Your strengths play a key role in determining what careers may be best for you, as well as for your career growth. Without a clear understanding of these central assets in your career life, you could end up totally disenchanted and disengaged from your job. That would not bode well for your career future, or for the future of our society.
“Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong…And yet, a person can perform only from strength.” – Business thought leader Peter Drucker
According to studies by Gallup conducted over 10 years, as cited by Tom Rath in StrengthsFinder 2.0 (Gallup Press, 2007), only one-third of employees surveyed “strongly agreed” that “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.”
The two-thirds of the workplace who do not feel this way are at a significant disadvantage in both their career and personal lives. Again, according to Gallup’s studies, those workers who are able to use their strengths every day are “six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general”.
What Is the StrengthsFinder Assessment?
Your strengths are your natural talents multiplied by knowledge, skills and practice gained over time. This is the definition according to Donald Clifton, a pioneer in the Psychology of Strengths and the creator of the Clifton StrengthsFinder (precursor to StrengthsFinder 2.0). Using Gallup’s research database, Clifton’s team of scientists identified 34 strengths themes and developed the first strengths instrument to assess those themes. Tom Rath, leader of Gallup’s workplace research and consulting, continued Clifton’s research with the updated StrengthsFinder 2.0 in 2007.
A StrengthsFinder 2.0 Example - Learner
Uncovering my top five strengths via this assessment was a joy because, as I discovered, my top theme is Learner. The steady and dependable process of learning, combined with the knowledge and often skills mastery that accompanies learning, elicits a “natural high” for me. The Learner strength is not necessarily driven by the subject matter learned, but rather the energizing process of attained competency and enlightened knowledge. Of course, learning about a passionate interest, as in my case a lifelong interest in careers and career development, increases the pleasure and satisfaction tremendously.
Some Learners refine their learning process through teaching and presentations. That is certainly true for me. Other Learners may gravitate to quiet reflection as a means of integrating new learning. In either case, Learners soak up “newness” and are often the early-adopters of cutting-edge technology, information, and trends.
What Are Your Strengths?
Professional growth is key to career development is this new world of work. Self-awareness is the first step in determining what direction that professional growth could take. By gaining insight into your strengths, you can equip yourself to make the most of your natural talents as you either look for a new career or job, or enhance the job you already have. So why not start today?
The access code for this easy-to-take online assessment is available in the back of the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book. Your assessment results are delivered via the StrengthsFinder 2.0 report, which includes personalized Strengths Insight descriptions, 50 Ideas for Actions based on your top five themes, a Strengths-based Action Plan, and numerous online resources.
Knowing your strengths will lead you to a more satisfying job in this job search and will help you find your best career fit for long term job and career satisfaction.
© Copyright, 2011, Susan Guarneri. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
About the Author
Job-Hunt's Career Assessments Expert, Susan Guarneri, known as the Career Assessment Goddess, specializes in using personal branding and career assessments to empower professionals, executives, and budding entrepreneurs with career insight and action. Author of the Career Goddess Blog and co-author of Job Search Bloopers, Susan holds 16 career certifications, including National Certified Career Counselor, Master Career Counselor, Certified Master Branding Strategist, and Certified Online Identity Management Strategist. She has a Masters Degree in Counseling from The Johns Hopkins University and 24 years of experience.