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You’ve heard the job interview question before: “What’s your greatest personal strength?”
While it may seem cliché, nailing down your strengths can help you to discover your passion and ultimately help you on your job hunt. According to a Gallup study, companies that focus on their teams’ personal strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity.
You may not be sure what your strengths are yet, so how can you go about leveraging them? First, you have to identify what you’re good at and use those skills to succeed in life, work, or taking online classes. Here are a few tips on how to get started in that process, and some strengths from other students working to reach their goals.
A great way to learn more about yourself is to ask people you trust and respect what they think are your top three personal strengths. Make a list of people you want to ask about the kinds of jobs they believe would best suit your personality and strengths, and why. Whether it’s members of your family, friends, classmates, or teachers, getting insight from the people you’re closest to can be a quick way to help discover your strengths.
Use your time as a student to start building your personal brand. For a week, think about 4-5 things you enjoy doing and write them down. Challenge yourself to analyze why you like doing these things. For example:
In the evenings, I like to search Pinterest for inspiration on new designs to embroider on hats, clothing, or canvas pieces. I set aside time while winding down before dinner to browse the internet and get my creative juices flowing, then I spend an hour sewing the piece.
In this example (my own personal one), it’s clear that person likes being creative, enjoys working independently, and is determined to finish specific projects. Taking the time to think about the different activities or projects you naturally find yourself doing might feel trivial, but it can be an effective way to help identify your strengths and skills.
If you’ve asked your family and friends but still want to learn more, let the experts help to identify what you’re good at with an online strengths test. Whether you buy the CliftonStrengths 34 Assessment for the ultimate resource or try out a free test with Truity’s Personal Strengths Inventory, these tests are designed to help people discover their personal strengths.
Once you have answers from a few different sources, highlight any areas that come up frequently, or any character traits that several people have identified. Exercise some self-awareness and start evaluating yourself to make key determinations about your personality and skills. I mean, who better than you to identify your own core strengths?
Taking time to understand your strengths will help provide context for you when planning for future job interviews or life decisions.
Some of the answers or results might focus on aspects of your personality you hadn’t thought about, but don’t write them off. The key to finding your personal strengths is to form a better idea of yourself, and that includes the image you present to other people, as well as what you’re good at and things you can improve. An unexpected character trait may lend itself to an area of work you’ve never considered before!
Whatever method you use to find your strengths, remember that success doesn’t happen overnight. You need to do the daily work to identify what you’re good at and work out a way to leverage those skills to your overall benefit and growth. It’ll take time and a lot of research, but if you’re reading this, you’re already on the right track!