LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
Understanding Your Strengths as a Road Map to a Fulfilling Career
Stephanie hand, human resources shareholder
Do you understand your strengths as it relates to your career? Are you able to leverage them to further your goals? Most people’s strengths lie in things that come naturally to them or are easy to learn. However, uncovering these abilities is often the biggest challenge. It’s time to consider how your strengths can serve as a road map to finding and developing a career that is custom-made for you!
Why Should You Determine and Understand Your Strengths?
When we work in our strengths, we are more effective, efficient, innovative, and fulfilled. Knowing your strengths also provides helpful insight into the type of work, team, and organization you may want to pursue.
So, how does understanding your CliftonStrengths benefit you as you consider your career?
- You will inevitably concentrate on the things that have the greatest impact on your career.
- You will save time by focusing primarily on the activities that yield the highest return.
- Every day, you are more resourceful and thus make better decisions.
- You position yourself to raise your standards and, in turn, improve your results.
- Since there is more certainty in your life, you will naturally improve your levels of self-confidence.
- You will better understand the career path best suited to your natural talents, tendencies, and abilities.
Most importantly, you will make the most of your time and the opportunities presented to you.
Factors To Consider When Looking for A Great Career Fit
Before settling on a career or if you are considering a career change, here are three factors you should consider:
1. Type of Work
Even the highest-paying or most prestigious position can become tedious if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. So, compare your abilities, interests, values, and personality to the requirements of the career you’re interested in. The first step is to consider whether the tasks involved with the job will engage the skills you enjoy using. It may be helpful to make a list of the skills you’ve had the most success with in with previous jobs, volunteer work, activities, and academic projects. Now consider your natural strengths and how they align with the work you’d like to perform or are currently performing.
For instance, if you have high influencing strengths like Woo, Activator, Command, or Communication, you may thrive in a sales, recruiting, or marketing position where you can persuade and influence others or, in a position or industry where you can often lean on this skillset. On the other hand, if these are lower on your list, you may find this type of work unfulfilling or stressful in the long run. As you read a job description and discuss the position during the interview process, consider how well the job matches your preferred list of skills.
2. Team or People
Another important factor in finding the best career fit relates to the people you will surround yourself with on a day-to-day basis. As they say, you are the average of the five people who surround you the most.
So, consider what type of team you want to be a part of and what matters to you when it comes to your professional relationships. How do your teammates bring out your strengths and how can you find a team on which you can completely be yourself?
For example, if you have relationship strengths high on your list, such as Empathy, Relator, Individualization, Developer, etc., you will likely thrive in an environment where relationships are fostered and developed. So, make sure to understand the type of team you are joining!
Knowing a company’s culture will help you make a more informed career choice based on your strengths and determine if that culture is a great fit for you. For example, does the organization prioritize innovation? Do they value work-life balance? Does the size of the organization provide a variety of resources and/or allow for strong relationships?
Values align differently, and even if the work appears promising, don’t underestimate the importance of a company’s culture. Ideally, the company’s culture should be in alignment with your values, or you may find it challenging to find fulfillment.
As an example, if you have the strength of Positivity, you may want to look for a culture that believes in positive reinforcement, has an upbeat culture, and/or a manager that has a positive outlook. On the other hand, if you have the strengths of Learner, Achiever, and/or Significance, it may be important for you to find a learning environment that values growth and challenge, has a coaching mentality, and/or lays out a clear path for career advancement. Each of us look for different things out of our organizations and your strengths can provide you with insight to help you prioritize what matters most to you.
If you want to grow professionally and personally, the first step is to understand your natural strengths and abilities since they can provide a valuable roadmap to a fulfilling career. If you have any questions about this topic or would like to learn more, please feel free to contact us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
STEPHANIE HAND + HUMAN RESOURCES SHAREHOLDER
Steph Hand is a Human Resources Shareholder at Lutz with over 19 years of experience. She plays a key role in the people strategy for the firm including Lutz’s performance management process, employee relations and retention, talent management and benefits and compliance efforts.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Human Resources
- Talent Management
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- Human Resource Association of the Midlands, Member
- Society for Human Resource Management, Member
- Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
- BS in Education, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
- MA in Communication, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE
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