and life experiences.

Essentially, they are based on personal attributes that come naturally to you.

For example, “the ability to persevere in the face of adversity”, “a natural friendliness that makes it easy to build and cultivate relationships and bring out the best in people” or “an engaging sense of humor used to bring out the best in everyone” are all examples of strong workplace strengths.

Essentially, your strengths are your unique value.

They are what differentiate you from your competitors and help you stand out from a pool of similarly qualified candidates.

It is very important to realize that your workplace strengths are different from your job skills.

Your skills are those generic competencies that enable you perform specific tasks.

An Administrative Assistant, for example, needs the following skills to perform the role: “proficiency in MS office”, “ability to type 60 words per minute”, “accurate reporting”, etc.

These are job skills and competencies, not strengths.

Skills are a lot easier to acquire than strengths.

For example, if you lack Ms Office skills, you may be able to learn it with a three-month hands-on training course.

However, a strength is not so easy for anyone to acquire with a training course.

This is why employers are more interested in your strengths than your skills as these are the defining characteristics that make you unique and differentiate you from everyone else.

Advantages of Using Your Professional Strengths

According to research by Gallup, people who use their strengths at work daily are six times more likely to be engaged on the job and less likely to experience stress or anxiety.

When you use your strengths at work, you rapidly learn new skills and feel more energized, confident and esteemed.

When you get into a workplace that maximizes your personal strengths, you’ll know it instantly.

Coming to work will no longer be a chore and even on the bad days, you’ll still feel as though you are being useful and getting things done.

You’ll surprise yourself at how fast you scale up the professional ladder.

The thing is, employers watch for enthusiasm in what you’re doing, and the best way to find your dream job is by finding one that aligns well with your workplace strengths.

Knowing your strengths is essential to doing well and flourishing in a workplace as already mentioned, but not just in being happy.

Your superiors will recognize your effort to do a job well even if you feel as though you are not putting in all that much effort at all.

You will succeed in your career path much faster and easier than in a job that doesn’t allow you to use or develop your natural skillset.

As with any position, your skills will strengthen and your weaknesses will become less noticeable.

Being in the right workplace will give you space and time to develop, strengthen and use these important personal skills to everyone’s benefit.

Identifying Your Professional Strengths

No matter what stage you are at in your career, identifying your workplace strengths is critically important.

By asking targeted questions and other professional methods, you will be able to get a list of what your strengths are.

With that list, you can target your job search and start to look for roles that put to use each of these qualities and special attributes that are a key part of your personality.

When you understand your workplace strengths, you’ll find that in interviews, your potential employer will feel your natural confidence and enthusiasm for the job.

They will be more inclined to hire you because you appear to be a natural fit for the role.

Highlighting your strengths in your resume and emphasising them in your interview can leave a powerful and memorable first impression and improve your chances of landing your dream job.

This is why recognizing your workplace strengths is vital. If you’re looking to advance your career, assessing and leveraging your strengths is critically important.

Here are some possible areas of strength:

  • Problem-solving
  • Leading
  • Analytical
  • Empowering
  • Analyzing information
  • Motivating
  • Innovating
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Communicating
  • Coaching
  • Engaging sense of humor
  • Authentic
  • Resourceful
  • Prioritizing
  • Socially connected
  • Influential
  • Influencing
  • Diplomatic
  • Intuitive
  • Precise
  • Enterprising
  • Initiating
  • Thinking creatively

Make a list of the top 5 things you enjoy doing.

Take a moment to reflect on why you enjoy them so much.

It will help you figure out your skills and strengths.

Knowing your strengths will help you choose an educational direction to head in, whether you know what they are before you start, or discover them while you do it.

This will steer you in the right direction so that you know how to plan out your education, and then the right career path will make itself known to you.

Once you have these skills figured out, you are able to identify what your dream job actually is.

By simply understanding how important your personal strengths are to the process of identifying and flourishing in your dream job, you’ll be able to make that dream career become a very honest reality.

Remember, we aren’t talking about “I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut/power ranger, etc.”

This is something along the lines of “I’ve always wanted to sell” or “I’ve always wanted to work with people”, etc.

These jobs are out there and ready for you to put your natural skillset to the test as soon as you ready to try something new and exciting.

Your natural and personal strengths make you unique from everyone else in the world around you.

People may have the same strengths as you, but no one can ever do things the exact same way that you do.

So, take advantage of that and develop your strengths on your own.

What Are Your Professional Strengths?

Before you launch into identifying your dream job, it is important to identify your professional strengths.

The following questions are designed to help identify your workplace strengths.

They’ll lead you to the right career path for you, and you, your loved ones and your employer will benefit from this.

How to Identify Your Strengths

  1. Are there any particular characteristics your friends, family members, colleagues, or team members acknowledge in you? Think of specific instances in which these qualities have been demonstrated in your work.
  2. Think about your personality to identify the kind of jobs which could be a good match.
  3. Do you possess any specific knowledge not shared by your colleagues?
  4. Do you dislike anything about what you are doing at the moment?
  5. No matter what you are doing, which skills do you enjoy using the most?
  6. Do you have any activities that come naturally to you?
  7. If you had all the money you need, what type of work would you consider doing? In other words, what kind of tasks energize you? When given the choice, what would you choose to do?
  8. Is there anything you do that nobody else does? The approach you would take to a given task would be unique and different from everybody else’s when you are truly utilizing your strengths.
  9. In your opinion, what are your three or four greatest strengths or top skills that have most benefitted your companies/employers?
  10. Do any strengths and skills appear repeatedly?

Answering these questions will get you well on your way to identifying and articulating your strengths.

Being able to articulate your strengths is crucial for your personal and professional growth.

We strongly recommend that you take an online personality test that will help you identify the type of jobs that would suit your strengths and personality.

The Pymetrics strengths test is a very useful tool for taking an objective look at your personality, your likes and dislikes, as well as what type of work would be a good fit for your personality.

Once you have successfully defined your personal workplace strengths, you’ll be one step closer to defining your dream job:

Final Thoughts

When searching for your dream job, focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.

Identifying your strengths is the first step toward maximizing them, rather than spending time on jobs that won’t take advantage of your strengths or will highlight your weaknesses.

To maximize your strengths, identify jobs that match them.

For example, if your strengths lie in selling, you should be in a role that focuses on exploiting your selling skills rather than in customer service or some other role that you’re not naturally good at.

Build a strong personal brand based on your strengths and passions to build a successful career.

Differentiating yourself from the competition begins with offering something others cannot.

You become engaged in your career and perform at your highest level by investing time in your strengths rather than one that highlights your weaknesses.

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