What are your STRENGTHS? 💪🏼
And no, I don’t mean being able to binge an entire Netflix series in one sitting, or always knowing where the best cocktail bars are (I mean, not that that’s a bad strength to have 🍸🤪).
I’m talking about the strengths that form the core pillars of who you are as a person. Be it empathy, adaptability, discipline, communication, or any other number of things; your strengths are what makes you uniquely you. They generally start off as natural underlying talents, then mix that over the years with your experience, skills & knowledge, and they just become an integral part of who you are.
Ok, so what’s the big deal Rosie? Well, get this - People who know what their strengths are, and use them in their work are 6x more engaged in their jobs and 3x more likely to report having a better quality of life. PLUS they perform better, and get promotions faster ⚡️
So it seems like a no brainer, right? Identifying and using your strengths will get you on the fast track to thriving at work 🚀 Yet so many people don’t take the time to identify what their natural gifts are, and end up jumping into careers before they’ve had the chance to actually ask themselves..
🤔 What am I really good at?
🤔 Do I know what my strengths are?
🤔 How am I different from others?
Seriously, over my career I've encountered SO many incredible humans whose talents are being wasted because they're in a role that doesn't leverage their natural abilities and strengths. And if that's you, I get it! There’s so much pressure to jump straight onto the career ladder after graduating, that we’re barely given a second to even breathe and wonder if we're getting on the right ladder.
So if you're wondering how to actually identify what your natural gifts, strengths, and talents are, then you've found yourself in the best possible corner of the internet my friend!
Check out this YouTube video or, keep reading below for my best tips on discovering your core strengths ⬇️
TIP #1: Look back at your past experiences
Time to get a bit Sherlock Holmes with it 🕵🏼♀️🔎 Get that magnifying glass out and you’ll find that your past is riddled with clues that point to what your natural gifts are.
Work through the self reflection questions below. The only rule is: DON'T 👏🏼 SELF 👏🏼 EDIT 👏🏼 Your inner critic may pop up on your shoulder and try to downplay your strengths, or tell you your initial instinct isn’t true, and to that I'll quote my girl Ariana and say "thank you, next!" Trust your intuition and write down the first thing that comes to you. Don’t question it.
👉🏼 What do people come to you for advice or assistance with?
👉🏼 What kind of skills or knowledge comes to you naturally? What do you see or understand quicker than the average person?
👉🏼 When were you last in a state of flow i.e. really immersed in something and lost track of time? What were you doing?
👉🏼 What do people give you positive feedback on? Any themes or patterns?
👉🏼 What are your favourite parts of your past or current job? What aspects of the role make you feel the most energised and alive?
TIP #2: Ask 5 people you trust
The funny thing about our strengths, is they are so innate to us that sometimes we can’t even recognise them for ourselves. You probably think to yourself "How is X a strength? I thought everyone could do that." Spoiler alert - they can't. What's easy for you may not come easy to everyone! That's why it’s super helpful to rope in a colleague, family member or friend to get their perspective on the following questions:
👉🏼 When have you seen me at my best?
👉🏼 What do I do better than the average person?
TIP #3: Do an official diagnostic test
Stick with me on this one, cause we've got to get a little scientific to explain how this works 🧪🔬
Basically, our brains are made up of billions of neurons that looove to play Chinese whispers, passing information back and forth to different areas of the brain in order for us to function. How do they do this? At the ends of every neuron there are these things call synapses, and whenever an area of the brain is being used, the synapses fire information from one neuron to the next.
Every time a specific neural pathway fires, it gets stronger. Just like going to the gym; you use a muscle, it gets stronger. You use a neural pathway, it gets stronger 💪🏼 and so overtime, the brain develops preferred neural pathways because they're stronger and quicker than the road less trodden!
Now, here's where it gets interesting. When it comes to finding out what your strengths are, diagnostic tests give you a time limit to answer certain questions. This triggers your strongest neural pathways by getting you to just go with your gut and do what comes quickest to you under the time pressure.
My favourite strengths diagnostic tool is the Clifton Strengths Assessment.
When you know your strengths, it will super-charge your career, trust me! Give one (or all three) of these strategies a whirl and you'll be climbing up a more fulfilling and exciting career ladder in no time!
Now you've got your strengths sussed (I see you, you badass talented human 💁🏼♀️) you wanna know how to incorporate them into an epic career that makes you go 😍😍😍? I thought so! Check out this blog post on finding your career purpose, or download my FREE Career Happiness Playbook!