By Samantha Whitehorne
Self-awareness is helpful in both your personal and professional life. And when it comes to the latter, understanding yourself and your talents can strengthen both your job search and your long-term career happiness.
“When we are operating in our strengths and using our talents, we are more productive and happier, and we experience more growth and creativity,” says Ann Ranson, a career coach and president of Bottom Line 3 Marketing. “This means that innovation and finding a new job opportunity are much more possible.”
Ranson suggests that job seekers first identify their strengths in order to discover what sorts of opportunities would suit them best. “We spend so much time in the workplace, you want to have some level of fulfillment and happiness,” she says.
To identify those strengths, Ranson says job seekers should take a talent assessment. (She recommends the one included in Now, Discover Your Strengths, but there are many other similar books available.) “Job seekers really need to study their results and create a strategy to leverage their core talents,” she says. Once they do that, they can move on to looking at job listings and identifying the opportunities where they would fit well. She also says job seekers should market their strengths on their resumes and during the interview process.
When we are operating in our strengths and using our talents, we are more productive and happier, and we experience more growth and creativity.
Knowing your strengths brings additional benefits to the workplace, Ranson adds, citing research that shows that satisfied employees are 10 times more productive than the average worker.
“Plus, these individuals are less stressed, happier, and healthier,” she says. “And that positive energy can rub off on other members of their team, which will create an even better organization.”
With all this talk of strengths, is there also something job seekers and employees should be doing to correct their weaknesses?
“I’m not a fan of focusing on fixing your weaknesses,” Ranson says. “Obviously, you can’t fully ignore the weaknesses, but rather than looking at those first, let’s think more creatively about how to enhance the use of people’s strengths.”
Samantha Whitehorne is deputy editor of Associations Now. Email: [email protected]